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19-04-2011
  31
Power to the 99%
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Not Plain Jane View Post
Tamtamj - interesting topic. I think it is partially cultural; we live in a culture of obsolescence more than ever before. Things go out of style or need to be upgraded constantly. Endless consumption, instant gratification, profit before people, quantity over quality, shopping as therapy, fast food/fast cars/fast fashion. All these comments are cliches, yes, but true on some level too.

You seem to be coming at things from two angles: pragmatism (buy less of better quality, go for fit and fabrication) but also aestheticism (buy one beautiful well-crafted coat, spend more to get the beauty and quality).

I tend to agree with you on both counts. I often wait until I can afford that special piece, saving up, or nabbing it on sale, if I am lucky enough to see my size left. But I will buy middle pieces for trends or frivolous things, like a summer dress to toss over a bathing suit.

Conscious consumerism would be wonderful, but whether or not it is achievable is doubtful. The whole paradoxical notion of "save money, but spend constantly" is very implicated in the social fabric right now. There are always sales, and people are always buying. The people who run the businesses, the ads, all of it, feed into this frenzy.

I have often noted that if so-and-so just saved for 2-3 months what she spent at the Gap, she could have bought that one more exclusive, lovely item that she said was "too expensive." And chances are those Gap items will get shipped off to thrift or donated. There is a reason why most of what we see in thrift stores - the big ones - is the lower to middle end chain store stuff...
Things going out of style and needing upgrading constantly is largely a perception--and I don't think I need to tell you who's creating it

I'm on my second cell phone ever. I knew it was time to replace the first one when the battery would no longer hold a charge. Although the phone company wants me to consider the letters and coupons they send a huge wakeup call that it's time!, I toss them all in the recycling and keep on using the perfectly fine one I've already got.

I find that if you buy a little carefully to start with (no Hammer pants), very little truly goes out of style. It's usually shoes you haven't worn much. And then the trends change back your way.

I consider myself a conscious consumer, and I know of lots of people who are more conscious than I am. It's totally achievable.

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20-04-2011
  32
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It may be achievable for some, but for the masses, the majority, or whatever you want to call it, I am not so sure. It's still more is good, new is good, less expensive is good, for many people. Or just more and new, forget about the price for others.

I agree that if you are savvy you can buy things that are classic and they can last longer. But again, who is really as savvy as tamtamj suggests re: fabrics, craftmanship, longevity? I'd say less people than more, esp in certain areas of the world.

So how do we educated consumers? Who educates consumers? Certainly not companies who depend on profit and more and more sales. What/who/how then? The majority of people seem not to even worry about the environment and the costs to it re: over-production and over-consumption. So why would they care about longevity of a coat if they don't care about the very atmosphere they breathe? Ah, sorry to be so cynical, it's late.

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20-04-2011
  33
Power to the 99%
 
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^ Remember, though, it only takes a minority to drive real change. There's a significant and growing minority that's driving organic/green/fair trade/sweatshop and child labor-free (Rugmark)/etc. It is the people who care about the environment who care about being conscious consumers ... basically the thinking people vs the non-thinking, which is all right by me They are the ones I want on my side.

The recession also drove a lot of hard thinking about value for money. Some people bought cheap, disposable stuff, but a lot of people started thinking about how to shop intelligently too. I think people are going to remember what they learned ...

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20-04-2011
  34
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I hope you are right. I the thinkers too. Though it'd be nice to get the non-thinkers thinking, I think.

Good points about recent downturn and its impact.

Happy EARTH Day!

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20-04-2011
  35
Power to the 99%
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Not Plain Jane View Post
I hope you are right. I the thinkers too. Though it'd be nice to get the non-thinkers thinking, I think.

Good points about recent downturn and its impact.

Happy EARTH Day!
It'd be more than nice, it'd be an effing miracle But hey, miracles happen.

Let someone develop a serious health problem, for instance, and that can catapult you into the world of green.

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21-04-2011
  36
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Great thread!
There is no quality legacy at the moment. Parents themselves don't know about quality, so they cannot teach their children, and the fashion media has no motivation to educate anyone because the big advertisers (h&m, etc.) wouldn't benefit.
I am passionate about french seams, leather-lined shoes, etc. My mom was European and she lectured me about quality. I'm grateful.

