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Polos for Dummies

I don’t clothes shop very often, but once in a while I’ll check the Old Navy to see what they’ve got. I always head directly for the 50% Off racks, of course. What did I find? Lots of shirts in bright, traffic safety cone orange. Old Navy has a longstanding, strange attraction to orange clothing, a color that only looks good on dark-skinned blacks. I also saw racks of striped cotton polos in odd shades of brown, yellow, orange (again!) and blue. It looked like my wardrobe from 1982. The shirts have been silk screened or embroidered with kitsch imagery from that period: wild horses, sunsets, birds, sporty numbers and inscrutable words. One might think that Old Navy has an insiduous plan to turn America into a nation of Junior High chess geeks, but I can kind of see what they were going after. For kids in their 20s, this is the visual equivalent of comfort food. They wear it with irony, but secretly cherish the goofiness of stuff they couldn’t properly appreciate as infants.

P.S. I didn’t leave Old Navy empty handed that day, having purchased a comfy bright yellow tee with blue accent stitching (very Greg Brady) and one of those darn cotton polos: a plain powder blue number with flying birds on the back.

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