According to their LinkedIn, Urban Outfitters is an “eclectic lifestyle retailer”.
I like to think that if you took a blender and threw in some velvet, a handful of broken zippers, a healthy does of irony and Will Smith’s closet from the late 1990s, the result would be Urban Outfitters. But this description may not be succinct enough for a LinkedIn bio.
So, here are a few concise profiles of several of store’s “eclectic” patrons:
Note: All clothing references are actual items sold at the Outfitters. I couldn’t make this stuff up. I’m not that clever.
1. The Couple That Looks Like They Just Stepped Out of a Wes Anderson Film
They don’t talk very much, but they communicate through sideways glances and elongated sighs. Everything they walk by appears sepia toned. She is wearing oxfords with knee socks and he is in a tweed blazer, possibly a shipman’s cap. It’s everything you want in a relationship: a communal kick-ass fashion sense and a shared apathy towards the world and all who inhabit it.
2. The Guy with the Ironic Facial Hair
These kitschy 20-something males hit puberty… hard. From muttonchops to Van Dykes, they look like they should be discussing Descartes in a late 19th century literary salon as opposed to shopping for a kitten collage tank top. Though they are a generally jovial bunch, be particularly wary of the guy with the handlebar mustache. He is easy to identify since he looks like the villain from an old-timey 1930s silent film. When in the presences of this tongue-in-cheek troublemaker, know your surroundings and locate the nearest exists, because the instant you let your guard down is the moment that he and his mustache will tie you to a set of train tracks only to be saved by Douglas Fairbanks, who has equally ridiculous facial hair.
3. The Second Guesser
“Will I ever wear this acid wash croptop/ rainbow suspenders/ Dole Pineapple t-shirt dress/ brown velvet overalls?” The answer is always going to be “no,” but you sure as hell can still try.
4. The Girl Who is OVER IT
This girl is easily the scariest person in the store (possibly in the entire world). She can pull off EVERYTHING. Unicorn emblazoned denim vest? Done. Polka dot clogs? Not even a question. She impatiently stands in line wearing intentionally ripped tights underneath her Levi cutoffs, tapping the tow of her platform patent leather sneakers and groaning in her Spiderman print button up as the rest of us philistines attempt to rise to her unattainable standard of campy style.
5. The Nervous Mother
In ascending order of adolescent outerwear maturity, you start your consumerist climb at Abercrombie (maybe making a minor detour at Hollister for the summer months) then your pubescent punk attitude directs you towards the skater-boy loving world of Tilly’s. Once you realize that neon stripes and angst do not compliment your skin tone, you move onto the fiscally alluring Forever 21, because you are an economically conscious fourteen year old. Then you start developing what you consider to be a particularly exemplary sense of humor and your journey comes to an end in the unnecessary hats section of Urban Outfitters. Mothers know how to shop for their kids right up to those Forever 21 days, but the overtly sardonic world of Urban is too much to handle for any sensible parent. They stand in line as they try to decide which Lisa Frank muscle tee their child wants for his/her seventeenth birthday, questioning their parenting decisions and hating that it has come to this.
6. The Person Who Spends All of their Time Reading Books and Never Buys Anything
This individual never actually enters the checkout line, but they are nonetheless an integral fixture in the Urban Outfitters ecosystem. As soon they enter, this shopper immediately makes a beeline for the sarcastic books, and an hour and a half later they leave the store with a rejuvenated sense of cynicism. These literary treasures, which include “Feminist Ryan Gosling” and “A Pug’s Etiquette,” would make even Ernest Hemmingway giggle like a battle-hardened schoolgirl. Wilde and Austen are happy to know that these illustrious works are the 21st Century successors to their satirical prose.
Featured image via space15twenty.