For starters, who the hell invites members of the public into their shop by getting topless men to stand outside? I couldn't walk past without have a flyer and a nipple shoved in my face. Anyway, I take the damn flyer and enter the shop and immediately regret it. It's so dark I'm squinting like a backwards mole. The music is awful and loud. It's a shop designed for skinny people so there is no space to move between the french tourists and girls in tiny shorts hanging around waiting to be 'spotted'.
It's like The London Dungeon for hipsters.
Anyway as I wander around, bumping into stacks of £80 cardigans and stepping on the feet of pre-pubescent girls with more makeup on than I've ever owned, I notice the place is populated by pretty people. They just sort of loiter. Like handsome lampposts. The girls flip their hair and the boys flex their rippling muscles but they don't seem to be doing any actual working. We wait around for ages listening to some miserable frontman yowling on about love and his lack of it. I speculate as to how many members of staff have banged each other in the last week, month, year.
Then this tall blonde guy gets asked to go and do some work. My friend wants some flip flops in a larger size so he wanders off and gets a younger girl to run about finding said flip flops without messing up her hair. He comes back and mutters something about it not taking a long time. It takes a long time. Anyway, eventually we're all paid and done so we head to leave and on the way out we pass the blonde guy. As is custom in polite society I give him a smile of thanks and he returns the look with the expression that was the catalyst of my anger.
He just raises his eyebrows. That's it. Maybe a centimetre or so, but enough that he clearly expresses a look of disdain. Maybe second-hand embarrassment. He's thinking 'why is she in here?' I'm just glad I'm leaving. I push past the sea of nipples and into fresh, normal air.
Just so Hollister know for future reference - no, I will never buy anything from your shop and half naked men will not change that. Yes, like Bridget Jones, I will always be a little bit fat. No, I'm not going to change the way I dress because you want me to. I will wear comfy jeans if I'm wandering about London for a whole day. And finally, £80 is far too much to charge for a cardigan that quite frankly my grandma could have knitted.
So thank you for your custom, but no thank you. I think I'll choose to buy my clothes from a shop that doesn't make me feel inadequate. Cheers.