About Me

Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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The Gear Dilemma
Sunday, September 04, 2005
Yesterday I hit ye olde Trumbull Mall for a few things and since the price of gas is ridiculously high I decided to hit as many stores as possible. Trumbull Mall is fairly well known for one major thing, having more, almost completely identical, urban clothing stores than any other place on earth. From epic to demo to Against All Odds the mall is literally littered with what many would label as Hip-Hop clothing stores. One might think that a Hip-Hop head would be in heaven in a place such as this, but in reality I was hanging my head low for a number of reasons.

The first reason I’m not overly thrilled with the Hip-Hop shops is that nothing is ever in my size. Apparently every urban outfitter has decided the majority of earth, or at least the buying public, is either a giant, or a giant tub of lard. So far only LRG has come through with clothing in size medium (big ups to them for that), so no matter how nice most of the clothing in the stores is I know there’s no way I can wear it.

My second major problem after surveying the merchandise is that it seems that the majority of Hip-Hop clothing companies have decided to forego creativity and have reverted back to the stylings of a handful of years ago when they’d just slap a gigantic logo on a shirt or jacket (I won’t even get into the fact that at least one company is also now selling fake flak jackets so kids can try to be more like 50, ugh). The rampant over logo-ing seems to be worse than it was back in the day because some of the stuff I was seeing had logos that found ways to stretch out past the actual shirt!

Now set your watches kids, it’s time for the irony segment of this post. Back when I was in high school and college I was very anti mainstream clothing. If it was mass produced and reeked of the want to make everyone look the same I was against it. It wasn’t hard to be against these types of places back then, the Old Navy’s, American Eagle’s, Aeropostale’s and Abercrombie & Fitch’s of the world seemed to be throwing their logo on every piece of clothing they put out. The idea behind it was to make it fashionable to wear their name and eventually have everyone doing their advertising for them as human billboards. There was no longer a need to ask where you bought your shirt because it was written on your shirt. The only step nobody’s taken yet is to put a suggest retail price on clothing, which I’m sure is already in the works.

Well, in my mall wanderings yesterday I walked into Old Navy, American Eagle and Aeropostale and guess what I found. In Old Navy, which I now shop at quite a bit, has very few items with their name or logo on them. American Eagle still has their name and logo on most of their merchandise but I will say that a lot of it is far less intrusive than the Hip-Hop gear. Aeropostale was much like American Eagle, but with their name on slightly less of their clothing. I still won’t go into Abercrombie & Fitch because all the pictures of half naked men enjoying each other’s company weirds me out. My point, however, is this: almost everything that made me dislike these clothing companies in the past now directly applies to the Hip-Hop clothing lines of today. So what’s a Hip-Hop head to do? This is easy. Wear what you want. It took me a while to figure out, but let’s face it, clothing can’t make you Hip-Hop. If you are Hip-Hop, however, your clothing will automatically be Hip-Hop simply because you’re rockin it.

I’m rockin an Old Navy polo shirt, Express jeans and Sketchers shoes and I am Hip-Hop. And while I’m wearing those clothes they’re Hip-Hop, too. It’s as simple as that.
posted by Adam Bernard @ 1:16 AM  
  • At 2:35 AM, Blogger Conscious said…

    To add to what you're saying. In the early stages of Hiphop, Hiphoppers weren't wearin what they were wearing for the most part becuase it was cool. They wore the majority of what they wore because that's all they had. It's as simple as that.

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