The Sims 2 H&M Fashion Stuff Haunts My Nightmares (A Fifteen-Year Late Review)

by thethreepennyguignol

I know, I know, we’re not even a week into the New Year yet, and you might have thought that would spare you a little of my shithousery. But you’d be wrong, my dear and darling friends, because I’ve been in a nostalgic mood recently, and I would like to share that with you.

When I was but a quine, I spent many happy hours ensconced in the family computer room, playing The Sims 2. Released in 2004, The Sims 2 was a sequel to the 2000 life simulator game, The Sims, and if there’s one game that aggressively re-routs me back to my childhood, it is this one. There’s so much to love about it: alien pregnancy, the milfystery of Bella Goth, llamas, love beds, all of it. It holds a place in my heart bigger than prawn cocktail crisps, which is SAYING something.

Anyway. If there’s one iconic piece of Sims 2 history that haunts my dreams as much as my nightmares, it’s their expansion and stuff packs. Now, I’m not going to get into how much better Sims 2 was at expansion packs than the current iteration of the game, because I’m too hot and big-breasted to waste my time with negativity, but instead, I would like to draw your attention to one particular artifact of early-noughties iconography that I will never forget: The Sims 2 H&M Fashion Stuff.

This stuff pack (stuff packs referring to expansions that were focused on new items instead of new gameplay) came out in 2007, when I was a couple of years into high school, and I still remember saving up my money from the little Sunday job I had burning myself on coffee machines to afford it. Based around serving high-quality, stylish fashion from the high-store brand, it promised dozens of outfits for both male and female sims, with a focus on of-the-minute, ready-to-wear, fresh-off-the-runway looks. H&M, the height of fashion for teenage me, in my game, too? I was going to vomit with excitement.

And I decided a couple of days ago, on a whim, that I was going to indulge myself in a few reminders of just what kind of fashion that represented. And friends…

Friends, I want to share it with you. Not out of love, but as some sort of warning: a warning that, eventually, soon, even, all of this will come back into fashion. And I want you to know that I hate it, all of it, that I am morally, ethically, and spiritually opposed to it. I want to discuss some of these Lewks, as the well-known and highly-qualified fashionista that I am, I want to spend a nice evening drinking tea and laughing at bad clothes with you. I got these pictures of the clothes that came with this pack through the enormously useful, should you want to indulge yourselves in a little more!

Let’s start you off gently, shall we? This outfit is a sort of magic-eye trick – at first, it looks innocous, but the more you stare, the more unhinged it gets. The shoes matching some of the swirls on the top? The forearm-length, waist-cut-off jacket? The white jeans that the programmers already added the helpfully-realistic ugly grey smudges that form on light denim after ten minutes? Is that a little belt around the waist, or is it just printed on the shirt like that? Either way, why?

Here, a grown-up Rhys from Malcolm in the Middle models cuffed chino cargo shorts and ankle-strap sandals, along with a stunning Tiffany-blue button-down. Fashion stuff! FASHION stuff!

These shoes, baby. These shoes. Those pointed moss-green goblin fringed kitten heels. This woman is coming to take your firstborn and spin your hay into gold, and she doesn’t care who knows it. That would normally be enough statement for one outfit, but this forward-thinking icon decided to pair them with mid-length polka-dot leggings, a lumpy empire-waist smock designed to conceal several ears of wheat, and a necklace with the same colour scheme but not the same pattern as the leggings. Looking at this actually makes my eyes hurt a bit.

Did I wear this exact outfit to a school dance once? Yes. Should I have ever made anyone look at it outside of the pixels of this game? No. The top, hewn from the finest foreskin, is designed to make your tits look lopsided while also creating a luscious outward curve to the stomach while chastely concealing any kind of shape your waist might dared to have had, is stunning enough. But then you tuck in the elasticated seam at the bottom into this faux-leather skirt draped in a not-detachable-but-soon-detached plastic chain across one hip, and I can almost smell the Claire’s Accessories strawberry body spray from here. Punk!

The fact that this man is looking directly into the camera triggered my fight-or-flight response. This “Where’s-my-hug” king is serving “grabbing the nearest shoes you can find and taking the bins out” realness in these embroidered sandals matched with what I would have to assume were pyjamas were it not for the fact they’ve been paired with necklaces, plural.

An outfit so hideous they couldn’t even convince a Sim to put it on. The colour, to begin with, is masterfully-wrought: a perfect spot between olive and bile. The criss-cross back really gives me the full getting-caught-in-the-straps-trying-to-get-undressed drunk fun of it all, while the three-tiered pearl necklace with jaunty flower charm attached on just one side really brings the look together. But the best part? The frills, printed on the front of the plain dress. For those who want texture, but are disallowed for religious reasons to actually wear it.

I LOVE the way this pack knows how to tantalize us with just a hint of ankle – all the better showed off under calf-length jeans and in a sensible sandal. This avant-garde top, with the ruching four-fifths of the way down and a sexy little bow dangling impotently off the waist, seems to whisper, seductively, why? And the inevitable strapless bra that would be required to pull this off without public indecency charges slips sadly down the back until it’s drooping in a frown around the hips, and you’re refusing to wear strapless anything ever again.

Babes, I hope that this has served as an appropriately chilling warning for you all. I don’t want to scare you, but education is the best form of protection against me having to think about these fashions again. 2007 was another lifetime, but that doesn’t mean that we should forget where we came from.

Thank you for indulging me with this bit of goofballery!

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