Thursday, July 2, 2009

Aren't You Too Old To Be Wearing That???

Yes...I'm talking to YOU in the Abercrombie shirt!

This past weekend here in Chicago, we celebrated Pride, capped off on Sunday with the Pride parade. I was standing there watching the parade with a bunch of friends, and just a few groups of people down from us was a gaggle of men, all who looked to be in their early 40s/late 30s

...and yes, they were wearing a variety of t-shirts with (...GASP!..) Hollister or Abercrombie & Fitch logos plastered across the front.

Here's my public service announcement: If you are 25 or older, you might be too old to shop there. If you're 30, you SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF!

Stores like A&F and Hollister and known for their advertising to younger, attractive college & high school-aged youth. In fact, they get blasted constantly for only hiring attractive people to work in their stores. (you know..good-looking people attract other good looking people...blah, blah...) They DO NOT want ugly people or old people wearing their stuff!

I remember being around age 25 and walking into the A&F at the mall. That's when I started feeling guilty, as if I was a FRAUD, trying to pass off like I was just entering college. By the time I was 27, I threw away my last remaining A&F hat from my closet.

Yes...I am A&F free!

I also remember buying an Abercrombie polo once, and the next day I was asked how long I've had that shirt... "No, it's new. It's just intentionally made with the holes & is supposed to look worn down..."

Some of you younger kids probably don't understand this, but don't will!
(At least I hope you will...)

An older guy wearing this stuff comes across a little creepy...almost in a pedophile type of way, right? But here's my main problem with it: You look Desperate!

That's right, you look like you're trying WAY too hard to fit in.

Now, anyone who knows me understands that I am all for having 'personal style,' no matter what age you are. If you are 45 and still rockin' a pair of yellow jeans, or a bright orange belt...I'm all for it if you do it well!

However, A&F and Hollister is NOT personal style! It is CONFORMING...conforming to a way of life that you no longer fit into! Maybe the problem is that you never fit in when you were younger, and now you're trying to make up for it... It's not working.

Maybe it's the whole A&F mentality, but Men who go from classically handsome become cartoon-like weirdos...usually accompanied by dyed hair, botoxed faces, too-dark golden tans, etc...

In my (very humble) opinion, It is more effective to wear fashionable clothing that is appropriate for your age...

I guess i need to throw away my hoodie sweatshirt from The Children's Place then... (hee hee!)

So look...I'm just trying to help you out to avoid being "that guy" at the party.

Now if we can only get women to stop wearing those damn tight shirts that show off their muffin tops!


  1. But... I lived in Columbus (A&F / Hollister headquarters). I have so much, I can't let it all go, Paul! :)

  2. OMG so true - the only thing worse than a 40+ yo rocking an A&F shirt is a 40+ yo rocking an A&F shirt with a white shell necklace and following around 18 yo's buying them alcohol!!

    I will say I'm glad you didn't knock the bright belts ;-)

  3. Haha, thanks!
    And really...I'm not necessarily knocking their clothing. If you buy from there because it fits well, then great. I'm talking about the LOGO'd stuff that people buy just so that people know you shopped there... ugh...

  4. I love your blog. I totally agree with this. I think it takes some tough love. On the flip side, I was the 23 year old wearing khaki's and button downs at Berlin. I'm not a fashionista. My uniform is a hoodie with jeans in the winter now. I kinda gave up. I always see those people crying on "What Not to Wear", when they realize that just changing a few things can make a big difference in the way you feel about yourself. I do need help, but I will never try to wear A&F. In fact, I felt kinda creepy going into that store a couple years ago with some foreign friends (they don't know...if they're foreign). Last but not least, in my rambling comment... I might feel like the gay world is tilted on its orbit if there isn't a "too old to wear A&F, super tan guy" in sight here and there. If your campaign is too successful, then we might have a missing hole in our heart and only memories of the days when gays sought the eternal frat-boy, ex-jock. :)

  5. I meant axis (not orbit). Duh!

  6. Thank you, Matt. I love how you have a way of keeping me balanced, YOu always get me looking at things in a different way...

  7. I couldn't agree more!!! I think the first time i went into A&F I was in college...and i thought it sucked back yah never got into that...however i do enjoy Forever 21 men's section....but thanfully they dont have a shirt that say's 'forever 21' on it...otherwise ya know some queen would be rockin' it!!

  8. Man, I agree whole-heartedly. And add to that list guys wearing skin tight workout gear in all the wrong locations (airport... the bar... cocktail party). I have a general rule about clothing and it goes like this: Wear it if you love it and doesn't have a huge logo. Then you'll always have a personal style (good or bad, at least it's YOURS) and at the same time avoid being a giant advertisement.

  9. I've worked hard my entire adult life to dress "age appropriately". There is something definitely pedophilia creepy about older guys wearing A&F...

  10. Jordan, I love that! That is a great rule that basically I follow as well. Thanks!

    ...and ANY clothing that is too tight without the person wearing it being supermodel fit is WRONG!

  11. Theres also a large movement of majior fashion brands to be hiding there lables. It comes with the new idea of not wanting to be a walking bilboard.