The days of shopping for decent quality clothing at reasonable, but not necessarily low, prices in department stores seem to have occured in a bygone era. Despite being the *bastion* of the 1990’s – it may as well have been the 1950’s. The only real difference between the 90’s and the 50’s is that it’s OK to be nostalgic about the 50’s.
In the 2000’s the fast fashion (H&M, Zara, Uniqlo, etc.) craze, already rampant in Europe, was discovered and devoured by the United States. The looks that walked the runways in Paris, Milan, and London, found themselves in Zara and H&M weeks later for the price of exactly 1/5th of a Balenciaga sweater sleeve.
There really is nothing to hate. The latest looks for cheap. It’s favorable across the board. Until you only get to wear that sweater 7 times and it unravels. Or you unravel the seam on those super-slim chinos after you pulled what you thought was just a piece of string sticking to your paints. Or you wash that black shirt and take it out of the washer finding it to be a a new 75% grey shirt.
I don’t want to sound like I’m 108 years old, but you get what you pay for. I’m good with spending $6 for a tee or a tank at H&M and throwing it out 6 months later. Basics are basics, and should be cheap. But to treat a pair of chinos, or a “cashmere” sweater, or a “wool” coat, as disposable seems wrong – because they aren’t disposable. They’re staples. They’re timeless – and should be constructed that way.
I’m not necessarily an advocate for spending $4550 on a wool coat from Yves. But, I’m no longer an advocate for spending $15 on fast fash trash.
I realize I may be a rare case. After all, who wants to spend more than they have to? But damnit, I’d rather spend $55 on an oxford at Everlane knowing that someone put some thought into making it, than $15 knowing I may get to wear it only 3 times – like the last H&M oxford I bought.
I’ve left out quite a bit of the “moral high ground” stuff here, like the amount of this fast fashion stuff that ends up in landfills, or labor conditions at factories that manufacture fast fashion clothes, etc., because that’s all kind of secondary to me at this point.
I just want to wear something that’s as timeless as the style. Is that too much to ask for anymore?