To suggest one city is better than the other is to suggest one fruit is better than the other: it’s entirely subjective. Similarly, fashion is also subjective. While there are many global trends, as reflected during the shows during fashion week, one thing reigns true: two key items are international staples: denim jeans and a white cotton tee.

According to Vogue’s Wardrobe Essentials Guide, “If you’re going to buy just one item… make it the perfect plain white T-shirt. No further explanation necessary.” They then proceed to mention, “No wardrobe is complete without a pair of Levi’s. Whether you shop them new or vintage, a high-waist, straight-leg pair in an easy blue wash is certainly the wear-everywhere denim you’ll never get sick of.”

In this article, we will review street style across the globe and how different cities effortlessly integrate these key items. We’ve selected ten cities from TimeOut’s ‘Top 50 Cities in 2024’. The cities’ rank is only mentioned as a point of interest and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Cotton Brazil!

1. New York, USA

This American city ranked #1, “is always adapting, always innovating and always pushing the boundaries” (TimeOut). In this ever-evolving fashion capital, confidence is key. NYC may be known for its all-black attire, but it allows for so much more! According to Viator’s Dress Like a Local blog series, versatility and comfort are key in this active and walkable city. “In NYC, you can never go wrong with a classic t-shirt or button-down with jeans… Plus, it’s easy to transform these basics into a chic ensemble with statement accessories such as a necklace stack, sunglasses, and a great shoe or bag. Looking pulled together without looking like you tried is the go-to vibe for New Yorkers.”


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2. Cape Town, South Africa

Asa Mag describes Cape Town as “a city where every street corner reverberates with the heartbeat of contemporary fashion.” In addition to fashion, this creative capital has a vibrant art scene with “Studios, galleries, and public events abound” (TimeOut). Cape Town incorporates the cotton key items with unique silhouettes and bright prints and colors.


3..2..1..📍Cape Town #capetown #fashion #streetstyle #capetownsouthafrica #artfair

♬ original sound – kapitali_kapitali

6. Mexico City,  México

This vibrant and hospitable city has a major and growing fashion scene, dubbed “A Mecca For Fashion Lovers” by the Zoe Report. Ciudad de  México, or CDMX as it is amicably referred to, is ranked #6 by TimeOut “for its overall livability, with 100 percent of locals naming the city beautiful, 96 percent saying they were happy there and 94 percent saying it’s easy to make friends”.


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One place to mingle and make friends is called @Diaspora_CDMX: a dance party typically held a couple of times a month where the vibes are high, reggaeton and afro beats bumping, and street style people-watching is phenomenal! Here you’ll find the creatives of CDMX play with proportion.


Gracias a todos los participantes, jueces, gracias a todxs 🫶🏽 we are all Diaspora 💜 #viralvideo #mexico #fyp

♬ original sound – Sickickmusic

8. Tokyo, Japan

“This is a city that never stays the same – there’s always something new and innovative to discover here” (TimeOut).

@beney_nsl Tokyo style >>>>> #streetfashion #tokyofashion #fashion #fashionweek ♬ YOSHIMITSU – Cochise

Japan is home to many ‘denim-heads’ and industry innovators inspired by Americana workwear.  According to the “Dress Like a Local” series, “blend in best [by wearing] conservative-but- comfortable clothing” (Viator). When visiting Tokyo, sizing up your cotton tees with a wider leg or puddle jean silhouette may be the way to go.

9. Rome, Italy

Italy loves a more tailored look. Darker washes and clean, freshly pressed tailored items are the way to go in Rome. “Filter out your concert tees […] and instead skim the best from your closet: plain white or colored t-shirts, ironed bermuda shorts, or dress jeans” (Viator).

16. Mumbai, India

TimeOut describes this top-20 city as “India in a nutshell—from history to modernity, spirituality to sports, a colonial past to a dynamic present—all sprinkled with liberal doses of Bollywood magic and wrapped in the balmy breeze of the Arabian Sea. The city exhilarates with contrasts.” One contrast includes the various forms of styling you’ll see.

According to fashion blogger Juhi Godambe in an interview with Who What Wear, “Mumbai is one of those cities in India where you can unapologetically wear what you like… You will spot Indian clothing matched with a pair of jeans and vice versa very easily here.”


