My new shirt was burgundy with a small, white geometric pattern, enamel buttons, selvage tape on the chest pocket, and a small government issue-style patch on the shirttail. I knew–if nothing else–my colleague Sandra Nygaard, Men’s Health fashion director, would be all over it. She’s always down for vintage patterns and bold colors.
“Hey Boye,” she said when I walked in the office. And right on cue: “Love the shirt!”
“It’s Adam Levine Collection for Kmart,” I said. We quickly wiped the coffee from her computer screen, as she stared at the shirt and said, “WTF?”
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Thus began my day of stopping people in their tracks–from meetings with designers to an editorial meeting with the MH style team. I loved to see the look on people’s faces when I said the words, “Adam Levine for Kmart.”
Why such shock? Most people in the fashion business would never cop to shopping for clothes at Kmart. And to be totally honest, I’ve been pretty vocal about Adam–The Voice coach who twice-appeared on the cover of Men’s Health magazine–not topping my “favorite cover subjects we’ve worked with” list.
And it wasn’t like I was actively looking to shop Adam. I was at Kmart to get heavy-duty garbage bags, car wash supplies, and a weed whacker, but I walked out with some inexpensive and stylish summer shirts for under $20 each.
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I was surprised by how completely wearable the clothes are–especially the shirts and sweats. The styles are current, the details that usually separate expensive from cheap were there, and the fit was on point. I’ve paid $100 for shirts I like much less than Adam’s.
Hey, for $9.99 to $19.99, I’m willing to let bygones be bygones and rock Adam Levine until he, er, they, fall apart.
Brian Boye is the Executive Fashion Director of Men’s Health. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @BrianBoye