Do you buy (into) disposable fashion?

I recently had a disagreement with a friend about a popular clothing store – whose name I will not mention. Said friend who is a professional, and can easily afford to shop at high-end stores, was trying to convince me to shop at said clothing store.

It’s true that you can’t really go wrong with $7.90 basic camisoles, but my issue lies with the quality of the clothing. In fact, after referring to it as “disposable fashion”, my friend agreed and further added that that’s the beauty of these cheap clothing chains: You can just buy new clothes once you get sick of the old styles!

I completely understand her pov, but at an early age, my mom taught me about QUALITY by making remarks such as, “Don’t wear cheap shoes…they’ll ruin your feet!” and “Only buy shoes from Country #1, #2, or #3”. And somehow, these remarks are still with me today as a consumer.

Buying my own clothes and shoes, I first look at the material, whether or not it’s easy to wash, will it pill up, style/wearability – will it be something I will wear on more than one occasion, and yes, I also look to see what country the item is made. If all those above mentioned factors check out, then I check out the price tag!

And it is for the same reasons listed that I will not step foot into that debated store. It may be nice to look at the dizzying array of styles, prints, and colours, but buying it to wear is another story!

With Back To School as an official retail season, there’s no doubt that you’ll pick up some clothing for yourself as well. So is your take on disposable fashion to leave it on the rack OR grab the deals and head straight to the check-out?

67 responses to “Do you buy (into) disposable fashion?”

  1. kristen says:

    I think I fall somewhere in the middle. For the most part, I’m all about quality clothes that will last. I don’t want to buy something and know that as soon as I wash it, it won’t look or fit right anymore. However, if I’m trying to create an outfit and work a current trend into it that I know is just a fleeting style or if I need just a pop of colour and I know it isn’t a colour I’m going to wear a lot…sometimes I’ll buy a disposable item.
    But this doesn’t happen a lot.

  2. Sally says:

    Whats wrong with disposable fashion? It’s pretty much all I buy.

  3. Peppermint Patty says:

    Disposable yes way, I get sick of things fast and like a change however I won’t stoop to the depths of Old Navy.:)

  4. december6 says:

    I don’t buy a whole lot of expensive clothing, mostly just “disposable” fashion… I don’t see a problem with it? I have clothes that I have paid little $$ for and they have lasted me for awhile. I have also purchased clothes that would be considered pricey, and it has barely lasted through a few washes. I don’t really think buying cheap clothes always means cheap quality… but that’s just me…

  5. VeeVee says:

    If you buy clothes once a century then sure go for the 100 camisole. But if your into fashion and go with the trends or like to pep up your wardrobe once every few months then no I am not going to spend 100 on one piece of clothing. I will however spend $$ on classic timeless pieces but camisoles, tights, tshirts clothes that are fashion clothes and change with the season I will buy on sale or for dirt cheap…disposable or not.

  6. Natalka says:

    When I was teaching, I definitely went for better quality clothing – and, yes, it often comes with a higher price. Where I have taught it meant suits with pants or skirts, and that meant blouses, not t-shirts; or dresses and skirt sets. I always looked for mix and match items, and because teaching primary grades is very physical (you’re always bending, crouching, running around, etc.), everything also had to be comfortable – so sometimes it was a tough combination to find. Shoes definitely had to be leather and comfortable, so that meant more money as well.

    However, at home, totally different story! Comfy and cheap, worn til there are holes!

    As for kids, when our son was in elementary, pants definitely had to be better quality because he was so tough on them. Shirts and t-shirts didn’t matter as much. Outerwear and shoes/boots were other things we did not skimp on.

  7. Christinaabc says:

    I was taught somewhat differently. I grew up quite poor and we could not afford the expensive items, not even one or two pieces so we never had the “quality clothing” of which you speak. I’m 40 now and I assure you having rarely bought a pair of shoes for more than 10 dollars in my life, and I will add never looked cheap, and my feet are not at all wrecked! I will use the name of the store my 18 year old daughter shops at that could be described as one of the throw away stores, Urban Planet, and she has had items from there that she paid literally 1.00 for that have lasted two years. I agree with the other poster that cheap doesn’t always mean that it won’t last! I now personally fall somewhere in the middle when it comes to clothing, I do buy items from mid range store (still not high end) but wait for them to go on clearance at the end of the year and stick to things that can take a person from year to year for the most part.

  8. Stephania says:

    Another reason why I’m not too fond of disposable fashion is that it’s not very green. Sure, you can donate your old clothes to a charity, but what are the chances that they’ll be used there if they’re all pill-y and threadbare?

