Does anyone wish it could be like the olden days, when....

(83 Posts)
Eliza22 Fri 26-Apr-13 09:41:51

You had, in your wardrobe say, a number of pinafore-type dresses and different shirts/blouses for underneath? I'm hankering after a Valentine Wallopp (Parade's End) or Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility). Then, on a Sunday, you maybe had a choice of "best" outfits.

I'm utterly sick to death of our stores and all the excess. It's all cheap material, see through flimsy crap, T-shirt "dresses" that look awful on a woman of a certain age and aren't really dresses because they're so short, you need jeans or thick tights under them.

I suppose (and I don't expect anyone to post back) what I'm saying is, I wish clothes/looks/image weren't so important. I'd like to bin half of my wardrobe (and its pretty minimal, as it is) and just wear much the same thing, every day and not feel people are thinking "doesn't she have anything else to put on?"

I'm hankering after not so much a contrived "capsule" wardrobe as a just less of everything.

Am I bonkers? (Be kind, in answering that question) or does anyone else feel as I do?

Trill Fri 26-Apr-13 09:45:45

I suspect that some people do feel as you do, but they might not frequent the Style and Beauty section smile

All of the Jane Austen books that I've read have had at least a little fussing over outfits and ribbons and whatnot (even if it was mainly an indicator that a character was frivolous).

hedgefund Fri 26-Apr-13 09:47:50

watching that sewing show makes me want to have lots of dresses custom made to fit just me! i think we have lost the art of dressing to our shapes and just rely on slouchly badly fitting stuff most of the time!

i never did have a pinafore dress though, do you mean a la laura ashley from the 70s?

ZaraW Fri 26-Apr-13 10:13:57

I love retro 50's clothing I was born in the wrong decade.

expatinscotland Fri 26-Apr-13 10:15:42

No. I like cheap stuff.

Trill Fri 26-Apr-13 10:23:49

You can wear retro 50s clothing while still being in this decade with modern appliances and modern medicine and being allowed to have a job after being married and having the right not to be raped by your husband if you are married and not to be a social outcast if you are not married.

FoundAChopinLizt Fri 26-Apr-13 10:27:25

You might enjoy the minimalist thread. It's all about having less, except space and time to enjoy yourself, which you will get more of.grin

amessagetoyouYoni Fri 26-Apr-13 10:29:35

Deep down I feel like you, OP. in fact, my mum always says Mao's China had it right, with bowl haircuts and standard-issue pinafores for everyone grin.

All the time, effort and money we put in to image is wearing.

But hey, I'm as sucked in as the next person, I guess....

Eliza22 Fri 26-Apr-13 10:51:36

Laura Ashley, um no! And no to Per Una/M and S. I take your point Trill about the Jane Austen style.

I have an above knee Hobbs pinafore dress that I wear a LOT in the winter months. Tights, white/grey/black shirt under it. I love it cause I don't have to think too hard. I never really wear patterns (except with a skirt) and then , it has a white T and cardi over. I have many, many pairs of beige/taupe/tan Capri-style trousers for summer/spring again, worn with a white shirt. I guess I am minimalist already!

I tried recently to shop having read a few blogs and seen what others wear and was shocked by the overpriced utter tat, on offer.

Can't do 50's Retro. Too pear shaped and I'm 50. I'd look a bit like a pantomime dame. I'm not stylish enough to cay off a trend/theme.

christinarossetti Fri 26-Apr-13 10:54:11

I yearn for less 'choice' - who needs 15 different yellow t-shirts to choose from in one shop.

In fact, I feel quite nostalgic for the unravelling outgrown jumpers, steaming the wool, then re-using it days.

poorbuthappy Fri 26-Apr-13 10:56:16

I just yearn to be skinnier. I'm sure all my wardrobe stresses would seem more insignificant if I was a size 10.

drjohnsonscat Fri 26-Apr-13 11:03:08

I kind of know what you mean although I do enjoy clothes and would actually buy more if there were more shops catering to me and the clothes I like to wear (44 yo, not skinny).

It sounds actually as though you have found your style and don't need to vary it at all. Think of yourself as Jean Muir and you'll be fine wearing the same thing every day grin.

This is probably totally groovy (as is my choice of phrase) but your post reminded me of this lyric from a Stevie Wonder song about love called "If it's magic":

If it's special
Then with it why aren't we as careful
As making sure we dress in style
Posing pictures with a smile
Keeping danger from a child

ProjectGainsborough Fri 26-Apr-13 11:39:44

I love clothes, I love looking (or attempting to) put together. It's my happy place. But when things happen like this Bangladeshi building collapse, it just makes me realise how obscene our obsession with buying new stuff every weekend is. Just utterly fantastical and obscene that the world works like that.

