A few weeks ago my wife wanted to stop by Old Navy to look for some yoga attire. As the designated retail pack-mule, I found myself standing by the women’s athletic gear killing time while my spouse decided between identical pairs of black stretchy pants. Glancing over the display, I noticed an interesting trend in the athletic tops: cringe-worthy idioms.
Are there that many women who want to show up at the gym wearing a tank top that says “Get It Girl” or “Free Your Mind”? Some even implied impulsiveness and possible promiscuity by featuring “WILD” or “FREE SPIRIT” across the chest. One just featured the word “SWAGGER” printed vertically. Are these meant to inspire the wearer or the people they come in contact with at the gym? Is the idea that you put this on, look in the mirror and say to yourself, “I was going to binge-watch True Blood and eat fried chicken, but now I think I’ll dead-lift instead.”
Inspired by these items, I have created my own cringe-worthy screen-print series for Old Navy Women’s Athletics:
- You Go (to the gym) Girl!
- W.T.F. (Why The Flab?)
- Sugar-Baby in Training
- Me – 1 / Excuses – 0
- Don’t Cha? (need to avoid gluten)
- Estrogen Warrior
- I ♥ Physical Exertion
Another trend I noticed was that nearly every upper-torso mannequin modeling a top was posed with its hands behind its back. It was as if they wanted to show the consumer exactly how the blouse would look were they to be handcuffed wearing it. I realize that a woman puts much more thought into attire than a man, but are such scenarios really taken into account? I would love to have passed by a woman telling her friend, “The green top looks great when my arms are in a comfortable position, but what if I get caught with 2 kilos on St. Patrick’s Day?”
The clothing problems for girls apparently can begin in utero. My wife was explaining that she had pre-ordered an outfit so that we could get it on its day that it is released. Please allow that to sink in. Things have gotten so bad that children’s clothing now has a street date. I wonder if there are people standing outside a Gymboree the night before discussing rumors.
“My cousin heard that the new pastel rompers will feature an offset accent bow.”
“No way! I just saw a Facebook rumor that the fall line will reflect their corporate de-emphasis on ruching!”
I can only hope that this release date business has created a thriving black market scene. Hordes of desperate middle-class parents ducking into alleys and avoiding eye contact as they whisper, “Anybody got the 2015 smocked kitten pattern in a 2T?” as nonchalantly as possible. Their inquiries undoubtedly met with suspicion until some guy in a trench coat presented a hypothetical situation where he might know a guy who did time with the dock manager at Zulily. But just before the conversation can continue, a lookout shouts “five-0!” and the minivans scatter just as quickly and mysteriously as they appeared.