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Quality fashion over fast fashion

I used to put costumes together for a small theatre group. And my go-to was always my favorite thrift shops to find the perfect character pieces for little money (I generally paid for them out of my pocket because there was no budget). So, the other day I went to a big thrift chain on a search for a few items for an aspiring photographer with no budget for a shoot. I thought I’d just breeze in, find a few things and be out of there.

I was wrong.

What I remembered as a treasure trove of character costumes has degraded into a sad mangle of cheap fabrics and poor-quality clothes that don’t have a second-life in them. These clothes generally need a good wash and sometimes a bleach before wearing, and it was obvious these wouldn’t hold up to that level of handling.

Now, perhaps there are levels of pre-worn clothes and the better ones are at ThredUp and Plato’s Closet and Buffalo Exchange and like stores. But I’m not encouraged.

In manufacturer’s efforts to increase sales and speed to market, cheaper fabrics and simpler designs that are looser and more likely to fit more body types are pouring into our stores. The fabrics are much lighter weight meaning they won’t last as long or take as much laundering, not to mention often being too sheer.

Also, the designs tend to be of a looser fit meaning best fit for your body often comes from having each item tailored to fit you better -- a cost most people don’t want to expend along with the time it takes to do it. Why would you pay $12 to hem a $7 t-shirt? So we settle for the loose, baggy look.

I’m advocating for buying higher quality, better made clothes.

They ARE out there – many smaller design houses are creating them.

They will cost more money.

But, they physically look better (quality shows) and they hold up better. Their life-span will be longer. And they’re worth having alterations made so you look polished and professional. Did you know that costumes on TV and in movies are ALL altered to fit the body of the actor? That’s why those women look SO sharp!

Bales of rag clothing to be shipped to another country

I’m going to end my rant here – but I ask you to think about this. And look around when you’re shopping to see what I’m writing about. And if you want to discuss this, call me.

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