Least Fashionable Cities in America

August 23, 2018 by Cheyenne Buckingham

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The United States is widely considered one of the world’s leaders in fashion and design. Not all cities are chock-full of stores selling apparel and other fashion-related items, though. In fact, 62.3% of all U.S. cities have less than 50 of such stores. Of course, having limited access to clothing stores can hinder one’s ability to stay up-to-date on the latest fashion trends, and in 50 cities residents are at a serious disadvantage.

24/7 Wall St. set out to discover the least fashionable U.S. cities. We created an index of five measures: the number of fashion-related stores such as Macy’s and Target; the number of luxury brand shops such as Gucci and Prada; fashion store headquarters; trade shows; and the number of fashion designers in each city. The presence of these features helps approximate an area population’s concern with fashion.

Following fashion trends and shopping for new styles are not activities limited to people with money, but a higher income certainly helps. Most of the cities that do not have a single luxury brand store, one headquarter of a big-name brand, or a lone fashion designer are low-income areas. Therefore, to more accurately identify how fashionable a community really is and to avoid equating low-income areas with the least fashionable, only cities with median annual household income greater than the comparable national median of $55,322 were considered on this list.

In addition, cities on this list could not be located within any of the metropolitan areas that include places listed on our list of the 50 most fashionable cities.

The metropolitan area rule is an especially important distinction here as it eliminates cities within close proximity of other cities stacked with fashion-centric stores. Inevitably, the cities with the lowest numbers of fashion-related stores — which include anything from large department stores to smaller, niche shopping places like boutiques and shoe stores — have notably smaller populations. All but one city on this list have populations of less than 100,000 people.

Click here to see the least fashionable cities in America.

Click here to see our methodology. 

Source: Leon7 / Wikimedia Commons

50. Draper, UT
> Number of fashion stores: 23
> Median household income: $105,419

Draper, Utah — a small city of about 46,400 people — is one of the least fashionable cities in the United States. This city located near the Wasatch mountain range is much more suitable for outdoor activities rather than shopping. There are 100 miles worth of cycling, equestrian, and hiking trails in Draper, but only 23 fashion-related stores. Draper is less than 20 miles south of downtown Salt Lake City, which has 155 fashion stores.

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49. Sierra Vista, AZ
> Number of fashion stores: 23
> Median household income: $55,825

Have you ever traveled to Sierra Vista, Arizona? Perhaps a better question would be, did you know it was the hummingbird capital of the United States? The city offers an ample amount of biking terrain. Bisbee Loop, for example, is a 60.8-mile trail that circles the city and goes through the historic town of Bisbee. While Sierra Vista may have much to offer, fashion is not one of them. With only 23 fashion stores to pick and choose from, Sierra Vista is considered one of the least fashionable cities in the country.

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48. Menifee, CA
> Number of fashion stores: 21
> Median household income: $56,669

Menifee is located 80 miles southeast of the second most fashionable city in the nation, Los Angeles. As one of the largest and most populous states, California is home to both the most fashionable cities and least fashionable cities. Menifee happens to be among the least. With only 21 fashion stores to browse in, none of which are luxury brand stores, Menifee is considered one of the least stylish cities.

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47. Ellicott City, MD
> Number of fashion stores: 21
> Median household income: $128,001

Ellicott City is one of the most affluent in the nation. The median annual household income of $128,001 is the ninth highest in the nation and is more than double the national median of $57,617 per year. Despite such wealth, there really aren’t many fashion-related stores to enjoy an epic shopping spree. In fact, there are only 21. Patrons of Ellicott may rely on the city of Baltimore, just 15 miles away, for more shopping options. There are 170 fashion stores to pick and choose from in Baltimore.

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46. South Jordan, UT
> Number of fashion stores: 21
> Median household income: $96,474

South Jordan, just 17 miles south of Salt Lake CIty, is one of five Utah cities on this list. It’s considered one of the least fashionable cities in the nation primarily because of the few fashion shopping options — only 21 fashion stores are located there.

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45. Brookhaven, GA
> Number of fashion stores: 21
> Median household income: $87,419

The historic area of Brookhaven gained status as a city only six years ago, when it was incorporated in 2012. The new city, home to just over 51,500 people, is considered one of the least chic cities because there are only 21 fashion stores in town.

