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Why Anchorage is the 'worst-dressed' city in America

Anchorage is the worst-dressed city, and Salt Lake City is the second worst dressed, according to a Travel and Leisure poll of 35 cities. Why Anchorage residents agree with the ranking.

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Anchorage had a record snow this past winter, with more than 11 feet. That surpassed a nearly 60-year-old record.

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"It's really hard to be real stylish in February," Fried said. "But you know, it's easy to be stylish in LA in February."

Mayor Dan Sullivan takes the poor ranking in stride. He calls Anchorage a casual city because of not only the climate, but also because of the rugged, gritty work that people do in that weather.

"We feel very comfortable dressing down, and at the same time, being comfortable in the climate," said Sullivan, who wore a sport coat, dress shirt and Jerry Garcia tie to work Thursday. He joked he tries to dress "semi-mayoral on a daily basis."

But that doesn't mean you won't see Alaskans dressed to the nines at social events.

Sullivan notes that Anchorage was named No. 1 for jobs by Forbes this year, and the best winter city in America by "We'll take the accolades along with the humorous other rankings."

For the record, the Travel and Leisure poll put New York City at the top for fashion.

"When you go to New York ... you're just happy to be in New York and you want to dress to impress," said Anchorage DJ Scott Root, who was manning his friend's hot dog stand in downtown Anchorage on Thursday. "There's a lot more fancier stuff there."

But in Anchorage, "it's all outdoors," Root said.

"I think we'd be embarrassed if we were on the top of the list," Fried said. "Actually, I think we're proud where we are."

Rich Beattie, executive director of, says he doesn't believe the low style ranking is necessarily a bad thing for Anchorage.

He said he's been to Anchorage and throughout Alaska, and the areas have so much going for them. In fact, poll voters placed Anchorage at No. 4 for the city with the best peace and quiet. It also ranked high for best summer and offbeat travel and pretty good for Fourth of July travel.

"I think they are reasons that people travel to certain cities, and it's not necessarily to dress up and be stylish and hang out with stylish people," Beattie said.

RECOMMENDED: Seven classic fashion mistakes

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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