Denver natives and transplants agree on one thing: Denver fashion is too casual.

On TikTok, many women have come forward to share their experiences feeling judged by their outfits. They say no one dresses up in Denver. Athleisure reigns supreme and any deviation from casual looks and natural colors is met with criticism.

“Since I moved here, I realized it’s almost cheugy to try to look nice,” said Abbey Mellies, who moved to Denver from Kansas City. “But I do still want to fit since I’m new here. I don’t want to stand out too much.”

Women are becoming so self-conscious of looking like they’re trying too hard that they’re turning to social media for outfit approval.

“Did I do good?” Mellies asked, wearing an oversized sweatshirt, crop top and ripped jeans. “Let me know.”

Photo from Abbey Mellies’ TikTok

Dressing even remotely fancy can lead to embarrassment.

Before entering a restaurant for her birthday dinner, Sydney Hulse sat in her car and braced herself for outfit backlash.

“I’m wearing a semi-trendy outfit, it’s not even that big of a deal, but I’m already feeling embarrassed because of the judgment I’m gonna face from freaking Denver, Colorado,” said Hulse, who was born and raised in the city.

Photo from Sydney Hulse’s TikTok

She was wearing a gray top, black skirt with tights and black loafers.

“People don’t dress up here,” she continued. “And I know that everybody who moves here complains about this, try growing up here. Wearing a cute outfit is literally more embarrassing than posting on Instagram.”

Photo from Sydney Hulse’s TikTok

Her video racked up more than 50,000 likes, with many commenters sharing similar experiences.

Other videos detail people straight up giving women a hard time for looking nice in Denver.

Alanna Jean Hill wore a midi-length dress to a cocktail bar in Cherry Creek when a man came up to her and asked, “Did you just come from the prom?”

Rude comments like these instill feelings of insecurity and discomfort. They’re especially harmful to those passionate about fashion.

Photo from Alanna Jean Hill’s TikTok

In another video with more than 40,000 likes, Hill said: “You know the saying ‘you can never be overdressed?’ Whoever said that didn’t live in Denver, Colorado.”

Numerous Denver fashion girls described how feeling overdressed wherever they go is awkward, embarrassing and discouraging. They don’t deserve to feel this way.

Dressing Down Is The New Dressing Up

While underdressing isn’t fun for fashion-forward individuals, it’s something some people say is one of the best parts about living in Denver.

“I love Colorado for this reason,” one woman commented. “I never feel judged in sweatpants or no makeup…”

“Actually one of my favorite parts about living in Denver since I moved here is that people aren’t as pretentious about what they wear,” another woman commented.

The main points people make for dressing casually in Denver are convenience and comfort. They also argue that no one actually judges what you wear because no one cares.

So what do Denver women wear?

According to Madison Van Dorenthe “Denver Girls Starter Pack” consists of a pair of leggings, T-shirt, fleece or puff jacket, and running shoes or boots. If you’re feeling crazy, it can be topped with a wool fedora with a wide brim.

Photo from Madison Van Doren’s TikTok

“You’re gonna end up with a sort of Christian girl autumn meets van life influencer look,” she said.

Similarly, in Victoria Wright‘s “How to Dress Like You’re From Denver” video, she added that Denver girls can wear hiking pants or shorts, flannel (“bonus points if you tell people you thrifted it”), a pair of Tevas, hair in low buns or braids with the strands pulled out, polarized sport sunglasses, a GPS or smartwatch, a belt bag or backpack used for hikes, and a flat brim rope cap.

Photo from Victoria Wright’s TikTok

“Make sure people know you’re going outside,” she said.

Normalize Dressing Up In Denver

Although dressing like a granola girl can be cute, there’s a time and place for it. Outdoor core to the extreme isn’t appropriate for all situations. Looking like you’re going on a backpacking trip when you’re going out to dinner isn’t stylish — it’s tasteless.

No one wants to party in Patagonia, and Chacos are not going to cut it at the bars. It’s OK to graduate from the Birkenstocks and shorts combo — life is too short to be boring.

If you’re insistent on Denver casual, at least don’t expect others to adhere to your dress code. There’s no reason to make people feel uncomfortable just because they put a little effort into their outfits.

It shouldn’t be easy to be the best dressed wherever you go in Denver. Normalize dressing up.