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44. Bonita Springs, FL
> Number of fashion stores: 21
> Median household income: $58,866

Eight Florida cities made the most fashionable cities list, much greater than the two that made the least fashionable one. Bonita Springs is one of the two, namely because there are only 21 fashion stores to choose from, none of which are luxury brand stores. While Bonita Springs may lack shopping opportunities, it excels in outdoor recreation facilities. For example, Bonita Springs is home to a soccer complex, several parks, and even a disc golf course for Frisbee throwers.

43. Ankeny, IA
> Number of fashion stores: 20
> Median household income: $77,441

Ankeny, Iowa, is less than 14 miles from the state capital of Des Moines. It is considered one of the least fashionable cities in the country largely because there are only 20 fashion stores to choose from, two of which are a Plato’s Closet and a Kohl’s. Des Moines has a few more shopping options with 67 stores to browse through.

Source: Ryanthompson / Wikimedia Commons

42. Lacey, WA
> Number of fashion stores: 20
> Median household income: $60,344

Lacey is one of the least fashionable cities in the U.S. Lacey is home to just over 45,600 people, one of the smallest populations of any U.S. city. The city is only five miles from Washington state’s capital, Olympia. There are only 20 retail stores that sell apparel and other fashion items in Lacey, so it’s likely that residents head to Olympia, which has 58 fashion-related stores, for a greater variety.

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41. Apex, NC
> Number of fashion stores: 20
> Median household income: $97,038

Apex, North Carolina, is located just 14 miles from the state capital, Raleigh. The city of just 43,893 people got its name from where it’s positioned on a 30-mile-long stretch of Chatham Railroad — at the highest point. Back in the 1850s, this small town was a stop for steam engines to replenish their water supply before reaching Raleigh. While rich in history, Apex is not classified as a fashion-forward city largely because there are only 20 fashion-related stores in town.

Raleigh, on the other hand, just missed the top 50 most fashionable cities list. It has nearly 300 stores, one of which is a luxury brand, a Coach store.

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40. Suffolk, VA
> Number of fashion stores: 19
> Median household income: $78,778

Located about 40 miles west of Virginia Beach, Suffolk is considered one of the least fashionable cities in the nation. It’s no question that Suffolk meets the needs for those who like boating and fishing, but the fashionistas will need to look elsewhere. Suffolk is home to only 19 retail stores that sell apparel and related fashion items.

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39. Waukesha, WI
> Number of fashion stores: 18
> Median household income: $61,058

Waukesha is one of the least chic cities in the U.S., with only 18 fashion-related stores in town. Such limited variation of stores likely hinders Waukesha residents’ ability to stay up to date with the latest trends. Milwaukee, which is just 20 miles east of Waukesha, offers a wider selection of retailers, with nearly 100 stores selling apparel.

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38. Casas Adobes, AZ
> Number of fashion stores: 18
> Median household income: $56,958

Casas Adobes is not exactly a fashion-centric place. In fact, it’s kind of the opposite. There are only 18 retailers selling apparel in the city. Casas Adobes is located only eight miles north of Tucson, which has 277 fashion-related stores.

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37. Columbus, IN
> Number of fashion stores: 18
> Median household income: $53,343

Columbus, Indiana, is the place to be for viewing modern architecture. In fact, the American Institute of Architects ranked Columbus sixth in the nation for architectural innovation, behind Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Washington D.C. This is even more impressive when considering that Columbus is home to only 46,474 people. As far as fashion goes, however, Columbus does not rank nearly high. In fact, it’s one of the worst places to stay current with fashion trends. There are only 18 stores that sell apparel and accessories in the city.

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36. Blaine, MN
> Number of fashion stores: 17
> Median household income: $80,216

As far as hiking and sports-related activities go, Blaine, Minnesota, will not disappoint. Located just over 10 miles north of downtown Minneapolis, Blaine is home to the 600-acre National Sports Center, an Olympic-class, multi-sport facility. In addition, Blaine also boasts 60 different parks and 140 miles worth of trails within the city’s proximity. As far as shopping experiences go, however, Northtown Mall is likely the best option, with many of Blaine’s 17 fashion-related stores located within it.

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35. Pearl City, HI
> Number of fashion stores: 17
> Median household income: $76,440

Pearl City, Hawaii, is one of the least fashionable cities in the nation largely because there are only 17 fashion-related stores within the city borders. However, travel just 2.5 miles outside the city’s boundaries and you’ll find a shopping gem, Pearlridge Shopping Center, which is full of hundreds of shops, many of which are retailers that sell apparel.

