June 2005


Generic Clothing

So MT pointed out, quite rightly, that I buy my clothing at chain stores and as such am a big part of Generica.

Which brings me to a long winded discussion about my clothing habits: As previously noted, I used to be addicted to Structure, which then became Express for Men, which some how became crap. I also have additions to clothing by JOOP! – which I cannot readily afford and isn’t readily available in the States, nor that widely available in Germany, its home base. I used to be addicted to clothing by Andrew Christian, but then the logo started appearing all over the clothing instead of being a subtle feature-consequently I own two Andrew Christian shirts that I like, but haven’t purchased anything from him in a long time.

So where do I purchase my clothing?

Actually, this hasn’t been an issue-I hate to admit this, but the sad truth is that I haven’t bought much clothing the last couple of years. Once Express Men stopped being interesting to me, I just kind of stopped. This is slowly becoming a problem, and I need to resolve it soon, because my clothing has become too predictable and too boring.

Since moving to Germany I have bought underwear, 3 pair of blue jeans, one pair of shorts, a few t-shirts including my first Abercrombie and Fitch T-Shirt, and the jeans jacket.

But that said, Calvin once said he wanted to express his individuality by wearing the exact same clothing as everybody else-so Generica Clothing is a problem. People from the States wear too much Abercrombie and Fitch, too much Old Navy (where I bought the shorts), and too much American Eagle.

However, there is a corresponding challenge, which is to find stylish and interesting clothing that isn’t crap and is ethical. This is a horrible challenge in the States. I want to avoid sweatshop clothing, I want to avoid clothing that will fall apart in a week, and I want to avoid clothing that looks like it came from Wal-Mart.

Fortunately for me, the last one is easy.

I almost never shop at Wal-Mart because I support labor rights, living wages, and ethical management. That said I shopped at my local Wal-Mart last week because they were the only store in town to sell one particular American product. This was the first time in at least three years that I shopped at Wal-Mart, and it was because I needed something for a BBQ:


4 comments to Generic Clothing

  • There’s a new chain of clothing stores in the States called American Apparel. All of their clothing is manufactured in downtown Los Angeles, and all employees are paid a living wage (and receive health benefits). In Chicago, they have stores in Evanston, Wicker Park, and (I think) River North; most of their storefronts are small and ‘fit in’ to the urban fabric (i.e. they move into an existing older building with sidewalk frontage rather than building a free standing store – with massive parking- a la Wal-Mart of Kohls).

    So far, their offerings for men are a tad limited, but hopefully their selection will improve over time…

  • koko

    Maybe that’s a sign that they don’t have many men’s clothes? Perhaps it’s a sign saying that you’d look smashing in a straight line dress? Hey…it’s worth a try…no?


  • I LOVED Structure and Chess king WAY back in the early 80’s. Express for Men no longer carries men clothing in B-ton for whatever reason. Ugh. I was doing maurices in bedford and alas, they also went out of business…doesn’t leave a lot of chices for a fat old troll like me…the A & F large are about the size of a Youth large so that is OUT. Believe it our not, i have found some great looking clothes at Target and they have lasted. Who’d a thunk it?

  • Sun

    Adam, the story was intersting. Well, I’m addicted to buying clothes thesedasy. Well, a few days ago, I bought some bags and a T-shirt from Andrew Chirstian. They got some cool design. They haven’t been shipped yet, though. Well, I want to buy some clothes today too. You stimulated me!! 🙂