  9. Marta says:

    i prefer quality over quantity.

  10. Mommy says:

    ‘Disposable’ fashion must be all that I buy.
    I’m comfortable in these clothes, they are affordable, easy to buy and find, and I get to have in season styles at lower prices.

    I’m not into brand labels…but if there was a deal on the branded stuff I’ll buy it at a good price.

    If I’d bought an expensive sweater I would want to feel constantly careful…with kids clothes doesn’t last long.

  11. Consumer says:

    I suppose if you have an issue with wearing a shirt you know costs $10 as opposed to one that costs $40, then “disposable fashion” (sorry, that is a lame term) isn’t for you. The majority of people will shop according to what their wallet dictates.

  12. matty's mom says:

    I have bought all my one clothed since I was 14 and had my first job (I worked in a signage factory). I buy quality (on sale or make it) and I buy some disposable- but only for a trend that I like. I mix cheap with expensive all the time. Really, I am fabric junkie- I have seen great quality fabrics in all stores. And cheap in all stores too. I bought a great dress @ Zeller’s the other day for $8.00. The fabric is amazing! Same fabric that is being used on the Jeanne Beker Line @ the bay for $150 a skirt. But being green- I don’t throw out. I either give away,purposefully or I upcycle the fabric. Joys of being a sewer!

  13. Carrie says:

    I’m a person who is – Quality over Quantity but if i can get for cheep great!!!

  14. izzy says:

    i cant afort good quaility clothing i wish i could. being a student i need to make loan momey last. I have a few good peices for interviews and what not but its not everyday clothing. I also wear things out even after they have a hole if i can sew it when holes happen or alter it when really bad so it last longer i will when it gets to a point that i cant use it i turn it into quilt fabric… i have lots of old shirt on a quilt i made a wile back andd coolecting for my next one..

  15. Lori says:

    I gotta say that Old Navy clothing far out lasts the Macy’s clothing that my daughter buys. By far. I have hoodies and t-shirts from Old Navy as well and they are still in great condition.

  16. supermandy says:

    Stephania – just to comment on your post about beig green…

    I often buy disposable. I also have a sister and we often swap clothes. I also buy at thrift stores, and yes, donate to them too.

    Clothes that are run down, I cut up for rags for my husband (he uses rags all the time for work and in the garage). I also offer clothing that I am just tired of on Freecycle and they always get snatched up quickly.

    So I get cheaper clothes, a good variety and I can also help others out.

  17. jeo220 says:

    Disposable fasion is all I buy! I never stay the same size (always up and down 5-10 lbs) and frankly, I don’t like my clothes after 2 years anyway. I always look presentable, put together and classy – that’s what counts!

  18. Personally I try to look for quality clothing that’s priced at disposable prices.

  19. Mel says:

    I would say a lot of how long your garment can last depends on how you care for it. Fabric quality ranges a lot within stores too. So I generally will not discount what you call “disposable fashion” as it is within range of what I can afford, but obviously won’t buy something ready to fall apart on the rack.

  20. Jenn says:

    I think there needs to be a line drawn between disposable and AFFORDABLE. I’ve never paid full price for any piece of clothing and quite often buy things second hand. That being said however, I have bought work-friendly black pants for $7.49/pair and they’re comfortable, easy to care for and have excellent quality for the price. I wouldn’t consider that disposable clothing, but I would consider it affordable.

  21. r0c0upons says:

    i’m gonna guess this is about forever 21….

    i dont have a problem with disposable fashion, it’s the only way i can have variety to my wardrobe…or else i’d be wearing the same thing every single day

  22. Trixyluxx says:

    It really depends on a lot of stuff, for example, I purchased a pair of 200 High heels from ALDO, they didnt even last for 1 month, the leather came off, the bamboo was getting scratched, purchased a 40$ pair of high heels and they still lasted me over a year now. Just because things are pricer dosen’t mean anything, cause in the end, 85% of retail all come from the same supplier.

  23. Sally says:

    I shop at Old Navy etc. I’ve fallen for the $150 jean trap where I didn’t even like the jeans that much to begin with so I return them.

    I generally wont spend more then $50 on jeans, $30 on a shirt, 10 on a tank etc.
    the only non disposable fashion I spend more money on is purses and well my wedding dress.

    But I guess it also depends wether you consider Old Navy disposable vs Walmart. I dont shop at Walmart, their clothes warp in the wash. Just because somethings on sale doesn’t suddenly make it disposable.

