While Bob Lawson was purchasing a flannel shirt from the Gap in the fall of 1989, he did not anticipate his future daughter, Katie Lawson, stealing the article of clothing from his closet 26 years later and adopting it as her own.
“I don’t know, my mom made me go to the mall and said I had to pick out some shirts,” said Lawson. “I was home for winter break. I’m pretty sure I didn’t consciously pick one out that would be so versatile my future daughter would be able to wear it over leggings OR jeans.”
Lawson, now 48, said a few days after Katie returned to Oxford for spring semester, he remembered he still had “that ugly red-and-gray flannel” and wanted to wear it to Costco. It was no longer in his room.
He texted his daughter, who had been steadily pilfering items of clothing from his closet during her winter break, starting with an old cardigan he was going to donate anyway and graduating to his favorite turtleneck sweater. Katie responded to inquiries about the flannel’s whereabouts with a brief message: “idk lol ask mom.”
“She really threw me under the bus,” said her mother, Beth Lawson. “Even though she’d already posted an Instagram photo wearing the shirt at some frat party.”
Bob Lawson said while he was glad the shirt got to spend some time at the Delta Chi house, where it lived in a drawer for two years in the 1990s, he was still irritated that Katie stole it.
“Again, it was ugly then, and it’s ugly now,” said Lawson. “But from what I see on her social media accounts, it’s pretty much all she wears now, and I have no fucking idea why.”
Lawson said he informed Katie that he was willing to shell out $60-$80 at Urban Outfitters for a flannel shirt that looked “literally exactly the same,” if she would stop swiping his own from his closet. Katie declined, saying that would be “too basic.”
“I mean, I was definitely prepared for Katie to steal Beth’s clothes when she got older,” said Lawson. “But not mine. I have no idea where this hipster nonsense came from.”
The Lawsons said she exhibited virtually no signs of “hipster” tendencies before starting her freshman year, and that they were shocked when she returned from “J-Crew U” with a sudden distaste for the Vineyard Vines and Patagonia apparel filling her own closet. Beth speculated that her daughter might be dating a film major, or maybe watching less Fox News at school than she did at home.
At press time, Katie was wondering if her father would miss the horrendous green wool 1980s J-Crew sweater in the back of his closet.