A few weeks ago, I walked into American Eagle and happened to look up at a mannequin. To my horror, it was wearing overalls. Full-length overalls.
The minute I got home, I searched the website for a picture so I could write about them. I couldn’t find them online. I figured that maybe it hadn’t gone onto the website yet, and if I waited a couple weeks, the overalls would turn up.
They never appeared.
I began to wonder if this was some fever dream; a fashion hallucination. Maybe a year in the bad clothing business is all I can take. Maybe it finally broke me, and for the rest of my life, I would have post-traumatic stress flashbacks to the Aclogalypse.
It’s not direct evidence. It’s not the monster’s carcass. But it’s the bite on the wing of the plane, and that’s close enough for now.
The Gap’s overall dress was not an isolated incident. It’s a movement. I can’t say for sure how it began, but my hunch is it went something like this:
Designer 1: Hey, remember when we convinced everyone that Hammer pants were a good idea?
Designer 2: Oh man, that was awesome. We should do something like that again.
Designer 1: Yeah, but what?
Designer 2: I don’t know … something retro, like the Hammer pants, but more juvenile. Something nostalgic.
Designer 1: Nostalgia – it’s delicate, but potent. Teddy told me that in Greek, “nostalgia” literally means “the pain from an old wound.” It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards… it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called the wheel, it’s called the carousel. It let’s us travel the way a child travels – around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know are loved.
Designer 2: So, overalls?
Designer 1: That works. Let’s go celebrate with hookers and blow.
And that’s (roughly) how this happened:
These are magical proportion overalls. From the front, they seem too big. But is it just me, or do these look almost comically small on her from behind? It looks like she stole them off a small child boy.
I can’t imagine that these would work wonders on anyone’s figure. I can see a pair of overalls being kind of spunky and adorable on one of those hipster girls who wear single earrings and those big New Wave hats. So, essentially, everyone on Lookbook.
But this trend isn’t solely targeted toward the handful of people around the globe who are so sartorially gifted that they can belt a garbage bag and make it look good. If it’s in America Eagle, that means they expect enough fresh-faced, absurdly happy teenagers to buy this.
And buy it they will. My only hope is that, in 20 years when their children see their yearbook pictures, they laugh hysterically and ask why their mom was dressed like a farmer. Then the children will hop in their hovercrafts and fly to the virtual mall to hang out with their robot friends. Because it’s the future, and as a society, we’ve moved beyond overalls and Hammer pants. Granted, we’ll all be wearing pointy dresses, but I think that’s a small price to pay for getting to walk our dogs on floating treadmills.