I went to college once. A good one
, actually. It was expensive. Even with a ton of financial aid and three jobs, I still accumulated an unhealthy amount of credit card debt just to get by. My sophomore year, I went on a road trip to New Orleans for spring break with about $170 to my name, which I got by canceling my meal plan and cashing the refund check. My meals for the rest of the semester consisted of ramen noodles
, meatballs, and Easter cookies that my roommate's parents sent him.
I couldn't help but remember experiences such as this as I read an article by reporter Erin Killian from this week's Washington Business Journal
titled "Georgetown Cheers Arrival of Polo's New Rugby Store." Although the actual article inexplicably is not posted online, here are a few choice excerpts (interspersed with my running commentary):"Georgetown has snagged another national retailer, and this one's bringing just what the kids in the neighborhood need: More rugby shirts."
Now, I don't know if Killian is being tongue-in-cheek here. If she is, kudos to her for getting this thinly-veiled swipe at the fashion "sensibilities" of Georgetown students past her editor. If not, we're in for some fun..."Rugby, a new concept from Polo Ralph Lauren targeting 18- to 25-year-olds, has leased 7,000 square feet at 1065 Wisconsin Ave. NW, just below M Street.The store sells $68 rugby shirts - 17 styles for men and six for women, with custom patches that cutomers can add."
Whoa. $68?!? For a shirt that, if interpreted literally, should be worn while running around and kicking an oblong ball in the mud
? Seems a bit steep - especially for a product targeted at typical college kids. Maybe these shirts aren't
targeted at typical college kids after all. I always considered myself a typical college student, and I was forced to adopt a life of petty crime simply to feed myself in college."The other locations are in Charlottesville, Va.; Chapel Hill, N.C.; Boston; New York City; and New Canaan, Conn."
Ok, not surprised at all
by those other locations. Also, it's worth noting Killian's arbitrary treatment of state abbreviations - Virginia is "Va" rather than "V.A.," North Carolina is "N.C." rather than "Nc," and Connecticut is "Conn." rather than "C.T." or "Ct." This vexes me. I'm terribly vexed."Rugby shirts join other typical collegiate duds, such as corduroy trousers, crew-neck sweaters, tweed jackets, toggle coats and puffy vests."
Now I'm getting angry. First of all, this isn't even a complete sentence. Where, precisely, are the rugby shirts joining the other collegiate duds? Is there some big clothing party for which the rugby shirts are running late? "Hey tweed jacket, it's rugby shirt. I'm running a little late - I'll just join you guys at the party later. It's at Smith Point
Second, I'd like to take issue with Killian's assertion that "corduroy trousers, crew-neck sweaters, tweed jackets, toggle coats and puffy vests" qualify as "typical collegiate duds." To test my theory that such "duds" are not "typical," I turned to the junior analyst here at my office, who happens to be a recent college grad and thus an expert in collegiate duds. To protect his identity (and because he's Mexican), we'll call him Hector. Here's the transcript of our lunchtime instant messenger chat:
Me: "Ok, for the record, where did you go to school?"
Hector: "Johns Hopkins"
Me: "How often did you wear corduroy trousers?"
Hector: "Never. Maybe once."
Me: "Ok, um, how about tweed jackets?"
Me: "Puffy vests?"
Hector: "As in insulated vests? Like North Face?"
Me: "I don't know, I never wore puffy vests either."
Hector: "Girls wear those. And douchebags."
Me: "Oh. Well what did you wear then?"
Hector: "Jeans and a shirt."
There you have it. I know my sample size (n=1) indicates that much more research is needed. But a preliminary interpretation of the results confirms my a priori expectation: that jeans and shirts are typical collegiate duds, while courduroy trousers, crew-neck sweaters, tweed jackets, toggle coats and puffy vests are typical duds for "girls and douchebags." Ms. Killian, some advice: next time you write an article, make sure it's thoroughly researched.
Just a few lingering thoughts on this subject:
- The new Polo Rugby store is taking the space on Wisconsin avenue where Houston's restaurant used to be. I was quite fond of Houston's, which closed for no apparent reason 5 years ago.
- Another priceless quote from the article: "For Polo to go below M Street is a big deal, and it plays off of Patagonia very well." Yep, I think that about sums it up.
- The new Three 6 Mafia song made me briefly reconsider my stance on popping one's collar. But with all due respect to Three 6 Mafia, I still think it's completely unacceptable.