Wow. Sorry to bring everyone down man.

higgle Fri 26-Apr-13 11:43:52

I have a thing about pinafore dresses too! I have an British tweed silk lined on that I got in the Brora sale three or four years ago and I propose to wear it every winter until I die! Brora and Toast ( they do good sales) are probaby the makes for you as their stuff is tip top quality. Brora have a clearance section which is ending soon - have a look there. Whilst I'm not quite as negative as you, op, I do not want to see another mock wrap synthetic or body con dress in printed polyester jersey ever again. Next, Phase Eight and white stuff have such poor quality now ( and Boden, on the whole) that I've given up on them entirely.

iheartdusty Fri 26-Apr-13 11:46:29

projectgainsborough, I agree with you particularly about the Bangladesh collapse. All those children coming out of the building, were they sewing the clothes my family buys? I am guilty of buying cheap clothes, I can't stand the worthy stuff People Tree sells and I'm too fat and busty to wear vintage, so I generally suppress my qualms about where the cheap stuff comes from.

MrsRebeccaDanvers Fri 26-Apr-13 12:15:45

I wish people would buy less cheap, tatty clothes and have fewer, better quality things instead. There's far too much choice of very similar cheap clothing

drjohnsonscat Fri 26-Apr-13 12:31:40

projectgainsborough that's a really good point about that awful factory collapse. I suspect it probably applies to almost all clothes now not just cheap clothes. I just took off my brand new Hobbs jacket to see where it was made - full price was £169 which is shock (I got it in the sale). Made in China. I guess (hope) Hobbs have a policy about their sourcing but someone is making a lot of money from selling clothes made by poor people to rich people who are silly (ie me)

mewkins Fri 26-Apr-13 12:56:21

I would love to be able to make clothes and would make a set of basic (perfect wide leg black trousers, pencil skirts and some great dresses and then any cheaper basics I bought would look great against my made stuff. So maybe post-war era would be good but without the rationing!
In Austen's books I think clothing was a massive indicator of personal wealth and status and so who you could and couldn't marry etc al rested on how wealthy you were/looked. So, in a way we are better off now- lots of cheap copies etc and if you're clever about it you can blend in without standing out as 'poor'.
Similarly, kids who come from poorer backgrounds don't have to wear homemade clothes and hand me downs so much as cheaper clothes are out there. There are positives and negatives I guess.

Eliza22 Fri 26-Apr-13 13:09:19

Thanks higgle I'll definitely take a look at Brora sale.

DrJ'sCat probably, you're right. I have a style already. I also probably look as though I wear (pretty much) the same thing, every day.

We as a consumer society, seem to have gone "disposable" where clothing's concerned. I overheard a conversation recently where a youngish woman said "well, if it falls apart after a few washes, it's cheap enough to throw it!" And I had visions of what manufacturing process the garment had been through and at what human cost, to reach our "throwaway" society sad

ppeatfruit Fri 26-Apr-13 13:22:18

This is a nice thread It's unusual to be thoughtful on here grin. I have a friend who says she has no jeans (well the 2nd pair she has has a broken button so she was quite happy to go to some boutique like Hobbs drjohsonscat that would sell cheaply made but expensively sold stuff to buy a new pair).

I tend to shop in 2nd hand places where you can buy good quality worn once or twice clothes at much more reasonable prices. I so agree about the bad quality not only of the manufacture but the revolting cheap material that is used in the Primark type shops (you can smell the 'treatment' they use to make the clothes "hang" better as you go in those places)

FrugalFashionista Fri 26-Apr-13 13:30:48

In the good olden days people had few clothes because they were handmade and the raw materials were a major investment (either in money or labor). Have you heard stories from elderly relatives about turning (=picking them apart and resewing to reuse the fabric) clothes? Or going barefoot in the summer to save precious leather shoes?

There has to be a happy balance somewhere between mindless exploitative consumerism and no choices at all...

spanishring Fri 26-Apr-13 13:55:00

I feel the same I long for those high neck, high waist Edwardian dresses- they look so comfy! And well made, and lovely fabric.

Ive always been fussy about fabric but recently everything is a poly mix and as i see it, a total rip off

Because i have decided im fed up of cheap tat im taking these measures:
No more tat- not even charity shops but vintage 80s and previous is OK

I am ( slowly) learning to sew and to adjust clothes

I am going to stop buying things for a do. So reusing what I've got.