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21-04-2011
  37
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I can't speak for everyone else, America is a consumerist society and it's all about consumption and accumulating mass of goods. Cheap clothes are easy to come by, disposable and on trend and trends tend to come and go. Shoppers don't think much about it. By definition my clothes are cheap and I don't believe 'cheap' denotes to being uneducated about fashion or vice versa. Since I purchase things with a price point in mind over the years I learned to look at the quality of a fabric before purchasing. If the fabric is frayed then I won't purchase even if it's reasonable priced. When I buy something I want it to have some lifespan, it might not last a lifetime, but I don't want something that will disintegrate into nothing within a couple years and/or washes. It defeats the purpose and a waste of money.

I try to take care of my clothes such as following washing instruction, hand washing dedicates and mending a hem or button.

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26-04-2011
  38
windowshopping
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silk skin paws View Post
I can't speak for everyone else, America is a consumerist society and it's all about consumption and accumulating mass of goods. Cheap clothes are easy to come by, disposable and on trend and trends tend to come and go. Shoppers don't think much about it.
That is so true. I see this mentality and I don't think it's good for us. "Good" meaning it's not bringing us happiness that we think, the savings are not as good because you need to consume and buy more of that product so it adds up to a significant number & it makes me think how people value themselves (yes, you can see this from people's clothes!).

However, I agree with fashionista-ta, individuals and small communities can do wonders. I haven't come up with a solution (maybe that's to come next ;-) but wanted to really hear what you guys think. I have friends from many countries and they all think like me - but I wanted to have better and bigger perspective.

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Last edited by tamtamj; 26-04-2011 at 09:07 PM.
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28-04-2011
  39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamtamj View Post
"Good" meaning it's not bringing us happiness that we think, the savings are not as good because you need to consume and buy more of that product so it adds up to a significant number & it makes me think how people value themselves (yes, you can see this from people's clothes!).
You can only extrapolate so much from how people dress though. You can't always connect the way people dress to the way people value themselves. Just because someone dresses nicely doesn't mean that they have lots of confidence or self-esteem, dressing up can be used to hide these qualities. And on the other hand there are people who really don't care how they dress (within reason, of course) yet have perfectly fine self-esteem. Some people really don't care about clothes and truthfully I don't think that concept is as awful as people think.

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28-04-2011
  40
windowshopping
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueorchid View Post
You can only extrapolate so much from how people dress though. You can't always connect the way people dress to the way people value themselves. Just because someone dresses nicely doesn't mean that they have lots of confidence or self-esteem, dressing up can be used to hide these qualities. And on the other hand there are people who really don't care how they dress (within reason, of course) yet have perfectly fine self-esteem.
I haven't mentioned anything with 'dressing up' or dressing 'nicely'. I thought "quality" clothes which means wearing natural fiber clothes made with certain care and certain quality. Nowdays everything seem to be made out of plastic. I repeat (many people don't seem to understand) I don't mean wearing Prada or Gucci, it just means quality clothes that can be made by local boutique or non-famous label.
You can be in the house alone and nobody needs to see you - those are also moments I am talking about. Not how you necessary look, but also how do you feel and think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueorchid View Post
You can't always connect the way people dress to the way people value themselves.
Yes, I can't go too deep with it, but there are other aspects of life that make me wonder. For example, eating from plastic utensils and plastic cups makes me think that person might not cherish/value what he/she eats. In combination with cheap clothes, just makes me wonder... But, that's another story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueorchid View Post
Some people really don't care about clothes and truthfully I don't think that concept is as awful as people think.
It is not awful. It is just a thought. I like to observe cultures and people in general and love to understand why things are the way they are. I love the posts people were putting - it gives me better insight.

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Last edited by tamtamj; 28-04-2011 at 11:59 PM.
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29-04-2011
  41
windowshopping
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueorchid View Post
You can only extrapolate so much from how people dress though. You can't always connect the way people dress to the way people value themselves. Just because someone dresses nicely doesn't mean that they have lots of confidence or self-esteem, dressing up can be used to hide these qualities. And on the other hand there are people who really don't care how they dress (within reason, of course) yet have perfectly fine self-esteem. Some people really don't care about clothes and truthfully I don't think that concept is as awful as people think.
I thought this might be interesting to read:

