COLUMN: Trends lacking in quality

Patricia Rocha, Copy Editor
April 18, 2012
Filed under Features

As a woman whose future will most likely play out like the movie “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” it’s no secret I spend many hours window-shopping online.

I troll Pinterest, fashion blogs and my favorite online Etsy shops to find style inspiration and new ideas.

However, while on the Forever 21 website I noticed something that I’ve often wondered about while in the physical store: why in the world don’t any of their tops have any shape?

I cannot count how many tops I’ve picked up off the rack recently and been so distracted by the awkward shape that I just gave up on tops entirely and went to buy myself a pair of shoes instead.

I can’t blame the fashion industry though.

It’s a pretty well-known fact that when economic times are hard, the fashion world has to shift along with it.

What’s the point of making really high-quality clothing with intricate detailing if no one can afford it?

Why spend time sewing garments to flatter a woman’s curves when you can just attach some elastic to the middle and call it a day?

Why bother worrying about the sheerness of cheap fabric when you can sell a bandeau bra to go underneath it and call that a top too?

Why even make a whole shirt when people will pay the same price for half the fabric as a “bare-midriff” top anyway?

From a manufacturing point of view, it’s a piece of cake to take two rectangle pieces of 99 cent fabric, sew them together, cut out arm and neck holes and call it a “flowy tank.”

This way, stores worry less about sizing issues, fabric quality, and even hemming, because a shirt with a fraying edge is obviously so “in.”

So the trend shifts into lesser quality pieces and people call it the newest must-wear fad.

Who cares if your shirt will fade and fall apart after four washes? It was only $10 and you can just go back to the store and buy another one.

But the fault doesn’t lie in Forever 21 alone; it’s really been the mentality of many types of manufacturing companies in this country in the past couple years.

This is the reason so many people are buying vintage pieces and bringing back old trends. Clothes from the past were made to last.

The focus was on quality, not quantity. They were made with the classic American work ethic, before everything was manufactured overseas for cost. There’s no way future generations will be able to find anything from now because it’s impossible these clothes will go any farther than the landfill after five years.

My advice is to really think about what you’re buying the next time you go shopping. Feel the fabric, pull on the seams and try it on.

If it feels cheap, makes you look like a marshmallow and you’re scared to rip it if you pull on the seams, just leave it there.

You deserve so much better. Maybe grab some shoes instead?

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