But the fabric they used disintegrated on me, as woman's clothes tend to. (Men get thicker fabric, but at the expense of being less stretchy. Women like to show off their curves.) The problem with this being that no one else made the styles I enjoyed. It was a fad that came and went. It doesn't exist in thrift stores. I don't even know what to call it, so I can't find pictures in an image.google search. Forever 21 made products I liked, but then they switched and I (and my friends) couldn't find anything that came close since. The last time I bought clothes at Forever 21 was in 2010.
Since then H&M has caught on like wildfire taking over the market Forever 21 once had. They do a lot of the same, but their clothes are even cheaper (why?) and in my current wardrobe my favorite clothes have come from H&M. I'm afraid the same fate will come to H&M that has come to Forever 21. Or maybe H&M will learn from F21's mistakes. Only time will tell.
That's a rather weird characterization in my opinion... H&M stores in roughly their current form have been around a lot longer than Forever 21. H&M is also 4-5 times the size of Forever 21 by revenue.
My apologies. Faulty assumption on my part.
I certainly try to spend a little more and get quality stuff. Second hand stores can also be great because you can find great quality stuff that feels better after the 20th wash than the H&M stuff feels fresh out of the store.
H&M stuff for me never tears or gets holes. Mine just stretches in places where it shouldn't stretch (eg. T-shirt sleeves - how the hell do those stretch?! I don't have steroid-monster arms. I have a <1 year old t-shirt where I can put my whole head through the sleeve (usually by accident), and there's still some space left, and i remember it was fitted well when new... So yeah, it's my 'yard work' shirt. ).
That said, it's not just the clothes for women. I tried buying some jeans at H&M, twice. Both times I wore a hole in them in less than a month. I'm not doing anything special, just a regular office guy. I usually buy Diesel jeans and they last at least a couple of years each.
Unfortunately, yes. This is what tends to happen. My wife complains about how this is so much the case in women's fashion. Fashion is designed to encourage consumption. People buy new clothes, new appliances, etc just because of color and style. This drives cheaply made products, since they aren't going to last long anyway.
Really wish we could move away from this and get back to quality products that last. But, until people get past fashion, I can't expect this will happen.
> But, until people get past fashion, I can't expect this will happen.
Now though I stick to brands such as COS, yes they do cost x5 or X10 what H&M costs, but the difference in the clothe is evident.
I expect durability when I spend a lot of money. I own five Patagonia shirts that are all 10+ years old and still look and feel like brand new. I love how I can turn the garments into my local Patagonia retailer when they reach end-of-life.
I once wore a Calvin Klein tee for 15+ years until it disintegrated. That shirt was soooooo comfy! I didn't want to throw it away, but my wife complained how horrible it looked even when I was reduced to only wearing it inside the house!
Yeah, but do they really last 5-10 times as long? If not, then from a purely economic point-of-view, they're not as good a deal. Spending 10x as much for something that lasts 2x as long really doesn't make economic sense: you can buy 2 of the cheaper thing and still spend 1/5 as much money.
But I've found a number of my go to mail order catalog places that I used to order from like clockwork have really gone downhill over time. I still buy from them sometimes but the quality definitely isn't what it used to be.
I’m more than happy to spend $30+ on a simple shirt that won’t change its fit after a few cleanings, but struggle to find a consistent brand.
If anyone has recommendations, please let me know.
Hang dry and use a lower spin speed in the wash. It takes a little more planning and time, but I hang dry almost all my clothes and I have t-shirts from H&M type store that are 8 years old and still holding up. Some higher quality clothes brands are even older and look pretty much brand new.
I can get clothing to last until the fabric actually wears out - elbows in dress shirts, knees in pants etc and even after that you can sometimes convert them to shorts with a little sewing.
Patagonia or other backpacking suppliers or mid ranged department stores between Macy’s and Nordstroms. The next rung up for most brands aka Banana Republic > GAP can be hit or miss, but you really need to give up on low end stores.
That said quality is visible when you’re buying. Ultra thin cloth just can’t last.
