The other day we visited a White Stuff clothes shop. I don’t know if all their shops are the same but the men’s section of this store was designed to look like the interior of an old workshop complete with an ancient, heavily scarred wooden workbench in the middle of the floor. It even had an old vice.
The walls were boarded with what appeared to be old planks and sections of antiquated wooden doors. Even many of the clothes seemed to be designed to evade any suggestion of pristine newness. The whole ambience was artfully designed to avoid a sense of shopping for new clothes.
The clothes tended towards subdued colours and some had a contrived appearance of having been worn before. Some would not have looked out of place on a Victorian labourer and no doubt that was contrived too.
The overall look of the place hinted at some kind of imaginary recycling as if to say I’m not really shopping, not really buying new clothes and not really a consumer even though the clothes were of course brand new. I didn’t buy anything.