The things we do for high style

Chatter. Lots of it pervades the muggy air of Ann Arbor as swarms of people wander the streets of the Art Fair.

At 6AM on a Wednesday morning, I walk past tent stations where vendors are preparing themselves mentally and physically for what is probably one of the most popular events of the summer.

My fatigued eyes graze over dozens of white tents but ultimately fix on the white tent that stands out from the others – the holy Urban Outfitters Sale.

ZOOM. My feet carry me over to racks and racks of discounted clothes. I see dresses of every length; my fingers brush past fabrics of every degree of softness and thickness, and rows of jeans in every cut and color. As I focus on the issue at hand – maximizing the amount of fabric I can manage with as little money spent – the cutting chatter fades in the background, a dull buzz now.

As I peruse the racks, I make my way past girls similar to myself: we’ve woken up at an unreasonable hour to justify a long-running tradition. Some have skipped makeup, some have just come in their sleep-clothes.

We come from all areas of campus life; some of us are campers at the debate camp, the math-and-summer camp, some of us are tourists visiting the Michigan campus, and some are actual college students studying here over the summer. Despite our different backgrounds, we all suffer together. Everyone endures the unbearingly long lines to the fitting rooms and then in the payment line; everyone quakes in excitement at the racks of clothes that are replenished every hour or so.

The way I see it, this Art Fair will be the center of attention for however long it is here. People will inevitably end up with the same clothes, and people will gratefully spend money that they have been scouring for weeks. New camp kids will learn the tricks of the trade – wake up early, go during breaks, and browse after lab. The golden oldies will rely on the tactics that have been used for years.

Thus concludes my narrative of the first morning of the Urban Outfitters Sale of the 2013 Ann Arbor Art Fair.

Oh, the things we do for high style.

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