I think there's an American Apparel in every city on the planet, and I'm pretty sure basically every one of you has wandered into one. It's a great store for basics, but there's a lot of stuff there no one ever needs to buy. Yes, the shiny fabrics and bright colors can be alluring, but if you aren't aware of what products are well-made and worth buying, you can end up spending $200 on metallic lurex tights that you will wear once and then never even think about again.
Do not buy: Regular V-Necks, Shiny Leggings, Summer Shirts, Swim Suits. Why? Because the "Unisex Sheer Jersey Short Sleeve Deep V-necks" shrink in about 30 seconds. Seriously, they're cute for a week, and suddenly they're baby-sized and pilly. Stick with Hanes instead. Plus half the v-necks are off center, which just looks funny. The Shiny Leggings are seriously overpriced ($42!?!) and will not pay for themselves. Think about all the times you will wear REFLECTIVE leggings. IT'S NOT WORTH IT. Trust me, I know. My silver ones are gathering dust somewhere in the back of my closet. As for the Summer Shirts, they are transparent. Every single color is transparent and whisper thin. These t-shirts are useless. Unless, of course, you like practically non-existent tees, in which case these are for you. Finally, the Swim Suits. No. Just no. First off, they aren't lined (um, hello, BIG problem) and second off, these run so small it's practically a felony. I wear a size four and I'm like an XXL and that's still too small. I'll stick with J. Crew, thank you.
Despite all of those dudes, American Apparel does have some stuff worth getting.
Unisex Tri-Blend Short Sleeve Deep V-Neck shirt, $22 at americanapparelstore.com. This is definitely a v-neck worth getting. It's just deep enough to be sexy, but just slightly oversized enough to not be skanky. Plus, I've had mine for almost six months and the jersey is still nice and soft, not shrunken and pilly. For all the wear you get out of these basic v-necks, $22 is a small price to pay.
Unisex Flex Fleece Zip Hoodie, $42 at americanapparelstore.com. I have two of these. Love. THese are the perfect basic hoodies. They fit perfectly, they go with everything, they're really warm and fuzzy, and they come in 3252359850 colors. Buy, buy, buy.
Unisex Solid Rib Oversized Pocket Cardigan, $42 at americanapparelstore.com. This is actually a pretty decent cardigan for American Apparel. It's thick and slightly oversized (go down a size if you don't want it to hang over your booty), and it's extremely versatile. I love the big buttons! So cute.
Cotton Spandex Jersey Legging, $26 at americanapparelstore.com
I'm not the world's biggest fan of leggings, but occasionally they work (especially for layering with your school uniform). These are expensive for leggings, but they last. The spandex keeps them from getting baggy at the knees (that's the worst!) and also makes them very comfy. Just make sure that you try them on in the store, because I have smalls in different colors, and they're all different sizes. Some colors run much smaller than others, which is typical for AA. :(
Melange Jersey Pocket Skirt, $30 at americanapparelstore.com. Yes, everyone owns this skirt. But everyone owns it because it's cute. You can wear it at the natural waist or down on your hips, the pockets are super practical, and it's the perfect length. It's a decent price for a versatile skirt, so you can get it in a bunch of colors.
Interlock Mini Skirt, $ at americanapparelstore.com. I never expected this skirt to be so versatile. I bought it for going out because I thought it would look way too skanky to wear during the day, but with the right outfit it's actually kind of adorable. This is probably the most basic bottom ever, and it's surprisingly long, so it doesn't have to be worn as a micro-mini. And again, it's spandex, so it doesn't stretch out or get baggy, which is always a plus.
Deep V-neck: americanapparelstore.com
Pocket Skirt: americanapparelstore.com
Mini Skirt: americanapparelstore.com