Seen and Heard
Birds of a Fashion Feather
The couple who shops together stays together
Byrdes of on kynde and color flok and flye allwayes together.
- William Turner, The Rescuing of Romish Fox, 1545
Anyone who thinks Urban Outfitters sells clothes has apparently never been to one of the stores. And nobody actually goes to American Apparel for the apparel – unless they’re a clueless tourist. What these stores sell is a lifestyle, even though they may not fall into the “lifestyle” store category. This may not be news to you, but if you registered with eHarmony or Match.com, would you be surprised if you were asked which of these stores you were most likely to patronize?
All right – they don’t actually pose this question in online dating profiles (at least to my knowledge). But they should. Because clothes not only make the man – they make the man appear eligible to certain women, and vice versa. Like the Gap, Urban Outfitters mass-produces its clothing. But while the former seeks to appeal to every kind of person, the latter reaches out to very specific people. The kind of people, for instance, who will wear a pinafore paired with skinny jeans and yellow patent leather pumps. Similarly, American Apparel is as known for its controversial, sexually explicit advertising, as it is for clothing that can only be stylishly worn by models and ballet dancers. These stores draw together people of the same tastes, economic means and, by and large, appropriate age groups for a mate. Frankly, it’s more efficient for potential couples than their having to break through each other’s artifice at a bar. How efficient!
Bonus for the UO crowd: Once you’re a happy couple and decide to move in together, you needn’t look far to find a furniture style you’ll agree on. Now, if only they had a wedding registry…