Sarcastic Saturday :: an observation about retail.

26 Apr

Sometimes I get customers asking me if the store I work in carries a particular item, or style of item.  Certain types of bathing suits, maternity clothes, certain cuts or colors of jeans, etcetera.  Sometimes I have to tell them no, and that makes me feel very bad, as if I personally am responsible for the fact that the brand doesn’t make those things (it’s silly, but I’m a newbie, I’m still getting used to this).

I think the saddest conversation I’ve ever had, though, was last week.  We get a lot of international customers, and this woman was that; she pointed to the rack with the guys’ t-shirts featuring pictures of superhero logos, characters from a certain popular sci-fi film franchise, and classic rock stars and asked me, “Are these men’s shirts?”

“Sure are,” I agreed.

Her follow-up?  “Where are the women’s?”  The women’s t-shirts with such things on them.

“We don’t have any,” I had to admit.

And that’s something I observed on my first day working in the store.  Men (and boys, the same applies in the boys’ department) have many different varieties of pop-culture-referential apparel to buy.  Little boys can even buy superhero pajamas.  The only graphic you’re going to find in women’s is the store logo; in girls’ at least you occasionally get cartoon drawings of girls with overlarge heads or anthropomorphized fruit wearing sunglasses.  (No, I don’t know why.)

“Well, the men’s shirts are really more unisex,” one of my people said when I mentioned this to him.

Except, not really.  I mean, they can be, but — that’s not the point.  It’s like this store — and most stores, because outside of conventions and websites about the only place I ever see specifically woman-cut pop culture shirts (girls occasionally get pop stars or some such, so right now I’m talking woman-cut specifically) is Hot Topic, and even then there are more guys’ shirts by far — seems to think that women don’t want to wear a giant superhero logo on their chest.  They don’t give them the option.

And yeah, you can buy men’s shirts, “unisex” shirts, and lots of girls do and that’s totally okay.  But for some of us, a man’s shirt isn’t really an option unless we feel like doing a bit of DIY so it doesn’t hang off of us because of the differences in how it’s shaped and how we’re shaped.  And anyway, the point is not that.  The point is that we should have options presented to us.

And in terms of kids’ clothes?  Y’know, occasionally a girl might like a dinosaur or an athlete on her shirt.  Occasionally she might be into clothes that weren’t pastel-colored.  Again, options.  This goes for every store.

–your fangirl heroine.

uhm

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2 Responses to “Sarcastic Saturday :: an observation about retail.”

  1. Betsy Kersey April 2014 at 7:46 am #

    Amen.

  2. Kayla July 2014 at 8:29 am #

    Yes. All the yes to this.

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