Yes I face this problem as well. It seems that no matter how much you pay, you get the same clothes manufactured in the same sweatshops but you pay extra for a "better" logo/brand.
I like Zara, but it is debatable if they actually do have better quality for the higher prices they ask for.
The men's clothing are on the cheaper side but still feel like decent materials. I mostly just have t-shirts and a few polos. The t-shirts have lasted at least a couple years so far and have gone through many washes.
Most of the styles are nothing to write home about, but if you just want a simple shirt that looks decent and doesn't fall apart, I've had good luck. I think it might be US-only being that it's Target?
For pants, I've put a couple pairs of Lucky Brand jeans through hell and back and they barely show any wear. I'm sure there are more durable ones out there, but these are by far my favorites.
For jackets, it's either Goodfellow & Co. again or a couple of Polo Ralph Lauren zippered jackets that I got for a good deal secondhand. They are soft and feel like they'll last a good while.
This whole comment feels like an ad, but you did ask for brand recommendations. I'm sure someone will tell me how H&M or F21 either owns all of these or use the same factories. I've at least had good luck with them.
Color options are pretty limited, but mine have been through a few dozen wash/dry cycles at this point and still look and fit great.
Uniqlo hasn't yet made the same mistake of opening stores almost everywhere. You can shop online with them, but there aren't many stores outside of the capital in the UK.
In the UK it really does look like shops on the high street are struggling with the physical costs as opposed to shopping online.
I felt in love with Uniqlo. It's just perfectly what I want from a clothing store.
I have heard Uniqlo in Europe and US is different from Uniqlo in Asia and they try to position themselves as slightly more expensive; I can't really tell.
I’ve bought a $30 dresser at Ikea and $7 T-shirts at H&M, and both were about as durable as you might imagine. I’ve also bought a $200 dresser at Ikea and a $100 coat at H&M, and they’ve held up as well as comparable products twice their price.
Because of ruthless exploitation of the poor:
I think it's comes down to cuts at the end of the day. There is a style that fits a body type perfectly and the wearer loves it, but then that style disappears. Or at least that is how it works for me. The cuts that fit my proportions best tend to look and feel the best.
eg, skinny jeans made it hard for me to lift my legs for some of them and low cut / boot cut felt like they were falling down on me, but they weren't really falling down. But give me some jeggings and I'm a happy camper.
Not sure if it's the thickness or the fabric. Men's clothes are more likely to be cotton, women's have more synthetics to get stretchiness and better draping. Not sure what that does for durability, but it might explains issues in the dryer.
I'd also be curious to know the staple length of the cotton used by fast fashion brands, but I'd bet it's shorter.
And one interesting side-effect of my transition is that I actually like the feel of clothes now. Stretchy materials are so much more comfortable. I've never been able to stand the feel of cotton against my skin, and I'm so glad I get to wear clothes made of stretchy softness now. If I had my way, everything I wear would be made of rayon and spandex.
But on the other end, guys can go for hours on a computer no problem, but due to a lack of upper body strength, I need to exercise my neck and shoulder muscles once a week or slowly over time I'll start to get headaches.
I don't sleep or fly in man-made fibers for fire safety reasons. But I'm also fine with cotton, so your results may vary.
Wasn't looking too good last year . Not sure how they're doing now though.
Not anymore sadly with most brands.
Profit maximization has fixed that in the last few years.
Slave labor. It's why my family won't shop there anymore.
I like how he felt like he needed to explain that one.
If their first store was called "Fashion 75", do you think they would have chosen "Forever 75" as their new name?
-they are mall centric store and mall traffic has been declining. Other chains have been “right sizing”
-big discount stores (target, Walmart, TJ Maxx, etc) have upped their (discounted) fashion game
-forever 21 was slow to adjust to these broader trends vs competitors
I also agree with proverbialbunny. My girlfriend used to go there regularly but we haven’t been to one for ages. Could just be us getting older though :)
The Forever 21’s in my area are located in malls that are dated, and ripe for a major renovation.