    My kids however, I shop at Gymboree, Please Mum, Gap, Crazy 8 because their clothes hold up more.

  24. Stephania says:

    @r0c0upons – We have a “blind items” winner! 😉

  25. Rene says:

    Being a student, I am all about disposable fashion. However, I’m careful with what I buy as well. I’d rather spend $7-10 on a good quality cami than the $2.50 ones at some stores, just because they will last longer. However, I don’t completely throw away the ‘super-cheap’ stores either, like Wal-Mart and F21, because I have found some amazing pieces there that have lasted me a long long time, around 4-5 years. Don’t completely write them off, Stephania,

  26. Minou says:

    Sometimes those disposable places are good for trendy stuff, and I think that a lot of Ricki’s stuff is in the disposable category. Amazingly, though, I paid an average of $15 a pair for black pants last year (and bought several) and they’ve held up for a year without any wear at all. Finding pants that fit well is a challenge, and these ones have been great!

    It seems like there are fewer quality clothing stores around, and that many that do exist are for an older group.

  27. adora says:

    Disposable fashion has its place in the market.

    My weight goes up and down. Even when my weight remain consistent, my breast size vary from season to season. So I tend to buy t-shirts for $10, pants for $40. My size often change before they are beat up anyway.

    Can’t even buy nice shoes! My feet got smaller! One size smaller from last year! It’s just not feasible to invest in quality items when your body is constantly screwing with you.

    I do invest in quality bags. My rule of thumb is to spend a day’s worth of salary on a good everyday bag that would last you 3-5 years.

  28. r0c0upons says:

    lol @Stephania! seriously though, i know what you mean…those stores/items are such cheap quality! cheap material, and worst of all…cheap stitching. i say, if you don’t have a sewing machine, don’t buy it!

  29. kathy says:

    I have a womanly figure, I find those cheapie stores make clothing in polyester and other less desirable fabrics that never really flatter me. However, when I put on Club Monaco for example, the size never fails!

    Also, there is a reason those cheapie stores don’t let you return clothes for a refund, only an exchange.

    I prefer to know the store will stand behind it’s products and offer a full refund when requested.

    Finally I hate the prices of ClubMonaco before sales, and even after sales its still not the most appealing of prices.. BUT valuevillage has everything I want. I always find classic pants from VV by Clubmonaco, banana republic, gap.. and I never pay more than 19 bucks. 19 for used pants is a strech, but if they handle my bum and waist well, I will pay up to 19.

    Shoes, i don’t like crappy shoes, but i won’t spend lots, except i bought UGGS, and Tom’s (but i fit kids Toms so i saved some money there) I usually go to DSW in buffalo for shoes.

    I can tell when people where poly barf and i pity them.

  30. Angie says:

    @Stephania, I agree. not only is “disposable clothing” not earth friendly but doesn’t it cost more in the end? having to replace cheaply made clothing over and over again. id rather have something i like last forever.

  31. liberty says:

    as someone who had to buy expensive clothes for work, there is very little difference in the quality of clothes. trust me when i say that my 1000$ suits got wrecked just as quickly as my 100$ suits, and they cost me a fortune in dry cleaning.
    yah, cheap is cheap, but just because something doesn’t cost a lot doesn’t mean its crap. i buy my kids clothes at target and walmart and they last until they grown out of them, just like the clothes my friends can afford at more expensive stores.
    now that i stay at home i have no money for clothes, literally none, so if i can scrounge up a few dollars over the course of a month to pick up something new just to feel human as the baby weight goes away, then i would rather spend it on something “disposable.” i would hate to save up for 6 months to buy something that i either won’t fit into in a year or won’t be in style.
    we should all be upset that standard clothes aren’t really available anymore for a low cost, old navy has some good stuff, but they really are missing the mark these days, way too trendy, it all goes on markdown because its ugly. i would rather see those places get back to basics- old navy, gap etc. and let the fashion stores do the trendy stuff. that way we could have basics that were inexpensive and of decent quality.

  32. Sara says:

    I spent lots of Jeans. I own a few pairs of premium denim. They don’t stretch out and still look great. Worth the money!

