We know tween girl clothes aren’t sexy; we also think pre-tween clothes shouldn’t be promiscuous.
If you’re concerned about your RFID-chipped credit cards being skimmed, you might want to consider shielding them. DIFRwear makes a wallet with the shielding already included, and now roguewallet in Maine has introduced its own RFID-shielded version, with a fin-shaped design so it fits better in your front pocket to thwart pickpockets. Unfortunately, it’s also $50, compared to $20 for the more conventional looking DIFRwear hip-pocket design. (Both are FIPS 201 compliant, if that means anything to you.)
J. Crew has a problem with their website. Whatever the problem is, it isn’t small. Meet Per, a J. Crew customer who tried to order some polo shirts and not only did he get the wrong shirts, the bill came with a shipping charge of $9,208.50. Per would like to return these shirts and not pay $9,208.50 in shipping, but he can’t manage to log on to J. Crew’s website.
A dozen readers (and probably a couple of PR flacks) must have forwarded us J.Crew’s email today, in which the CEO and president of the company extend a mutual apology for the non-workingness of their “enhanced” website and call center. Oddly, the email simply asks customers to “bear with us” but doesn’t offer any discount or sale. Well, maybe they figured driving more traffic to a broken site would only make things worse.
Last week, news broke that a sweatshop in Queens, NYC was producing clothing for several large U.S. retailers, while overworking its mainly Chinese immigrant employees and cheating them out of wages. At the time, Macy’s announced it was cooperating with New York’s Department of Labor and investigating the matter internally. Now the company has confirmed that it never did business with the sweatshop—in fact, it investigated it twice in 2007 while evaluating potential suppliers and rejected it for shoddy record keeping. Use your crazy Macy’s coupons all you want, readers.
Sweatshop In Queens Produced Clothes For Macy's, the Gap, Banana Republic, Urban Apparel, and Victoria's Secret
New York state labor officials are bringing one of their largest cases ever against Jin Shun, a clothing factory in Queens, New York that employed Chinese immigrants. Inspectors say the company
- cheated its workers out of more than $5 million in pay;
- instructed workers to lie to state inspectors;
- required 6 and 7-day workweeks, sometimes for up to 120 days at a time;
- didn’t pay overtime or minimum wage;
- kept two sets of timecards to fake-out inspectors.
Macy’s says they’re “very concerned” about the case and are investigating it, the Gap says they’re cooperating with authorities, and Victoria’s Secret says they have a “zero tolerance policy” for factories that are unwilling to work with them to achieve compliance—all of which makes us wonder whether any of these companies ever investigated the factory personally. (It’s not like it was in some remote part of China.)
Kimberly, a frequent J.Crew online customer, placed an order on June 30th for five items from their newly revamped website. In the past, writes Kim, “it usually takes 2 days at the latest for me to receive any shipment that is not backordered.” This time it’s been 2 weeks, and not only has nothing arrived, but the UPS tracking number they’ve assigned her order is invalid (it doesn’t even follow the UPS numbering style). The unhelpful J.Crew customer service rep told Kim that they had her correct address and to wait 10 days before calling back. In the meantime, one of the items has already been returned and refunded to Kim’s credit card—although about $200 worth of merchandise has still been shipped to some as yet undiscovered location.
Steve & Barry’s, the super cheap clothing store that’s like H&M with all the Euro-DNA removed, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Analysts say it has to do with declining credit markets throwing it into a liquidity crisis, higher commodities and fuel prices, and oh yeah, razor-thin margins on those $9 sneakers. [Marketwatch]
Reader Jillian thought she was keeping an eye on her three-week-old son, Benjamin, but apparently, he managed to sneak away and sign up for a Brooks Brothers catalog. As Jillian explains, “either I have a very preppie prodigy on my hands, or his name is already on a mailing list.”
Michael wrote in to point out that CNN has a weird new feature on its site—now you can proudly display your favorite, uh, headlines(?) on your body with their “CNN Shirt” service. It’s beta, naturally, and they pick the headlines you can choose from—so no “What drove dad who kept ‘house of horror’?” tee to shame your parents during the next family holiday. (That’s the current top headline on their home page.)
I wanted to praise an online company that I happened to order custom printed apparel from. Spreadshirt Inc.or spreadshirt.com is one of many online services that customize shirts for a low price. I have used many of these sites because I graphic design on the side and enjoy putting some of my work on the clothes I wear. I want to let you know of the numerous sites I have used Spreadshirt has shown the greatest consideration of their customers. I made a mistake of getting one of my designs in a “silver” flex print which really ended up being a glittery reflective print. It made my fraternity letters look, lets say less manly. It was at my bad judgment but they were more than willing to redo it for me at no charge. I called them and left a message the night before and I am happy they were willing to call me back the next day. Hopefully, someone would recognize this great company too.
Nice work Spreadshirt! As for Alvin, we think his frat’s pledge class would look just fab in the original sweatshirts.
Last Thursday, a 400-pound man in his early thirties was confronted at a Macy’s in Oakland, California, and accused of shoplifting a hat from the men’s department. According to CBS News in San Francisco, “Security officers at the mall then attempted to arrest and detain Gomes, who allegedly resisted and assaulted security personnel, according to police.” The police were called, but on their way to the mall they received a follow-up report that the man had become unresponsive. He died later that evening at a hospital.
The Humane Society has just released the results from another round of tests on fur-trimmed products from national U.S. retailers, and in four cases they found that the advertised “raccoon” fur was actually “raccoon dog,” a canine indigenous to Asia. This is one case where the FTC is squarely to blame for creating the problem in the first place, because in 1951 they decided that trade trumps scientific classification and declared “that this animal should be referred to as ‘Asiatic raccoon’ in advertising and labeling.”
Would You Take Your (Really Hot) Kid To The Abercrombie & Fitch Emergency Department And Trauma Center?
The once-popular—surely it isn’t still?—teenaged sexpot clothing store Abercrombie & Fitch is shelling out $10 million to build a new emergency room and trauma center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Now a group is speaking out against the idea of prominently naming the kids’ ER after the store, which the hospital has been hinting at in announcements. The reason the hospital is called “Nationwide Children’s Hospital” is because Nationwide Insurance gave it $50 million. Up next: the Budweiser End Zone Birthing Center, and then the American Apparel Teenaged Pregnancy Wing.
If there’s one thing this writer has learned over the years, it’s to never tell a woman to get breast reduction surgery. It’s rude, insulting, and can quite possibly get you kneed in the groin, slapped, pushed into a train, cut out of the will, and so on. But apparently the salesperson at Penningtons—sort of a Canadian Lane Bryant—didn’t get that memo. “North of 49″ writes:
I’m a woman of “ample girth” but still have a figure. At 226lbs, I have a 38J cup. We’re getting married on leap day and I have had issues with bra shopping before. So I went to “Penningtons,” an above average store that should have had bras in my size. They didn’t.
Clint at Seattlest went shopping for a suit for his wedding. The wedding isn’t until August, but he and his beyonce just wanted to see what Men’s Wearhouse had to offer. Mostly, they had to offer a really rude sales clerk who told them to get out of her store and come back in the summer when they were ready to shop.
Mastercard reported on Sunday that, after a slight bump around Black Friday, sales of women’s clothing has dropped again, down 6% even while sales of men’s clothing has gone up 4.5%. They think it has to do with an overall weak year for women’s fashion, and the fact that mothers tend to cut back on new clothes for themselves first when faced with a tighter budget. The silver lining: there may be considerable discounts at women’s clothing retailers in the immediate future as they try to bump up sales at the last minute.