Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Dressing Up My Boyfriend As Marc Anthony In His Terrible Kohl's Clothes

When I read last fall that Marc and J.Lo were designing clothing line at Kohl’s, I thought, well, now they can’t break up. Who else besides each other could they really expect to weather the shame? I mean, J.Lo is an international superstar. Marc Anthony is a gross international superstar. Kohl’s is the place that everyone thinks is Mervyns and already closed.

To refer to this particular Sacramento-area Kohl’s store as “open” is an overstatement. The place is humid with recession and whatever it is that keeps fabric from rotting in storage containers. At 1 p.m. on a Sunday, the only people around seemed mostly up to no good, like the two teenage girls holding Vera Wang for Kohl’s earrings up to their nipples. Moving towards the men’s department, I saw two mothers, both with the Scotch-tape-width blonde highlights native to this area, cheering their scowling teenage sons into cotton-poly white shirts and poly-poly ties for a school dance. When the salesman—his young sideburns scraped into shape, his own cotton poly-blend white shirt fitting him like a parachute; the kind of nice, smart kid who would be in college if we didn’t live in a failed state—said to me, “Welcome to Kohl’s. Can I help you?” I felt all but compelled to say, “Only if you can somehow reverse the trajectory of my life so that this moment never takes place.”

J.Lo is, of course, unsinkable. (I’d also like to mention that I love her, and I'm just doing my job here.) She’s shooting two movies and some horrible dance song she sings is, I don’t know, out there in the world and making money even though everyone who hears it has to be like, Gee, who in my apartment building would be practicing for their Quinceañera on a Casio? It’s probably really no skin off her suspiciously-thinner-since-about-2000 nose that the J.Lo for Kohl’s sexy stuff looks like shreds of shower curtain hung over strands of Mardi Gras beads and the knit stuff looks like what comes out of an owl’s asshole a few hours after it eats a squirrel. She said (and yes, I know, she has to) these clothes reflect her personal style but the only way she would ever even touch any of this stuff would be if she got her period at Raging Waters and had to stuff something in her panties. (N.B. I can’t emphasize enough how much I hate the word 'panties.' But let me tell you something: J.Lo does not wear 'underpants.')

Marc Anthony for Kohl’s isn’t going to win any awards, but fortunately for him, it’s not hideous. Let’s face it: Marc needs this. I mean, to me, he is a Latino ectomorph with an anger problem—in short, fucking catnip—but to the rest of the world, he's the guy who J.Lo just dumped and whose TNT show that no one heard of anyway just got cancelled. Bradley Cooper is not going to be taking him to Per Se anytime soon. If Marc Anthony wants to get through this new chapter in his life, there’s only one person on whom he’s going to be able to rely, and that person is Marc Anthony. Perhaps he has been waiting for this moment his whole life—a time when survival will mean clothing himself in himself.

It was to this end that I brought my boyfriend Rob to Kohl’s and put the question to him: what challenges do you think Marc will be facing in the coming months? What Marc Anthony for Kohl’s outfit do you think would help him meet that challenge?

Traveling cross-country from his Long Island mansion to pick up Max and Emme at J.Lo’s in Hidden Hills.

Those first-class cabins can get chilly and, even more importantly, Marc has been accused by both the media and J.Lo of being dominating and controlling. Presumably both parties will be watching closely to see how Marc presents himself as a father, and I think we can all agree that nothing says contrite and humble like a zippered white sweater. Underneath, a snug black v-neck t-shirt with one of those inexplicably fashionable giant bleach stains serves to remind Marc that even if he is all Señor Rogers on the outside, he can hand this sweater off to the coatgirl at Mynt or Asia de Cuba and, suddenly, he is once again el rey de bulging ligaments y corazon puro. Rob loved wearing this sweater. “It just made me feel like Marc Anthony. I could really picture putting it on, and then I could picture taking it off, and when the night is over, and it’s time to slip quietly out of a 24-year-old Nordstrom model’s studio into a waiting town car, I can picture having a dull hangover and staring at the acrylic/wool/nylon/polyester knit wondering how many meetings went into choosing this particular acrylic/wool/nylon/polyester knit over the scores of others.”

Seeing his divorce attorney.