  33. Kim says:

    I’ve purchased a leather handbag from Roots, over $100 and the zipper is ruined in which they want to charge me $30 to fix. i also splurged on a burberry wallet which cost me over $300 and the zipper is also busted. Although these items arent clothing, it goes to show that items that you pay more for, are no better constructed than cheaper brands. I don’t generally buy brand name but in both these cases I wanted to treat myself. I have a handbag/wallet “thing” so I switch bags quite often, so it’s not like these items were used alot (maybe 3 or 4 times). I don’t discriminate against buying from certain stores, if it looks good and it’s a good price, I’ll get it.

  34. coley3 says:

    I love quality but can’t afford it. I grew up with not much money. So all we had was thrift store clothes. But you know what there was quality there. Some brand names to be had. But as kids and even teenages we were just glad to have something.

    Then as I got older and married and started to have a family of my own my Mom continued to find us clothes from the thrift store. I always buy clearance clothes for the kids. Especially back to school. They don’t need to be real quality as they grow out of them within the year anyway. Old Navy was the only store and I tried many that had jeans to fit my son. He is an awkward size right now.

    For me I only buy clothes once a year. That’s right just once. And it is usually on Boxing day or the day after. I use my Christmas money and go to The Bay. That way I get a couple of pairs of name brand jeans (DKNY-$50 each) and a few shirts and a dress or 2. That’s it. And I am still wearing 2 pairs of those jeans from 2 1/2 years ago. They are great. So I like quality but can only buy it on clearance. So sadly I don’t keep up with any trend. That’s alright though. I get to be a stay at home Mom instead.

    I also buy my kids clothes from Value Village and donate their as well. Lots of great brand name stuff and lots in good condition too.

  35. Meghan says:

    I buy premium clothing at Talize, otherwise it’s budget friendly only!

  36. Cheryl888 says:

    Each to their own, but I personally outgrew shopping in those stores when I was about 18. The clothing to me looks cheap, and young. I feel like if I am going to try and dress like I am 20, after having a child, I best re-evaluate myself. If you need a small piece to complete an outift, thats your perogative. But you wouldnt catch me there, or advertising my children to shop there when they are older. Id advise them to save their money for something they really want, rather than buy 10 crappy shirts. It doesnt teach kids much about money when you can throw it away week after week and end up with a closet of stuff no one wants.
    To me its quality, and the way clothing makes you feel when you wear it. If I wear something cheap, I feel cheap. Its class before trash.

    Yes I sound like a pretentious “B”, but I was raised to be a classy dresser, with timeless pieces that accentuate my body in a proper way.

  37. Ckay says:

    I try to buy the best quality that I can afford. Sometimes that isn’t much. For my kids, disposable clothing is able to fit the gap between money and lack of clothes that fit, again. But items that they will wear a while and for many season (school shoes, jackets, etc) I try not to skimp on. I don’t like shopping enough (and throwing away my money) to not buy stuff that will last. Hopefully its on clearance!
    (I try to shop by the same rules for my self)

  38. Sandi says:

    I agree with you completely… I will never buy clothes in these “disposable” clothing stores. Yes they are cheap in price, but they are cheap looking as well and make the person wearing them look “cheap” and tarty too. As a stay at home (more mature) mom, it’s all about how you work the sales and make your choices. Buying classic style clothing doesn’t mean you buy clothes every century as one person said… it just means you like looking well put together and like a lady who doesn’t want to look like every other teenager you see at the mall. As far as where the item is made… I was raised on the same ethic as well but in today’s way of mass production for mass profit, it’s really hard to stand by that because even a lot of the classic more expensive items come from these countries offering “cheap” labor.

  39. MMM Family says:

    From the post title I expected you may have been posting some tips and tricks of what to look for in quality “made to last” clothing, but, I hate to say, the post just came off sounding a bit snobby and judgmental towards your friend who shops at cheaper stores (which is a surprising approach for a money-saving blog).

  40. Parisa says:

    It doesnt matter whether an item is from a disposable store or not. You can find treasures of quality in the disposable ones as much as cheap made items in better stores. The most important thing is how you feel in the clothing. Do you feel pretty? Do you feel happy you bought the item and you stayed within your budget? That is what matters not which kind of store. Confidence in what you wear, the rest is trivial.

  41. Rachel says:

    It’s funny that so many of the other commenters here are insisting that quality is unaffordably expensive. I think crap is unaffordably expensive, both for our personal wallets, and for the global economy.

    After all, there are many inexpensive ways to find quality clothes (thrifting, swapping, eBay, waiting for sales, collecting points to use for discounts), and quality clothes, made from natural fibres or mixes, with great workmanship, can last for years. (For example, I’ve got a gorgeous pair of Talbots’ houndstooth fine wool trousers which cost me $1.50.)

