The Povertique Of Urban Outfitters

Posted in blog post on March 3rd, 2011 by Merrill Markoe

I was just perusing my new Urban Outfitters catalog because I actually like Urban Outfitters.  I think I’m drawn in by the amount of  pissed off looking models who wear bangs. “They have bangs! I have bangs” i think to myself,forgetting what a long distance I am from the fifteen year old girl who appears to be the target audience. Lately, though, the Urban Outfitter style book is drifting farther and farther away from the metaphorical dock on which I anchor my hypothetical boat.

At first I thought the new U.O. style might be called Laundry Day Couture. I used to work with a guy whose wardrobe reflected  how far in to his laundry basket he had gotten.First part of the month he was all preppy and Gappy and Ralph Laurenny. Last day before lack of clothes forced him to do his  laundry, he wore tuxedo pants and whatever promotional tee shirt he had just been given. Generally speaking, he looked not unlike the guy on the far right of the fashion spread below in his faded jeans and his wing tips. Or the unhappy looking blond girl in her old worn Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, her full length floral skirt, and scarf that appears to be a baby blanket.

Then it came to me what to call the new look  that they are selling.

Its Dust Bowl Chic.

There they stand, four people transported in to an unhappy limbo; the dark haired wastrel in  unmatched clothing appears to be  making the best of  the only clothes she owns: an orange striped cotton shirt, a full length blue nightgown print dress and yellow and black striped sandals.  Times are tough, the layout seems to say,so they must band together and rise above  dire circumstances. Even as they make a meal of  the only food that they could find  in the supermarket dumpster.. left over cake. How ironic was that?

Except that they had to buy all these items brand new .

Too bad Dorothea Lange didn’t live long enough to get the U.O. account.  She definitely knew how it should be done.

pixelstats trackingpixel

10 Responses to “The Povertique Of Urban Outfitters”

  1. God, I love this post! And not just because I’m happy to learn I’m not the only middle aged woman who gets the Urban Outfitters catalog.

    I think the case could be made for either Laundry Day Couture or Dust Bowl Chic. Either way, you nailed it, Merrill! This is hilarious …

  2. Ann Brown says:

    The Urban Outfitter style book is drifting farther and farther away from the metaphorical body on which I anchor my hypothetical clothes, as my actual body is the boat these days. Moored at the fridge. My plan is to polish up my personality as I prepare to hit 57. Less snark, more active listening and big earrings are going to be my aces in the hole.

  3. True this!

    Just bought your book Nose Down, Eyes Up. Too funny and it’s obvious that you know dogs….I salute you!

  4. Tina says:

    You know Merrill, the clothes featured in U. O. catalogs really take me back to my childhood. There were no Urban Outfitters back then of course. But from the looks of my brother and me in this picture taken in 1955, Mom got our clothes at other fashionable Outfitter stores around at the time, like:

    • Salvation Army Outfitters
    • Garage Sale Outfitters
    • May’s Basement 75% Off Outfitters
    • My Brother’s Old Worn-Out Clothes Outfitters
    • It Looks Like Wash Day But These Clothes Are My Everyday Stuff Outfitters
    • I’ll Fix Your Fly Zipper When I’m Good And Ready Outfitters
    • Slap Another Patch On Those Jeans Outfitters

    I guess my Mom was really on to something back then, huh.

    tinyurl.com/4mj9fhm

    • susanm says:

      tina

      • Salvation Army Outfitters
      • Garage Sale Outfitters
      • May’s Basement 75% Off Outfitters
      —————

      Thanks for making me choke on my coffee!
      aaah, nostalgia!

      I’ll be damned if I’ll buy something for $75 + that looks like leftovers from a rummage sale.

      • Tina says:

        Susan,

        Well, I hope the coffee didn’t fly out of your nose. Which reminds me…once my mom, my husband and I were enjoying a nice lunch at a little cafe in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Mom ordered chicken noodle soup and we were engaging in pleasant conversation while we ate. Just as Mom put a big spoonful of soup in her mouth, my husband said something really funny. Mom was so taken by surprise and laughed so hard, noodles came shooting out of her nose. I don’t even remember what he said because what happened with Mom sort of eclipsed everything else. I in turn almost peed my pants I laughed so hard. All I can say is, humor can sometimes be really messy.

        If May’s basement rings a bell with you, you must be from Cleveland.

  5. Okay…Waiting patiently for your next post. More please.

  6. Tina says:

    BTW Merrill, I love this sentence in your piece – “Lately, though, the Urban Outfitter style book is drifting farther and farther away from the metaphorical dock on which I anchor my hypothetical boat.”

    Excellent!

Leave a Reply