I had to go inside to get out of the sun recently, while waiting for others, and I ended up in a high end mall. I decided to check out the Tilley Hat store as I have plans to buy one on Jan. 1st, 2011. It turns out they have a whole bunch of other stuff too, including suits and dress clothes that are made in Canada, guaranteed for life, and really well made-washable even. It made me think. When I do shop next for something, maybe I will buy a decent version of a dressy work outfit there, versus something made like crap/made with crap that pills and pulls and warps and wears out in a flash.
I was reading this nice book on vintage clothing not long ago, and it was talking about how generations before us didn't have as much clothing, and that the stuff they had was much, much better quality. In fact people would insist on quality fabric etc. so things would last and wear well. Also, now most things are mass produced in 3 generic sizes and don't fit as well. Both fabric quality and sewing skills have declined. They apparently mainly rely on dye colour to distinguish items rather than great quality. So, I think I will try to make sure stuff I get is actually something I need, and then I will look beyond cheap made-in-China stuff to find a version I can get some real use out of. That's my plan anyway.
The other nice thing was that I was at the mall without a brass farthing to my name, and looking for a drink of water. I was having a hard time finding a water fountain, and like finding a cool stream on a desert island, the lovely clerk at Tilley said, "Did you know we have complimentary coffee or water? Please feel free to help yourself." I shall remember that and pop in to browse more often. Of late I have been on a bit of an austerity program. (Tell me, is this ironic? In a household of two wives, we are husbanding our resources. I think it's ironic, but sometimes I mess up the definition with just plain old coincidences...)