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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?

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
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 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.

TapselteerieO Mon 29-Apr-13 11:33:24

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.

TapselteerieO Mon 29-Apr-13 12:49:21

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

PacificDogwood Mon 29-Apr-13 13:56:27

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.

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