    On the other hand, if your closet is full of “fun” t-shirts or dresses that are badly sewn, made entirely from polyester, and bought at full price (even if that price is ten bucks), you’ll end up spending a staggering amount of money replacing them as they become unwearable.

    And don’t let yourself feel better because you’ve given your unwearable duds to the Sally Ann — there are several documentaries about how the West’s surplus second-hand clothing has killed industries all over the developing world. (If you’re interested, google the films “T-Shirt Travels” or “Secondhand”.)

    In sum: well-made is worth it, and you can find it for the same or less cost than the crap stuff. Buy better and buy less, and you’ll look great and save money.

  42. mojo says:

    I always buy my clothes and my kids from V.V or Talize. In saying that, I do look for quality items at these stores, they last longer. I find if you buy basic colours and classic items style is not an issue.
    It just makes more sense to me to buy used.
    Do we really need to manifacure so much stuff in the world??? Just a thought.

  43. Julie says:

    I think I fall in the middle. As a mom of two young boys (5 and 2 1/2) I do tend to buy disposable clothes for when I’m home with them as they are more than likely to get dirty or stained within minutes of wearing them. I work in health care so I wear scrubs (and I had one pair of scrubs from GT that I loved and wore for 5 yrs and have another pair that I spent a lot more on and they have already faded and warped in the laundry in less than a yr). I do like to have a few quality/classic pieces that will last me for a while and I can change them up with inexpensive accessories (for when we do get to go out w/out the kids lol).

  44. Connie says:

    I buy mostly disposable. I don’t care how well it is made, it still stains. And I have a permanent hole in my chin. So I buy cheap and don’t cry when I stain it.

    Also, expensive shoes cause my knees and back to get sore. My MIL keeps buying me the top of the line shoes and every time I stop wearing them because they cause my back to hurt. $5 walmart shoes for me. No aching body parts and I save money.

    BTW, I am sorry that you and some others equate lower cost clothes with a lack of judgment or tarty-ness. That says a lot.

  45. Mungi says:

    My brother bought a pair of cotton knit shorts with elastic waistband at Giant Tiger, and after wearing for about 5 minutes, all he had on was a loin cloth – the stitching completely fell apart. It was hilarious but rather embarrassing – so note to the wise, stay away from clothes at GT Boutique.

  46. Rockgirl says:

    When it comes to those pieces that I want to last more then a season I completely agree with you! however, I’m not will to spend big bucks on something that can only be worn a handful of times because of how trendy it is or how quickly I’ll tire of it.

  47. RoseAnne says:

    My son is now 22. He brought me to a church and everything was 2.00. This has been the best place with designer clothes everything. I always get what I want, shoes, purses, pants, whatever I need and great quality clothes. You don’t feel bad if something happens to it or your wreck it and the money goes to the church.

  48. MJ says:

    I thought this was a site about smart shopping and not a site to criticize those who may not shop at the “right” stores according to some of you? I think we can all agree that people do what feels right for them in terms of price, style and quality…who cares where it was purchased? I am surprised to hear names like GT, Forever 21 and Old Navy being slammed as unappropriate places to shop…and disposable clothing? Where did this term even come from? I don’t know any smart shoppers who purchase something to wear once and toss away…weird thread for this type of site, if you ask me…

  49. ValueADollar says:

    I am a high-earning, professional woman. I could easily afford very expensive clothing (and at one time, my job required it). However, I am a “disposable-clothing” gal, all the way. Frankly, I cannot see why anyone would be otherwise; it makes no logical sense to me. Price just does not necessarily reflect quality, at least not in direct proportion. (e.g. is a $100 designer blouse really *10 TIMES* better than its $10 counterpart from another store?) And I think that many people like to (over) spend simply to buy a designer label, which somehow makes them feel better about themselves, apparently. It mystifies me.

    Pesonally, I have gladly worn $1.50 shirts, $2 costume jewelry, $5 shoes, and $7 dresses. I get compliments on my outfits all the time; in fact I am known for dressing well. Just yesterday, I wore a great $5 dress I bought at Zeller’s Midnight Madness sale. I got compliments on it from three complete strangers while out doing errands. And believe me, that kind of thing happens often.

    It’s because I wear my inexpensive clothes with the utmost of body confidence — which I feel comes from WTIHIN, not from the designer label sewn into the back, or from the fact that I paid alot of money for it. Also, I know how to shop for relative quality among the “disposable” clothing, and know how to shop for items that flatter my body shape and size.

