Last week I went to the mall to find an outfit for an upcoming cat-related event, and I laughed at the embarrassment of riches. It used to be that finding a suitable feline-inspired fashion required visiting a boutique or ordering online, but today it’s as easy as going to Target.
Of course, the rise of cats on the Internet, and in the media in general, has paved the way for the cat-fashion explosion we are currently experiencing today. Just like the Internet Cat Video Festival encouraged fans to enjoy the wonders of watching cat videos together offline, cat fashionistas are now hungry to enjoy cat clothing in real life, too.
On my expedition, I visited stores like H&M, Forever 21, and Hot Topic, which were all stocked with fresh, affordable kitty clothing for fall. Whether you want to cozy up in a bewhiskered sweatshirt or pounce around in some shiny black cat leggings, chances are you’ll have no trouble finding what you’re looking for.
I was jumping for joy upon entering H&M and walking smack dab into this blue lady and her cool kitty sweatshirt. Until my happiness turned to gloom when I realized they were out of my size!
My disappointment was quickly assuaged, however, upon realizing that a cat sweatshirt was just the tip of the furry iceberg. H&M is also home to a clowder of cat-centric tees, dresses, and a cat-tastic skirt, which I’ll tell you more about in a bit. If there’s only one store you can make it to, this would be it.
Can cat-fashion lightening strike twice? Before I even stepped a pretty paw into Forever 21, shirts emblazoned with kitten heads were greeting me in the window, and a plastic lady with a panther top loomed over the entrance, immediately causing me to declare, “Cat fashion, let’s do this!”
Fans of the word “meow” will get their fix of tons of tees, and the four-letter sound also appears on a super cute necklace. I also came across domestic cat-inspired socks, shirts, and tank tops, and that’s not even counting the wild cat and Hello Kitty merch that’s also available in store.
Target, who is no stranger to cat fashion after making headlines for its kitty-infused collection by designer Jason Wu in 2012, is always a reliable choice for trendy, fast fashion on a budget. While I was there over the weekend in search of a cat sweatshirt one of my friends had tipped me off about, I came across this delightfully quirky kitten sweater under the Xhiliration brand.
The pop art inspired piece looks ravishing in red and is guaranteed to get people meowing. Admittedly, I’m not really into the romance of it all, but I can definitely see wearing it as a fun Valentine’s Day look.
4. Cat Skirt from H&M (not available online)
One thing about shopping at malls, as opposed to online, is that you have to pray to the retail gods that your item is still in stock (in your size!) once you get to the store.
This fab kitty skirt, which reminds me of the stamped kitty prints of designer Leah Reena Goren, was just one of several items I found at H&M featuring the simple yet chic cat silhouette pattern (there was also a gauzy T-shirt and a black dress covered in white cat heads). Sure, snagging it might not be as easy as entering a few quick keystrokes online, but take that as an excuse to hit the mall in search of even more hidden cat fashion treasure.
Somehow, in between band shirts and Adventure Time merch, Hot Topic has become the unofficial mall headquarters of Internet cat culture. In addition to hipster cat totes and wallets, I also came across Taco Cat headphones, a black cat dress, and Grumpy Cat and Keyboard Cat T-shirts.
My favorite find, however, was some very cool cat leggings — long popular online, but slow to arrive in stores. In addition to a galactic kitty print, this black cat design with a cute kitty face right on the crotch is the stuff that cat lady dreams are made of.
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