This article in today’s New York Times has me contemplating “disposable” clothing. This is truly a recent concept, as even in my lifetime, clothing was viewed as much more an investment than a daily expenditure. Go back a generation, and the tiny closets of the era tell the tale: a couple of “good” outfits and several everyday dresses are all that would fit. New walk-in closets would make a cozy spare bedroom.
The article describes the shopping habits of some young New York women. They dash in and out of the low-price shops like H & M, Forever 21 and Zara and stock up on a “season’s worth” of tees, tanks, sandals and maxi dresses. They often view the clothing as “disposable”, as in wear it once and forget it. I have no strong judgment against this, if one can afford it, and recycles — why not enjoy the novelty and abundance?
I do have two questions though, and would love to hear what you think:
- Are these price points really “disposable” for most women? Look at the slide show if you have a chance. Yes, there are very affordable items from Target et al. But is a $50 skirt or $98 sleeveless shirt just a trifle? Or do I sound like an old, grumpy hippie : > ? If I pay $100 for a shirt (and I might) it’s going to work its butt off in my wardrobe, not get forgotten.
- Is this an occasional way to add to one’s wardrobe, as a filler to the more substantial pieces? I think it can be, and can even turn up some workhorses. I do browse in Zara when I’m in a city, and I like a few of the trendy pieces. I swear by Target’s Mossimo tees and love their jewelry — but again, I don’t toss them after a couple of wears. In fact, I’m wearing a cool Target bracelet today that has seen the light of day at least a dozen times already.