I finally dragged myself out into a couple of retail outlets to shop for summer shirts, and I found myself quickly reminded why I hate shopping for clothes. The reasons are numerous, but here are some of the ones that tumbled out of my head without me thinking about it too hard.
#1: Everything is made of polyester
I thumbed through three rack lengths of medium sized short sleeved shirts. Almost all were made of rayon or polyester. I put my hand on one fully cotton item, but that turned out to be a dress.
All I could think of was: Some of us don’t wear summer shirts to the office, ya know! I want to be able to walk around the great outdoors without instantly sweating when the humidity goes above 50%, which, in the summer, is nearly every day. And when you sweat in polyester, you smell no matter that you’ve showered, shaved, and used deoderant.
And there are very few cotton blends! When every single item is largely or entirely polyester, my selection options became infintesimal because I refuse to buy polyester in summer. If I could get away with it, I would never buy any clothing item with any amount of polyester or even rayon in it.
Now if only I could get sock manufacturers on board.
#2: Everything is made in China
Or India. Or Pakistan. Or… You choose the country. By and large, American clothing is made in China, and that is just so wrong! How many Americans are not finding jobs because the manufacturing is on the other side of the world?
It’s cheap because it’s made on the other side of the world for appallingly low wages with cheap materials. Stuff can be trendy because you’re not spending a lot so it can afford to wear out cuz you’re just gonna buy more.
And the cycle of life continues. But imagine if you could buy a classic shirt made well that cost more but would last longer. I would love it if we had the options to do both, and not just from designer labels.
America, I want to buy your stuff!
#3: Undressing and Dressing
Right now, this is not too bad. I made sure I wore a skirt, a short sleeve top, and my Chacos. Easy off, easy on. I might have to dress to go back out and look for more clothes, but at least it’s quicker and easier.
In winter? Clothing shopping is downright hassle! I am not about to leave my coat in the car, so it comes with me. Sometimes, I wear layers. And sneakers whose laces I have to double tie because they are constantly coming undone.
Going shopping in winter is like the movie Groundhog Day: you dress yourself so many times it’s like you forget where you even started. What was I doing again? Oh, yeah. Shopping. For clothes. Bleh.
#4: You have to shop regularly
Because of the cheap nature of many clothes, you’re not going to get long term use out of it. You might get a couple of years out of it, unless your like me who clings to clothing until they start to shred. Only the possibility of coming across like I have not enough money to buy a new T-shirt do I cave and dare to go out shopping again.
But I really really really really really really really try to put it off as long as possible. Which is where I was today. And still am because, instead of summer shirts, I bought two boxes, a notepad, and Turkish delight which, turned out, not to be as such.
And don’t even get me started on the hell that is shoe shopping. I have gotten to the point where I only care about my outfit from the ankles up, but that’s a whole other story.