Can you think of a style of clothing that has never been seen before? I think I just thought of one: short sleeve hoodies. Not that I wanted to think of this, but sometimes necessity is the mother of invention.
Uniqlo is the Ikea of clothing, and I don't mean that as a compliment. I know a lot of people out there like Ikea. I don't. Their stuff looks good enough in the catalog, but anything I've ever bought there looks like cheap junk when I get it home.
Uniqlo is Japan's leading retail chain. They have a flagship store in SoHo. It's a fun store to walk around, and their clothes are cheap. Child labor cheap. Forced prison labor cheap.
Granted, this is New York, where you can get a "I ♥ NYC" t-shirt on the street for $2. But to see a new t-shirt for sale for $8 in a store whose name didn't include numerous ¢ symbols and whose wares would likely result in a bed bug infestation were they to be brought into your home was shocking.
A couple of years ago I bought a shirt from Uniqlo. It was $10. I still have the shirt. It's a great shirt to wear while bike riding in really hot weather. It's made out of some kind of fabric that dries quickly. It's lightweight and lets the breeze through. It's like a poor man's cycling jersey.
This past Christmas I returned to Uniqlo in hopes of finding more of those shirts. Unfortunately, those are no longer available. Fashion has moved on. But my office is freezing pretty much year-round and I needed a new hoodie to keep myself warm when I venture away from my desk and the comfort of the space heater I keep at my feet at all times. I spotted some at Uniqlo, so I bought one.
My first mistake was buying it at all. It cost $30. I went into the store promising myself that I wouldn't buy anything costing more than $20. In my own defense, shopping just before Christmas isn't a very enjoyable experience. I needed a hoodie and I didn't want to shop around.
My second mistake was not taking it back after I tried it on. I didn't try it on until I got home. Then I realized the zipper was on the left side instead of the right side. When I told Kelley this she immediately accused me of wearing women's clothes. I didn't care about that. Besides, I had already convinced myself that, in Japan, they must zip their clothes from the left. After all, they drive on the left, right?
I should have returned it because it is doesn't feel right to zip from the left. On the other hand, I feel that it has improved my dexterity a bit.
My third mistake was wearing it more than one time. I'd have been better off wearing it once and then losing it, because the elbow almost instantly wore out.
But, had I bought a quality hoodie, I never would have been inspired to create the short sleeve hoodie.