Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Crap Clothing

In the past year, I bought three, semi expensive sweaters that inexplicably decided to shrink and warp.

I followed the washing instructions: wash on delicate, in cold water, reshape and dry flat. They were not made of any exotic material; two were cotton, and the other was a "washable" silk blend. Normally, I would assume I did something to cause this, but the coincidence here is that it happened to ALL THREE sweaters, and ALL THREE were made by Ralph Lauren. I would expect better quality from Ralphy-boy.

Okay, if I'm going to spend a ton of money on clothing, it better last longer than one washing. The orange one is now so small that it looks like a half-shirt, and is completely warped along the bottom. The blue one has a shawl neck that is now choking me, as well as half-shirty. The purple one has not warped (yet), but is slowly getting smaller with each washing.

This is ridiculous. What's worse, I had to buy these sweaters in extra-extra large, so they fit me properly in the first place. I am by no means a large person. I'm carrying a few extra pounds that have become nearly impossible to remove now that I'm over forty, but I'm not in bad shape. It's INSANE that I should require a large, much less an extra large.

I blame whatever designer decided that all woman's clothing must look like it's two sizes too small. This might be fine when you're a teenager, or a 20-something that weighs less than 95 pounds. Although, my teenager wears this style, and I think it appears as though she's growing too quickly and I'm unable to afford clothing which fits her properly.

Then again, my daughter is a beanpole, but in order for her school polo shirt to fit, realistically, she should be taking a size large - because the JUNIORS mediums from Aeropostale would better fit a toddler.

When I shop, I've noticed that most of the large and extra large tops are among the first to go. So I must not be the only one buying "big". I'm left wondering: Is this being used as another statistic to confirm the obesity of America? If so, it wouldn't be fair. You can't take a toddlers shirt, and say this is the new size small, and then adjust the rest of the sizes based on that. Again, this means most of us "normal" sized women are forced to buy extra larges, which skews the data.

Or maybe it's all a conspiracy to shame us American women into starvation diets so we can fit into these miniature clothes?

Still, even if I'm forced to buy stupidly large tops, I would expect them to last - especially for a designer name. Otherwise, it makes me NOT want to buy Ralph Lauren - or whoever else burned me with a high price tag and low quality. None of this crap is made here, by the way; and probably cost only pennies to make.

Speaking of not made here.....every year I go to the local Celtic Festival, and usually purchase a wool sweater, made in Ireland. These are usually hand made, and are machine washable - even though they are made of wool. These are sweaters I will have for the rest of my life. They never shrink, warp or fall apart. They are practically an investment.

I just thought of something else too. I had a number of "investment" sweaters, back from the earlier days of my career, from Ann Taylor. These too, were wool and washable. I still have most of them, and expect I may have a few of them the rest of my life. I had a Bennetton sweater from the 1980's last me twenty years, and the only reason I had to get rid of it was because I wore out the elbows. I probably could've put suede patches on the elbows and it'd be good to go for another twenty.

So what's happening here? One, we have a ridiculous trend towards insanely small clothing, and two - quality stinks.

In this economy, I cannot afford to blow $80 on a top that won't last til next wash day.

Well, I'm not playing anymore. I'm not buying any brands that have burned me in the past, and I'm going to be much more conservative about the quality and price from now on. Who's with me?