Oh, oh, American Apparel.
Inevitably I am finding myself drawn into your ever swirling black hole, which it seems that all my friends have fallen into. You know, the one where they wear head to toe bright and obvious AA clothes and nothing else. Where they know the materials, cuts and styles and new things by heart. Where every other week, someone mentions that they need to go to American apparel.
Myself, I’ve always been an anti-American Apparel type. Not necessarily their clothing (which is generally just plain, colorful, and often times terrifying–see: lame leggings, bodysuits), but their whole sense of aesthetic. The scary pornographic hipsters on their website, the CEO’s perverted ways, the idea of the whole brand as a hipster uniform…I am not, not fond.
I owned, perhaps, two things from American Apparel. (And a number of Threadless and Oddica shirts printed on AA…but that shouldn’t count). A yellow/white tube top I brought when I had a friend who worked there for 50% off, and a black pencil skirt from the same occasion. I love the pencil skirt, because it is one of those easy basics that go with anything and everything. I rarely wear the top, but I convince myself that there is value in it as a layering piece, or if I un-American-appareled it with quirky styling and piling on necklaces and bows or belts or something.
Then I discovered one of American Apparel’s finer points, its little secret. Suddenly all their blank, colored repetitive clothing became exciting in completely new ways. Layering pieces, basics to play off with my far fancier clothes, just splashes of color in my otherwise nearly completely black with scattered grey, white and navy wardrobe, and such…
And yes. I still hate their models, their approach to marketing, their non-conformist conformity. But it won’t be a rare occasion when I’m all dressed up (dressed down?) in dark colored pencil skirts an maybe even attempt to pull off some of those skin tight minidresses with sophisticated jackets and accessories.