Huh? This is true I suppose for Walmart and Target, but TJ Maxx just sells overstock stuff that didn't sell elsewhere.
Check out bullet number 4.
- LL Bean
- Lands End
If you're willing to pay a little more, there are some small shops still making stuff in America that you can feel good buying and will last a lot longer than your typical fast-fashion goods.
- I bought it from an outlet store so despite its high price it was still discounted
- It's incredibly well-made
- The "cut" of it is great, as in it fits my form really well
- Its pockets are deep
- It's warm
Zero regrets. It's absolutely one of my favorite clothing items and hopefully something I'll maintain for a long time.
Especially because, as you mentioned, more expensive jackets are sure to have better features (bigger pockets, better cut/shape, and a higher-quality fabric).
I find it odd how much better off-the-rack fit tends to be on more expensive clothes (for men, anyway). You'd think that'd be one thing the cheaper brands could easily duplicate, and that the main differences would be fabric quality & construction, but no.
Cheaper bands target a wider range of body types per SKU, which naturally produces worse fit on average.
For me, buying cheap stuff that has to be replaced often is the price I'm willing to pay for fabrics that feel comfortable and don't irritate my skin.
I absolutely cannot tolerate the feeling of cotton on my skin, and if I have a choice, everything I wear would be made out of rayon and spandex.
+ Expedition-clothing brands like Fjällräven, whose clothes are meant to serve a person for years trekking in the outdoors.
+ Specialist shops for clothes for certain professional and industrial careers
+ Military surplus shops.
While none of these are good sources for clothes that will make you look trendy and stylish to impress, they are great options if you just want some solid shirts and trousers to wear on an everyday basis.
I've had a couple pairs of Uniqlo jeans for several years now, and they don't have any of the wear in the crotch my Levis used to get. When I was buying Levis, I might get two years out of them before the fabric at the crotch thins and eventually rips. The Uniqlo jeans are showing almost none of that wear (both regular jeans and skinny jeans).
Same with their t-shirts and polo shirts. The necks haven't stretched, nor have they gotten any holes under the sleeves.
One of the two pairs of chinos I own from Uniqlo has started pilling, though, which is too bad, but still has lasted better than the last pair of chinos I bought at Macy's.
Again, ymmv, just my experience, but my wardrobe is now mostly Uniqlo and I'm buying a lot less replacement clothing (at least for basics) than I used to.
Also, the less you dry clothing at all, the longer it'll last -- I line-dry as much as possible, and toss it in the dryer on the no-heat mode to tumble it a bit if it needs it.
I've found that the clothing from LAPG to be very well made, and if you are looking for something that can even be worn in the office (business casual), they have that covered, too.
Their stuff is regularly mentioned in certain forums by people in those professions (LEO, TLAs, etc) looking for good clothing that has a lot of functionality and durability in the field, but still looks good in the office.
I found them after wanting a better quality and longer lasting pair of cargo pants (and later, shorts). I wanted something I could use for outdoor hiking activity, and only found that later they still looked great after a period of day hiking, that I could wear them around town afterward if needed.
I found what I needed, and they have proven their durability, comfort, and capability - more than enough pockets to carry what I need, easy access to all of them, plus a lot of extra strength features needed for hiking and other more strenuous activities.
They sell similar clothing that looks even nicer; ie - same kind of pants but without all the extra pockets - or they have some that are well hidden. Also shirts that look like regular short-sleeve button-downs, but with breakaway side seems for quick access to a side holstered weapon (all meant to allow LEO to "blend in" on certain assignments I guess?).
I found their stuff to range in price - the pants and shorts I bought cost much less than stuff I could purchase at name-brand stores, and have lasted much longer than anything from them as well. LAPG also sells some much more expensive clothing, some of which will make you double-take on the price. Maybe it is just that good - but I've never ventured up to those areas.
Neither has as wide a selection as GAP, and are more on the casual side, but have stuff that can work as business casual. The latter is menswear only, so if you're female not so useful.
