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25-01-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blusheels View Post
Well, I just bought a Acne leather jacket. And I think this is the secret for a smart wardrobe: invest in timeless, classic items!
Can't agree more!

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25-01-2015
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The declining quality of clothes for me means much more time spent shopping and much more thought about what I am buying. Surprisingly, lately I have been buying less and less clothes because it feels like very few items are actually worth it. Sometimes I spend hours shopping and not buy a single thing, especially in high street shops. You can count on people being exploited in the production process and you can count on your item to be of inferior quality and outdated in 3 months.
It is hard to find good alternatives though, good and truly creative independent brands that are actually affordable and not of dubious quality, but I am working on it and I am trying to contribute to the lot myself, partially motivated by the whole story of declining quality of the bland offer in high street stores.

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27-01-2015
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This is something I have also been noticing/thinking/been frustrated about over the past years. I have also had high street clothing that has lasted me 10+ years, while nowadays I feel lucky if pieces from those same places last more than two seasons. I remember getting rid of one of those basic lambswool sweaters from Benetton a few years ago - I got it when I was in middle school and 15 years later it was in mint condition (sadly, I was not quite the same size 15 years later ). I got one of those same sweaters about 2-3 years ago, and it has long ago been degraded to loungewear, with several holes and pilling.

My mother has always been saying how much more expensive clothing used to be 30+ years ago, which I'm sure was reflected in the general quality. The 'cheap and fast' culture that we are used to today just wasn't an option.

I've seen a lot of bloggers (mostly sewing blogs and minimalist type fashion blogs) write about this issue in recent years, and more and more people of a certain demographic seem to be focusing on it, but it's still probably a small minority...

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29-01-2015
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What's really noticeable to me is the decline in quality since I was in high school and college, particularly wrt leather. Then, for less than $100, I could get a pair of beautiful kidskin shoes. Now, leather that I could get then someplace mainstream like Pappagallo isn't available at any price. (I'm talking designer shoes, which is normally what I buy ... don't know about couture.)

I don't typically have very many quality problems ... I did have a pair of denim trousers last year that lasted me less than a year in heavy rotation, which I considered unacceptable. I think it is possible to get decent stuff at 'prices that don't break the bank' ... from places like Talbot's, Ann Taylor, Bodem. But for items that will see heavy wear, I'm looking for something at a higher level, and if I can get it at a discount, great. I don't even darken the door of places like H&M, and I wouldn't buy clothes at Target (though I did buy some socks there recently, and the low quality was apparent).

I consider low quality an insulting waste of my time. I expect things to last for years, and if they don't, I make a mental note that will help me avoid the problem next time. Yes, the retailer is to blame ... but so is the shopper. It really irritates me how cheap people are.

I saw an online discussion of where someone could get cookware made in the US at "reasonable prices." Let me translate for you ... she wanted cookware made in the US at made in China prices. That is not how it works.

I hear a lot of talk about people getting "tired" of things. I think that may be the really fundamental problem, because if they're tired of it, they don't care that it's worn out. I don't honestly understand this "tired." When I go to the trouble of picking out something I really like, even when (thinking of interiors) it is not to my current taste, I still enjoy it, still like it, still use it.

I think a lot of people in the first world are spoiled rotten. It's really up to us to reject planned obsolescence and the consumer culture that's being foisted on us, and insist on the quality we want and need. In my experience, it is available ... and second-hand is an option too, when you want real quality at a low price.

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29-01-2015
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Maybe something only I have noticed, but with the latest washing machine technology (we have a brand new front loader Miele), they are all using much less water - which is great in terms of energy savings - but with such low water levels, there's far more friction. It has been destructive in my case. Majority of my clothes look 3 or 4 times their age - pilling, holes, etc - which I have only noticed since using the new machine. Crossing my fingers it's just a faulty machine, and not the future of washing... handwashing is killing me.

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29-01-2015
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^ That's interesting. I don't have the latest technology, but I do think my washer can be hard on things--and I dry clean virtually everything I wear out of the house. What about your gentle cycle? I have seen really impressive 'sweater' and 'handwash' cycles in higher-end machines that what I inherited with my house.

PS Pardon my curmudgeonly mood today I am feeling a bit impatient this week, and not suffering fools gladly ...

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12-02-2015
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It's sad and disappointing nonetheless.