    Over the years I have sometimes strayed from my norm, to purchase items that are more expensive. Frankly, I have almost always regretted it. I don’t think they last significantly longer than cheaper items, and besides — who wants them to? I want to wear an item for a year or so… not be buried in it.

    PS. With all due respect to Stephania’s mom, no amount of convincing will persuade me that “cheap” shoes will necessarily “ruin” your feet, as she put it. Expensive shoes can give you blisters, too.

  50. Kyla says:

    I prefer to ‘thrift it’. But if I am looking for something specific, I shall step foot into a mall. I finally dragged my butt to forever 21 after a few friends raved about it. Yes it is gigantic, but to me, most of the things were repetitive, I do not like their (fall) colors, and there are stores that I like that are cheaper. I love H&M and HKR because I like their fashion, and when something is 5-10$ on sale, I don’t worry to much if they run down easy, as long as I get to wear it for a few months at least. For disposable stylish cheap shoes, there is a very well known jewelry/accessory store, that I am sure we all know and love. Nice stuff but the shoes fall apart quickly.
    Great post! we SC’ers should be chatting about this more often 🙂

  51. Beth says:

    I usually opt for good quality basics — like pants, jeans, shoes, jackets, etc. But that doesn’t mean I have to pay a lot for them. I’m pretty careful about shopping sales, but I’ve also picked up some good pieces swapping with friends or hitting the consignment shops in my area. I won’t buy something if it’s poorly made or a fabric I know will pill or wear out quickly.

    I allow myself a couple of inexpensive, “throw away” (as in, will go out of style in a year or two but still decent quality) items or accessories to keep my wardrobe fresh. Most of my friends aren’t big into fashion either, so that’s a big help!

  52. Princess Valiant says:

    As a person with an illness and a fixed income, I come to these sites to find ways to save money. I buy whatever I can afford, and I wish the postings on this site would focus more on how to save money, as opposed to condescending to those who “dare to step foot” in less than desirable clothing stores. My mother taught me the same, Stephania, but I don’t have the luxury of going into higher priced clothing stores. Then I remind myself – there are millions of poor in the world, who have much less than I do, and I am thankful for what I have. Maybe you should do the same, Stephania, and actually post about a deal, instead of making this your own personal vanity blog.

  53. Bec says:

    As a university student with a limited budget, I prefer to not spend over 30 on ANYTHING and I have been still able to find stylish and good quality clothing at very good prices. I think you really just have search hard for them. Recently I got a new bench sweater on sale for 25, leather vintage clutch thrifted for 2, and Nike runners on clearance for 20! I agree with many of u that price does not equal quality. However there are some brands that I have come to trust for quality. I do like f21 styles but I Agree their quality is pretty bad so I only get occasional statement pieces and jewelry there now.

  54. tnmo says:

    The term ‘disposable clothing’ is highly arbitrary, particularly the way it is used in this post. I understand where Stephania is coming from – where you shop and don’t shop is your prerogative. Everybody wants to wear and own quality clothing, and while I agree that in a good number of stores (Old Navy, Ardene, Urban Behaviour etc) tend to have a majority of clothing items that are not stitched, hemmed & cut as well as others, there is still real value in stepping and setting foot into ‘said’ stores as you will be surprised to find several options that do fit your shopping standards.

    As a Smartcanucker & sensible shopper, I like to think of myself as the ‘Queen’ of bargain clothes shopping. I only buy good quality, well made clothing from ALL ranges of the retail clothing spectrum – & when I am in higher price point stores, I never buy at full price unless it is an absolute must have staple (pants, a good work shoe). However my closet is comprised of a fair amount cheap, valuable closet filler finds that don’t necessarily have to be made with the finest silk or egyptian cotton. At the end of the day , what it boils down to is the simple fact that retail markup percentages are inflated & I as a conscious consumer refuse to pay 80%+ more on a $40 tank that cost $.40 cents to make – well made or not. I think it’s a fine balance that has to be made when it comes to quality versus quantity, and if it means that I can wear my $60 pants 8 ways with 8 tanks that cost $3 each, then power to me. Cheap price doesn’t always mean cheap quality, ‘Made in China/India’ doesn’t always mean poorly made or inferior, ‘said’ clothing stores are not homogeneous in terms of quality and to have that narrow frame of thought is really quite…insular.

