Yes, you may be wondering why on earth we would be writing about what to wear to Detroit. I mean…who actually goes to this city? Well, Detroit holds a very special place in the hearts of the people who truly know it. It is full of life and amazing, interesting, down to earth, friendly people. There are people frantically trying to revive this once extremely prosperous and thriving city, and it might just be working. If you have anything to do with the TV, movie, or music business, you just might be spending some serious time in Detroit in the near future. TV shows and movies are being filmed here (Hung, Detroit 1-8-7). Richard Gere, Demi Moore, and Miley Cyrus were all filming movies last time I visited, and the city’s major music stars such as Kid Rock and Eminem refuse to leave the city they love. The city is even trying to stomp its foot into the fashion industry, launching a bi-annual 2 day event of fashion shows called Fashion In Detroit. So, if you find yourself booking a surprising flight to this city, we want you to be prepared.
The overall fashion in Detroit is pretty preppy and All-American. The city is still full of blue collar roots, and it shows in their clothes. Think Gap, Levi’s, and J.Crew. Pack your basics and layer on. Jeans, t-shirts, and polos are the norm for both men and women.
Winter: (Dec – Feb) Winter is no joke in Detroit. Dress Warmly! Temperatures will range from the 30’s to below zero with snow likely piled high. Pack hats, scarves, gloves, and down insulated jackets and vests from a brand like North Face. If packing a wool pea coat, make sure it is lined. A simple wool jacket will not be warm enough. You need weather proof boots that are water resistant. You will be miserable without them! The snow will turn to water on your shoes, and you will have soaking wet and freezing cold feet. If you really aren’t used to winters this cold and hate being in cold, I would highly recommend packing some hand and feet warmers by Grabber or HeatMax. These can be found in Target, Walgreen’s, or Sam’s Club. If you live in a warm climate, you may have to wait to buy these until you arrive in Detroit.
Spring: (Mar – May) Spring in Detroit will range from the mid 40’s to high 60’s. As soon as there is a sunny day with temperatures close to 60 or above, people will be wearing shorts and convertible tops on cars will be down. It’s been a long winter! For an out of towner, I would recommend packing pants and long sleeve tissue tees. For these, check out J.Crew’s selection. Layer over tanks or short sleeves just in case the sun comes out and warms you up too much.
Summer: (June – Aug) Yep, this city actually has summer, and it’s beautiful! Temperatures will range from the 70’s to the 90’s. Pack shorts, tanks, tees, flip flops, summer dresses, sunscreen, and bug spray. It’s humid in the summer, and the mosquitos are out every night. We recommend Avon Skin So Soft Bug Repellant. Summer nights can cool down, so pack a light sweater or jacket. After being cooped up for most of the year with cold weather, everything that people can possibly do outside during the short summer months, they will do. Concerts, events, parties, bbq’s, bonfires, etc…people will stay outside all day and night. Bring a bathing suit, and find someone with a boat. You won’t want to miss it.
Fall: (Sept – Nov) As soon as September hits, the hot summer temps start dropping. Temps will range from the 40’s-60’s. Pack sweaters, scarves, hats, wool sweaters, and winter coats. You might not see any snow yet, at least not in September or October. This is perfect layering weather and, if you are dressed appropriately, it really is gorgeous. The leaves are changing color, and the weather is perfect for a romantic stroll outside.
Where to Shop: The best mall in the Detroit area is called Somerset Collection in Troy, MI. The mall spans two sides of a major street with a walkway over the road connecting you to the other side. Along with your normal mall stores, high end shops include Barney’s Co-Op, Burberry, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, and Michael Kors. If you are more interested in boutique style shopping, hit up downtown Royal Oak or downtown Birmingham. Both of these areas are nearby and will allow you to walk outside and shop, dine, and drink. You can get both local boutiques and mainstream stores such as Anthropologie, American Apparel, and more.
As you spend time in the city and surrounding areas, you will easily see the pride its residents have. There will be a plethora of Detroit shirts and hats around you. Whether it’s a Detroit sports team shirt or simply a Made In Detroit shirt, you will see the love the people have. A Made In Detroit shirt is a must buy if you are here. It’s a clothing company recently purchased by Kid Rock that is, well, made in Detroit. www.madeindetroit.com for stores or to buy online.
Detroit has been through a lot, and you will see the wreckage while you are there, but I encourage you to dig deeper. Talk to the residents, find out what is changing, newly opened, and explore. Be careful and be smart, but most importantly, be open. You just might fall in love, and who knows, you may be the next person stepping up to frantically save the city from becoming obsolete and helping it move forward.