Longform.com “Best Of” Lists

Post 3 things that made the essay you read interesting, noteworthy, or valuable. What about the essay do you think users of Longform appreciated so much?

The essay I chose to read was Molly Young’s “Sweatpants in Paradise”.

  1. I liked how the author introduced her article. Instead of giving us the dry definition of immersive retail, she gave us another way to think about how we can get immersed in things and loose all sense of time and space- swimming, fighting, experiencing a migraine, having sex, shopping. She brings up the “shopping wormhole” and how we can feel disoriented while stepping outside after spending a few hours at the mall. 
  2. It is noteworthy how the author brings up a topic by weaving in a personal situation. She discusses her own experience at Hollister while pointing out the selling strategy of the store- to connect specific sounds, smells, visuals, and textures to the brand name. She talks about very specific aspects of Hollister and how they all contribute to immersive retail.  She saw that the store was dimly lit, there were fog machines and potted plans, half naked models, and generic “cool” music playing at 80-85 decibels.
  3. It was interesting for me to learn that there is no relation between the Californian town named Hollister and the brand named Hollister. There is also no relation to the year they put on their tags, 1922. Hollister was started up in 2000.


I believe the users of Longform appreciated this essay because it presents a dry and well known topic in a new light. Instead of telling us what immersive retail is, she first talks about the overall shopping experience. Then she discusses the reason behind buying such items- to fit in. She talks about how people portray a certain persona, which is dependent on what they wear. Young is able to connect Hollister, high school fashion, weed, and an interactive science exhibit in a way that make sense and is interesting to the reader.


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