Ask Avery: Adventures in teen fashion
blog by Avery Hartmans • December 21, 2012 @ 10:36am
I have a challenge for you. I was recently going through some old things of mine and unearthed a pretty hefty gift card to Hollister Co. that some relative bought for me in college. As a 26-year-old woman, I don’t think it’s really appropriate for me to shop there and I don’t really have any desire to wear their clothes. But I’m determined to spend it because I don’t want it to go to waste. So what can I do with a $100 gift card for Hollister?
Shopping at Hollister brings back some fond — and not so fond — middle school memories for me. Anyone who was anyone wore Hollister polo shirts with the collar popped or subtly inappropriate graphic tees paired with way-too-short mini skirts. Clearly the 13-year-olds at my middle school were a classy bunch.
Besides the fact that the store sells slightly overpriced, tiny and occasionally sexually implicit clothing, I have some other serious qualms about shopping there. Getting a contact high from the noxious perfume that could turn even the most innocent of teenagers into baby tramps is one thing, but shopping in the dark adds a whole new dimension to the experience. It’s like shopping in a nightclub that caters exclusively to Valley Girls.
And on top of everything else, nearly every item of clothing is emblazoned with a seagull that ranges from somewhat subtle to the size of a baseball. A rat with wings is perhaps the last symbol I want all over my clothes, but maybe I’m not chill enough to understand it. It’s just so Cali.
But I support being economically savvy as well as sartorially savvy, and there’s no sense in wasting a perfectly good gift card. And believe it or not, Hollister does sell cute clothes that don’t have giant seagulls on them and won’t make you look like your trying to relive your high school glory days. Fashion really can be found in the most unexpected places.
Option No. 1
The best thing about this sweater? There is probably a seagull on it somewhere but I can’t see it, which means it’s automatically in my good graces. But it also has tons of other redeeming qualities: open weave, relaxed fit, slight hi-low hemline. Plus it comes in a few cute colors and would look good with anything from skinny jeans and flats to a high-waisted full skirt, or even thrown over a tight tank dress. Well done, Hollister.
Option No. 2
Wearing sweaters for six months at a time can get rather boring, I know. But just because it’s winter doesn’t mean all of your summery tops have to be put to bed. This feminine, sparkly top would add a little contrast to your outfit if paired with a chunky wool cardigan. It adds just the right amount of glitz but isn’t too sweet and innocent — it is totally sheer after all.
Option No. 3
Though I’ve never been particularly impressed by the Hollister men’s section — they did, after all, produce a shirt with the words “Buck Fuddy” in six-inch-tall text — I must admit they make some excellent flannels. Flannels are always best found in the boys’ department, since they should never been form-fitting or revealing — a flannel isn’t supposed to be sexy, it’s supposed to cozy. So go bananas and snatch up every flannel in sight. They’re comfortable, functional and just about the only thing in the Dude’s section I don’t totally hate.
Option No. 4
I’ve been looking for a great pair of polka dot jeans for a while now and am delighted by these. The unexpected color combo was off-putting at first, but they’ve grown on me and I decided I love them. And they appear to be pretty high-waisted, which is an added bonus. Hollister jeans are typically so low you almost can’t wear underwear, so I’ll be pleased if these are at least hip bone-height. Plus, there are no seagulls in sight. Sold.
Option No. 5
I’m never one to turn down rugby stripes or an infinity scarf, so the combination of the two at a reasonable price is pretty exciting. The blue and red stripes would add an adorable dose of East Coast preppiness to any outfit while also looking appropriately festive. Wear this scarf with skinny jeans, a thick sweater and a military jacket and you’ll look like you stepped straight off the set of a Ralph Lauren photoshoot.
Option No. 6
I love chambray shirts in every color, but an ombre chambray shirt is an area I have not yet explored. Leave it unbuttoned over a loose tank and black skinny jeans and you’re a total Cali girl. Tuck it in to a pencil skirt with a sparkly statement necklace and you’re a sophisticated lady. This shirt has multiple personality disorder in the best possible way. It’s a good thing, I promise.