Urban Outfitters

My friend Sam was once lured into a job interview with a multinational tech company on the promise of partaking in Project S.N.O.W. It sounds pretty awesome, right? Very James Bond/hijinks on ice/save the President’s daughter from a dastardly albino weapons-dealer. Only after he’d sat through 4 hours of psychological screening and aptitude tests did Sam find out that Project S.N.O.W. was in fact code for being shafted to the back office, behind the whirring screen of paper shredders…and being assigned Stuff No-One Wants.

I couldn’t help but recall this acronym when I went Christmas shopping in London yesterday and found myself in Urban Outfitters. Having heard so much about the store, my anticipation levels were high, but I quickly came to the conclusion that U.O. (actually, any store that has a ‘gift section’ or purports to sell ‘stocking fillers’ alongside ‘directional’ clothing) is one giant heap of S.N.O.W.

I present to you (with all the gravitas of a prosecutor played by Peter Gallagher) the damning evidence:


Nutella 30 Best Recipes book £8.99

This is one of the daftest recipe books I’ve ever seen. At least those ‘How to Boil an Egg’ books can provide some instruction to wayward college students. This is 64 pages of ‘frost carby thing with Nutella’ and ‘add Nutella to any sweet already-existent recipe’  which anyone with a liking for the choco-hazelnut spread will do already. Can someone give me a 90s ‘no duh’ or ‘thank you Captain Obvious’?

18dec2 Cats Disposable Camera £15.00

At least places like Poundland and Tiger have the decency to sell their S.N.O.W. cheaply (aside: does anyone else think it’s a shame that the Danish junk shop, Frosty Flakes and the Singaporean budget airline are undermining the good name of this majestic feline? So much for Charismatic Megafauna). And not only is £15.00 ridiculously overpriced for a disposable camera (you get 24 shots, half of which will inevitably end up being your thumb…with whiskers), but the cat-imprint function is completely redundant. I literally have only 4 downloaded apps on my iPhone, but CatPaint is one of them.


This was free. I created it in 2 seconds, and didn’t have to hunt down a PhotoHut. Hehe double whiskers. So meta.


Urban Renewal Vintage Remnants Metallic Dress in Silver £45.00

Their clothing doesn’t fare much better. After being blinded by a hideous House of Holland jacket (the varsity version of the already-haikued lipstick coat…on sale for a cool £300) I stumbled into this dress. As I was disentangling myself, a sales girl popped up and asked, ‘Christmas party to go to?’ I’m still trying to work out what kind of Christmas party this could possibly be appropriate for. A dumpster diving Xmas soiree? Also…who this dress could possibly be appropriate for, as there sure isn’t much fabric (given its alfoil quality, not sure if that’s a good or bad thing…). Toddlers? Shameless Christmas turkeys?

And the smoking gun:


Veda Leather Pixie Dress in Pink £300 (down from £440)

Leather slip dress or bolster cushion slip-cover?

Urban Outfitters, you make me so grumpy. Luckily I have Home Alone 2 lined up on Netflix so can go indulge in some feel-good Christmas fun. I plan to watch, re-watch and then maybe watch again the scene where Kevin is likening the Bird Lady’s heart to a pair of ice-skates which should be taken out of the box. I will marvel at the wisdom and eloquence of one so young, feel infinitely better about the world, and forget your ridiculousness.

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