STYLE AND CULTURE
STYLISH CITY: DENVER
By Chris Sayer, 1 May 2019
Denver may sit in the shadows of the monolithic Rocky Mountains, but it’s most definitely in the spotlight when it comes to its claim to be America’s coolest destination right now. The Mile-High City has drawn in a fresh young population with its rocketing tech industry, seismic indie craft beer scene, huge arts vibe, liberal thinking and endless opportunities for outdoor adventures. Here’s your shotgun guide to doing it just right…
To nail the Denver look is to dance the line between city sidewalk and mountain summit like you’ve never danced before. It’s where dadcore staples, dirtbag classics, new-school utilitarian and hyped labels smash together to create something truly unique and iconic. Kick-start the normie vibes by making a classic set of mid-wash regular fit jeans your outfit keystone, before building outwards with a pair of fresh Larry David-esque chunky sneaks (Nike’s M2K Tekno tick the right boxes) and a square-fitting plaid shacket for some sweet ‘dad’s doing DIY again’ vibes. Finish up by tweaking the streetwear dial just a touch, with a bold graphic-print long-sleeved tee underneath, and an oversized bum bag thrown around your shoulder. Yep, that’s you set to get stuck into the best that Denver has to offer.
Last time we stayed, we bedded down with a life-sized cardboard Spock from Star Trek looming over us as we slept. Such are the aesthetic eccentricities of downtown’s Curtis Hotel, which has a different pop-culture theme for every floor. But if pointy-eared aliens aren’t quite your thing, then check in at The Ramble – a dark, brooding and stylish den to kick back in after a day in the hills. Their in-house cocktail bar, Death & Co, should rank highly on your pre-drinks to-do list, too, and is frequented by the city's coolest.
When you’re not day-tripping it to the Rocky Mountains for some world-class wilderness hikes, or soaking up the musical majesty of Red Rocks – the legendary outdoor amphitheatre that’s seen the likes of Hendrix, The Beatles, Radiohead, The Grateful Dead and U2 plug in and perform – RiNo needs to be the centre of your city-break universe. This is the small, graffiti-strewn arts district where it all happens, from hopping between revered restaurants (Cart-Driver, Work & Class) to supping on tank-fresh craft beer excellence (Our Mutual Friend, Ratio); homegrown outerwear shopping (Topo Designs) to local laptop-and-coffee hangouts (Denver Central Market). Oh, and breakfast must-hit Snooze is a stone’s throw away, too. Their ‘pancake flight’ is a crazy and inventive triple-threat you absolutely need to tackle at least once while you’re there.