May 27, 2013

SuperFast Fashion

Fashion so fast that it's obsolete before it leaves the store.  That's what I saw at Old Navy and other clothing stores this spring.  I saw rack after rack of badly drafted, sloppily finished garments in increasingly cheap fabrics.  It's a painful waste of resources, and leaves lower income customers without decent clothing.  As fit deteriorates visibly each year, what will we wear in 2-5 more years?

Most of the pieces I saw had no waist shaping, no darts, and poorly fitting shoulders and armscyes: the draft bears little relation to actual anatomy.  The shirtdresses are simply lengthened versions of an unfitted oxford shirt, with no shaping aside from a self-tie or drawstring waist.  Well drafted loose clothing can fit well and be flattering, not just look like a feedsack.

Many retailers are adding a hefty proportion of polyester to their previously all-cotton t-shirts, to save money.  Poly blends don't breath, so you feel sticky and get stinky even in mild weather.  They also pill faster, stain easier, and hold static.  For a wardrobe basic like the t-shirt, the small change of switching to cotton/poly blends has a dramatic impact on petrochemical consumption when multiplied over millions of shirts worldwide.

I hope that more people start to take a good look at clothes before they buy.  In the US, we're trained to assume that our bodies are at fault when clothing doesn't fit or flatter.  Hopefully women can start to see that no one, not even the mannequin, looks good in super fast fashion.

A $20 dress that doesn't make you feel attractive, so is only worn a few times, is not a bargain.  A $100 dress that fits great, is comfortable and versatile, becomes a wardrobe staple that lasts for years.  We need to seek out better clothing and support those stores by purchasing from them.  Viva la fashion revolucion!


  1. interesting post :-) I look for deatils these days, it seems like under this shadow of "contemporary" and "minimalist" all detail seems to be lost on the clothing I can afford to buy. Everything is either too tight or a bag on me, and I agree about badly drafted, especially sleeves! and i can no longer buy dresses meant for my age group becuase this "super short" trend is drafted for 5'3's and i'm 5'9 (and short waisted)and dresses become obscene.

    1. I have the same problem with dresses, at 5'8". I actually tried on the dress pictured above, and it was not something I'd wear out of the fitting room! I've been wanting a basic shirtdress, too. Maybe I can get the energy to sew one.


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