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34. Minot, ND
> Number of fashion stores: 16
> Median household income: $62,977

Minot, North Dakota, has made a comeback after severe flooding swamped the city in 2011. The city of fewer than 50,000 residents has since built hotels and dining spots, which are great for tourism. Also suitable for tourists are shopping opportunities, but Minot only has 16 retailers selling apparel. Minot is also known for its museums and Air Force Base.

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33. Madison, AL
> Number of fashion stores: 16
> Median household income: $101,149

Located just 12 miles west of Huntsville, Alabama, Madison is a great city for outdoor activities. For example, Rainbow Mountain Trails is a popular 1.5-mile loop nearby. However, when it comes to shopping, Madison doesn’t offer a lot, with only 16 fashion-related stores. Huntsville, however, offers a wider variety of stores, 143 to be exact, including an Armani store.

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32. Moore, OK
> Number of fashion stores: 15
> Median household income: $62,031

Unfortunately, Moore, Oklahoma, is likely best known for being the epicenter of tornadoes, located in the middle of the state. Moore also happens to be one of the least fashionable cities in the nation, with just 15 apparel stores.

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Source: Joshua Karn / Wikimedia Commons

31. Tonawanda, NY
> Number of fashion stores: 15
> Median household income: $57,186

About 12 miles north of Buffalo lies Tonawanda, a small city with only 15 retailers selling apparel. City residents likely have better luck staying up to date on fashion trends by shopping in Buffalo, where there are 92 places to shop, ranging from department stores to boutiques and vintage stores.

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30. Bel Air South, MD
> Number of fashion stores: 15
> Median household income: $89,906

Bel Air South, located just 30 miles northeast of Baltimore, is one of three Maryland cities on this list. Baltimore, though, offers a larger array of shopping opportunities with 170 apparel stores to peruse through.

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29. Jurupa Valley, CA
> Number of fashion stores: 14
> Median household income: $62,749

In Jurupa Valley, California, horse riding is the normal. Though the 100,737 city residents may have plenty of equestrian-related establishments, they only have 14 stores to choose from for updating their wardrobe. Luckily, the shopping mecca of California, Los Angeles, is about 46 miles west of Jurupa Valley.

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28. Apple Valley, MN
> Number of fashion stores: 14
> Median household income: $85,536

Apple Valley, Minnesota, a city of just 50,602 people, is only home to 14 stores selling apparel and other fashion items. Apple Valley is about 21 miles south of Minneapolis, which has 162 fashion-related stores.

Source: Andy K. Nelson / Wikimedia Commons

27. Bountiful, UT
> Number of fashion stores: 14
> Median household income: $66,046

Bountiful, Utah, may have a bountiful history, but not many shopping opportunities. There are only 14 retailers that sell some kind of apparel in this small Utah city. Bountiful is part of the Ogden metropolitan area, and Ogden, which is about 28 miles north of Bountiful, offers slightly more shopping options with 41 fashion-related stores. Bountiful is named after one of the ancient American cities mentioned in the Book of Mormon.

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26. Bartlett, TN
> Number of fashion stores: 13
> Median household income: $80,583

Bartlett is one of the least fashionable cities in the nation. It is the only city from Tennessee on this list. City residents likely hop in the car and head about 13 miles east to Memphis, a much larger city with more than 240 retailers selling apparel and accessories alike.

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25. West Seneca, NY
> Number of fashion stores: 13
> Median household income: $60,878

In West Seneca, New York, there are only 13 fashion-related stores, with Kmart and Plato’s Closet the most well-known stores of the bunch. West Seneca is only 10 miles from Buffalo, which has 92 retailers selling apparel, including Marshalls, Kohl’s, and various boutiques.

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24. Oro Valley, AZ
> Number of fashion stores: 13
> Median household income: $74,957

Oro Valley has a population of just under 42,400 and only has 13 fashion-related stores. Just 12 miles away is Tucson, which offers much more variety in shopping with 277 retailers selling apparel. While shopping is not Oro Valley’s strong suit, the nearby Tortolita Mountains make Oro Valley a great city for hiking opportunities.

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23. Pasco, WA
> Number of fashion stores: 12
> Median household income: $60,798

Pasco, Washington, is one of the least fashionable cities in the U.S., simply because residents have minimal access to fashion-forward stores. Including a Walmart and Griggs Department Store, there are only 12 retailers in Pasco that sell apparel and other fashion-related items.

