SUPERPICKS: Sellout style not worth the prices

Hollan Holm

I’m staring at the summer Abercrombie & Fitch catalog and realizing once again why I refuse to give them my money.

I get easily confused about my clothes shopping, which draws from department stores, American Eagle and the GAP.

I still feel guilty about owning clothing from both of these stores from time to time. (A low point in my consumer depression came this winter in the sub-Antarctic weather when I almost bought a scarf. I’ll probably give in next year.) But I think back to all those commercials of swing dancing and photos of Willie Nelson hanging up in the store and its OK. For some reason, big band gyrations and old school country music ease my consumer guilt.

You see my wardrobe, a.k.a. Hollan Wear, follows this basic recipe:

1. Put on one (1) pair of cargo khaki shorts.

2. Tuck in one (1) white T-shirt.

3. Cover with one (1) plaid or striped button down shirt, and do NOT tuck.

4. Accessorize with the same brown leather belt worn since eighth grade and a blue handkerchief to clean Hill-climbing sweat.

This clothing formula has served me well since I learned the Golden Rule of Dressing: Popular people will treat you with respect as long as you dress like them.

But seriously, I’ve been wearing the same style of clothes for a long time. I have exceptions to this rule. T-shirts from places I have ACTUALLY been to and events I have ACTUALLY participated in can be substituted for the button down shirt. (I doubt many A&F shoppers can boast that.)

But back to the A&F catalog.

I found this piece of corporate sellout lying in a trash can by the mail boxes in my dorm. Apparently “Nick McGill McGill,” as the mailing label read, had broken his consumer chains and decided to buy a pair of shorts for less than $59.50.

Or it could be that McDouble, as I like to call him, is a corporate plant placed in my dorm solely to drop catalogs into trash cans to entice people like me, who have urges to scream “Sell Out,” when they walk past an A&F store to view their wares.

Knowing a run-on sentence and a corporate conspiracy when I see one, I took the bait.

The first unsettling thing about the A&F catalog is the guy on the front cover. We’ll call him Tad.

Unlike me, or any other decent, hardworking American, Tad has a six-pack on his abdomen. He stands on the cover with a dim look on his face that grunts, “I thought the $59.50 I paid for these ‘Vintage Fatigue shorts’ would have kept me a little dryer in this ocean I’m frolicking in.”

Tad meets up later in the catalog with three other six-packing guys I affectionately call Meat Heads Numbers 1, 2 and 4. They don’t count so good, or use grammar so well. They’re sole purpose in their brief catalog life seems to be staring at Tad’s butt and lusting after his Vintage Fatigues and their much hipper frayed legs and artificially created holes.

In the A&F catalog hierarchy, the more holes and crudely restitched tears, the cooler you are. Characters in this page-turning drama don’t speak regular English either. According to my catalog, there are no flip flops in A&F-land. Sandals, in the vocabulary of Fitchese, are known as treads. There are no T-shirts, only Tees named for South American beaches that cost nearly $30. And any shorts that don’t include belts are called “tuggers.” Apparently, these are the official shorts of Greek Week. Even the girls don’t wear tank tops; they wear “Brittan Lacey Sheers.” These women also like to wear useless leather band-aids called “embellished sashes.”

But I will confess, not all Aber-crappy has to offer is a bad thing. Apparently, in addition to wearing torn and frayed clothing, the new style is wrinkles galore. I’ll gladly forgo my once-a-semester ironing if Abercrombie tells me it’s cool.

Pick O’ the Week

•As you celebrate Easter, or not, if you just want to be difficult, why not fill out an application to be my arch nemesis. Perks include a FREE Filet-O-Fish sandwich and signed certificate of arch nemesisship. Plus, I’ll make you the butt of one joke per column this semester. Check out last week’s column online for all the info.

Hollan Holm: “You playing something good?” [email protected]: “Hell yeah! Rolling Stones, Street Fightin’ Man, G-7!” Hollan Holm: “You just hit G-8.” Jukebox: “Do you like pi?a coladas?”