Around this time last year, Chipotle shook the fast casual and fast fashion worlds by launching their own line of streetwear. And now, a whole year later (hey, it takes time to design & manufacture clothes), Panera is striking back. And those mad lads have accidentally struck gold with their absurd, antithetical fashion choices: summery swimwear adorned with not-so-summery soup themes.
I hate that I love this so much. Panera has never, aside from the fact that they have WIFI, tried to be hip with the teens. It’s one of my grandma’s favorite spots, and it carries itself as such. And yet, here comes Swim Soups, a move so clearly in line with millennial neo-dadaism that it makes me wonder if Tim & Eric came up with it. I mean, Panera has had a merch site for a while now, which seems to mostly exist for the sake of their employees buying their uniforms- including name tags:
Ok, maybe Panera is trying to be hip with the teens. But unlike clumsy Hamilton references that have nothing to do with anything, I believe these swimsuits (uhh, some of them…) will stand the test of time.
So without further ado, let’s dive into the season’s hottest fashions!
[Actually, 2 further ados. I do just want to point out that I don’t have WIFI at my new apartment yet, so I’m currently writing this while taking advantage of the WIFI at a Panera. I bought a bowl of French Onion Soup, because we happen to be having a slight break in the 90-degree weather, to celebrate the occasion. It wasn’t very good. Also, upon opening all the thumbnail images on their store in a new tab, the file names all followed the format “[item]_please_work”, so shout out to whichever intern seems to have as hard of a time with getting websites to work as I do.]
The Swim SOUP One-piece
Undeniably the flagship of the line. The iconic(?) Panera shade of olive green. Big, bold lettering that doesn’t mince its words: S O U P. The tiny Panera logo by the crotch is pretty much the only thing that gives this away as being a branded product and not a shitpost listing on someone’s Redbubble. I would have some questions for whomstever I saw wearing this in public, though. Mostly ones like “why are you so cool.” 10/10
The Mother Bread Swim Trunks
This one’s pretty underwhelming. Basically it’s the SOUP one-piece but without the only thing that gives it any charm. It’s an olive green swimsuit, with a little Panera logo on the leg. Why should I care. If they really wanted to wow us, they would have put SOUP across the ass. COWARDS. 3/10
The Broc Ched One-piece/Swim Trunks
I’m lumping these 2 together because unlike with the previous 2, it seems to be the same, unaltered pattern applied to the 2 cuts. I gotta hand it to them, if you had told me this was the newest MeUndies print, I wouldn’t have thought twice about it. It actually took me a while to figure out, but those broccolis are, in fact, covered in cheese, as the name suggests, and that wasn’t just some weird shading style choice. It’s a cute pattern overall, but I think you’d have to be very passionate about broccoli to actually wear these. 7/10
The Bread Bowl Pool Float
I love the concept. What better to go with your swim soup than that iconic (ok i need to stop throwing that word around so liberally) bread bowl. But to be frank, the execution here seems to be a little lacking. Granted, the only picture available is from the top-down, and from that angle it kinda looks more like an upside-down mushroom cap than a bread bowl. But maybe I’m just jealous, as someone with no access to a private pool, and these kinds of floats always seem to be discouraged at most public swimming venues. Also, it’s one of those ones with a solid bottom, which usually urk me for some reason I can’t quite explain, but I guess is fine here since bread bowls have bottoms. 6/10