There are certain brands that have a very clear, definable ‘average customer’. Urban Outfitters is for hipsters. Cos is for sophisticated minimalists. Whistles is aimed at professional women who want to look subtly fashionable in the office. Missguided sells tight, sparkly ‘going out-out’ dresses to teenage girls.
But then there are other retailers whose customer base is a much broader church: who sell all kinds of clothes to all kinds of women. ASOS is a prime example of one of this demographic-spanning brands: browse their website, and you’ll find sensible duffel coats alongside vinyl one-shouldered mini dresses; office-appropriate tailored midi skirts next to Fila bodysuits. It’s easy to shop on ASOS as a twenty- or thirty-something woman and find plenty of things you want to buy – but it’s equally likely you’ll stumble upon something and think, ‘Christ, I’m getting old’.
This week’s ASOS Item Guaranteed To Make You Feel Old is a pair of jeans, and in many ways, they’re not that outrageous. From the front, they look totally normal: just a regular pair of cropped, straight-cut, high-waisted faded black wash jeans, retailing at a very reasonable £38.
From the back, however, they’re something else entirely. Brace yourselves:
It’s not entirely clear who is going to buy these jeans. Maybe women who’ve always wanted to experience the frisson of exhibitionism that builders must feel when bending over? Or those who have long lusted after Christina Aguilera’s Dirrty-era chaps, but haven’t felt quite able to go the whole hog? Back in the early years of the 21st century, it was the height of cool to have your thong string showing above the top of your low-rise jeans; maybe this is just another example that the Noughties are back.
Or maybe these jeans are just aimed at the Very Young, and you’re not supposed to understand. Because you’re past it. That’s also a possibility but, oddly, we’re OK with that.