Tuesday, June 9, 2009

buying clothing in 2009

After Christmas, I started reading articles about how so many women weren't planning to buy any clothing during 2009. I assume they meant even underpants and stockings. Their reasons were that they didn't have the money because of the recession, they wanted to save their money, and they didn't want to support Wal-Mart and/or China and their clothing products.
Those reasons may be true, but there are two other reasons that no one ever mentioned, and I suspect these are just as much of a possibility, if not more so, than what I just mentioned.
Well, I decided to try not buying clothing, and that didn't work very long. My willpower lasted about four months, and then I had to begin buying stuff again, for several reasons, and none of them had anything to do with boredom or a desire to visit the mall. First of all, by April, some of my winter clothing that was 3 or 4 years old was beginning to look shabby: slightly faded, slightly stretched out or shrunken, pilling in the fabric. Since I'm still working, it just wasn't acceptable for the office, not to mention that the attire wasn't as comfortable as it had been, since it didn't fit properly anymore.
My clothing seems to last, at the most, about 4 years. I buy my stuff at mid-price-range stores: J.C. Penney, Sears, Dillard's, Macy's, Target and Coldwater Creek. Once in a while I will buy a cheap item at Kmart, but I only wear it for one season and then give it away. I never buy clothing at Wal-Mart--it's too cheap-looking.
But when I did go shopping....
There was nothing to buy! First I went to the outlet mall, and found nothing of interest. A few weeks later, I did go to a few town malls, and still found nothing! The spring clothing lines had hideous colors! Citrus colors and the ever-present, nauseating neon green. Who can wear these colors? Not to mention those baby doll empire waist tops with the weird prints that make every woman look fat and/or pregnant!
I started garage sale-ing again in May, and made a shocking discovery: I've always seen tons of baby and children's clothing at these sales, but this year, the amount of junior, misses' and women's clothing for sale at these things has increased tenfold. I realize that the owners were trying to sell the merchandise to make some money, rather than just giving it away. But where on Earth did they store all this clothing before they put it out for sale? I always thought I had a ton of clothes, but apparently what I have is nothing compared to most women. No wonder they weren't buying anything new in 2009--they didn't need to!
Oh, and on a related note: There's no reason to worry about spending your money on clothing and then having the money go to China. It seems that everything I've purchased lately has come from Vietnam! I haven't seen any clothing made in China for weeks!

1 comment:

skippercollector said...

It's a month later, and I am STILL having trouble finding decent clothing. I was on vacation this week, and spent a lot of my time shopping--two outlet malls plus some department stores.
What I was looking for were slacks (light-colored, lightweight, but dressy looking for work); shorts (light-colored and lightweight) and a pair of strappy black or possibly even pink sandals to wear with my new dress, with a bit of a heel.
Such things are not being sold this year.
I'm not thin--I wear a size 24 slacks and a size 20 shirt. At least that's what I used to wear, and I am now trying on larger sizes, not because I've gained weight but because the slacks and shorts are cut differently now. The slacks and shorts I have from a few years ago are size 20. I compared one of my old pairs of shorts with a pair that I tried on, and discovered that with today's larger size shorts, the waist is much bigger, but the hips are cut much smaller. Obviously these are being made for women with huge waists and hips that are straight down from the waist. Nothing I tried on fit right. Again, no wonder no one is buying clothes this year, not if they aren't being made to actually fit a woman!
Oh, and the other even greater problem is that there are very few pairs of dressy slacks being sold in ANY size. EVERYTHING is capri or pedal pusher or clam digger or Bermuda length. Not only do some of these mid-length pants look dorky, they are not dressy enough to wear in an office.
Last but not least, I can find lots of strappy sandals, but again, they're not made for real people. Either they have no heel at all, flip flop style, which you can't wear for long periods of time without killing your feet, or they have 5-inch skinny stiletto heels, and my neck hurts just looking at them, imaging myself falling and breaking said neck wearing them and tumbling down steps.
If people aren't buying clothes this year, stores can no longer blame just the economy. If the merchandise is ugly or impractical and just doesn't fit right, why would you buy it?