Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pumps & Pleats: American Apparel gets physical with its duds

Story and photos by Michèle De Meglio

American Apparel is famous for its risqué ads featuring curvy gals wearing transparent leotards and striking compromising poses that could rival any porn star. The store’s Web site even boasts photos of an overweight middle-aged man clad in a lace thong, which were shot to showcase his droopy backside. Wow.

Shock value aside, are the store’s duds anything special?

Pumps & Pleats visited the American Apparel shop on Court Street in Brooklyn Heights to check out the wares.

The majority of the store is an homage to basics — standard cotton tees, sweatshirts, short shorts and hoodies. The only standout factor is that they come in nearly all the colors of the rainbow. And one other thing — they’re super expensive. A white T-shirt is $22, a simple sweatshirt is $34, and a cotton and polyester hoodie is $42. You could easily walk away with similar — and cheaper — basics from Old Navy.

The Los Angeles-based American Apparel sells a variety of workout inspired pieces, which seem more suited for lounging than for sweating. For instance, the thong bodysuits ($26) are perfect for recreating Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical” video but you shouldn’t try them out in your spin class.

Leggings are a big seller at American Apparel.

If you’re looking for simple black cotton leggings, don’t bother coming here since they’re ridiculously overpriced at $26 a pair.

But if you’re brave enough to wear seriously funky fashions, this is the store for you. Here you can find electric blue liquid leggings coated in glitter ($49), a two-sided pair blending black and shocking pink ($30), and polyester leggings in an old-fashioned floral print inspired by your grandmother’s tackiest couch ($40). Just be careful, wearing such crazy clothing could easily make you a fashion victim.

American Apparel [112 Court St. between State Street and Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn Heights, (718) 855-4627].

Michèle De Meglio is a native Brooklynite addicted to all things chic. Check out Pumps & Pleats each week for more adventures as she scours the borough for fab duds and accessories.


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