Presuming Marc does not find his way back onto J.Lo’s block with his cardigan sweater, he's going to be spending some time at his attorney’s. This is going to call for more of a power outfit. The slim-cut dress slacks in black and slim-cut dress shirt in grey here are classic choices, but what will really set Marc apart from your average guy is the choice of a more casual jacket over a standard blazer. “When I put this on, I could really feel Marc Anthony’s pride,” Rob said. “I could feel that he is from the same broad ethnic category that gave us Bolívar, Guevara, Pinochet. In this jacket, he is saying to the world, hey, if J.Lo were getting a divorce from Ben Affleck right now, he’d be wearing a blazer to meet with his attorney. But I’m not just some blanquito who makes movies where rich dudes who went to Harvard pretend to be poor. Yo soy Marc Anthony, and I 'designed' a jacket that’s kind of like a Members Only jacket, but warmer and with a slight military feel—epaulets, box pleat chest pockets —to evoke the revolutionary struggles of my people. Now, please make sure I get to keep that house in Long Island because I really don’t want to have to move that brown chair in which I like to sit and listen to Celine Dion songs while watching NASCAR on one TV and Anthony Bourdain on the other, with the sound off.”

Sneaking around.

Another activity we expect Marc will engage in in the coming weeks: continued trysts with Jada Pinkett Smith. (Either that or they will get together because he has to return her "Remington Steele" DVDS.) At any rate, he will want to be incognito, which is why he might choose to brave J.Lo’s section of the store in order to obtain one of her many fire hazards, er, scarves, in which to wrap his head. Reports Rob: “I really like the tough fabric of this jacket. Also, this military theme in my clothing, well, it’s endlessly helpful. I totally feel like I could take Will Smith in this, and even though that’s probably not true, it’s still short enough that I could run away from him.” But the disguise means it probably wouldn’t come to that. “I feel confident that no one would recognize me as Marc Anthony wearing this scarf,” said Rob.

Standing before the world as a man with nothing left to lose.

After he’s been picking up the kids for a while in his zippered white sweater with no visible melting from J.Lo, Marc will realize it’s time to lay all his cards on the table. This shirt’s message, Nada Me Puede Detener (Nothing Can Stop Me), is a cry from Marc’s soul. “He might not have it in him to wear this T-shirt right now, but in a few months, he will slip into this enzyme-treated cotton and feel immediately that he is really the man that he always wanted to be,” Rob predicts. “And then he will try to make a face like he is making in his Marc Anthony for Kohl’s promotional materials, and he will feel like himself. Or he will feel like a bald Enterprise Support Technician at a small software company, and he will try to make that face, and end up making the face that I am making. Either way, I know that in Marc Anthony for Kohl’s, Marc Anthony is going to be alright.”

Sarah Miller is the author of Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn and The Other Girl, which are for teens but adults can read on the beach. She lives in Nevada City, CA.

55 Comments / Post A Comment

IBentMyWookie (#133)

1) This was very good. I don't know why I everything I say today sounds condescending, but I mean it.
2) If these photos didn't make Choire break out in a rash, I don't know what will

whoneedslight (#758)

"…and the knit stuff looks like what comes out of an owl’s asshole a few hours after it eats a squirrel."

I think I just had a laughter-induced seizure.

GailPink (#9,712)

@whoneedslight Yes, that was a high point for me as well. Truly inspired.

sigerson (#179)

@whoneedslight – as I am a huge fan of "Legend of the Guardians", I know that this is called a "pellet".

Vera Knoop (#2,167)

@sigerson Pellets come out the other end.

Bittersweet (#765)

@whoneedslight: Yep, and "el rey de bulging ligaments y corazon puro" was just the icing on the cake.

hockeymom (#143)

Your boyfriend is funny and loyal. Please tell me you did not reward him with that white zipper sweater. That's some serious fug.

jack human (#49,353)

@hockeymom But he said it made him feel like Marc Anthony! Doesn't everyone deserve to feel like marc Anthony sometimes?


liz (#3,108)

Perfection. I never comment on here! GOD! I've been trying to remember/recover/remember to recover my password for 2 yrs.

roboloki (#1,724)

these clothes look much better on…fire.

ladykatie (#82,550)

@roboloki Haha. The best.

"The place is humid with recession and whatever it is that keeps fabric from rotting in storage containers." Much needed Lols!

That sweater is supposed to be WHITE?!?!?!?

sarahpm (#13,702)

@Clarence Rosario you're right. it's probably oatmeal or something

@sarahpm I mean it looked almost turquoise when I first saw the photo, probably due to the black t-shirt underneath it? Testament to its shoddy hideousness.

