Let's Talk About Clothes, Yo

In a concerted effort to feel more like a thinking, intelligent human being, I have started reading before bed. Unexpected upside- it helps wind me down at night, which is lovely. So, reading!

I am currently dipping my toes into Now You Are Less Dumb by David McRaney. It is very cerebral, and I am not entirely sure I agree with some it. Especially the part about there is no inherent "self." It is clearly tugging on my white matter, as my dreams lately have been more... Rorschach-y. I may have to stop. I just don't want to know all the tiny inner workings at a certain point.

You know what I really enjoyed reading? Overdressed: The Shockingly High Price of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline. You guys, it is so much more than just a sweatshop problem. And while I couldn't care less about the death of the Garment District in NY, (lemme find you a violin for that sad song) it is such a huge issue that has some very immediate consequences.

This week I ventured out to find some winter wear for little man. I am usually a huge outlet shopper- most of the kids' clothes have been Baby Gap, Gymboree, and Carter's. And I order a ton of Children's Place when they have free shipping. 

This year I decided to vary from my normal. I've heard a lot about H&M. There is a store less than 10 mins from my house- and I have been in there exactly twice. (Yes, I know, I'm sorry) I had never purchased a stitch of clothing before that visit. The loud music gets me- and I start feeling acutely unhip real fast with the hipsters and their neon skinny jeans. And JEGGINGS. JEGGINGS are the garlic to my vampire. 

Still I'd heard such ravings about their children's line. So I decided to give it a real shot. 

Guys, I was disappointed. The clothes were so- not fun. And they oozed, reeked really, of shoddy workmanship. And for the price, I would honestly expect more. Before this, I thought Carter's was throw away quality duds. No, H&M bumped them from that perch. Except I don't think I would actually spend that kind of money on throwaways. I mean, yeah, a couple extra bucks over the outlet, or Old Navy. But those extra bucks are MINE, man.

While we're at it, let's talk Old Navy! It's across the street from H&M. So naturally, I ventured. Their sales were semi-awesome. Six dollar shirts- sold. It was only after picking them up I was onto the ruse. OH OKAY, these are so thin, I shouldn't be paying more than $6 for them, got it. 

Then I saw the Batman hoodie. And HE SAW IT. There was no going back. $20 for a 4T hoodie seemed excessive, but I get it, DC Comics needs a cut. Ok. It was also paper thin. Like a jacket made of tissue paper. I put it over sweaters- for ornamental purposes only. So he can point to the logo and demand "call me BATMAN." It keeps nobody warm.

I bought a "Sherpa lined" hoodie for that purpose, on sale, at Children's Place (who is having a pretty decent sale) that will be arriving in a few days.

"Mommy, I'm Batman, so you are Robin. Robin always follows Batman around." 

This is all to say- wake up, people! We are being sold rags. Our quality standards are SO LOW. Embarrassingly so. And we buy so much. There is no sustainability to our consumption of just clothing. And we demand to spend so little on clothes! I cannot quote hard numbers, but the percentage we spend on clothes today compared to the percentage from the 60's? They are unreal numbers. Clothing was a big investment, and was cared for accordingly. I don't know what I am trying to get at here. It just is bothering me now. I cannot go through clothing with the same expendable mentality. Yet I have young, growing children, who require entirely new wardrobes every time the season changes.

I do know that I will never be going back to H&M. I'll stick with Gymbo and my trusty outlet mall. 

1 comment:

  1. I just finished (tonight!) Homeward Bound, at your recommendation. Whoa, a lot to think about. Thanks for suggesting it.