John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Urban Outfitters

If you are in an urban area and need to buy an outfit and see a store called Urban Outfitters, you’d think your problem was almost solved, right?

Not necessarily.

I took my son in and strode up and down several rows of men’s clothing. Or it could have been boy clothing. Or man/boy. Or maybe unisex or genderless.

The point is that I liked it but none seemed really to work. A few shirts made me look like a skateboarder. Another like a Native American celebrating his cultural heritage.

Another just made me very uncomfortable because it was tight in all the wrong places.

And so finally, I gave up and decided to leave.

At the door was a young lady greeting customers and I said,

“Excuse me….What age range does Urban Outfitters cater to?”

“We cater to 16-24 year olds,” she said.

“Hmm.” I wasn’t sure whether to pretend I was there to shop just for my son or fess up.

I said, “Do any of the clothes work for people slightly over age 24?”

“Oh, yes.”

“How about all the way up to, say, 49?”

“Absolutely! We sure do.” She cheerfully encouraged.

I laughed and thanked her and said she didn’t have to exaggerate Urban Outfitters target market to make me feel better, but I appreciated it.

But I’m not sure I did.

I thought to myself, I am ready to accept my age being off for some hip clothing stores.

Even by 25 years. But not ready to have young people lie to me about age issues to avoid hurting my feelings.

Tomorrow I may go back and buy something just to make a point that I don’t want anyone’s sympathy.

And if you see me in an multi-colored Native American designed shirt next week…. I’m not wearing it because of my culture. But because I can!


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