During last night's Miami/New England game, ESPN cut to a shot of one of the luxury boxes. It seems that the Dolphins have sold tiny parts of the team to famous folks in order to make the team more attractive to Miamians. And there, in the box, were Dwayne Wade, Will Smith, Marc Anthony and someone-I-couldn't-quite-make-out laughing it up. Anyway, all I could think is "WHY ISN"T WILL SMITH BEATING THE SHIT OUT OF MARC ANTHONY AND SCREAMING 'BIENVENIDOS A MIAMI'?" Either the gossip isn't true, or Marc was wearing his tough-fabric jacket.

scroll_lock (#4,122)

Loved this to no end. Thanks also for the obligatory photo of the ratty dressing room.
Your boyfriend's quest to Zelig into Marc Anthony is going to have to involve a face transplant from Skeletor himself. Then you and he can procreate little progeria babies, too.

ejcsanfran (#489)

Don't be fooled by the frocks that I got…

Clare (#516)

@ejcsanfran Excelsior!

iriedawta (#88,809)

@ejcsanfran lolololol…. The article and comments are the best examples of journalistic witticism I've seen in years!

barnhouse (#1,326)

Har, so funny. Then guffawed all over again at the mere idea of asking my husband to "model", oh hahahahaha. Loved this.

David Roth (#4,429)

@barnhouse Seconded, and I've never even met Maria's husband. But this was really funny.

sophiah (#13,210)

Oh god, were you at the Rocklin Kohl's or the Roseville one? Both are filled with so much despair and blonde-highlighted ladies who drive Eddie Bauer edition Ford Expeditions with all the chrome on them. They are totally buying this shit for their awful little date-rapey teenage sons.

collier (#13,548)

Your BF is a darling and this is hilaaaaaarious. “I feel confident that no one would recognize me as Marc Anthony wearing this scarf,” said Rob. *snorf*.

shebs (#680)

This made me oh so happy. Thank you.

Mr. B (#10,093)

Oh, my! Did this ever make my day. Still, I can't help but imagine what this could have been if you and the BF had made your way over to the shoe department, because, um.

Shantasybaby (#76,783)

I don't know why, but this article really bugged me. I mean…I guess I just don't hate Kohl's that much, seemed needlessly snotty. It's just a store with mass produced clothes that aren't really that terrible, is everyone on here just much richer and cooler than me? The actual modeling of the outfits was funny but the lead up ruined for me, am I the only one?

Leon Tchotchke (#14,331)

@Shantasybaby Yeah, it's kind of baffling to me the way Kohl's is treated in this article as being on par with a pit like Ross or Marshall's. They've got decent, non-hideous clothes at reasonable prices and are probably the best of the mass market department store chains? I don't know.

Well, you know… she was shopping there!

Xora (#76,838)

Don't y'all get it? It's all like, "Ha, ha, classism! Fucking poor (or middle class) people and the ugly clothes they wear! Date rapey!" Get with the program.

Leon Tchotchke (#14,331)

"I bet these people don't even know what artisanal bread IS, LOL."

mayonegg (#76,907)

I think it's maybe a little bit more about how their Kohl's line is completely incongruous with the hyper-glamorous lives J-Lo, and to a lesser extent Marc Anthony, actually live? Like, they would not be caught dead wearing any of these things, probably.

@mayonegg It's definitely that, but I don't know, I still got a little People of Walmart-ish squicked out by this article.

barnhouse (#1,326)

@vykromond jorilliam@twitter I found it all far too goofy to be making such a statement (for which, bless the author.)

Wait, really, we're defending Kohl's now?

OK, I'll make it up to you: the Macy's at Herald Square is one of the Circles of Hell.

young preeezy (#44,987)

@Shantasybaby "It's just a store with mass produced clothes that aren't really that terrible"

Well, NOW I'm sold

sarahpm (#13,702)

yes mayonegg that's what i think i mean more. I can see how the above criticisms could be leveraged. But I buy lots of cheap clothes in lots of cheap places and I thought a lot of the stuff at Kohl's was insultingly, unusually not nice for the price. And a Marc Anthony T-shirt costs more than half what someone making minimum wage makes in a day. So I think if anyone is looking for an enemy, that person is probably not me. Making fun of the women's shitty highlights is cheap, but I am pretty sure these women are not poor or even middle class. I just think they have shitty highlights.

