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FYI Guy

Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

Topic: shopping

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February 28, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Is Seattle the country’s most dressed-down city?

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Jeans on a job interview?  Birkenstocks to Benaroya Hall?  Shorts at the office?  No problem.  This is Seattle, after all.  When it comes to clothing, the concept of “too casual” doesn’t seem to exist here.

If you’ve lived in this city for any length of time, you know what I’m talking about.   Seattleites insist on being comfortable, no matter the occasion.

Have you ever wondered if Seattle could be the country’s most dressed-down city?

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October 31, 2012 at 5:45 AM

Is Seattle the country’s worst-dressed city?

The Teva high-heel in black — perfect formal footwear for Seattle? (photo: Gray Ant/Teva)

Last week I attended the Seattle Opera’s production of Beethoven’s Fidelio.  The singing was beautiful, of course, but that’s not what inspired this blog post.  It was the clothing.  The audience’s clothing.

Suffice it say that Tevas, jeans and polo shirts are still acceptable attire for a night at the opera in Seattle; not much has changed in the four years since Pam Sitt wrote this article on the subject in The Seattle Times.

It’s a long-standing complaint that Seattleites don’t care how they dress, don’t buy new clothes, and even take a perverse pride in their frumpiness — we’re into books here, not clothes.

But is it true?  Do we really have no interest in clothes in Seattle?  And can data help us find an answer?

Not sure, but I thought I’d give it a shot.

I devised a simple measure — an index — to gauge the fashion priorities of Seattleites in relation to people in other cities.  I’ll call it the Shoppers Index.  

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