Faux Pas: Stupid iPhone Cases

Recently, I decided to make the leap and purchase an iPhone.  I was tired of my Blackberry melting down like a German in a diving competition every time I needed to search the web, and every other fashion blogger on planet Earth has one, so it felt like the right thing to do.  

Shortly after buying the phone, I decided to purchase a case for it.  I really don’t know why I thought this was necessary since I’ve owned eight cell phones over the past twelve years and never felt the need to decorate any of them.  But nevertheless, hours after purchasing my iPhone, there I was, on the Internet, searching for a case that truly captured my essence.  

There were metallic cases and Swarovski-encrusted cases.  There were cases with sports logos and personalized monograms.  There were cases that glowed in the dark or had flashing lights.  There were even cases that smell like your favorite flavor of Jelly Belly.

Etsy had cases knitted by a woman in Massachusetts to look like sweaters, and cases covered in three dimensional cookies and cakes.  

Live in a cold climate?  How about an iPhone case covered in real fur?

Not satisfied with giving Apple free advertising by carrying an iPhone? Why not double up on the commitment to consumerism by shilling for Juicy Couture, Tory Burch or Marc Jacobs with a logo case?

And, of course, there’s a Hello Kitty case.  Or 200 Hello Kitty cases. Heaven forbid Sanrio miss out on a single penny of that billion dollar empire.

But the most abhorrent thing I found during my search for an iPhone case was this monstrosity:

Rabito iPhone 4 Case ($32)

Even more horrifying? It’s being sold at my beloved Nordstrom.  [facepalm]

After I finished weeping bitter tears, I began to wonder about the kind of person who carries a bunny-shaped iPhone case complete with pointy ears and bushy tail.  Who is the target demographic for this product?  What person would buy an iPhone in an attempt to look cool and urbane (isn’t that why we all own them?), and then wrap it in a fluffy pink bunny case?  

Teenage girls, sure.  But what grown person with a checking account and health insurance would carry such a thing?  I was determined to believe that no such person could exist.  Then, during my trip to New York, I found my unicorn.

My friend and I were sitting in the dining room of a restaurant with three Michelin stars when the woman at the table behind us pulled out a lime green bunny phone.  (Did I forget to mention that it comes in six colors? Including the very masculine black with striped bushy tail?)  

She was tall, attractive, late-30s.  She was wearing Manolos and a selection of Hermes bracelets.  And yet, there she was texting on a phone shaped like a freaking bunny.  

I wanted to ask her why.  I wanted to ask her if she was dropped on her head as a child, or if she’d done too many club drugs during her misspent youth.  I wanted to ask if she was making a philosphical statement about a topic that I wasn’t intelligent enough to understand.  But I didn’t.  I just watched in horror as she held her plastic lagomorph by the ears and dropped it into her Chloe bag.  

And then I ordered another cocktail.  A double.

I’m all for self-expression.  After all, that’s what clothes and fashion are all about.  I’m even willing to stretch the boundaries a bit and accept that choosing a whimsical, colorful case helps a person embrace his or her individuality.

But a case with ears and a furry, bushy tail?  I would endorse the wearing of Uggs in public before I would give the Rabito and its kin my stamp of approval.

All joking aside, before you step into your next business meeting, look down at your iPhone and ask yourself: What would my supervisor/client/Boss think if he/she saw this phone?  Because had I seen the woman from the restaurant on the street, I would have thought that she looked amazing and stylish.  But having seen her hidden shame, she would have to take a bullet for me before I could refer to her as anything other than the Woman with the Lime Green Bunny Phone.

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  1. Melissa says:

    i first saw the picture and thought “it's a playboy bunny case” and when it wasn't, i was amazed. i'm still trying to decide if it's having the playboy logo on it or not would make this better or worse.

    also, about swype for android- MUCH better.

