Everyday Chic

for those of us who can't afford couture, but still seek to look gorgeous every day... strategies for investing in your wardrobe by maximizing its dollar-to-chic ratio

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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Why I Love... American Apparel

Madison Avenue loves American Apparel for its hip and edgy advertising campaign—a provocative, voyeuresque approach to displaying and selling basic clothing. I love American Apparel because what it proves with this avant-garde campaign is that basics do not have to be boring—they are essential to building an individualized personal style.

I also love American Apparel because it offers exactly what my wardrobe needs: high-quality basic clothing made in a sweatshop-free workplace (downtown LA). The concept is so simple, and yet so genius, because American Apparel does not take a standard, run-of-the-mill approach to basics—like its ad campaign, which uses its own employees as models for its clothing, it celebrates the necessary diversity in even basic clothing.

Chances are you have an American Apparel shirt or two in your closet already—they started as a wholesaler for t-shirt screenprinting (and still do so). I realized that I have several shirts from college events (those shirts they give away to entice you to dorm mixers) that are American Apparel — shirts that I still wear out and about, and haven't been thrown into the no man’s land of my gym clothes drawer.

American Apparel’s greatest strength is their range of basic tees—which come in a variety of styles and an extensive color palette. Perfect for layering or wearing on their own, there is something to meet everyone's personal style and needs. They know that basic does not mean homogeneous, as demonstrated below:

But AA is more than just tops—they offer everything from track jackets to panties to a t-shirt for your dog. And given my experience with Victoria's Secret panties, I might have to pick up a pair from AA and give them a test run.

You want your basics to last forever, and so it is worth the marginally extra outlay of cash to invest in high-quality, well-made basics.

Related: Businessweek article on American Apparel
Blog posts: Why I Love...Zara’s Retail Model
Keywords: affordable basic clothing, high quality basic clothes, retail store profiles

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