  55. Funkymunky says:

    Personally it’s not the quality of the clothes but how you take care of them 🙂 I have plenty cheaper pieces which I’ve been wearing for 3, 4 and even 5 years. We had a discussion here about H&M and how disposable their stuff is but I find H&M clothes actually of much better quality then stores like Zara! I grew up with Mom washing all of our stuff either by hand or using gentle cycles in the washing machine, we also never had or used dryers and dryers are actually super bad for things like camisoles, tank tops, underwear etc. I understand that not everyone has time on their hands to hand wash and hang to dry their clothes but if you’re constantly throwing stuff into the washer/dryer, it won’t last super long!

  56. Jules says:

    i work for old navy and am very proud to do so! i LOVE our brand… and so do many other returning customers. good clothing that is stylish and (for the most part) well made(!) for a very affordable price — and even more so when you can apply a deal or coupon. it’s sad to read people are trashing the company. additional to our awesome clothing, we donate a lot of money to causes and charities and attempt to be green when we can. if you really think old nay is “stooping to the depths”, it’s your loss. we will survive without your business 🙂

    p.s. the 30% off your purchase is still valid today ONLY! find the coupon and print it off old navy @

  57. Dany says:

    I think you guys are missing the point. Its not about going to the right stores or not, its about saving money over the long term. A $1000 coat will be 10 times better than a $100 coat. A quality coat should last you 10+ years which saves you money over the long term. For classic items such as suits, coats, sweaters its worth it to go for quality because it will be cheaper as you can wear it for longer. For t-shirts, shorts, and even dresses you can buy at a cheap store because you will inevitably go through tons of them as styles change, things become damaged. However for big ticket items its worth it to go for the higher price point and buy the best quality clothes you can because you can look at it as an investment.

  58. PWest says:

    If you all knew what the markup on your so-called ‘quality’ clothes really was, you wouldn’t be so high and mighty about it. I find some people just have this need to tote a brand label. I personally am not looking at you closely enough to notice, so I don’t know why you bother.

    I must admit that I am too old to be shopping at Forever21 so I have no idea about their quality (and if you are about 25 you probably shouldn’t be shopping there for anything other than accessories either, no matter how much you want to be a fahsionista), but Old Navy (again hello markup, if regular price is $70 and clearance price is $7.99 with 30% off and they are still making money from it, please) and walmart have produced some long lasting stuff for me. Especially lounge and sleepwear.

    I have never paid any kind of new price for jeans, I always get mine from Value Village, I guess from all of these ‘villans’ who aren’t green and want to follow trends. Thanks guys, I enjoy your jeans at $5.99 much more than you did for 2 weeks at $250.

    I really don’t know what all of the quality griping is about, simply buy cotton and care for it properly and get over yourself. If the stitching looks dodgy no one is forcing you to buy it anyway, so don’t get all huffy if it falls apart. I have had fruit of the loom come unhinged in the washer for me before, sometimes the sewing machine is off and they don’t notice for a while. Humans are making the clothes you know, mistakes happen.

    If you can afford to throw your money away on things that make you feel superior and secure then go on with your Kim Kardashian self. Those of us who are slumming it at the clearance rack at old navy (oh how low must we stoop! just a second away from homelessness to some on here) because we’d rather feed our family well and aren’t pretentious (I mean they all come from the same eastern or south american regions anyway, even Prada outsources) about our clothing find that they last for years and we end up donating perfectly lovely well cared for clothes.

    Enjoy your 1977 Gucci tweed skirt, you’re in style every 20 years or so, so good for you on that. Each new tween generation that dresses like the 70’s to rebel thinks you are just so cool.

    And since I can’t write this in the font ‘sarcastica’, I’ll have to tell you all that a good portion of this post is meant as sarcasm, although don’t take that to mean that I don’t mean it also. I just don’t mean it as a personal attack to you, whoever you are, so if you take it as such you are a narcissist and need to chill out. I don’t mean you, you’re not the one, I am talking about someone else.

  59. PWest says:

    Dany those of us in the real world with kids and pets would hardly find a $1000 coat an investment. I would be afraid to wear it, anywhere. What if something got on it? I couldn’t wash it, I’d have to pay and have it dry cleaned.

    But then again I don’t wear suits to work so I suppose the issue here is those of you who are lawyers and professors and various other business like people don’t understand what it is like to be any of us who aren’t, who haven’t learned through countless hours of avoiding getting coffee on yourself or food at lunch, or how to teach our kids to not come into the car with muck on their hands and feet and hug us or dogs to not exist near us enough to get us dog smelly.