I'm also fed up of the cut of clothes. They just don't fit me on the high street

I'm trying to learn

drjohnsonscat Fri 26-Apr-13 14:11:13

It would be nice to wear Edwardian clothes though. Nice nipped in waist and and long skirts. Only for winter though. And only if I had someone to do all the laundry and help me into my carriage so the skirt didn't trail in the mud. Also v happy in 40s clothes - that super-heavy crepe that you can't get any more.

Appreciate this was not really the point of your thread though OP.

OrlaKiely Fri 26-Apr-13 14:17:18

yes op I think you're right. far too much shitey stuff being produced, that then breaks and needs replacing with more cheapo shite.

FoundAChopinLizt Fri 26-Apr-13 14:34:13

My challenge to myself is to only buy in charity shops this year. I actually get more pleasure out of the 'thrill of the chase', than just buying new. When I'm in a 'real' shop getting ideas, I imagine it's a charity shop and I often find I don't actually like a lot of the stuff, just the image of the brand. Today I've got my £3 whistles jeans, and a River Island knit £2 and a lovely scarf on. Knickers model's ownwink

My teen daughter also buys second hand a lot, she is very bothered about child labour, green issues and so on.

higgle Fri 26-Apr-13 14:40:59

I used to have a horse and had a blue tweed "mountain and moreland" show jacket for horse shows. It was fantastic quality and cost about a third of a normal tweed jacket from Joules or somewhere trendy. Once I'd sold my horse ( long story, too busy to ride her) to be a brood mare I had the shape of the jacket altered and I've been wearing it for nearly 10 years now. Still have a show hairnet in one of the pockets.

fridgepants Fri 26-Apr-13 14:41:21

Not too long ago, shops had new stock at the beginning of the season and that was it. Now there seems to be new 'pieces' in stores every week, and it fuels a kind of consumerist panic - that if we don't buy it today, it'll be sold out tomorrow.

It drives me nuts, because I want to buy well-made things in fibres that don't irritate me, and I can't. Monsoon seems to have gone all polyester/viscose these days - five years ago they were selling silk for the same price.

higgle Fri 26-Apr-13 14:46:48

I've just remembered this site - I would love some of their stuff but never seem to get round to ordering Old Town

Eliza22 Fri 26-Apr-13 15:02:54

Drjohnsonscat it is, actually, part of the point of this thread smile. I started by saying, it'd be great if we had say 2 or 3 items and we swapped shirt/knitwear/blouse and didn't have overflowing clothes spilling from every furniture "orifice" in our homes. And when you look at it, it's pretty much crap which years ago would never have been sold to the working class, cause they needed serviceable, strong clothes in (usually) dark colours, to save on the washing!

My neighbour, who's 89 always comments to me, over the fence, that I do so much 'laundry'. It's because again, we're in the habit of one wear-one wash for stuff. I'm trying to educate my son, that if it's not got food down the front of it.... It can be worn more than once before washing!angry

Now, I'm not suggesting we roll the fashion clocks back to 1910 but (and I've probably been watching too much "The Village" on BBC1) that woman, Grace, had bugger all. And she'd wrap a woollen (probably warm, home knitted) shawl about her, and off she went. No one looked at her as if to say "what is she wearing?! And, she was wearing it yesterday.... And the day before that!" Women then couldn't even vote had no rights, were often in abusive patriarchal relationships etc etc but now, we're utterly obsessed with clothes/image/physical shape/ celebrity based on the quality of photoshopping!

The world's gone man.

I'm gonna find me a dressmaker. Get some good gabardine material (for winter) and linen for summer and get some clothes made to the style and quality I like. There'll be two styles. Different materials. That's it. Gonna make me a fortune! Anyone?

Eliza22 Fri 26-Apr-13 15:03:28

Oh, and the world's gone mad! Obviously grin

ppeatfruit Fri 26-Apr-13 15:31:51

higgle I like the look of the 'bungalow dress' the problem is that to wear a dress is a real occasion due to the particular shoes\tights you have to wear to look right etc. I don't usually care ''cos I've got comfortable flats in different colours to match my everyday 'going out' jeans or trousers.

In doors I wear casual tracksuit type trousers for 2 or 3 days at a time to stop my 'going out' clothes getting covered in stains or dust blush This is quite green because I air my going out clothes and they keep clean so don't need washing very often at all.

santamarianovella Fri 26-Apr-13 16:33:02

i dont think the old days were that good tbh,just look at shows like call the midwife or downton abby,it was just the rich who dressed nicely,we would all be considered below stairs and have no choice what to wear,and be happy with tattered hand me downs,and i think realty is more grim than what is portrayed in the movies,in that movie(sense and sensibility) though they became poor,there clothes looked nice, the cottage they lived in is not bad.
so no,im not .im happy to have choices and go out and try things on and buy them.

