Lids sells hats. Primarily, baseball caps. The small store is lined on either sides with shelves full of baseball caps. Between the walls are a few racks of more baseball caps. For me, a baseball cap is a baseball cap. It's not an accessory. It doesn't complete an outfit and it doesn't add style or flair to one's appearance. But that's only because I haven't been swept up by the urban fashion sandsweeper. I'd call it a fad, but it's so much more; it's a culture. And it's not for me. Blame it on my innate whiteness. Blame it on the lack of time I've spent in a city. I just don't think a baseball cap, in the traditional sense, needs to have a city skyline on it.
But Lids does, and so do its customers. Lids has hats with argyle and houndstooth patterns. They have hats with enormous and skewed baseball team logos. They have hats with lavishly ornate cursive letters spelling out "New York Yankees." They have plaid hats. They have camouflage hats. They have hats with comic book characters. They even have hats that consist of brightly colored splatter shapes and nothing more. What don't they have? Official MLB team hats.
I went into Lids recently looking for a St. Louis Cardinals hat. Specifically, I wanted a "home" hat, which consists of a white lettermark on a red background. I went straight to Lids for this because Lids is a store that sells, well, baseball caps. Furthermore, the St. Louis Cardinals are a very popular and historically important team. Surely I could find their home field hats at a store that specializes in the sale of MLB hats, I figured. No dice. Lids had one official Cardinals hat. It was the red-on-blue road version and was far too small. Looking around, I could find hats featuring giant cartoon cardinals. I could find hats with "Saint Louis" written in pseudo-graffiti. But I could not find an actual legitimate St. Louis Cardinals home hat.
I think there's something to be said about going too far out of the way in a quest for creativity only to abandon the basics. We have ice creameries that sell all sorts of original flavors but lack options such as chocolate and vanilla. We have cell phones with tons of extra features but terrible service. And now, in Lids, we have an MLB hat store that lacks certain MLB team hats. Sometimes, we need to stop planning tweak X and twist Z and remember to include standard thing A. Take a step back, so to speak. To basics.