Let’s just go to the Gap.
“Cal, be better than the Gap. Be… better… than… the… Gap. Say it.”
“I’m better than the Gap.”
That exchange between Ryan Gosling as the stylish ladies man Jacob, and Steve Carell as the hapless Cal, in Crazy, Stupid, Love was probably a throwaway little line that the writers expected would get a few chuckles.
But it stuck with me.
I’ve got nothing against the Gap or any other particular high-street brand. They bring affordable, stylish clothes to the masses. The high-street brands have their place. Zara in particular is one of my favourites.
“Be better than the Gap,” is not an attack on the high-street. Be better than the gap does not mean you’ve got to spend £1,000s on a single item. It does not mean you can’t budget and be affordable.
So what is it?
“Be better than the Gap,” is a challenge.
In the film, Steve Carell’s character Cal is shopping for stylish jeans. He’s out of his comfort zone. He gets disheartened and says, “Let’s just go to the Gap.”
This isn’t about the Gap or any other brand. This is about Cal settling. He’s happy to be average. He’s happy for the mainstream to tell him who he is and what he should look like. He’s happy to fade into the middle.
Be better than the Gap is a challenge to be better than the average. Define yourself. Choose your own style. Be your own (wo)man
You just have to be a little bit more stylish than everyone else, to look stylish. You just have to be a little bit more confident than everyone else, for them to think you’re confident.
So leave your comfort zone – even if it’s just a little bit.
What about real life?
That’s great in the movies, but how does it work in real life?
Where I work, nobody I know wears a suit everyday. Except me.
It’s not a £6,000 Richard James (I wish), it’s a £200 off the rack. It fits, its suits me, I look after it, I keep it dry cleaned.
But nobody else wears a suit everyday, and fewer wear one that fits. So it’s enough to make me stand out, it’s enough to separate me from the average.
What does that say about me? It means nobody thinks twice about putting me in front of the important customer, sending me to the essential networking event, or asking me to do the big presentation.
It says that I care. I’m professional. I’m above average. I’m to be taken seriously. I can represent something important.
So tell me, are you better than the Gap?
Guest post by Clarke O’Gara.