Waste Coast: Vancouver and Yoga Pants

The people of Vancouver are really good at dressing really awful. It's like Sporty Spice threw up on them a few years back when LuLu Lemon became a “thing” and they just never cleaned up the barf.

Last year, the fashion experts over at MSN Travel conjured up a list of The Top Ten Cities with the Worst Style and my baby, Vancouver, BC, landed herself the bronze medal. Seeing my hometown place third on the horrible style list made sense to me, because the general population in Vancouver is just too, um… casual. According to MSN, the problem with Vancouver is that yoga pants are our second skin. Basically, Sporty Spice threw up on us a few years back when LuLu Lemon became a “thing” and we just never cleaned up the barf.

I’m not excusing myself from the problem. Granted, I have never owned a pair of yoga pants in my life nor have I purchased any LuLu Lemon clothing, but I do leave the house in overtly disgusting outfits all the time. Even as I write this I am sitting here with last night’s make-up on my face, braless, wearing tie-dyed leggings I got in Vancouver’s notorious hippy neighborhood, Commercial Drive, at a store called “Jean Queen.” The leggings are ill fitting and have giant holes in the butt. I’m at home and I work from home, so this is par for the course, but the issue here is that I would go out to the grocery store like this without question. I am part of the problem.

Besides the yoga pants thing, there are other fashion issues plaguing our city. We will never be Paris or New York. We’re West Coast and that means this whole function-over-fashion thing is here to stay. However, there are a few trends I’ve been noticing since high school that need to go (if only for the fact that I graduated from high school almost ten fucking years ago).


I don’t know who invented board shorts or what they do to help surfers or pirates or whichever water-dwelling sportsman they were designed to aid, all I know is that they are disgusting. A man wearing shorts is bad enough, but when you add colorful, Rayon material with images of cartoon waves or flowers the repulsiveness multiplies. The worst part about board shorts? Most men think it’s appropriate to wear these out to bars and clubs once the sun has gone down. Unless you are completely alone and smoking weed out of a homemade lung in your basement, you should never wear board shorts.


Flip-flops are only OK to wear in the shower of a gross motel room so that your skin does not touch the disgusting tiles. Otherwise, they are unacceptable. Also, children may wear flip-flops, but even that is a bad idea.


“Look at my pants! They are multi-functional. They have all these spacious pockets on the outside of my legs so that I can fit my keys, my wallet, my cellphone, you know, everything. Like, I don’t even need my backpack, man. No, cargo pants aren’t just for bros. I got a sick pair of capri cargos for the wife and she loves ‘em.”

Sidenote: To be fair, I own a pair of cargo pants. They are actually gray, stretchy cargo leggings that I got from Top Shop. I thought they were kind of cool. Maybe I was high? I also wore army patterned blue cargo pants in fifth grade but that is a whole other level of brutal that we don’t have time to talk about.


The biggest problem most Vancouverities have with fashion is that they take functional pieces of clothing and try to trend them up. For example, the messenger bag. A messenger bag is a perfectly acceptable shoulder bag to use if you are delivering a message to someone such as a bike courier might do. It’s also acceptable if you are some kind of teacher with copious amounts of paperwork to carry across campus. However, if you are not in the business of taking documents to and from, there is no reason to wear a messenger bag. Triple offense goes to people who cover their messenger bags in flare and think it’s appropriate to eat pizza during rush hour on public transit while wearing cargo shorts and sandals.


Back when I had Kool-Aid-pink hair and was dating a metal dude, I landed a job at a swank lingerie store in a wealthy area of town. I adored my boss and learned a lot from her, but more over, working in lingerie world was hilarious. I spent most of my shifts helping inner-city housewives shove their triple F cup silicone tits into C cup bras. While working in lingerie world, I noticed an offensive amount of Vancouver women think it is “sexy” to sport a colored bra under a white tank top. I’m not talking about a dark navy bandeau under a cute, sheer white blouse like you might see on Rihanna or Celine Dion. I’m talking about a hot pink La Senza push-up under a too-tight ribbed boy tank. So disgusting, girls. While we’re on the subject, you should not wear a white bra under a white shirt either. It glows like teeth under black lights. You should wear a nude bra or nothing at all.


Is someone paying you to wear that because I’m pretty sure professionals get paid millions to wear hideous hockey jerseys. I know you do not play for the Canucks, so what are you doing? Oh, you’re trying to make sure you never have sex with a confident, self-respecting girl ever again. Cool. Got it.