FrugalFashionista Fri 26-Apr-13 17:26:28

I just read an Edwardian memoir and the S shaped girdle/corset/whatever was pure torture. Being liberated from the corsets in the 1920s was a really big deal, as was adopting menswear and sportswear. Elastic fibers and jerseys too.

But yes agree with the general sentiment of this thread - no to tat and yes to fewer quality clothes.

Maybe it's a family thing but to me clothes have always been a really enjoyable part of life - a bit of creativity and self-expression and freedom. And I continue to enjoy that aspect of clothes.

Eliza22 Fri 26-Apr-13 18:48:49

santamarianovella I agree. The point I was making (for myself) was that I wish there were quality fabrics that didn't cost an arm and a leg. I sent my niece (17) a few bits last year. I spent £60 and got little more than 2 tatty t-shirts. Once item was described as a dress.

Also, in the 70's I liked "grandad collar" shirts. It didn't mean I had the intention of buying clogs and getting a job down't pit!

florascotia Fri 26-Apr-13 20:41:33

Re the old days and workers' clothes.
I really think it all depends on the section of the working class we are talking about, and maybe the country/region they came from.

I remember talking to my father about his childhood clothes shortly before he died . He came from poor but (relatively) very well educated Scottish peasantry, and, like all his brothers, won a scholarship to a secondary school in a nearby town. Today, the same school is very posh and fee-paying. He and all his brothers left school at 14 - they felt obliged to start work to help support their family.

I asked him what he wore as a child. He said that his mother felt that cheap clothes were false economy, so she shopped for them at the nearest town's 'sound' but certainly not fashionable or classy drapers. The boys had an unofficial uniform: grey wool flannel long shorts (until 14!), grey cotton shirts, navy or grey long-sleeved wool pullovers (short-sleeved equivalent in summer), long knitted woollen stockings, brown leather boots. An outfit was purchased once per year; old clothes (patched, mended, let out etc) or hand-me-downs were worn for time at home. These clothes were paid for partly by savings but mostly - once my father and his siblings were old enough - by summer work on farms or by fruit-picking (Scottish raspberries etc). My father and his brothers were allowed to keep some of their earnings, but the majority of what they earned was used to to buy a new outfit for the start of the new autumn term (starts August in Scotland).

Of course, this is just one example. But it's instructive, perhaps?

TooMuchRain Fri 26-Apr-13 20:54:16

I agree, less but better would be great. I think that all of us who buy super-cheap clothes bear some responsibility for what happened in Bangladesh and it's part of the disposable society that we have been sold because disposable clothes mean we spend money more often.

I don't think clothing has to be hugely expensive made-in-the-UK or nothing, what would make a huge difference is just knowing as standard what working conditions shops demand from their suppliers.

santamarianovella Fri 26-Apr-13 23:50:33

elizagood quality was never cheap,my mum keeps telling me that while growing up in the sixties and seventies ,she very rarely had a new dress,it was all hand downs or sewn or knitted at home.my grandmother would buy her one good dress for christmas and her birthday and thats it, .she was tough from an early age to keep it in good condition as it would pass to her younger sister,it was very expensive to buy clothes.
i think now days we have more options,you still can buy well made clothes but you would have to pay a hefty price for it,so that concept didnt change,but life became more demanding . we have other expenses to pay.

sillyoldfool Sat 27-Apr-13 00:02:24

I have 5 outfits -2 pairs of trousers, four tops, one dress and a cardigan I wear them over and over, and I don't care if people think I'm odd for wearing the same things all the time! Tbh it hadn't occurred to me until now that people might think that. They aren't tatty and are always clean, they fit me well and are comfy.

Well, I do wear stuff over and over, don't have a huge wardrobe (though more than just say 2 pinafores and 3 shirts). Do people notice? No idea. Do they comment on my lack of variety? Never. but then I do work mostly with men

Actually I have had some compliments (from the women) on things I wear, i.e. on particular items. So I guess having something nice is more important than having lots - and by nice I don't mean expensive, one of the things I get compliments on is a skirt from Next (don't all groan) that I bought about 5 years ago - compliments from both colleagues and strangers.

CorrieDale Sat 27-Apr-13 07:15:58

I know I have too many clothes - the result of losing a lot of weight and finally looking good in clothes, I'm afraid. So as to do this with minimal guilt I always buy second hand, whether it's eBay or charity shops. It also means i can afford much better quality clothes. I pretty much always wear the same things - jeans tee and cardi! In summer I make myself dresses to leave in the wardrobe because our over-consumption means that it never stops blimmin raining!

