Oversized Chiffon Shirts - £52, American Apparel
Chiffon Maxi Skirts - £40, American Apparel
I'm not the biggest fan of American Apparel.
There, I've said it. It's practically a tabboo to admit such a secret these days, with every third person 'rocking' a pair of disco pants, high waisted denim shorts or white-zippered hoody in various colours (usually grey.) But you see, this is precisely why I avoid the neon glow of the store like the proverbial plague - the phrase 'you're so individual, just like everybody else' springs to mind.
It hasn't always been this way. Back in my haloed student days, my flatmate and I would make a visit to the AA store in town, three times a year, on the sacred loan-day, where we would blow a good third of our 'free money' on an eye-watering selection of multi-coloured jersey, shiny leggings, useless-but-essential accessories and the student uniform, those hoodies. Joking mum, I didn't do that.
(I totally did that.)
Since those days, or perhaps because of them, I've associated the attire with poorly dressed students, try-hard East-siders and badly-dressed gay men. However, my monthly copy of InStyle presented me with a 20% off voucher, and I'm a sucker for a deal. After an unsuccessful wander around one of their smaller stores (seriously, someone help them out with their Visual Merchandising) my opinion remained unchanged. So my boredom induced perusal of their online store this afternoon was a big mistake.
Now, these chiffon shirts. Every third girl had one at uni. White for day, black for night, loosely knotted with the aforementioned high waist denim or some form of black bodycon mini. Personally I've never been a fan. But what do we have here? Prints? Colours? Stripes? My my; suddenly, they're pretty damn cool. I'm particularly loving top left there, an origami printed orange number I can imagine wearing in a multitude of ways, with not a high waist body con number in sight.
And then to the skirts. I've been desperately searching for the perfect maxi for some time now - floaty, sheer and defnitely not pleated. And look at this, six of the things have landed in my lap at the same time. Obviously, I don't plan on buying all six (or at least, not in one go) but choosing my favourite is proving difficult. Whimsical prints or monochrome pinstripes? As much as I love the neon orange number, perhaps buying that and the shirt at the same time would render me slightly bonkers, particularly as I don't actually own or wear orange. Yet.
So fair play, American Apparel. You're not just for wannabe hipsters and students after all. If you have that shirt in stock at the next store I find myself in, perhaps we'll be friends again. Just keep me away from the shiny leggings, please.