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Dec 23, 2012

Things I Don't Get, Vol. 9: Sky Mall Fashion



Friends, so many of us will be traveling this holiday season, a great many by air.

I'm sure most American MPB readers -- a sophisticated, nomadic bunch -- are familiar with Sky Mall.  How many of us have flipped through the colorful Sky Mall catalog while taxiing on the runway,  calming our nerves during a bit of turbulence over the Rockies, or distracting ourselves from the child vomiting across the aisle?

Since its founding in 1990, Sky Mall has allowed us travelers to indulge our consumerist fantasies from 6,000 ft. in the air.  Sky Mall is half Sharper Image, half Lillian Vernon catalog, half Spencer's Gifts and half garage sale -- where most of this stuff will end up.  I know that makes more than a whole, but hey, so does Sky Mall! 

For years, Michael and I have wondered who the customer for this unique 6-ft. conversation piece/floor lamp might be.  Perhaps you recognize her from the catalog or -- perish the thought -- your own living room.  (She can still be yours for one easy payment of $499.00, plus $99 shipping.)



Today I wish to focus specifically on Sky Mall men's fashion, where such novelties as the message tee shirt have never gone out of style.  (These shirts really deserve a blog post all their own -- perhaps in the new year.)  Who wears these things, readers?









I was reminded about Sky Mall (I haven't flown in years, thank God) when Michael alerted me to this patchwork shirt a few weeks ago, just as I was about to launch into my experiment in color-blocking.

So much of Sky Mall fashion defies categorization.  The novelty baseball cap.  The visor with real fake hair attached.





I could go on and on. 









Sky Mall fashion's primary demographic seems to be a grandpa with a gut, a gun, and a MasterCard.  Is that unfair?

In closing, readers, a few questions:

1) Have you, or someone you know, ever shopped at Sky Mall?

2) Do you ever wear tee shirts with sayings like "All Great Men Have Mustaches," "I Spill Things," or "Old Fogeyville"?  

3) In this age of smart phones, iPads and in-flight wi-fi, what is the purpose of Sky Mall?  (Today, you can just as easily shop on Amazon, eBay...even NeimanMarcus.com.)

Whether in-flight or out, safe holiday travels!


(Happy Holidays from Karen, Richard, and Kristy McNichol.)



32 comments:

  1. No Sky mall where I'm from so this is a novelty to me! All our airlines sell is food and tote bags.

    I was fully prepared to say "Different strokes for different folks!" but my brain completely shut down after the visor.

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    Replies
    1. We had one of those visors at a family gag gift exchange a couple of years ago. Now bear in mind, *every* man on my mom's side of the family is bald. And they have been since their early 20's. So we had a great laugh with that item at that time!

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  2. I have actually seen a man wearing the visor with the fake hair. I didn't know what it was until I read this post. He was an older gent, going through a Dream Home model home, with his wife. I don't believe he was wearing it ironically...

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  3. Do you think Sky Mall has to showcase the absurd in order to be alluring, entertaining, and therefore distracting for its captive audience? I would be interested in knowing their annual profit...how much do they actually sell?

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    1. I think you're on to something, Anonymous. I'd like to see some annual reports, personally.

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  4. Maybe the Sky Mall geniuses know that anyone who buys overpriced stuff from an in-flight mag is intellectually challenged to begin with, so they target accordingly.

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  5. Don't be hating on that frog hoodie. That is pure genius.

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  6. I stopped flying several years ago and now I can add Sky Mall to that list of reasons why.

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  7. I actually enjoy flipping through the Sky Mall magazine! I do it on every flight. It's almost like anyone who gets a patent can be in it! Though I do think there are some unusual things in there that I thought 'man, that would be awesome to have!'....hello, cat litter box cleverly concealed under a fake plant! hahahahaha.

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    Replies
    1. I'm with you, Debi! I find it fascinating -- like a little window into the world of people who have too many possessions.

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  8. Hate to fly, the Skymall had never distracted me sufficiently. Just saw "Flight" and may never fly again.
    My favorite t-shirt, worn by my son as a teenager, said, "inacoma."

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  9. I have certainly made a purchase but not at thirty thousand feet. And not without comparing prices at another site. They marketed alma mater posters where the school name is letters made from photos of architectural elements on campus. And I'm not embarrassed to say so.

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  10. I've never purchased anything from SkyMall and try very hard not to handle the magazine. The magazines I've seen were usually worn, filthy, and probably contained traces of kid vomit.