FrugalFashionista Sat 27-Apr-13 07:26:59

Someone I know works in the shoe industry. She wants to work ethically and decided to have her shoes made in Brazil because she found that they have the right conditions there. She travels there frequently to inspect the conditions - the Novo Hamburgo area in Southern Brazil is an upward mobile society and there are no total hellholes there and shoe industry is very important for that area. Her own label is nichey, expensive and difficult to source in the UK, but Geox have factories in the same area.

ppeatfruit Sat 27-Apr-13 07:31:24

corriedale i've lost weight too and am loathe to give nice clothes away (even to charity) I don't know why. I keep thinking I'll take them in (which will NOT look professional! )or have them taken in but that's a faff getting fitted etc. So they're hanging in the wardrobe looking at me grin.

RedToothBrush Sat 27-Apr-13 07:57:27

My personal taste for clothes is quite plain, classically cut clothes. You knonw stuff that simply doesn't go out of fashion. But in my experience it never fails to amaze me how difficult it can be to find certain items. For example if you wanted a very plain v necked jumper in blue, it can be extremely difficult to find. And when you do find something close to what you are looking for, the chances are its branded with a logo. Or looks like it will fall apart within about 3 washes.

But then thats the very nature of the business, retailers what you to buy and spend money constantly, not wear the same thing for years.

That said I do think there is room in the market, for a 'back to basics' retailer (perhaps an internet company) that just does your plain basics in a range of sizes and colours and they don't really vary their ranges hugely from season to season. I'm sure people would like a place that they know they can buy a plain, black skirt (in a range of lengths and perhaps even trial three different hip to waist ratios whilst they are at it) so they don't have to trail round 8 different stores.

MrsHiddleston Sat 27-Apr-13 08:04:14

Not hankering after the old days as such but I do think the quality of clothing nowadays is crap! Even the higher end high street, Hobbs, LK Bennett etc... The quality is poor.

Earthymama Sat 27-Apr-13 08:23:28

I was obsessed with fashion from my teens; I worked in a 'boutique' from age 13-18 so I guess that started the passion.
I had lots of other issues, thinking I was obese, lack of self-esteem and dressing fashionably was the way I dealt with them.
I loved my clothes and can still see most of the 'pieces' wink
I look at the clothes in the Guardian Fashion section and it doesn't seem real.

Now I am post-menopausal and settled in my relationship I am far more relaxed. I wear things I love, velvet or cord jeggings with long tunics, knee-length skirts with thick tights and boots for work.
I have lots of long skirts that have ties inside to allow the length to change. I wear these in layers with tunics, or layer the tunics over long dresses.

There is a shop in Cardiff called Morgan that has the best clothes in the style I like. Sadly all too expensive but I use them for inspiration. Luckily Glastonbury does a fine line in Pagan clothing so I stock up there.

I agree about the ethics of cheap clothes, this society has turned out all wrong. I always had a best outfit, bit too big, worn til nest big occasion, then demoted to everyday 'playing out' clothes then passed on!!

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 27-Apr-13 08:29:30

I was musing a bit on this on the mumsy thread. Also listening to the Cazalets on r4 this week made me think about the world where you had a few nice frocks for everyday and then a couple of 'best ones'.

It is harder though to find decent quality fabrics without spending £££ and I'm increasingly shocked at how many expensive brands are now using an awful lot of polyester.

Its interesting on here though that if you say you're going to buy a very expensive handbag the moral judgers come out to berate you but these are generally made by craftspeople earning a decent wage.

I get though that things weren't always wonderful and I know my DH still feels the pain of always being dressed in very unfashionable jumble sale clothes and he really doesn't much care about clothes unless they have wicking properties wink

I guess though there needs to be a middle ground - I do try to buy less but better quality now as actually made myself feel ill with how much stuff I have de-cluttered in the last couple of years.

Very interesting thread.

singaporeswing Sat 27-Apr-13 08:51:15

I have a very hourglass shape body, size 12, 30GG but quite tall with high hips and a short torso. Quite "Jessica Rabbit". I cannot for the life of me find clothes that fit or suit me whatsoever.

Everything is cut for the very straight up and down figure and I'm limited to a few outfits that I can rotate that don't make me look huge and do actually fit.

Plus I'm only early 20s, so don't want stuff that makes me look older than my years or too formal.

