Catalogs Doing It Right

There are some catalogs that I get excited about when they arrive. Sure, I’m a fan of the clothing, but I’m more in love with the copy. I’ll pore over these flimsy booklets and carefully examine every page, sometimes going through them twice. There’s no explanation for my obsession with companies whose heritage is rooted in the mail-order business (specifically ones selling outdoorsy clothing), but when companies send me tantalizing words, I can’t resist.

Let’s take a look!

First up, a relatively recent discovery: Boden

Boden Catalog

Take a look inside:

Wait for it…

Model’s Answer

Heck yes! Either Boden asks their models a ton of questions or they make things up about them. Either way, it’s interesting, portrays the models as real women and gets me to look at every single page of the catalog.

Next up: title nine

title nine catalog

Here it is:

title nine model profile

title nine will print a short profile on some of their models. As if this company didn’t make you want to high five a sister anyway, they have to go show that these women are just like me!

Alright, here’s another: Duluth Trading Co.

Duluth Trading Co.

And again:

Duluth Model

A little tidbit about the model makes perusing the catalog a joy.

Now, Eddie Bauer does it a little differently.

Eddie Bauer Catalog


Eddie Bauer Spread

Here it is:

Eddie Bauer Product Description

Ah-ha! A sweater named after the Stine Bauer! (By the way, this is a revamped version of the Stine Cardigan that was out a year or so ago.) By naming clothes after people, we get to feel like we’re that person when we wear it. This is a bit more aspirational than introducing the models to the readers, but it has a similar effect.

The personal copy in these catalogs doesn’t necessarily translate to the web very well. There’s too much to click on when you’re sitting at the computer. (Duluth Trading Co. has some pretty hilarious videos, though.) Because of this interesting copy, it’s still worth requesting a physical catalog every once and awhile.

What I like about this approach is that unlike some clothing companies that make you think “I wish I was her” with their highly stylized models and photographs with a certain mystique, these companies make you think, “I am her!” Or, maybe you still think “I wish I was her,” but these women lead a more realistic, attainable lifestlye.

7 thoughts on “Catalogs Doing It Right

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