Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hipster Shopping Epic Fail

Having spent most of the first 27 years of my life in the middle west, my casual wardrobe largely consists of black t-shirts, university theme t-shirts, solid or pinstriped button downs, and Levi's jeans. There's nothing wrong with them, but their natural habitat is State Street in Madison, or Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo moreso than it is Smith Street or 5th Avenue in Brooklyn. So, for my birthday this year, I decided to treat myself to some cooler clothes.

Sadly, and perhaps inevitably, this proved to be a difficult proposition. I walked to the jeans rack in Brooklyn Industries and the first twenty or so pairs were size 28. This was a bad omen. The pair of jeans I ended up trying on was the single-largest pair in the store - a size 36 waist, straight-cut - and they were so small that I couldn't get them past my thighs. Secondly, all of their jeans come in size 32 length, unless you get the special extra-long pair which I tried on, which is only a 34. The guy at the store was surprised that I was larger than a 32 and told me that most of their customers have to get their jeans hemmed. This, to me, was entirely unacceptable. Where are all of these scrawny fucking hipsters coming from? Is nobody in Brooklyn more than six feet tall? Hasn't anybody ever played a sport? If so, they would have thighs with, you know, muscles in them, and that would make them too large for anything sold at Brooklyn Industries. I did find a very cool, and, in my eyes, pretty stylish white button down shirt in my size. It fits me like the shirt that John Travolta bought at the beginning of Saturday Night Fever - apparently this is the desired fit, the 'fitted' look - and I think it looks good, but if I ever tried to lift a heavy box in it I'm sure I would bust all of the buttons open at once. Why are all of you hipsters so fucking little?

This afternoon, I hit a series of second-hand stores along 5th Avenue in Brooklyn, looking to find jeans and a couple of casual shirts. Once again, everything was too small for me. Most thrift stores don't have anything - not a single shirt - larger than a size large, which, again, means that anybody taller than 6'1" or so is SOL. That was really a shame, because there was an absolutely bitchin' t-shirt with Andy Warhol banana painting used by the Velvet Underground, as well as a vintage Tom Waits t-shirt, both for less than $20.

Finding footgear was even worse. Some stores didn't carry shoes larger than a size eleven. A SIZE ELEVEN! THAT'S THE AVERAGE MEN'S SIZE! I wear a size 15, which is probably in the 98th percentile when it comes to men's shoes. I'm accustomed to having a difficult time finding shoes in my size. But not to carry anything larger than a size eleven is just ridiculous - that's like the 50th percentile for men's shoes. In other words, anybody larger than the average-sized man (5'10" or so) would likely be out of luck at these shoe stores.

Does anybody else have this problem? Where can you find cool clothes that you can actually fit into?


twoeightnine said...

Internet and eBay, well I guess that's the internet too. There's obviously not much "hip" shopping in Rochester so that's where I get everything. Try some of the more "upscale" street brands from sites like Karmaloop and Digital Gravel.

Senor Beavis said...

When I went to Australia, I remember encountering a cavalcade of size S shirts contrasted with rummaging through racks and racks looking for an XL, which led me to hypothesize that Australia is a country of midgets.

Also, the shoe problem isn't a hipster thing; it's a world thing. I'm a non-hipster size 12, which means I have it easier than you, but it's definitely a crapshoot.

And fuck straight-leg jeans and the girl pants they rode in on.

Wade Garrett said...

Twoeightnine - Thanks for the info, I'll check them out.

Senor Beavis - I found the same thing in Great Britain, despite the fact that I don't think of British men - and especially not Australian men - as being short or small. Go figure, I guess.

biff von bert said...

Jake Taylor said...

I have roughly similar dimensions to Wade and have the same issues. I kinda gave up on looking "cool" years ago, so I tend to get jeans from Macy's online (they have Levis in basically any size combination imaginable).

Also, if I had to guess, Zappos is probably your best bet for shoes. They manage to often carry shoes in sizes that not even the manufacturer's websites have.