I would have loved to be alive in the 50s, with the pin up girl clothes etc.

ppeatfruit Sat 27-Apr-13 09:20:54

singapore why not go for the full 50s retro look? it's very modern now (dd2 is into it and she's 29) grin and from the sound of it you'd look great!

Earthymama Sat 27-Apr-13 09:22:34

Can I just add that breasts have always been a problem to clothing manufacturers!! Damn those curves!! 34f at 14!! I love my boobs and like clothes that show they are there.

My DIL said, when she saw me without my beloved layers, Oh you have a really nice shape! I luckily don't need to use my powers of seduction any more grin
(Sighs wistfully)

To Hourglass Girl; (sorry on iPad and don't know how to go back without losing this)

might it be worth trying to find a dressmaker and taking some ideas along? Could be expensive, though it might be worth asking at a local crafting group?
You would look amazing, you must love those boobs!

Earthymama Sat 27-Apr-13 09:25:12

Oh and TKMaxx and charity shops are your friend if you are a rummager.
Also eBay and online shopping; most of my wedding 'outfit' was bought new on eBay!
(Nearly a year ago, I had such a good time finding everything as did the Wife)

TooMuchRain Sat 27-Apr-13 12:05:04

This is a really interesting thread, MrsCampbellBlack I think I have been one of those people (silently) judging expensive purchasese and not thinking about how damaging the cheap consumer market is - thanks for pointing it out.

I would love a good quality, fairtrade type range for basics. I went to buy a plain black trench that will last a couple of years yesterday... and came back empty-handed.

ppeatfruit Sat 27-Apr-13 12:18:02

Do you live in London TooMuchrain ? Because there are some very good dress agencies in the small roads opp. Harrods just past it, on the right as you look towards Brompton Oratory. If I want something special I go to them they're not cheap but the clothes\bags jwellery etc. are very good quality only worn once or twice.

TooMuchRain Sat 27-Apr-13 12:23:28

No, but I'm only about 90 minutes away so could give that a go - thanks smile

ppeatfruit Sat 27-Apr-13 12:25:05

It's worth the journey grin

justasecond Sat 27-Apr-13 14:04:45

Interesting thread. I too am sick of polyster tat but it is easy to wash and dry. I like the look of this US brand https://www.everlane.com/
wish we had something similar here with a transparent production process and reasonable prices for quality basics.

FrugalFashionista Sat 27-Apr-13 16:03:47

Loving the look of Everlane Justasecond and am now coveting their white shorts <incurable> wink

I think Benetton and Gap and Banana Republic and even Old Navy (back in the day they had decent stuff) started out like suppliers of good honest basics, but various things have happened - fast fashion, increases in the prices of raw materials, consumer boredom - and most of them have lost the plot a bit.

I'm often wondering why don't we use the power of MN to organize boycotts to force a point ("We will no more shop at X until they phase out polyester tops" for example.) I'm sure retailers would listen in. If so many of us cannot find a decent quality white or cream top - and at the same time the high street is struggling - there has to be a disconnect somewhere!

CorrieDale Sat 27-Apr-13 17:07:16

Ppeat I got rid of mine without a qualm because I'd had most of them for years and they were all fairly crappy quality (given that I mostly chucked them in the supermarket trolley while doing the weekly shop, so low was my self-esteem). The stuff I bought 2nd hand while I was losing weight has either been passed onto friends in the same boat or put up in the loft Just In Case. I see your point but if I were you I'd get them out of sight!

redmayneslips Sat 27-Apr-13 21:12:47

This is a very interesting thread. My father trained as a shirt-maker back in the 60's and has always been very, very fussy about our clothes when we were kids, plus he has a great eye for style so we were happy with his guidance. I guess I picked up his habits as I would WAY rather have 1 beautiful, well made, well-fitting item than 5 or 6 cheaper equivalents. My sister, on the other hand, always favoured fast and cheap and throw-away, she craved novelty and new-ness in her fashion when she was younger.

I remember we had some lean times after a business crashed in the 80's and then my dad worked himself to the bone to pick things back up again and one day he surprised us on a trip to a nearby city by bringing myself and my sister into Benetton and telling us we could pick 2 outfits each. In those days, that clothes were expensive there but the quality was wonderful - I can still see exactly what I got, and how good it made me feel (I was about 14) and I wore those clothes until they literally fell apart....it was a formative thing for me as after that I always wanted clothes that would make me feel that good about myself. My mother would have veered more towards the Primark side of things and did not care much for style.

Even now, I don't have masses of clothes but I know what suits me and I take a lot of care selecting them and I look after them. I get a lot of pleasure from clothes.

