Wednesday, 21 July 2010

My Mum's having a love affair with American Apparel

Wednesday night. Katie and Alex: For Better, For Worse. Large amount of 'reject' meringues consumed (due to the lack of essential gooey chewy middle, and increased risk of explosion, a whole batch got replaced by a new batch for parental party last weekend). Huge manly fleece jacket adopted. Potential bliss.

I can justify this middle-class, parent-free squalor by having been enslaved to high-end retail for nine hours today. Yesterday, however, I spent my day off in a not dissimilar situation. Unfortunately, penury dictates that I can't always spend my enslavement-free days on bikes in other Northern European countries, so I undertook similar activities to that of a bored housewife. Without a husband or children to entertain, thank God.  

Amongst shoe polishing, laundry, and buying some baking essentials amongst other groceries, I also lowered my psychological age by a generation and got on with my 'making American Apparel rip-offs' project. Or so I thought. Because, shortly after fabricating a near-perfect imitation of a circle scarf for £4.95 and a bit of love, my Mum returned (to dinner on the table, may I add) only to announce her recently discovered love affair with American Apparel.

Turns out last week shortly before a ladies-who-lunch lunch, Mummy Bowlface stepped into the American Apparel in Covent Garden, and finally realised why I had been chatting on about AA since the gold leotard-purchasing event four years ago. Granted, since then, as certain leaked documents detail "The New Standard" demonstrate, gold leotards are no longer as hot as lace blouses. Still, Mummy B's grabbing of my homewear favourite, the Sailor Stripe Long Sleeve Pullover, was the sartorial equivalent of hearing Vampire Weekend's debut album played at last years' garden party: an enlightening, delightful moment of generational bonding, just one somewhat tainted by an impending sense of losing my 'edge'. (Yes, that 'edge' which is sharpened by housewifely activities).

On reflection, it makes so much sense that Mums should love American Apparel more than twenty-something trend-following types. After all, they're not going to be made to feel podgy and inadequate by the overwhelmingly attractive staff, nor experience the inevitable sense of competition that seeps from each piece of baby cord; because AA isn't the usual dinner party wear, and, (if we are to believe them), their offspring are just as pretty as that chiseled cheekbone-owning waif in the corner who's folding things with a sense of superiority. Furthermore, for a woman who likes to leave notes directing me to my dinner half a metre apart, the super-clear labelling of every garment in 's', 'm' and 'l' is a dream come true. Too much of my 'acceptable' (i.e, high street originating) wardrobe has been purchased from AA for me to give it up, plus it's just too damn comfy. Although if Mummy B has her way it may soon be making its way, garment by garment, into hers...

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