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A post shared by Juhi Godambe Jain (@juhigodambe)

While it may be suggested to be more modest in dress, denim and a cotton tee are the popular combinations of choice here, where “Mumbaikars value comfort above all else. “People in this city are all about practical clothing keeping our fast-paced lifestyles in mind (and the hot and humid weather)” (Godambe, Who What Wear).  While another local, Sneha Soni mentions, “The temperature doesn’t favor any other material so cotton seems to be the ideal option”.

Whether jeans should be distressed or not, is a topic of debate, according to Indian fashion designer Anand Bhushan for the BBC: “For the young, they are about looking hip and cool and fitting in with the fashionable crowd. For their parents and grandparents, it could be incomprehensible why their children would wear torn clothes.”

According to BBC, “[Jeans] first gained popularity in India in the 1980s and over the years have become the clothing of choice, especially for the young, across the country. The Indian denim market [in 2021] is worth more than $4bn (£2.9bn) and is predicted to grow to $12.6bn by 2028.”


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16. São Paulo, Brazil

This city is often referred to as the NYC of Brazil, where business, finance, restaurants, and social lives converge.


Já posso dizer que sinto os looks de outono chegando? 🍂 #whatpeoplearewearing #streetstyle #saopaulo #sp #sãopaulo #festival #outfits #ootd #looks #outono

♬ original sound – teeharpo

According to TimeOut, “São Paulo was among the cities with the highest score for romance, with 88 percent of locals saying it’s easy to find love in the city. What’s more, 100 percent of Paulistanos surveyed said the city made them happy. “With love on the brain, the styling is also a bit more romantic, with tighter fits that enhance the wearer’s natural curves.


A TRUE SÃO PAULO GIRLIE #saopaulo #howtodresslikeabrazilian #haotodresslikesaopaulo #saopaulo #fashion #girlie #coolgirls

♬ original sound – Annick Nicoli

20. Melbourne, Australia

According to Timeout, “A very impressive 97 percent of Melburnians would describe Melbourne as beautiful.” While beautiful, Melbourne is also known to experience “‘Four seasons in a day’—the official slogan of Melbourne weather, at least among Melburnians” (Viator). The cotton tee and denim jeans get a quirky twist in “the fashion capital of Australia,” where color, silhouette, and print are celebrated and embraced, and layering is essential.

28. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

“Entrepreneurs thrive, families flourish and nationalities blend to create a culture of togetherness. It’s hands down the cleanest, friendliest, most welcoming city you could wish to visit” and where modern and modest fashion collide (TimeOut).

@bak.hajar جميلات ايش رايكم باللوك😍؟؟ Details Shirt & jeans from zara Bag h&m Sneakers samba @adidas #summerlook #hijab #dubai #hijabstyle #universityoutfit ♬ original sound – Hajarbk

“Nowadays, you will find a mix of traditional Emirati elements, international fashion trends, and streetwear aesthetics in Dubai’s street fashion,” an article by Ashas Bukhari entitled The Evolution of Dubai’s Streetwear mentions. “People are experimenting with bold colours, patterns, and accessories, creating their own looks.”

47. Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, and Turkey in general, are known for their remarkably kind inhabitants and stunning landscape and architecture.

@istanbullersinist Istanbul Mart Ayı Street Style #streetstyle #styletips ♬ Big Boy (SZA) – Sped Up Remix – viral audios & nightcore sped up

The vibrant cafe, dining, music, and clubbing scene aid to a chic style consisting of elevated basics, tailored styling, and clean layering in this “the dynamic and cosmopolitan heart of Türkiye” (TimeOut).


Istanbulda en sevdigim cafelerden birisi petra📍

♬ original sound – ⋆。✩ mads

Like every city, the style also ranges by neighborhood: Kadıköy-Moda is a bit more artsy, while Fatih is more modest as there are more mosques to visit nearby.

49. Hong Kong, China

A quick Google search for Hong Kong 2024 will show you a stream of links entitled “Hong Kong is BACK”!

After three years of being closed to visitors due to the pandemic, Hong Kong has opened its borders and industry is booming once again. Louis Vuitton and Chanel recently hosted runway shows, and the popular art show Art Basel returned back in March.  In this international metropolitan city where fashion, art, food, and nature collide, as TimeOut mentions Hong Kong is “surrounded by nature, with plenty of outdoorsy activities.” The range of activities also means the street style ranges from tailored chic to gorp-core and oversized.

In a rapidly changing world with diverse cultural landscapes, we can all agree that denim jeans and white cotton tees are timeless closet staples. At Cotton Brazil, we are happy to provide a quality, sustainable, and traceable product to help enhance the comfort and responsibility of these global cotton key items.