For the past couple years, whenever I walked past 1) an American Apparel or 2) someone obviously victim’ed out in “AmAppy,” I was reminded of the classic Jezebel post, “American Apparel Will Make You Look Like a Fat Hooker,” in which Jezebels Jessica and Tracie dared to enter an AA and explore the racks of shining spandex, bandeau tops, peggings and glittery unitards.
Recently, though, I’ve walked past their stores around New York City and paused to look through the windows in surprise. It would seem the beleaguered company is quietly overhauling itself, perhaps to create distance from the notorious aesthetics of its skeevy CEO or… because the clothes made you look like a fat hooker.
Whatever the case may be, their unnerving soft-core campaigns have been a little slower to adopt (probably because they’re really effective at pissing people off), so you can still see AA ads with groggy-looking teenagers touching themselves in knee socks or licking creepily anonymous crotch bulges. Don’t panic.
But! But the clothes! They’re so different now.
The Gloss’ Deputy Editor Jennifer Wright accompanied me to a Manhattan AA earlier this week, with the challenge of creating several tasteful (even boring!) looks that avoided resemblance to the Jezebels’ fat hooker misadventures.
If the clearance racks of shiny leggings crammed in the back of the store were any indication, AA is really trying to do something different. That’s not to say you can’t get a see-through mesh bra that would support only a pre-pubescent girl with a wasting disease, but it is to say that in order to reach the fat hooker costumes, you must first walk through aisles of louche slacks, preppy blazers and floppy peasant hats.
Please note that with the time constraints and the generally-accepted edict that one should not smuggle accessories such as belts, socks, and gloves into the dressing room, these looks are a bit under-styled. Not a big deal, ultimately, as we didn’t want to push our luck with the commendably tolerant AA employees, and I think the muted classicism is kind of what they’re going for anyway.
So. Two years later, the company has begun to completely revamp its signature style. In other words, no longer does one necessarily come out looking like a glutted sex worker, instead one may now look like a non-fetishized schoolgirl, a free-spirited 80′s mom or even a Mormon Fundamentalist.
Thus: American Apparel will make you look like a tasteful, sensibly-dressed young lady.