    You go ahead and invest in your $1000 coat sweetheart and I’ll be extra careful to walk ten feet around you in it, lest I stain you and you sue me for a healthy downpayment on a car.

  60. ValueADollar says:

    Your logic is sound, but it’s only relevant if I want to wear that $1,000 for 10 years. I do not. I want to have new clothes every year or two.

    (Plus, even clothes that are originally considered “classic” in cut, fabric and style do look out of date after a year or two, because clothing manufacturers and designers deliberately make minor changes to style. Are you still wearing expensive suits with shoulder pads in them, from the early 90’s?)

    So if I buy a $1,000 “quality” coat but only wear it a few years, I am not saving money when I replace that coat with another $1,000 two years later.

    To repeat: your presumption is that we want to wear the coat for 10 years. This is not true for me, and I would hazard a guess that it is not true for the vast majority of people you ask these days.

  61. HDF9 says:

    Cheap clothes are made by poor workers in sweat shops who barely get paid enough to live and provide for their families

  62. Rene says:

    The only expensive thing I’m even considering buying right now is a pair of flat boots from Fluevog (pure leather, lasts for years) and I’m only waiting for them to go on sale, because for me, I can’t afford to spend the $400 they want on their boots,. I don’t mind spending $200-250 though, for a brand I know is really good quality footwear.

  63. PWest says:

    HDF9, we know, but so are clothes that are called ‘high end’ and are expensive that people consider to be better quality simply due to price.

    The truth is nearly everything is outsourced anymore and unless you want to make your own, chances are you’ll be hard pressed to find an article of clothing made in North America. To futher this point, even if you did make your own clothing, you’d also be hard pressed to find fabric that is made in north america unless you’ve spun it yourself from your own animals on your own farm.

    We all (or our forebearers) gave up our right to do anything about it a long time ago and unless you prefer to go naked this is the world we live in.

    Furthermore, it is not up to us to dictate how other people live. They have jobs and they obviously continue to live on what they make, even though it is not up to North American standards. However it is North American union standards that cost us north american jobs in manufacturing, since instead of carrying on folks took their jobs for granted and went on a strike every few years for more money. Thus forcing (yes partly out of greed but also out of having better options with non-union workers elsewhere) companies to outsource and for the pickle we’re all in with our US/Canadian economies.

    I guess my main point is if you understood any of this in the first place you wouldn’t pull out the good old PC guilt trip of “sweat shops” to try and make us feel bad for not shelling out $80 for a sweater, because you’d already know that prices make no difference and even $1000 jeans are made by someone so poor that that the cost of the jeans that they make could buy them both a house and a car.

    You may want to stop spewing cliches and donate to a charity in a third world country to suppliment your guilt tripping, as buying more expensive clothing sure isn’t going to help anyone at all, and most certainly not anyone working in a sweat shop.

  64. Ginger says:

    Yes, and expensive clothing is also often made by poor workers. The price of the clothing does not reflect how well the person who made it was paid or treated.

  65. Jasmine says:

    Disposable fashion strips us of our substance and hurts our en
    vironment. It does not make us feel better and it may not even make us look better; to the contrary, it creates inconsistency, overload and waste.
    We are blamed for being consumer society and rightly so. We buy more than we need and we dump it. But wait! We are not the only one to blame. It is not only consumers who dump stuff. The produces and retailers do it as well; they dump the products they cannot sell, and try to hide it from the public.

    The products are not sold because we cannot buy or, even better, we do not want to buy. So why is there such a humongous surplus?

    So, let me get back to disposable fashion which contributes to textile waste which in USA in 2009 piled up to 12.7 mil tons, according to EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). And staggering 84% of unwanted clothing ends up in landfills. Balance of 16% goes to donations, resell to developing countries and recycle.
    Disposable fashion is a wasteful use of natural resources, from the beginning to the very end of its short life.

  66. PWest says:

    Who left that soap box there for anyone to find? I’ll just take that and put it away…

  67. Georgia says:

    Growing up, my parents worked in the textile industry (women’s apparel), and what I witnessed may shock you! Do you have any idea how much a finished pair of pants actually costs to manufacture? Try $0,75-1,50. Oh yeah, and how about when we used to get the price tickets for the clothes…they would give us two separate tags: two thirds of the lot were designated the cheap retail store tags and one third was for the higher end boutiques. Yep! That’s how it worked! So when I hear people brag about the high-end boutique where they purchased a piece of clothing, I just smile and think to myself: Wow, only if you knew 🙂


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