Have you ever discovered something so confusing, so aesthetically displeasing, that you physically recoiled from the sight of it? That happened to me just last night on the J.Crew website, and I’m fortunate enough to have a platform to share my exacting sartorial opinions with the world.
To set the scene: It’s that post-dinner digestion witching hour, and even though I’m at my desk “working on an article” I’m clearly just scrolling through Facebook until my guilt and anxiety finally outweighs my ingrained need to procrastinate on everything, always. And because the internet-connected spy box called my computer knows me far too well, I saw a J.Crew ad touting their super-special line of velvet everything.
“Velvet, you say?” I whispered to the algorithm that listens to my needs. “Take me there!”
Thus it was that I wound up on some special promotional landing page that culled all of J.Crew down to just the most velvety of velvet picks. And they were… uninspired, to be honest. A blazer here, a skirt there, a tank top or a velvet-edged cardigan. Everything was safe, but none of it was “wow.” So I scrolled down in increasing disappointment, not interested in shopping really, but hoping to find something that might tempt my resolve. And then this fucking monstrosity rose into view, and I gasped.
That, friends, is the Natural Denim Top With Velvet Overlay. It’s part of J.Crew’s special “Collection” line, and it retails for $128 USD. Obviously I clicked in to take a closer look, because there’s just SO MUCH to wrap your head around.
- Is that… is that a WHITE DENIM VEST?
On first glance, it looks like a white shirt with a denim tank over the top, with an ADDITIONAL velvet froufrou on top of that. But no, that’s just the shit styling in the photo. The garment they’re charging $128 for doesn’t even have sleeves.
- Is white denim a thing?
Apparently! I thought it was a summer thing, and a legs-only thing, but apparently if you call the color “natural” you can do whatever the fuck you want with it.
- But like, is white denim a GOOD thing?
Umm, no. Not really. Not like this it isn’t.
- But seriously, what’s up with that velvet toga-bra?
I couldn’t possibly tell you! But before you go thinking it’s a bra, take a look at this photo, which shows IT DOESN’T EVEN WRAP ALL THE WAY AROUND:
The best I can figure is that this velvet overlay is positioned to be a decorative crumb-catcher for all those holiday parties you’ll be attending where there’s a chair shortage and you’re stuck eating the appetizers while standing. But unlike napkins, you can’t even lift it to wipe your face on it afterward.
(NOTE TO SELF: Pitch J.Crew on a velvet napkin shirt…)
Look, are there worse things happening in the world? Things worthy of abject disgust and fury? Absofuckinglutely. This shit is nothing in the grand scheme of things. And somewhere there is a person, or a group of people, who got paid to design this and hopefully they’re living their dream and more power to them.
But holy shitballs is this one ugly-ass piece of clothing. And now you know.