Thursday, 17 January 2013

Jack Hollister Hicks.

It's December 20th, and as I step into the dark, fragrant world of Hollister & Co., I am tickled by the sight that awaits me. Dozens of frantic and confused middle-aged women are moving slowly in circles around the store, clutching pieces of paper with various wishes scribbled on them; some have handheld torches, some seem to be guessing in blind panic, and some are brandishing the scraps of paper in the blank yet pretty faces of the staff. The mums to teenagers, doing their best to give their darling children what they really want for Christmas - a shirt with the name of a beach they've never been to, a hoody advertising a university didn't attend, or some underwear with someone else's name on.


I won't lie; I was a Hollister girl. For about a year, I was one of those teenagers who wanted nothing more than a wardrobe full of meaningless Cali gear. I thought spending £34 on plain white shirts with that little red bird stitched on the breast pocket was totally justified. My Dad went to New York on a business trip, and brought me back an 'I heart NY' shirt, and an Abercrombie zip-up hoody. The coolest boys at college were the ones who wore Hollister polos, and Abercrombie joggers.
Why, though?

The clothing is excellent quality, soft to the touch and comes in all kinds of lovely bright colours (this was before I started wearing beige or navy constantly). The hoodies are snug, the polos flatter a lady's shape, the joggers are comfy as can be; and somehow no matter how many times you wash the clothes, the lush scent lingers forever. Definitely a lot of positives. However, they're also ridiculously expensive, too expensive for a student. Also, the details as to how the clothes are produced are a little vague - the labels just say "made in Indonesia"... That worries me. Plus, going back to my #1 question: why are we paying a lot of money to have some place in California/some random person's name all over our bodies?

There's also an age restriction on this type of clothing. I've seen a lot of friends' parents rocking the SoCal, Abercrombie, Hollister and Gilly Hicks gear around their homes and at the gym; parents should not be allowed to wear these things. It just looks like they're trying too hard to look young, to be 'down with the kids'.
   If I saw my Mum wearing one of my old Abercrombie shirts, I'd shake my head and tell her to get changed immediately - although she does wear Gilly Hicks polo shirts from time to time, because Gilly Hicks is Hollister's cheeky Australian cousin brand, and being Australian the names of surf clubs/beaches on the clothes actually do mean something to her. So she's excused.
   The mums who wear their Hollister hoodies (that match their daughters', of course) on the school run, or the families who take group photos on their skiing holiday of all of them in fur-lined Abercrombie gilets... No, just no.

Our lecturer Bernard, name-dropper and rambler extraordinaire, decided to rant away today about his thirteen year-old son wanting Jack Wills pants for his birthday. Bernard, ignorant as ever of what it is to be young, said "maybe that's why his trousers are always so low... To show off his £25 pairs of pants!"
I've always thought Jack Wills was the most ridiculous brand of all; every morning at college a crowd of girls would flood the canteen wearing navy hoodies with 'Wills' in bold pink lettering on the front, or T-shirts that said 'Jack' on them. Even if my name was Jack, I would not wear a T-shirt advertising this... I'd look moronic. So why is it that because it's an expensive brand, it's suddenly socially acceptable?

And don't even get me started on the topless male models on the website/carrier bags/exterior of the stores... Why are they naked when they're meant to be advertising clothes?!

In my opinion, and in abrupt conclusion as I could happily rant about this all day, the best clothes are the ones that are unique to you - the dresses that you picked up at a one-off boutique, the shirts you got from your big sister, the jeans you cut off and bedazzled... The clothes that have a story to tell, that weren't made by a famished child in Indonesia, and that are completely and utterly YOU.

1 comment

  1. My little sister is a Hollister girl but the whole brand thing just drives me insane. The clothes do smell amazing though! And your cat looks very happy snuggled in that bag xD

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