    November 30, -0001/Reply
  2. Ella says:

    Gah, our intern has one of those too! Here's a piece of Cap Hill advice – if you're going to take personal calls at your desk (which you shouldn't) don't use a phone that looks like a fluffy rabbit, it's much more conspicuous!

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  3. Chloe says:

    I am dying over this. I love your snark! And that case is absolutely ridiculous.

    August 9, 2012/Reply
    • cheryl says:

      Ditto, Chloe, to everything you just said!

      April 27, 2016/Reply
  4. scq2 says:

    What did you end up buying?

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  5. Tsampamama says:

    Ugh! Ugg? Ugh! Just horrific. I've been curious, how do you like your iPhone for emails? I've got an Andriod and I HATE typing on it. I miss my Blackberry for that…

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  6. Belle says:

    Tsa: I do MISS the Bberry for typing. You adjust, but it is not the same.

    SCQ2: I grabbed a case from Amy Sia at Society 6.

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  7. Mara says:

    If she's well dressed and attractive and otherwise serious, maybe this is her one concession to whimsy in her life. I'd giggle at her questionable taste, but not move on to judging whether 'she'd been dropped on her head.' Chill out, my goodness.

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  8. Gabriela says:

    I SAW SOMEONE WITH THIS CASE YESTERDAY!! Truly horrifying. Especially the fact that they sell it at Nordstrom.

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  9. sw says:

    I have seen no fewer than five of these on the metro. Then again, all of those using the phones also had long acrylic nails with 3D art. So there's that.

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  10. wimsyinmylife says:

    all of my students have the bunny case, i dont get it, i want my phones smaller for my weekend purses, not bigger. unless the ears help reception im with belle here

    question: what is your take on cases that are not classy per se but maybe have say the front of my favorite book on them or something similar?

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  11. jen says:

    This is just too much to handle. Why?

    I fell prey to shilling for Marc Jacobs, but I feel so much better about it after reading this post.

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  12. Belle says:

    jen: I don't like logos in general, so I'm extra sensitive to them. But that's not a faux pas so much as it is a personal dislike, a rabbit phone? A rabbit phone is a jaw dropper.

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  13. Emily says:

    I used to be more concerned about this and only carried black cases to actually protect the phone. I have now branched out to a polka dot Kate Spade case. A little fun but not too crazy. No bunny ears for me!

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  14. Belle says:

    wimsyinmylife: I don't mind whimsical cases. I was amazed by the variety and some of the things people put on them, but I don't usually mind them.

    I feel about cases the way I feel about rain boots. If you want to wear hot pink polka dots, I think that's a good place to do it. Whimsy is best in moderation.

    I've seen a lot of cute cases that I wouldn't carry myself like Kate Spade's cases, or this wooden case But a bunny case isn't whimsical, it's childish.

    And something that's perplexed me, how do you clean the bushy tail when it gets grimy?

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  15. meg says:

    I wonder if Vera Bradley makes an iPhone case. LOL!

    SW: Arcrylic nails with 3D art – yes, that explains it!

    I love this post.

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  16. Helena says:

    A bunny case is about on par with a tie-neck blouse for me in terms of style-killing…I kid, I kid. You know, I'd probably judge a little, but then decide that she's a fun person with a sense of humor and try to get over myself.

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  17. MH says:

    The horror.

    It even comes in four patterns.

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  18. Boardroom Belles says:

    The need for extreme escapism into the pink glittery world of Japanese Hello Kitty or her horribly-accented German cousin Princess Lilifee (you may insert your own inappropriate historical joke here, I won't do it for you!) in grown women just confounds me.

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  19. Maggie says:

    When I bought my iPhone I went through the same trek to find a good case that was classy and fun and I found a gorgeous case in a blue and white print. I was bringing it up to the register when I realized that on the side of the case, in gawdy big gold writing, was “Juicy Couteur.” I put it back on the shelf immediately. It was pretty- but I don't want something that screams the brand that made it.

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  20. cginnyc says:

    I love your writing!

