I’ve been thinking a lot about clothes, lately.
I emerged from the very minimal shopping that graduate school allowed and found myself in a weird place with clothes. A weird place like the Bermuda triangle.
First: late 20-early 30 is a non-niche in the clothes market. To use a mall-store example, I’m as obviously too old for Express as I am obviously too young for Eileen Fisher. (Eileen Fisher’s young models look lovely in her clothes, but I am not tall enough to transition “flowing” into “chic.”) In my last few years of grad school, I lived with the fear that I was going to have a student who worked at Banana Republic and could pin the cost and vintage of every item I was wearing.
Financially, I would rather have, and can afford, better quality than your average Macy’s line, but not so much as Saks. Then there’s the somewhat tenuous correlation between price and quality itself. When do you stop paying for structural improvements, and start paying for fashion. A $100 pair of shoes is usually superior to a $50 pair, which is always superior to a $10 pair. But what about $200? $500? More?
The completion of my triangle of doom comes from ethics. More pointedly, most environmentally friendly/sweatshop free clothes are too dowdy/sporty/casual for most of my life. The few “high fashion” eco-conscious lines out there that I’ve experienced are (like all high-fashion clothes) made for tall, thin, hipless people.
Dear readers, where on earth do you shop?