Thursday, October 18, 2007

Obligatory College Bookstore Entry

Okay, so I'm obviously not getting paid (enough) to plug this sort of stuff... but after six months of working at our college bookstore, I found myself drooling over some of the new jackets that came in from Jansport. Yes, the backpack people. It's too bad that they don't have examples of their clothes on their website, though, because some of the logo hoodies and jackets we've received are at once lightweight and sporty - just the way we like 'em when we need something to throw on for coverage when we're sitting in the air-conditioned classrooms. And we're not even talking baggy, shapeless hoodies here - the JanSport women's jackets I've seen on our racks are cut close to the body, and even come in cropped, motorcycle-inspired styles.

See this Nike Women's Max Relax jacket? It's on sale for $39.99 - almost as much as you'd pay for a similar Jansport style at our store. I don't know if you feel one way or another about school spirit, but I'm still biased towards the Jansport ones because (in my not-humble opinion) I think it's made of sturdier material, and the tailoring is excellent. Plus we have this hoodie in colors other than baby pink or blaring fucshia, too!

The only complaint I can lodge against Jansport, however, is reserved for their lightweight women's tees, and especially the ones that come in junior sizes, which are made of tissue-thin material. Easy to pack? Yes. Easy to layer? Definitely. But enough to cover your modesty on their own, even with the best bra in the world underneath? I have my doubts. Also, I've gone on the record in this blog about being against the fake-layered look, so imagine my horror when I saw what I basically call the Frankenshirt: a regular lightweight T-shirt with longer, contrasting sleeves stitched under the seams, to create the look of layering a shorter tee over a longer tee. Ew! It's no wonder the Frankenshirt is one of our slow movers at the store; we're just waiting for somebody to buy out our stock of those shirts so we could put the newer, cuter tees on the hangers.

Anyway, Jansport still continues to turn out great backpacks and messenger bags (and here I'm definitely biased in a non-bookstore employee way, after slogging through the '90s era of overpriced yet not-sturdy-enough nylon packs - Eastpak, I am looking at you), and even their rolling bags have the right mix of function and whimsy - seriously, I've seen folks from university admin going all "ooh" and "ahhh" over the Hawaiian and fake-Pucci prints on some of the rollies. It's not Prada or Tumi by any means, but if you're going to spend a reasonable amount of money on luggage anyway, Jansport is a pretty good investment.

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