Where did all the quality go?

Old school clothing construction

Old school clothing construction

While reading a NY Times article yesterday about whether expensive couches are actually worth the investment over cheap couches (found here), I came across a great quote (that I’m actually surprised I never saw before):

“Only rich people can afford to buy cheap stuff.”

This expression is so true, and yet I feel like as a country (and maybe on a global level), we’ve come to completely disregarded this notion and act the exact opposite way.

We shop our hearts out at Walmart, Target, Forever 21, Old Navy, and gazillions more, only to have our clothes rip at the seams after six months, get ruined after one wash, and turn into weird shapes that in no way reflect our actual body. And then…we go back for more.

So, why aren’t we learning from this experience? Are we addicted to the feeling of instant gratification? Do we feel like we can’t afford to buy quality clothing? Are there not enough good quality mid-level priced pieces available?

As a seamstress and lover of quality clothing, these are the things I think about, and seek out commentary on. I recently came across this great article, The Decline of Mid-range Clothing, on the Colette Patterns site (love) that reviews this exact same question – does mid-range, quality clothing still exist? It’s a great, quick read for anyone interested in the subject.

On a final note, I’d like to state for the record that there is nothing that bothers me more than expensive clothing that is cheaply made. What a horrible, mean thing to do to people! To learn the tricks for identifying signs of quality clothing, check out my post on the subject here.

Update 3/11/13: NPR came out with a great story today titled “In Trendy World of Fast Fashion, Styles Aren’t Made to Last” which describes how cheap fashion evolved, how it’s changing the fashion world, and the true cost of production. A must read!

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