I think Passaic has become more "in town" in terms of "expectations".
I live in Cincinnati and some people are fancier then others but I don't think it correlates with who is actually wealthier but rather personality and/or how they were raised. I'm the antithesis of "fancy". every so often I think how I should really put more effort/time/money in to looking more put together but my dh doesn't care. my kids don't care... and they're the ones who usually see me so I stay comfy
my kids really don't care about what other people are wearing or how fancy your house is... they do like playing in bigger houses though since there's more space to run around
we definitely don't pick our friends based on finances. We pick our, very few , friends based on values, personality....
I actually see that the pressure to conform and fit in, in every materialistic way is really high in the chassidish community.
In lakewood and surrounding towns it's only an issue in certain areas and schools, but there are many schools and areas that are very chilled with no pressure at all.