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Desert Companion

Shop: H&M and you

You may have been at the grand opening of the world's largest H&M at the Forum Shops at Caesars Dec. 11. If so - and if you're - a dude you're likely (a) trim, (b) Asian, (c) sharply dressed, (d) 15 years old, (e) were singing along to the store's VERY LOUD MUSIC, or (f) all of the above. If you were there and not (a)-(g) then you were thinking you're too old to be in there.

You're not. Fast-fashion Swedish conglomerate H&M has a great deal to offer anyone interested in looking good, though there are a couple of general rules to keep in mind, essential where high-end design meets lowest-bidder workmanship.

Rule 1: Do not buy an outfit. H&M makes fun jackets, and beautifully fitted dress shirts, and some pretty wonderful scarves - resist at least one, or risk looking like a refugee from an '80s post-apocalyptic movie.

Rule2: Avoid black. Nothing wrong with black, but H&M black looks pale and cheap after the first or second wash, and even when brand new it tends to lack a certain necessary saturation.

Rule 3: Avoid shoes. They're cheaply constructed, so unless you're in the market for espadrilles, you're better off spending the $200-plus minimum that decent footwear requires.

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Rule 4: (a) Try everything on, (b) inspect all stitching. H&M favors the slim, though their range is decent. Try stuff on, then inspect for loose threads. Find your size again, re-inspect. Eventually, you'll find a shirt or a jacket that won't come apart.

Of course, if you are 15, and if you were at the grand opening, disregard. Because your awesomeness is not to be denied. All of you young kids had curious hair in the best of ways, and some of you were the last great hurrah of the faux-hawk - this last great phalanx of undeniable fierceness. You may one day regret some of your style choices. You shouldn't. You look awesome.