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  11. Demented SeamstressDecember 23, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    I'm Canadian and have never been on an airplane so I have never heard of sky mall. What a load of ridiculous garbage it looks like, I can't think of anyone who would buy it, except maybe some of the guys in my shop class.

    Oh, and things I don't get: why spell-check lives in the word verification box, at least it does in this computer. Why?

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  12. I've never even seen one. I don't look at the mags on planes. Look what I have been missing!

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  13. Never bought anything from SkyMall...more of a distraction for me. I do like the "Beam Me Up Scotty" shirt, though. ;-)

    And since you showed a picture of the beer can belt, you will absolutely love the new Simplicity 1709! Think of next year's Christmas gifts!

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  14. The frog shirt is really cool, if you're a little kid. I don't like slogan's across my chest any more than pasting bumper stickers all over my car. That's what Facebook is for. :-)

    I look through it is to see if any of the products my DH designed are in there. Several years ago, the WinePod prototype model my DH built was featured in Sky Mall. I think Sky Mall is banking on the high altitude thin air to get people to buy stuff.

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    1. The frog shirt can be purchased from several different catalogs in kids' sizes and in various other styles (shark, dinosaur, etc.) It looks cute on kids but I've never seen it for adults until now. For the record, they're made of some awful-feeling poly knit, so I'd never buy one but I know someone whose boys have the shark ones, hence my knowledge of the fabric.

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  15. Never heard of SkyMall, but love looking at these sorts of catalogues and trying to figure out who would want to buy these items... (Every now and again, I will see something and think, "what a good idea" but then shop around for them online and find something better, and cheaper.)
    I love the magnetic tie idea. Why has nobody thought of that before? Now someone needs to market one that has a pocket inside (only do-able when wide ties are in fashion, I guess) to store your keys or mobile phone inside.
    Earlier this year, my son bought me a tshirt that reads "Jenius" which I love to wear.

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  16. I just looked at a copy two days ago, on my flght to visit family for Christmas. They had a six pointed Jewish star for the top of your Christmas tree!
    ...something odd there....

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  17. My ex would have worn the Beam Me Up Scotty T shirt. Now, I've seen a Queen Elizabeth dashboard figurine that waves, that's been on my want list for a while! Kathy

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  18. Jonathan Coulton wrote a whole song about Skymall. It captures the essence of the whole enterprise.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUo5jpax3v4

    Have a nice holiday!

    Claudine

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    1. THAT song!

      Isn't it only a matter of time before SkyMall ends up at http://www.deadmalls.com/ ???

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  19. It's just another nail in the coffin of America's credibility to those of us looking on from a distance. Thank God for blogs - a chance to hear the voices of real people who also experience that WTF feeling when faced with such abominations...

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  20. There is a fellow in my old golf league that is bald and wears the visor with the fake hair. He wears it as a joke and enjoys all the wise cracks he gets. I must say the "hair" feels really creepy.

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  21. Sky Mall = Total Guilty Pleasure

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  22. I'd never heard of Sky Mall but we have similar letter drop catalogues here that sell ridiculous gadgets such as battery operated nose hair pluckers and extremely ugly underwear.

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  23. I have NEVER purchased from SkyMall, but I'll admit I enjoy looking at it. It's fund to look at all of the bizarre merchandise, and wonder who on earth would buy this silly stuff. Like Bill J, this month's highlight for me was the 6-pointed start for a Christmas tree.

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  24. I think Sky Mall is capitalizing on mean-spirited gag gifting. The lamp woman with a shade for a head reminded me of a ghastly wedding gift we received with gross cupids cavorting all over the base. And I have a brother-in-law who is so friggin' full of himself that he really DESERVES a snuggie for Christmas...

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  25. Ummmm... Confession? We have three animal hoodies (ours are dinosaurs) for kids and Mommy. Didn't buy them from Sky Mall, and we like the soft, breathable fabric. We've also got two Snuggies for the kids. I also enjoy a silly T-shirt now and then, but not those, specifically. Are "More cowbell" and "I'm what Willis was talkin' bout equally cheesy?

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  26. *cough* I could be the target market for the lamp lady. As a rubber fetishist, the surface reminds me of a woman in a tight latex dress, which really appeals to my tastes.

    I actually saw her up for auction once before but did not win, and now regret that as they have proved to be very hard to find in New Zealand. I definitely wouldn't be spending USD600 (and probably then some, as that shipping is likely only for US domestic) on her though.

    If I do ever manage to acquire one at a reasonable price I will have the problem of where to put such a large item in my not-exactly-huge apartment, so perhaps it's all for the best.

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