But where am I going to buy all my nondescript clothing?

January 9, 2007

Just when falling home prices and rising foreclosure rates were getting me into a good economic mood, The Gap has to go and announce that it is either going to sell itself off or consolidate to a single front, Banana Republic. The BR often has nice clothes, but I can’t afford them, and so I choose to see this potential business move as yet one more way that us middle of the spectrum (well, just barely middle) people are getting squeezed right off the cultural map. In the past week, before I even heard about this, I reflected to a friend while shopping that approximately 80% of my clothing puchases in the past two years have been from The Gap. (Liz’s lack of fashion sense is already the topic of many other posts, so I’ll avoid pointing out that this in and of itself may be a problem.) Granted, these were almost all basic, one color tees and skirts, and as far as I can recall not a stitch of it at all full price (why should I when in a month they’ll be at least 40% off?), so even though I am loyal I am not really The Gap’s ideal consumer and I probably wasn’t really helping matters any. Still, I find it infuriating and worrisome that my favorite mall staple is planning to heed the most distressing economic lesson of the aught years: go up market, my son. The more you charge for your marked-up ginormous proft margin s#$%, the more you are going to sell of it, b/c the people who can afford it can afford a lot of it and they are going to make up for all of us budgeters who buy a reasonably priced piece now and again when we have the dough. Okay aughts, you have already squeezed me out of a home in my chosen state, now you have to take away my t-shirts too? That’s no way to start a millenium of peace and equality, now is it?

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