http://ezinearticles.com/?Psychology...hing&id=166295

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29-04-2011
  42
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ha, probably just an insignificant anecdote: i have some female teachers back in university. a few of them seem really don't care what they are wearing, but they are just radiating from within. they are the most confident and self-assured women i've ever seen! yes, they do wear not-so-good-quality high street clothes. not naturally fibered, not even well-made. but seriously, i completely forgot what they put on the moment they started to talk. it's all about wisdom from within.
don't get me wrong, i'm all for quality clothes myself, and truthfully, the way i feel has been built a lot on what i wear, maybe a bit too much, even. i just try to understand other people's mentality, like my teachers.to learn about and buy quality clothes def is time-consuming. i mean, the purchase itself alone. to find the good fit, color, fabric, etc. it takes lots of time, and some luck. maybe it's really not important for them? maybe they really just like to grab something easy from the shopping street they pass by, and go? but the fact is, they feel good, and even look good! which amazed me. i wish i could have that kind of confidence, no matter what i wear.
so dare i say, maybe the problem today, everything being fast consumed & disposable, people having no patience to sit down, having a deep conversation (instead they twit or facebook), people having no patience to read a book, or watch a movie with rich symbolism, or simply people having no patience to really think, to think deep...maybe this has more to do with "we care too much about what we look outside"? but really not much to do with "we are not educated enough to look good"? everything becomes so terribly superficial and shallow in the culture we are living in. it's more and more about outer layers than inner qualities.

just my humble two cents.

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30-04-2011
  43
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Quote:
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...We are also in a different place culturally these days, at least in the U.S. Today, if you read a profile on a billionaire, part of the hook will be something along the lines Dockers are his standard attire and that is what the people in the company wear, he buys suits from The Mens Wearhouse or that he did not have a real suit to wear when he met with the big investors for the first time...
I read an article where the journalist did some research on how many pair of shoes millionaires around the world own. The result? Like no more than 3 pairs and they tend to keep them for years. How come? Well, they resole their shoes of course.

While that could sound pretty ridiculous in a Fashion Spot forum context it makes a lot of sense for me.

If I were trillionaire I'd own no more than 6 pairs! And I think that's too muuch! And I'm not alone on this, right Michael Bloomberg? ( the mayor of New York has been wearing 2 pair of shoes for the past 10 years ).


Disclaimer: I'm a man. We tend to be more into NEEDS than WANTS when it comes to building our wardrobe.

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30-04-2011
  44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greengrassia View Post
ha, probably just an insignificant anecdote: i have some female teachers back in university. a few of them seem really don't care what they are wearing, but they are just radiating from within. they are the most confident and self-assured women i've ever seen! yes, they do wear not-so-good-quality high street clothes. not naturally fibered, not even well-made. but seriously, i completely forgot what they put on the moment they started to talk. it's all about wisdom from within.
don't get me wrong, i'm all for quality clothes myself, and truthfully, the way i feel has been built a lot on what i wear, maybe a bit too much, even. i just try to understand other people's mentality, like my teachers.to learn about and buy quality clothes def is time-consuming. i mean, the purchase itself alone. to find the good fit, color, fabric, etc. it takes lots of time, and some luck. maybe it's really not important for them? maybe they really just like to grab something easy from the shopping street they pass by, and go? but the fact is, they feel good, and even look good! which amazed me. i wish i could have that kind of confidence, no matter what i wear.
so dare i say, maybe the problem today, everything being fast consumed & disposable, people having no patience to sit down, having a deep conversation (instead they twit or facebook), people having no patience to read a book, or watch a movie with rich symbolism, or simply people having no patience to really think, to think deep...maybe this has more to do with "we care too much about what we look outside"? but really not much to do with "we are not educated enough to look good"? everything becomes so terribly superficial and shallow in the culture we are living in. it's more and more about outer layers than inner qualities.

just my humble two cents.

Your teachers are such cynics...but in the good, Diogenes of Sinope way! I wish more people were like them, the aforementioned greek or like that old Moondog viking-fashionista (coincidentally another Dog) Once in a while consumerism tends to cynicism for it's own sake.

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02-05-2011
  45
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I think most people focus on the price of item versus cost per wear, I know several people who would never dream of paying x-amount for an item but never stop to think just how expensive the 'cheaper' option actually works out to be. My mother always taught me 'buy cheap, buy twice' and in reality it's often much more than just twice.

It was a learning curve for me and part of growing up, I haven't hit my mid-twenties yet but looking back at my teen years I have definitely learnt to appreciate quality over quantity.

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