In a recent Travel & Leisure poll, Miami ranked #4 as the world's most stylish city - not far behind the #1 New York City. Not too shabby, but also a little bit irksome. Comparing NYC fashion to style in MIA is like comparing apples to oranges -- if the apples in question wear mostly black and survive in snowy climates, and if the oranges are actually mangos.
New York fashionistas have plenty in their favor: the world's highest-profile fashion week and glossy fashion mags produced in their own hometown, for starters. But Miami has several style perks of its own.
So before you buy into the T&L hype, read on for eight great attributes of Miami's fashion scene -- none of which you can say about the Big Apple.
8. All the Real Girls
We're a Latin culture; therefore, our women are hotter. And curvier. And clothes look better on curvy women. Just ask Sofia Vergara. Or JLo. Or 151 million American men.
7. No Jacket Required
Everyone knows a heavy winter coat can ruin even the most stylish getup. Here in the tropics, we don't have that problem. Jackets aren't even a factor unless the AC gets a little too intense.
6. Just Swimming
NYC has the traditional Fashion Week covered. But when it comes to showing off swimwear, Miami's got it covered. Miami Swim Week is an entire fashion event dedicated to groundbreaking poolside (or seaside) style. You won't find anything like it up north.
5. Pretty Colors
Northern hipsters have only recently discovered that wearing neon hues is fun. But Miami's been rocking bright colors for decades. With the tropical sunshine beaming down more than 200 days a year and flowers blooming all around us, fashion daredevils can get away with far more eye-catching colors and patterns than are considered appropriate in more temperate climates.
4. Speaking of Daredevils
Okay, so festivals like Ultra and WMC aren't exactly known for their haute couture. But annual events like these do mean there's never a shortage of fashion risk-takers in Miami. Are they all wise fashion choices? God, no. But they're gutsy and bold -- more than you can say for most Manhattanites, anyway.
3. Dress Local
Local designers like Viviana G for Petit Pois, Ema Savahl Couture, and re-designer extraordinaire Kayce Armstrong of Art of Shade are making their mark. Not to mention fashion bloggers like Amanda Del Duca and stylists like Ana Arguello. We've got our own little South Florida fashion scene, and it's a-buzzing.
2. The Kids are All Right
Did you see the looks from Funkshion's Student Showcase? Miami's youngest designers are putting together unique looks inspired by South Florida's wild and often wacky surroundings. The result is fashion that makes us proud of the next generation -- and excited to see what they'll do next.
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1. Less clothing, less problems
One of the primary downfalls of the northern climate is the onerous requirement of seasonal attire. Winter, spring, fall, and summer -- each the bearer of its own hefty set of duds. Here in the land of endless summer, we have no such worries to consume us. Sure, we may need to swap a tube top for a hoodie in the dead of winter, but in general, flip flops and shorts rule year round. Just think of the money we save avoiding the purchase of pricey fur boots or chic cashmere coats -- money we can reinvest in perfecting our summer style. Sunshine, we salute you.