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A Love Letter to the Nasty Gal

I’m an avid online shopper. You could call it a hobby or maybe (more accurately) a bad habit; Either way, it’s something I’m fairly passionate about.

Clothing stores all have very different vibes, and I tend to draw a lot of fashion inspiration from these branding techniques. There are marketing teams and graphic designers that spend years inventing and updating the brands of stores to reflect the fashion they’re carrying.

One of the most unique brands I recently discovered is Nasty Gal, an online-only clothing brand. The name “Nasty Gal” is a bold name for a website with a customer base marketed solely for young women. When I was younger, I’d heard of the store, but I always shied away because the name was so intense. As I’ve gotten older and I’ve been looking for trendy and affordable stores, Nasty Gal has become my go-to.

If you couldn’t tell, I’m a fan of effective branding. Nasty Gal captures exactly what it means to be a “nasty gal” in the essence of its clothes. It make clothes for young women who want to stay on trend but who aren’t afraid to take a few risks.

There are stores like Urban Outfitters and PacSun that also sell trendy and weird clothing items, yet their price tags hardly come to close to Nasty Gal’s, thanks to its student discount. Also, if you are a member of UNiDAYS, you can get 60 percent off everything on Nasty Gal’s website, which makes the part of my brain that craves a good deal pretty happy.

Nasty Gal has done what no other store, in my opinion, has been able to do: create an affordable product for its specified audience. Nasty Gal is cheeky in its clothing, often using graphics and phrases that are not suitable for work. The brand is (in a word) nasty.

Clothing is an expression of who we are as people. It’s one of the first things someone will notice about us. It’s a window into our likes and dislikes. Nasty Gal offers clothing that says something — either literally or figuratively. Each piece is a bit daring or has something that makes you tip your head for a second and feel something.

The store has done something I think is so smart in that it’s created a brand that feels like a defiance from other brands. It’s separated itself from other similar stores by making products that are solely for the target customer. All clothing and accessories on Nasty Gal’s website are Nasty Gal brand.

To me, buying clothes from Nasty Gal feels like I’m taking part in some kind of joke. Nasty Gal’s own name was created as a way to make fun of the haters of the brand and the creator of the store. I appreciate the brand’s way of turning a stereotype on its head.

Branding and affordability are things I look for in any kind of store because they’re how I judge its products. Being able to get a feel for a website from just a name is a powerful thing.

But maybe that’s the point: Don’t judge a book by its cover or even its title. A nasty gal is someone who has layers and opinions. She’s someone who isn’t afraid to take a risk with her boots or her jacket. I’m excited to say I’m a nasty gal now.