It's been another weird week in retail. Asos released a crop top that leaves too little to the imagination, Will Smith made a cameo as a sales associate at Boots and shoppers have started buying clothes just to take photos in them.
This, and more, in this week's retail therapy.
Some like it small
In a move that has us wondering "why wear anything at all," Asos has released a crop top for men that looks like a poorly-made sports bra, especially considering it covers little besides the upper chest.
According to Teen Vogue, the "Reclaimed Vintage inspired extreme cropped vest in white" is selling for about $13, but only on the company's U.K. site, either because there's more demand for shrunken men's tank tops in the U.K. or because British consumers are more tolerant of bad products. Although, judging by the size of the Yeezy flip flops Kanye wore this week (to a wedding, might we add), the Asos man tank would likely be a hit in the fashion wasteland that the U.S. has become.
And really, why shouldn't men wear products that are way too small to cover their chests? Women have been dealing with too-small pockets for years — a fact that The Pudding called out in an expose on the oppressively small pockets women have been forced to put up with over the years, with Guess, Ralph Lauren and J. Crew in particular having, frankly, offensively small pockets.
For unclear reasons, it was decided that women either didn't carry enough products to need pockets, had smaller phones than men or elsewise would find the absence of pockets an attractive feature, because they are on average 48% shorter than men's and 6.5% narrower, according to the Pudding's report.
If, like us, you're wondering what difference this really makes, we'd like to call your attention to our favorite item that fits in just 10% of women's pockets: A woman's hand.
Will Smith sells consumers on sales associates
Celebrities often operate in a world apart from the rest of us, but all it takes is Ludacris showing up in your local Whole Foods to remind us that deep down, they like that overpriced granola just as much as we do.
Capital Xtra reported more proof that celebrities can be found in the most surprising places — namely, local retailers that they have little reason to be in — by reporting that actor Will Smith, showed up at a Boots store in London dressed as a sales associate to promote his son's water brand.
Aside from reaffirming that Boots is a relevant retailer, Smith's visit also goes a long way in calling out unsupportive dads everywhere. Not only did he travel to London for his son's product launch, and dress and act like a store associate while there, he also posted on Instagram about it, ensuring maximum hype around what, at the end of the day, is just a bottled water line.
Can all the dads who told their kids "I don't have time" or "I don't know how to use social media" please stand up?
The customer is definitely not always right
Sales associates are trained to believe that the customer is always right, but there are some cases where the customer is very obviously wrong, and we're not just talking about the gang of women that has been tormenting Lululemon by stealing thousands of dollars worth of yoga pants (though, admittedly, it is amusing to think about).
We're thinking more along the lines of shoppers buying clothes they have no intention of keeping solely "for the gram." According to an article by Quartzy, 9% of shoppers (a surprisingly high amount when you think about it), are buying clothes solely to take a picture of the look and post it to social media. They then take the clothes back to the store, because nothing says "you should emulate me" quite like giving retailers excess returns to deal with.
Surprisingly, this is not the only head-scratching trend that shoppers have gotten into lately. An article by The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted the shockingly popular market for "waist trainers" — corsets meant to slim down your waist, ostensibly by sucking the life out of your stomach. We can thank the Kardashians, role models that they are, for making these popular.
Still, there is hope. One consumer, at least, takes her health seriously, and wrote that her "insides felt crushed from the moment I put it on." And while everyone knows that retailers can sell sexy, it's pretty hard (for the meantime) to sell crushing pain.