Eliza22 Sun 28-Apr-13 15:31:34

redmaynslips, I remember buying a number of very bright jumpers from Benetton in the early 80's. My mum had brought my sister and I up (born 1962) on staples from M&S. She'd never buy from debenhams, C&A, "Tammy" or "Etam" (the equivalent of say, River Island or Top Shop, today). I hated it. Benetton was so special and expensive but I wore a bright pink 3/4 sleeved soft v-neck from there, til the moths moved in!!

ppeatfruit Mon 29-Apr-13 10:59:19

redmayne I used to have a French friend in the 80s and she (like you) had a few expensive beautifully tailored clothes. They still do that to an extent In Fr. (we live between Fr. and Eng now) but they tend to be real high fashion victims in this rural area; they don't look at the fashion and buy what suits them they just sort of buy it (and its usually expensive!) 'cos its in fashion regardless! Of course I love it because their 2nd hand shops are bursting at the seams with good clothes (although some of them are far too weird for me!).

In England there are more thoughtful shoppers who wear classics IMO and E.

I have just seen a photo from the collapsed factory in Bangladesh of a garment in the rubble with a Benetton label - they have been denying connection with these kind of factories.

It doesn't seem that more expensive = better quality or more fairly treated workers from looking at links on this thread - designer brands are just making larger profits on individual garments.

I don't shop a lot, still interested in style - but limited budget means I have to wear my clothes until they fall apart.

Muji seem to be have the type of minimalist clothes this thread makes me think of - no idea if their clothes are ethically produced or made to last? Inspired by the disaster in Bangladesh I want to buy basic clothes for my whole family, that don't perpetuate the conditions these people are working in - where are these clothes?

ppeatfruit Mon 29-Apr-13 11:49:24

TapselteerieO I think I remember that sadly Benetton were in at the beginning of the outsourcing to the 3rd world cheap labour countries.

ppeatfruit Mon 29-Apr-13 12:20:50

Thanks for that thread tapselteerie IMO the majority of the garment trade is basically the unacceptable face of capitalism and we need to have a large boycott of companies like Nike etc. I'm not sure how many people would be behind it though. sad angry

woozlebear Mon 29-Apr-13 12:44:49

You might enjoy this: One Dress Protest

and YY, I feel exactly the same. Modern life in this respect is not conducive to peace of mind. Choice beyond a certain useful point makes us crazy, I think.

Boycotts have worked in the past seemingly Gap and (not sure if it was) Nike both suffered boycotts in the nineties that made them change practice -I have just been reading about it, so not absolutely sure of my facts.

I have been wondering if we should try shopping at places like da wanda it is a sort of global marketplace, for individual makers of clothes.

woozlebear Mon 29-Apr-13 12:54:49

Interesting thread.

I often feel like the fashion industry has become entirely, literally just that. They've lost sight almost completely of the basic purpose of clothing (to keep us warm and protected, so fulful social requirements of decency, and then, yes, to provide social signalling (I'm rich, I'm attractive, I'm rebellious etc).

But now the majority seems to be 100% fashion for fashion's sake. It's ALL about the social signalling. The industry actually don't want us to buy plain, good quality basics because we'd buy less. Start telling everyone that patterns and wacky colours and freaky cuts are IN, and they'll soon feel they NEED a whole new wardrobe every year. It's entirely self-serving. It's not fast moving to cater to consumer demand, as they'd like us to think, it's fast moving to CREATE consumer demand. The quality is a side effect of that, I think. You're only going to be able to get people to buy into that if you make it all cheap enough to seem disposable. In days gone by, it was impossible to make clothes cheap enough, so they HAD to offer good quality classics that would last.

ppeatfruit Mon 29-Apr-13 13:00:30

Yes and now there are fair trade coffees etc. shame they aren't ALL FT though! . Thanks woozle for The One Dress Protest link it was fascinating.

Eliza22 Mon 29-Apr-13 13:15:45

Woozle thanks so much for that blog link. Of the ones I've had chance to read, I am "one" with their thinking!

I may join one of their projects, am thinking of the one where the entire content of my wardrobe (of that season) is reduced to 6 items. The rest goes in the lost. It sounds good, to me.

woozlebear Mon 29-Apr-13 13:26:37

It's fascinating isn't it? I've known about it for a while and thought about doing one of the projects but never actually done it. Think it's time to actually do it!

