While it is a designated hipster locale with ads that resemble a Terry Richardson shoot, the clothing produced by American Apparel truly is of incredible quality, created by highly economical means (as opposed to the majority of the other popular labels out these days), with far more sturdy pieces than what you often find at other hip hot spots such as Urban Outfitters. They also do not cater soley to smaller sizes, offering sizes as high as 3x, unlike most other popular stores shooting for the teen to mid/late twenties demographic. Recently, they've also begun a "newsstand" section, wherein they hold various underground literature and art magazines, offering the contributors to these publications international exposure for their work where they otherwise wouldn't be getting it (as American Apparel is one of the only remotely mainstream stores of more than one location carrying these publications currently).
In this case, the old adage, "You get what you pay for," rings true. Sure, it may cost a bit more to buy an article of clothing from American Apparel than from Wal*Mart and the like, but if you honestly cannot admit that American Apparel's clothing is of a far superior quality than those you would find at such other establishments, you're just flat out kidding yourself.
If American Apparel has to appeal to the hipster populus to get kids to buy clothes that weren't made in a sweatshop in Chile for once, that's okay with me.