Leon Tchotchke (#14,331)

@sarahpm Kohl's has abnormally high prices for a lot of stuff, that's true. It's because of their weird business model where like half the store is on a 40% discount at any given time, placing it at an okay but not really great price, while the other half of the store is hilariously overpriced. Basically they price a lot of stuff at like 20% higher than it's worth so they can later advertise a 50% off sale. Buying anything that ISN'T on sale is a huge ripoff.

sophi (#77,189)

@Kurt Schiller@twitter legit. I work there, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that this is the ONLY TIME the JLo/Marc Anthony stuff will be full price. The other "celebrity" brands (Vera Wang, Lauren Conrad, etc) usually hover around anywhere from 25-50% off. For what it's worth, in the days since we rolled it out, I haven't seen anyone buy Marc Anthony's stuff, and only one person buy JLo's stuff.

Also this article hurt my feelings a little bit, because I always feel the need to defend Kohls to people. It makes me feel like less of a failure of a human being.

sarahpm (#13,702)

@sophi interesting. sorry if it hurt your feelings. I hate hurting people's feelings. It is the price of making jokes.

LHOOQ (#18,226)

@sophi Two of the dresses that I get the most compliments on came from Kohl's and were $20. They are cut incredibly well (a classic sheath and a classic 50's halter), and the construction is obviously good because I've had them for years.

barnhouse (#1,326)

If there is a classist statement in any of this it is in the fact that neither Jennifer Lopez nor her husband (nor any other celebrity ' designer') would ever wear his or her own Kohl's or K-mart or Target 'designs', except when he or she is getting paid to do so.

Abe Sauer (#148)

@barnhouse Obviously. Madonna does not spritz herself with her Material Girl fragrance before going out or doing whatever she does all day. Vice's Dos and Dont's was funny because it went after people who were trying so hard. The problem with going after Kohl's is that, intentionally or not, it smells of fashion elitism, something I think we learned well with the Cintra Wilson JC Penney's incident.

jan2boltha (#72,196)


manatee (#32,345)

1. WTF goes on in Nevada City? It seems like one of those weird places out West I drove through on my Epic Road Trip. I would imagine a lot of weed smoking/growing, but what else?

2. Marc Anthony is like a real-deal Puerto Rican singer. I have a friend that's PR and she is way into him. I was suprised to learn this. He sings traditional stuff, not cheesy soft radio music,

3. This story was so funny.

sarahpm (#13,702)

@manatee 1. a lot of swimming pot growing and child rearing and yoga. I engage in the first and the last of these. I smoke pot like once a month. the pot here is good but i hate pot but when in rome. 2. I know. I love him. 3. thanks. Every time I look at the photo of rob trying to look like him it makes me pee

Chuck Perez (#24,865)

forget about the junk at Kohls, read the article. It is so damn good it totally saved the crappy day for me

Okay, Everything about J.Lo's & Mark Anthony's relationship is true. But the facts about the clothes ain't entirely true. Yeah some of there clothing looks ridiculous,many of it doesn't, but you really didn't know how to dress your husband well in the images.

First off I only read the first and half of the second paragraph and you ny love sound like you don't have eyes… Everyone has a look and from what I could see on the photos your husband does not have the build for what Marc wears. You should have focus on who he his and what looks like and not the brand and where you purchased his wardrobe. Kholes has a great selection for my husband and myself even my kids but I'm going to be honest I'm not going to buy every product one brand has or merchant carries. If I shop anywhere for anything I may come out the one or two outfits or even peices that I will love and say this is me (smile). I will say I preffer kholes over jcp or Macy's any day! You should look at vin diesel, Jason stathom, Bruce Willis, Arnold vosloo or Jack Nicholson as a style guide. People don't focus on the brand any and every designer create for more than one population. Thx this was fun ^_^

Well have to disagree with you on this. First off, i love Marc's stuff. Its sexy, stylish and great for men in their 30's and 40's. It's not a teenage style and its not the polo and sweater vest style. Nice change. Now not every one can pull off his look. As your boyfriend couldn't. Maybe it was the lighting or you taking pictures of him in it at Kohls. And making faces. Now if he was at a nice club with friends, having a good time and being confident in his clothes, then he could pull it off. As for J Lo's style. It is also great. Not to many patterns, which i pefer. I love the new style they bring. Sure I would love to walk around in Chanel or Armani, but like most people I am on a limited clothing budget. So Kohls to me is Jill Stewart, Marc Jacobs, burberry, etc. So till I can, if ever buy Top designers, Kohls will be my TOP DESIGNERS. Thank you and good night.

kkct7 (#239,984)

Your boyfriend looks pretty bad with or without Kohl's clothes

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