If you're having minimalist leanings, you might also like the Miss Minimalist blog. It's the best blog on the subject I've found, although she doesn't post so much now, but the archive will keep you going for weeks.

ppeatfruit Mon 29-Apr-13 13:37:51

I just googled Brooks Brothers (an upmarket American tailoring firm) where Dh gets most of his shirts and there is NO mention in the whole of their site of where their stuff is actually made.It's an amazing lesson in obfuscation actually!

ppeatfruit Mon 29-Apr-13 13:38:46

Sorry too many actuallys!

ppeatfruit Mon 29-Apr-13 13:47:02

woozle the psychology of fashion is interesting. I used to work in fashion P.R. in my 20s I was the wrong type though. Because I just couldn't go along with the "You don't exist because you're not wearing the latest stuff" attitude; BTW this was the 70s so the fashion for fashion's sake thing has been going a long time.

I even think that that attitude has changed quite a bit now there is more space for individuality with the retro thing etc.

ppeatfruit Mon 29-Apr-13 13:50:31

Also maybe its more an age thing; when you 've reached a secure place and an older age you don't give a shit care any more grin

Eliza, I am SO with you on this one!
I don't get 'choice' when it is a choice between 25 vaguely different, but the same things, none of which I actually want or need.

It's like with dressing toddlers: 'Do you want to wear the red or the green t-shirt?' gives a choice; asking 'Which of these 25?' is just confusing.

I don't buy polyester. I just don't. That severely restricts my choice at times, but so be it. I have recently discovered bamboo as a natural and renewable fibre and otherwise stick with cotton and/or linen.

I do not like pinafore dresses and for practical reasons wear next to no skirts/dresses at all (too much leg-upkeep required blush), so can we please have some well-cut trousers in your fashion-light world?

Plathism Mon 29-Apr-13 14:53:45

The One Dress Protest girl seems to be wearing the same dress as The Uniform Project girl - I wonder if they're affiliated? Anyway, I loved the way the Uniform Project restyled the dress every day, def worth checking out. Sorry for lack of link, my phones playing up.

Eliza22 Mon 29-Apr-13 19:44:26

Liking da wanda site. Some lovely (individual looking) stuff.

Edwardian dresses!! Comfy!! You're bonkers! They had nipped in waists because they had corsets on..passed out all over the place because they couldn't breathe!!!
I admit I love the look though.
I went through a Victorian phase....the day I met my DH I was wearing an ankle length, grey pinstriped pinafore dress and button boots ffs! Good job he doesn't notice clothes....

suebfg Mon 29-Apr-13 21:19:49

I feel the same way. I don't buy a lot these days. I mainly order online and am pretty ruthless about returning things if they aren't perfect. I probably return about 90% of what I order shock.

I don't like seeing people coming out of Primark with multiple bags full of clothes. It's their choice of course but it seems excessive to me.

CoolCadbury Mon 29-Apr-13 21:41:20

I get overwhelmed when I go shopping for clothes. The sheer amount of clothes that are crammed in the shops does my head in. I went shopping today and I lasted 3 shops before I had to leave. Can't cope at all.

I am all for less. Less choice. Less clothes.

Not going to happen though is it? Well, the less choice bit anyway. Less clothes is up to me, of course.

I like the sound of the one dress project.

Just wonder how you find one dress! It would make choosing what to wear v simple though. I am liking the sound of many of the brands at fashion conscience you can find out the ethics of each brand , where and how garments are made etc.

Lavenderhoney Tue 30-Apr-13 05:54:38

How interesting - I have a few outfits I wear and just change accessories.

I usually wear jeans and a t shirt for drop off, and change later if i am doing something i need to be smarter for, and I can say although I see the same mums everyday, I never notice if they are wearing the same as yesterday, or the teacher for that matter.

I never buy anything new for parties etc, or dinner out. I just use what's in my wardrobe- I have had some dresses for over 10 years! They still look lovely though ( I did lash out, pre dc days)

That's a tip- if you are pre dc, buy the best you can. Shopping after will be an impossible dream, with a toddler wanting a wee mid change or lack of funds for lovely evening dressessmile and handbags...

kiwigirl42 Tue 30-Apr-13 13:33:13

I feel quite nostalgic for the unravelling outgrown jumpers, steaming the wool, then re-using it days

I bought an Aran jumper off ebay made with pure shetland cream wool for £15 but it didn't fit so I've just unravelled it and the yarn is waiting to be washed and reknitted. I buy most of my woolies off ebay - I have 2 amazing Dale of Norway cardigans I got for pennies. Brand new they are about £200. One still has the creases in the arms and has obviously never been worn.

ppeatfruit Tue 30-Apr-13 13:39:23

kiwi You're obviously a good knitter, I wish I was !grin] do you knit while watching T.V.?

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