Party outfits

G (in red) and R (in grey) in their new party outfits, striking a pose

Birthday badges proudly on display

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Tribe

If you’re a parent in your twenties or thirties and you have any kind of disposable income, you probably own a piece of Superdry clothing. I own two Superdry hoodies and two t-shirts and wear them constantly as a staple of my ‘pseudo with-it parent’ wardrobe. I bought dh a Superdry polo for his birthday and he wears it all the time. I abandoned ‘trends’ and ‘fashion’ long ago and I’m not normally one for designer labels, but Superdry stuff is cool.

As we wandered around Center Parcs I noticed that tons of parents of a similar age to us wearing Superdry clothing. It was almost a uniform. Anyone that didn’t feel part of the gang could go and buy a Superdry item from the on-site shops.

Trouble is I’m not sure that harassed parent is really the market that they chase. The Bluewater store is always full of teenage kids, pressuring their parents into buying hoodies with faux-Japanese/Americana slogans on them. Their advertising is full of wholesome yet sexy teens and early twentysomethings pouting moodily.

I pout moodily but I’m old and because I’m tired and fed-up of patiently explaining the same concept OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN and refereeing slanging matches between the girls: “YOU’RE NOT  MY BEST FRIEND!” “I’M NOT TALKING TO YOU” “Mummyyyyy G/R’s not talking to meeeee”.

Before we left on Friday afternoon I noticed a subtle change as lots of teenagers turned up wearing Hollister and Jack Wills stuff. I went in the Hollister shop In Bluewater once and thought I’d gone blind. Their shops are designed to look like surf shacks and are dark and moody. They spritz the clothes on display with a distinctive scent every so often. Unable to distinguish a t-shirt from a pair of pants in the gloom, I stumbled out and breathed in the comparatively fresh air of the Starbucks next door. Hollister has a queue outside at weekends and during school holidays and there isn’t even a sale on. Madness. I’m about fifteen years too old for Jack Wills and I don’t talk like a rah. A rah, you ask? What’s a rah? Go to South West London on any given Saturday afternoon and all you’ll hear is this: “RAH RAH RAH. YAH. RAH. YAH. RAH” and they ALL wear Jack Wills.

When the Superdry tribe was replaced with the Hollister/Jack Wills tribe, I knew it was time to go home.