Source: Chris James / Flickr

22. East Honolulu, HI
> Number of fashion stores: 12
> Median household income: $125,426

East Honolulu is one of the most affluent cities in the nation with a median household income of $125,426 per year, the 12th highest of U.S. cities and well above the national median of $57,617. With such affluence, it’s not unreasonable to assume that residents are well off enough to splurge on a classy wardrobe. Unfortunately, there are only 12 retailers within East Honolulu’s borders.

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21. Waipahu, HI
> Number of fashion stores: 12
> Median household income: $47,583

Waipahu is one of three Hawaiian cities on this list labeled as least fashionable, largely because there are only 12 fashion-related stores in the city. Fortunately for Waipahu residents, Urban Honolulu is just 11 miles away. Urban Honolulu is the sixth most fashionable U.S. city with 657 fashion-related retailers, 28 of which are luxury stores such as Louis Vuitton and Armani.

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20. The Villages, FL
> Number of fashion stores: 11
> Median household income: $59,519

The Villages, Florida, may not be the fashion capital of the Sunshine State, but it is a retirement capital. The Villages is one of the top retirement destinations in the nation. While there are only 11 fashion-related stores in the city, the city boasts at least 38 golf courses.

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19. Taylorsville, UT
> Number of fashion stores: 11
> Median household income: $59,403

Taylorsville, Utah, is one of the least fashionable cities in the country, with only 11 stores selling apparel and other fashion items within close proximity. Taylorsville is only 10 miles south of Salt Lake City, which offers a wider variety of shops with 155 apparel stores.

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18. Eastvale, CA
> Number of fashion stores: 11
> Median household income: $106,942

Eastvale is one of five California cities deemed the least fashionable. Much like all of the cities on this list, the number of fashion-related stores within the city is very small. There are only 11 retailers in Eastvale that sell apparel and other fashion-related items. Eastvale is about 45 miles southeast from Los Angeles, the biggest shopping destination in California and the second-most fashionable U.S. city.

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17. Fairfield, OH
> Number of fashion stores: 11
> Median household income: $61,146

Fairfield is the lone Ohio city on this list. This small city is only home to 11 fashion-related stores. Residents of Fairfield mosey down to Cincinnati for a more extensive shopping experience. Just 27 miles south of Fairfield is Cincinnati, where there are 144 retailers selling apparel and other fashion finds, one of which is a Louis Vuitton store.

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16. Catonsville, MD
> Number of fashion stores: 10
> Median household income: $82,270

Catonsville is one of three Maryland cities considered the least fashionable in the nation. The city has only 10 stores that sell clothing and other fashion essentials such as footwear. The store that offers the most sizeable selection of such items is Walmart. Other stores in Catonsville include Five Below, which only sells a limited amount of clothing, and Payless Shoes.

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15. Bristol, CT
> Number of fashion stores: 9
> Median household income: $65,218

Bristol is one of three Connecticut cities on this list. The city is home to less than 10 stores selling apparel, including a Walmart and a TJ Maxx. While Bristol may not be home to a single fashion-related headquarters, it is home to the headquarters of ESPN.

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14. Middletown, CT
> Number of fashion stores: 9
> Median household income: $66,713

Middletown is one of the least fashionable cities in the nation. There are only nine fashion-related stores in the city, with the most large-scale clothing store being Marshalls.

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13. Rohnert Park, CA
> Number of fashion stores: 9
> Median household income: $62,025

The 13th least fashionable city in the nation is Rohnert Park, which has a population of just over 41,900. There are only nine fashion-related stores, including a Target, Walmart, and Burlington Coat Factory. Nine miles north of Rohnert Park is the much larger city of Santa Rosa, which has about 160 stores selling apparel and other fashion items.

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12. Stratford, CT
> Number of fashion stores: 8
> Median household income: $73,338

The 12th least fashionable city in America is Stratford, Connecticut, where there are only eight fashion-forward stores for residents to peruse. In general, the state of Connecticut is not the best place for shopping. The city with the most fashion-related stores is Danbury with a total of 70.

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11. Attleboro, MA
> Number of fashion stores: 8
> Median household income: $70,329

Residents of Attleboro, Massachusetts, have limited access to shopping with only eight fashion-related stores in town. The nearest city with more stores offering apparel and other fashion items is in Providence, Rhode Island, which has 114 locations. Providence is just over 13 miles away.

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10. Urbandale, IA
> Number of fashion stores: 8
> Median household income: $82,334

Urbandale, Iowa, is one of the least fashionable cities in the U.S., with only eight different fashion-related stores to choose from. Urbandale is about 14 miles northwest of Des Moines, which has 67 of such stores.

