I follow Noelle Floyd on Instagram and Facebook. I’ve always appreciated the articles, and their design choices have been appealing. When a new shirt from them popped up on my feed, stylized by Instagrammer Milton Menasco, I went over to Noelle Floyd to take a closer look, and it hit me then. It is literally a plain white t-shirt, and it costs $48.
Why is it $48? Is it a fancy tech fabric? No, it’s 100% cotton. But it has some kind of feature that makes it unique? No, it’s literally a white crew neck t-shirt. Oh, but it does have the words “Barn Babe” written on it in tiny letters. It’s a symbol of empowerment. Because by buying this shirt, you are contributing to the empowerment of its creators, I mean, shit, the empowerment of women! Yeah, women will be empowered by buying this shirt and watching the considerable markup go to
women’s charity NF and associates.
I feel like it could be said that I am not being a “barn babe,” because I am not supporting the women who made this shirt. Well, frankly, it feels like a slap in the face to project such comradery and expect women to spend such a large amount of money on such a basic article of clothing under the guise of empowerment. And that’s before even getting into how inappropriate a white t-shirt is for the barn. It’s basically a one time use because once a horse touches you, you will be stained forever. Maybe they are targeting the demographic of horse lovers who have no plans to ever get near a horse.
This might be a controversial stance to take, but I am against buying crap I don’t need. I don’t like accumulating stuff in my house, and I don’t like stuff in my barn either. I’m not a shopping addict, and I’m not a tack ho. I get offers all the time to review products on my blog, but I rarely take them up because it’s uncomfortable to write about things that I wouldn’t have bought myself, let alone encourage others to purchase things they may not need. I am in support of quality products, that last a long time and provide good value, and if I do a review, it will be with that in mind. A $48 plain white t-shirt is exactly one of the things that make me cringe.
When I first saw this shirt on Instagram, I couldn’t believe how many people were excited over it. Are there really that many people that want to spend over 5x what a white t-shirt costs because it has the words “Barn Babe” embroidered on it? The marketing is highly stylized and sleek, but it’s literally a white t-shirt. Staring at the comments, it felt like an emperor’s new clothes situation, and I commented as such. I did get a reply that someone else said something similar and it was deleted, so it’s possible others are finding this absurd, but all the comments are being deleted.
Maybe I am the odd one out for finding this ridiculous. Maybe there really are a bunch of people willing to spend nearly $50 on a complete basic. I guess time will tell if this marketing campaign is successful. But it’s turned me off of NF and the designer that I hadn’t heard of before this collaboration (might have been a future customer, but not now). But if you want to learn how to style a basic white t-shirt (retail price $5-$10), Milton Menasco has some pretty good ideas!