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  21. MidWestChic says:

    This post cracks me up! And that bunny cover is horrendous!! I settled for a Tech Candy cover… nice, crisp white pattern with a grey silicone sleeve.

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  22. LC says:

    If the bunny ears and bright colored case aren't doing it for you, why not try just the tail? (I kid, I kid.) Saw this the other day and was amused and horrified all at once.

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  23. love it says:

    OtterBox is a good, classic iphone case product. I have this teal/blue one…,default,pd.html?dwvar_APL4-I4SUN_color=F6&start=10&cgid=apple-iphone-4-cases

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  24. Meg says:

    The Rabito, As seen on TV!

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  25. SS says:

    This is just too funny! Would love to know the case you picked out.

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  26. SGL says:

    — Tangent alert — Tsampamama: You may want to try the Swype keyboard (downloadable through the Google Play Store, I think–look for the Swype Beta Installer). It allows you to slide from letter to letter very quickly, so your finger never lifts from the keypad except between words. It's a bit of a learning curve but I've been happy with it, and it definitely beats trying to tap those tiny little letters.

    (Not available for the iPhone, I've heard.)

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  27. mj says:

    I disagree! I would just think that she is a fun person. Good for her to be light-hearted. It's just a phone.

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  28. ChinaRette says:

    The rabbit cases and the rhinestone-encrusted cases were both extremely popular with so-called “office ladies” (OL's) when I was in China. All single 20-somethings living at home, with 100% of their income going to their shopping budget.

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  29. R says:

    I highly recommend custom iPhone covers from Rouge and Co.

    The bunny case is actually owned by my Korean coworkers in bright pink. I think its a cultural thing.

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  30. alex says:

    And I thought I was taking a step out of professionalism when I slapped this on my iPhone!

    Why a phone needs ears and a bunny tail, I will never know.

    August 9, 2012/Reply
  31. K says:

    I also thought it was a playboy case. Gross.

    I have and love this denim matte case:

    Simple, cheap, and matches almost everything I have.

    August 10, 2012/Reply
  32. mino says:

    there were too many comments to weave through but I have a feeling this post (like most others) pushes the button for a lot of people. I could be wrong, maybe your audience knows better..

    truly entertaining and well written. love your sarcasm!

    if you haven't decided on what to get, I highly recommend society6. totally agree, it's all about capturing your essence my friend.

    August 10, 2012/Reply
  33. Heather says:

    The target audience for bunny phones is wannabe manic pixie dream girls, a la Jess from the FOX tv show “New Girl,” aka Zooey Deschanel as herself:

    August 11, 2012/Reply
  34. Belle says:

    Heather: Thank you for this. I am not a Zooey Deschanel fan, and I am now glad for concrete proof as to why.

    August 11, 2012/Reply
  35. Cara says:

    Heather, I was going to mention Zooey Deschanel's case on New Girl. But in the show's defense, all the other characters give her grief about the case.

    August 13, 2012/Reply
  36. Ann says:

    I saw 2 of these yesterday in the Roti near 1629 K Street. The women were gorgeous, well-dressed Washingtonians. Sigh.

    September 8, 2012/Reply
  37. Elle says:

    FYI, the “cases knitted by a woman in Massachusetts to look like sweaters”, links to a BBC Olympic webpage. I got really excited after reading that, lol! Now, I'm off to do an etsy search.

    November 7, 2012/Reply
  38. Samantha says:

    I have 34 different phone cases, and one of them includes this in white. I use it when spending time with my extended family, the children love to play my phone games and this way I always know who has my phone. No, I would never use this in a restaurant or at work, but there are times where it can be a fun way to dress up your phone.

    July 15, 2013/Reply
  39. Pretty Squared says:

    I was looking to get a new case for my iPhone and came across the bunny. After a quick facepalm, I had to search whether anyone commented on this …and found this great social commentary/thesis. Couldn’t agree more with everything in this post!

    January 6, 2014/Reply