Is simple: it’s wanted less and less. As this piece shows, No One Wants Your Used Clothes Anymore.
What’s changed? Well…
For decades, the donation bin has offered consumers in rich countries a guilt-free way to unload their old clothing. In a virtuous and profitable cycle, a global network of traders would collect these garments, grade them, and transport them around the world to be recycled, worn again, or turned into rags and stuffing.
Now that cycle is breaking down. Fashion trends are accelerating, new clothes are becoming as cheap as used ones, and poor countries are turning their backs on the secondhand trade. Without significant changes in the way that clothes are made and marketed, this could add up to an environmental disaster in the making.
I think there is no easy remedy for this, unless you’re someone happy to wear a limited number of pieces of clothing over and over again. But something will have to change. If you thought all those clothes you put in the donation bin are going on people’s bodies and not to the garbage dump, then read the piece.
Yesterday I asked that about Muji. The short answer for Muji: not doomed yet, but in trouble.
For Forever 21, it appears to be a different story. If you read this, The Failure of the Fast-Fashion Forever 21 Empire – Bloomberg, you see an organization in big trouble, with poor management and poor demand for their product. It is still possible for them to pull out, but I would be surprised if Forever 21 is still a going concern in 2021.
Among other good features of Atoms Shoes is their availability in quarter sizes. So if you really want an accurate fit, you can get it. They are a nice looking shoe, too. Worth checking out.
GQ has the five good ideas here: 5 Tricks That’ll Make Cheap Suits Look More Expensive. I said “Zara” but you could do the same with lower end suits as well.
- Get the whole suit tailored to fit. They mention the sleeves, but if you get the jacket tapered to your body, the impression of fit will be strong and it won’t look off the rack.
- Go with a conservative colour. I like this suit over the one in the GQ article. It’s somewhat bold with windowpane plaid (vs pinstripe or solid), but the charcoal grey tones it down. Grey suits and jackets are deceptive: even the cheapest of them are hard to guess how expensive they are unless you look closely and know clothing.
- Go with good accessories in general, not just shoes. A great watch, French cuff shirt with cufflinks, a beautiful tie: all of those things give an impression of being expensive. Be bold here. I like how the suit pictured is paired with a shirt and tie that have a tiny pattern to compliment the larger pattern of the suit. It’s a good look. And his shoes stand out in a good way and look great with the tapered pant.
For details on this suit, go here.
Here are two pieces on the association of Fred Perry and political fashion.. This one, Why does the far right love Fred Perry? Mainstream fashion is its new camouflage | by Cynthia Miller-Idriss in The Guardian and this one, Fred Perry, Proud Boys, and the Semiotics of Fashion.
The first one superficially touches on how the political right adopts certain clothing to wear as a uniform. The second goes deep into the history of clothing to signify membership within social groups.
If you read the first one, you’d get the impression that some good PR could shift the negative associations of the far right with Fred Perry. After reading the second one, you may realize it would be much harder to do than that. The associations go deep.
Sadly, many of the pieces I read in the Guardian are like that. They are a good jumping off point, but if you want to better understand a subject, you need to go elsewhere.
I love stories about colours and their origins, but this one on Paris Green is especially good: This Trendy But Toxic Shade of Green Left Thousands Dead in the Victorian Era.
Turns out 19th century patrons loved this tint that was produced using…arsenic. You can imagine how this turns out, but save your imagination and read the story.
Image and story from Town and Country, of all things. Not sure how I came across it, but I am glad I did.
Yep. Columbia Sportswear has teamed up with the folks at Star Wars to produce this limited edition collection of clothing, and the details on it can be found here in this Design Milk article. Since it is a very limited collection, I expect that (A) it will sell out very quickly (B) the pieces will show up again for exorbitant prices on sites like eBay. Still…fun. Cosplay people can get this and wear it all winter long! Good luck if you try and get it.
If you are a man (or someone who like to wear shoes traditionally associated with men) who doesn’t want to wear shoes from leather, don’t want to wear Converse or Toms shoes but do want to wear dress shoes, you have what I think is a good alternative: Delli Aldo shoes. I came across them via Cool Tools (a newsletter and a section of Kevin Kelly’s website) and I think they are great for a number of reasons:
- they are very stylish
- they come in a wide range of styles
- they are low cost
- they are vegan
Beware: they run large (e.g. if you wear 8, consider getting the size 7 or 6.5) and they stink the first few days you get them (then apparently they do not).
For more information, check out the link to Cool Tools or go right to Amazon and pick up a pair.