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9. Rio Rancho, NM
> Number of fashion stores: 7
> Median household income: $62,647

Rio Rancho is one of the worst places for shopping. For the nearly 93,000 people who call Rio Rancho home, there are only seven stores selling apparel and other fashion items. These are Target, Cato, Walmart, Big Lots, TJ Maxx, Maurices, and Ross Dress for Less.

Source: Marcbela / Wikimedia Commons

8. Weymouth Town, MA
> Number of fashion stores: 7
> Median household income: $68,685

Weymouth Town, Massachusetts, is the eighth least fashionable city in the nation. There are only seven fashion-related establishments in this city. Located right on the coast, Weymouth is only 17 miles north of the fashion capital of Massachusetts, Boston. Boston is the 12th-most fashionable city in the country, with 452 retailers selling clothing and other fashion-related items.

Source: William Wesen (Appraiser) / Wikimedia Commons

7. Lakeville, MN
> Number of fashion stores: 5
> Median household income: $100,314

You can count all of the fashion-related stores in Lakeville, Minnesota, on one hand. This city is home to Target, Marshalls, Indigo Diggs Resale Boutique, Walmart, and Turn Style Consignment. It is considered one of the least fashionable places because of its sparse shopping options.

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6. Riverton, UT
> Number of fashion stores: 5
> Median household income: $87,600

Riverton, Utah, is the sixth least fashionable city in the nation with only five fashion-related stores in the city. These stores include lingerie store LACE by louise, Walmart Supercenter, Beauty Illusions, Kohl’s, and TJ Maxx.

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5. Ashburn, VA
> Number of fashion stores: 4
> Median household income: $123,723

Ashburn, Virginia is one of the most affluent cities in the nation, with a median household income of $123,723 a year — the 14th highest of U.S. cities. With such wealth it’s not unreasonable to assume that residents can afford to splurge on snazzy attire. However, with only four fashion-related places to shop at, residents’ options are significantly limited. In fact, two of these four stores — Off Broadway Shoes and DSW — only sell shoes. The other two are Target and Justice. Justice only sells clothing and other fashion items for young girls.

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4. Westfield, MA
> Number of fashion stores: 3
> Median household income: $64,895

Westfield is the fourth least fashionable city in the nation and one of three Massachusetts cities on this list. The three stores Westfield residents have access to in town are Walmart Supercenter, department store Bon-Ton, and auction house for furniture Route 202 Antiques.

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3. Moorhead, MN
> Number of fashion stores: 3
> Median household income: $56,924

The third least fashionable U.S. city is Moorhead, Minnesota. The city’s three fashion-related stores include Target, department store Herberger’s, and home-improvement store Menards.

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2. Antelope, CA
> Number of fashion stores: 3
> Median household income: $64,015

Antelope is the second least fashionable city in the United States with only three stores selling apparel and other fashion-related items. Two of these stores are Walmart Supercenters, and they are only four miles apart. The third store is a Goodwill.

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1. San Tan Valley, AZ
> Number of fashion stores: 1
> Median household income: $61,108

Finally, the city the earns the title as least fashionable is San Tan Valley, Arizona, which is nearly 50 miles southeast of the state capital, Phoenix. San Tan Valley earns the title of least fashionable because its 88,500 residents only have access to one store where they can buy fashion-forward items — and that store is a Walmart Supercenter.

Methodology

To identify the least fashionable cities in America, 24/7 Wall St. created an index of five measures: the number of fashion-related establishments in each city; the number of luxury brand outlets; fashion company headquarters; trade shows; and total employment of fashion designers. We only considered cities with median household incomes greater than the national median annual household income (five-year average) of $55,322. In addition, cities on this list could not be located within any of the metropolitan areas that include towns ranked among the 50 most fashionable cities.

The number of fashion-related establishments was obtained from Yelp, and the category includes anything from sportswear and sleepwear stores to vintage clothing and shoe stores.

The number of fashion companies headquartered in each city came from Chain Store Guide’s “Top 100 Apparel Specialty Stores Ranked by Industry Sales.”

The list of 17 top luxury fashion brands, ranked as the world’s most influential brands of 2017, is from CEOWORLD, a business magazine catered to top leaders in business such as CEOs, CFOS, and CIOs. We counted the number of such luxury fashion stores in each city. The number of trade shows coming through each city in 2018 came from Startup Fashion, an online community that helps independent fashion brands create successful businesses. The number of fashion designers employed at each MSA’s principal city came from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics program and is as of May 2017, the most recent data available.