Over the past year, I have devoted more time and energy to Hot Topic than I have in my entire life. Clearly, reader Melissa Nemirovsky felt I hadn’t devoted enough brain cells to this former temple-of-darkness-turned-shrine-of-Bieber, because she was considerate enough to post this jumper on the fanpage.
Yes, jumper. And when I say “jumper,” I mean it in the traditional elementary school sense. Because nothing screams “counterculture” quite like elementary school uniforms.
Oh, and there’s a panda’s face on it. I should probably mention that little detail, because if I didn’t give you fair warning, you’d be caught completely offguard by the fact that the model’s chest can make eye contact.
Yes, you can Fight The Man by wearing a pinafore bearing the face of the most cuddly inbred racoons in all the land. Take a stand against cultural conventions with the only mammal too stupid to mate but apparently smart enough to don formal wear.
On a practical level, this dress is wildly unflattering. Despite what every fashion magazine in the world says, empire waists are not universally flattering. According to myth and legend, empire waists were designed to hide a woman’s pregnant stomach; in truth, I think empire waists were designed to hide a pregnant woman’s stomach by making everyone who wears an empire waist look pregnant.
Unless an empire waist is perfectly fitted, it’s hard not to look a little bit pregnant in an empire waist dress or top. As for this dress, I have a hunch that the dress is not perfectly fitted. Even if it were, the banded hem is going to make all the fabric billow out anyway in that always flattering manner reminiscent of when I was eight and I would pull my oversized sweatshirt down to my knees to make it look like a dress (don’t judge me, you did it too).
The site’s description claims it adds a “distinctly casual feel.” That’s one point I’m not going to argue with: there are few things more distinctly casual than wearing your “I’m PMSing and bloated” hoodie in public.
But most importantly, as I mentioned earlier, this dress has eyes. In fact, it has eyes, a nose, and a fancy little bowtie. All it’s missing is a little top hat and this panda will be ready for its front row tickets to a Justin Bieber concert.
Seriously, how did this polyester-blend abomination come to exist? Did the designer feel that a plain jumper needed a little je ne sais quoi in the form of strategically placed button eyes? Or did the designer looked around the Junior’s section of Macy*s one day and realize that there just weren’t enough superfluous panda faces on clothes?
Either way, how did no one at any point stop and ask themselves, “Is Gap Kids for Goth Teens really the direction we want to be taking our brand?”
Hot Topic Black and White Button Strap Panda Dress – $39.50 *Sold out because I take forever to post*