It's all about supply and demand. Cheap makes for fast production.

I do find Uniqlo to have top-notch quality and stitching for such an affordable price however, it's not your Zara's, H&M's, etc.

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20-02-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatherAnne View Post
Let's discuss/vent/b*tch about the declining quality of clothing, extending even to shoes and accessories.

Am I the only one who sees this as a significant problem?

Popular American brands like The Gap/J. Crew/Banana Republic/Ann Taylor/Madewell [a new brand that was stellar in quality in their first year, now I can't wash a t-shirt without it falling apart]/L.L. Bean, etc. result in : Sweaters that are itchier. Things piling when washing. T-shirts, are all see-through and stretched out. Pants, unlined. Tailoring, non-existent. Denim has gotten thinner. ......I could go on and on.

Brands I used to be able to count on for quality products that wouldn't break the bank.

More disappointingly I feel like I'm starting to see designer brands declining as well. A designer pair of shoes I just bought, is falling apart after just a few wears. The leather goods of luxury brands doesn't seem quite as soft. The silks not as high quality....

What's the reason? What are your complaints and thoughts? Or maybe wax rhetorical about what you used to be able to buy for the same amount of money. Would love to hear it.
The quality for those brands have gone down because they are trying to make as much of a profit as possible, which means using cheap materials, using cheap labor and designing seasonal clothes to fall a part within a couple months so that you have to buy a new one.

That's why there's been a lot of noise around the importance of replacing fast fashion with slow fashion. I bet if you added up all the money spent during the year on cheap clothes, you would have saved money if you bought clothing from brands that make quality a priority.

Anyone else agree?

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22-02-2015
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^I do agree but I also have a hard time finding brands that do good quality and good interesting design (that I like anyways...).

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23-02-2015
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Fashion is inherently disposable, I don't think that's compatible with "buy it for life" articles of clothing

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23-02-2015
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^How many articles of clothing do you really buy for life though? I don't think I will have any of my clothing for another 60 years (average life span). I won't even have my national costume (which is already 100 years old) for that long, because I will no doubtly grow out of it and/or give it to one of my daughters. I imagine I will wear out or grow out of all my clothes at some point.

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23-02-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smartarse View Post
I do find Uniqlo to have top-notch quality and stitching for such an affordable price however, it's not your Zara's, H&M's, etc.
I agree. Buy from Uniqlo if you want quality at affordable prices. I admire how they emphasize that they aren't about trends but about creating their own aesthetic. The Japanese seem to have a keener understanding of the importance of quality even in a fast fashion label, especially with Naoki Takazawa (former head designer of Issey Miyake) handling creative direction at Uniqlo.

Maybe it would be worth exploring the other labels under Fast Retailing. It seems like they share the same design philosophy: Theory and Comptoir des Cotonniers.

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23-02-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uemarasan View Post
I agree. Buy from Uniqlo if you want quality at affordable prices. I admire how they emphasize that they aren't about trends but about creating their own aesthetic. The Japanese seem to have a keener understanding of the importance of quality even in a fast fashion label, especially with Naoki Takazawa (former head designer of Issey Miyake) handling creative direction at Uniqlo.
Even Uniqlo has become inconsistent with quality, in my experience. Many years ago I bought a cashmere sweater from Uniqlo, and was impressed by the quality for the extremely reasonable price. A couple years ago, I bought another cashmere sweater from there. It appeared to the same style/cut, but the fabric did not feel nearly as soft as the one that I had bought previously. Honestly, after that experience I stopped looking in Uniqlo, so I'm not sure if the decline in quality is across other items that they offer, but I wanted to share my experience.

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23-02-2015
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^Is it possible your sweater got softer with time? I don't know how Uniqlo was "in the old days", but I know that my oldest (budget) cashmeres are the softest I own. I have also heard that cashmere can become softer over time.

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23-02-2015
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I feel the same towards Uniqlo. I love them but some things last longer than others. It's all built smartly so that makes up for the lack of durability in some items I guess. But I will agree the Japanese know what's up when it comes to quality and accessibility.. not a single Muji garment has been a disappointment, I've tried pretty much everything, even their 7 dollar tees feel infinitely softer and nicer than the 19.99 ones from H&M ... the only item that was ruined right away.. it was my fault, and I'm still so sad.. it was a red cashmere sweater from their Labo by Margaret Howell line.

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