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Adventures In Shopping

December 12th, 2007 (10:00 am)

current mood: chipper

So my sister in South Carolina tells me that her 14-year-old son wants clothes for Christmas and that the preferred clothing store for him and his friends is a place called Hollister. That rang a bell: A few days earlier, my sister in Northern California (I have a lot of sisters) had said Hollister, which I'd never heard of, was also The Place To Shop for her 14-year-old son and his classmates. My question: Since when do teenage boys care where their clothes are bought? Did I miss a memo? When I was in school, only girls cared about fashion.

Dutiful aunt that I am, I did my research and discovered there is a Hollister in Northern Virginia, and that it's in (gasp) Tysons Corner mall. My normal policy is to avoid Tysons at all costs in December. But again, being a dutiful aunt, I ventured there yesterday and actually found a parking space.

After a stop at the Lego store (my own son being at an age where brand loyalty is all about toys, not clothes), I set out in search of Hollister. The mall directory lists it under "Men's Fashions," but Hollister is much too cool to use such terminology itself. In fact, the sizing labels on the clothes do not say such things as "Men's size L." They say, "Dudes' size L." Not being a dude, I noticed they had female clothes, as well. (I didn't check the labels to see what they call young women; I was a little afraid to.) But from the ambience, it's clear that dudes were the target customers there. Deafening music blasted from the stereo, by a rock band I'd never heard of but liked. The lighting was dim, like "mood" lighting in an intimate restaurant where you can't read the menu. In fact, I couldn't always read my shopping list unless I was holding it close to the clothes, which were spotlighted by pools of brilliant halogen to make them stand out against the murk. Not-quite-pornographic men's magazines lined the front of the check-out counter. TV screens on the walls, designed to look like windows, showed scenes of ocean waves and surfers. Definitely a store for wanna-be surfer dudes.

I should mention that the clothes are quite nice: Eddie Bauer with an edge. I easily found a shirt that fit the specs. As I waited in line to pay for it, I noticed Sarah Michelle Geller at my knees, staring up at me from a magazine cover and wearing a skimpy black lace bra. I asked the teenage girl at the register which band was playing the still-too-loud music, and felt a little less clueless when she didn't know either and had to look it up. When I told her I was clearly not hip enough to be shopping there, she just laughed.


Posted by: Tim W. Burke (timwb)
Posted at: December 13th, 2007 01:28 am (UTC)
Some boys are fashionable
Me at 21

One of my favorite moments growing up was listening to my oldest brother *beg* my mom to buy him Brittania jeans. This was about 1978. His graduation photo is in a leisure suit, and I'm not sure his wife has ever seen that photo.

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