We've seen all kinds of interesting lists on here, from the angriest cities to the cities with the most native born residents to the most walkable cities.
Along that line, I thought I'd look up something I've often wondered about -- most and least formal cities. Primarily, I mean in ways of dress -- especially business dress and dinner dress -- but also in terms of the way people interact. As far as I can tell, no studies have been done on this subject, so I thought I'd bring it up here.
I'm curious to see what people think -- my own experience has provided some surprises. Generally, I find Denver to be an extremely laid-back and casual city in this manner, and I've found the same in Seattle. Denver only has one restaurant that requires a sportjacket (Brown Palace), and last I heard, Seattle had none. On the other hand, Southern California is far less casual than I'd expect -- a handful restaurants seem to be instituting dress codes, something I thought went out of style years ago (I've come across two in the last week, and they were at places I would consider Chili's-level in terms of their menu -- interestingly, a sweatshirt and khakis would not be good enough for these stuffy folks!).
I know the Northeast has a reputation for being more formal.. but I did not feel out of place at a nice restaurant in Back Bay in touristy-dress (sweatshirt and jeans) -- I walked in, it was a lot nicer than I anticipated, so I asked the hostess if I was dressed nice enough. She assured me it was no problem at all, my attire would fit right in -- and the restaurant ended up being great! I just wish I could remember the name of the place. I also had a simliar experience at a nice place in Lowell after a hockey game -- so in my experience, I've found New England to be pretty relaxed.
As far as Canadian cities go, I find Vancouver and Calgary to be casual... Toronto, I have not been to in more than a decade, so I can't get a reading on it.
I'm interested in all responses from all places... maybe we can have some fun with this one!