Wait hear me out. I haven't tried jackets or outwear they sell, but they always stock up of decent quality underwear, t-shirts and jeans. Their Levi's last me about 4 years.
REI stocks a number of more-or-less equally high-quality options (http://bit.ly/2orY7C2)
If you're bored of Dockers, I'd suggest grabbing a pair of ABCs from Lululemon, in brown (http://bit.ly/2oAN4qr) and black (http://bit.ly/2mfiYb1)
If you're not sure what you want, other than to browse items of decent quality without getting ripped off, hit up Nordstrom Rack.
They're part of the same parent company (Old Navy, GAP, Banana Republic).
I guess "fast fashion" means cheap sweatshop clothes. The bankruptcy is probably caused as much by rising standards of living in other countries as it is by the general shift to online ordering.
What you say sounds wrongish... In a fast fashion shop you can try on ten things this week and ten _other_ things next week, and rate of change makes online ordering look slow.
1) Prototype to street was way more than 3 weeks. More like 3 months (still faster than most fashion which makes buys 6 months ahead). Zara is the main large retailer that is actually about 1 month from concept to store.
2) The quality of their men's wear was pretty good for the price.
3) They worked their corporate employees to the bone and paid them 60-70% as much as other retailers for the same job. Girlfriend ended up doubling her pay upon accepting a role with another retailer. And on her last day, they still left her a pile of work that took until 5am to finish...Greedy and unprofessional.
4) Sad to see a whole lot of honest employees lose their jobs. Although the owners of F21 had a big fall coming given the amount of greed and indifference they expressed to employees
Those are different things, right? From what I understand, Apple works on a phone for about 3 years, but they cycle every year. You can have multiple 'prototype to street' cycles running that deliver a new collection every 3 weeks. I'm not sure that's how it works in fast fashion, but I wouldn't be surprised if it does.
The caveat is that this is just what I read. I wear 501s and a non-print shirt (yes, sadly, it's sometimes black) to the office every day, what do I know?
Mark A. Cohen, the director of retail studies at Columbia Business School, said that he believed fast fashion was as popular as ever, pointing to the success of Zara, but that Forever 21 had expanded far too quickly “without regard to a reasonable outlook. It’s a self-inflicted catastrophe”
> Forever 21’s struggles have provoked questions around the appeal of fast fashion more broadly. The industry has faced backlash surrounding the environmental impact of quickly disposable clothes and concerns about worker safety
> Younger shoppers have increasingly turned to consigned goods and brands that claim sustainability as a value...
But I wouldn’t bet big money on it.
"BIO COTTON is all of that. It guarantees you that no genetically modified seeds are used, it supports farmers, saves the environment and feels good for you and your loved ones."
Maybe I am biased (I am not opposed to GMO), but I have doubts that this is the best way to be environment friendly.
I think that we have no choice but to seek sustainability from farming, as plastic is not sustainable from any angle. The alternatives to petroleum plastics are organic, so farming again.
I don't know why the address has UK in it, because the country select doesn't include UK, and the webshop is in Euros.
If those claims seem authentic enough they will ease the mind of the customers it helps them enjoy their spent money again though deep down they should know how bad this consumption is for our environment and the poor people involved in the production.
But it seems we have like 20 different labels for everything, one less worth than the other.
For example https://martinroll.com/resources/articles/strategy/the-secre... lists Zara's 1-week supply chain and responsive customer service as Zara's advantages. And Uniqlo similarly has some proprietary fabric technology: https://martinroll.com/resources/articles/strategy/uniqlo-th.... Meanwhile https://martinroll.com/resources/articles/branding/forever21... lists nothing besides their knockoffs being really cheap (and the associated piracy and labor lawsuits).
I don't have time to go through all the other failing stores like American Apparel, Dressbarn, JCPenney, Gap, etc., but the story is probably similar, pointless products with no obvious differentiation. H&M is more interesting, massive chain with CEO/management trying to turn it into something more lean / innovative. It's kind of like Amazon with Whole Foods. The eventual outcome of both is uncertain but so far they're moving along.
Anecdotal: my wife started calling it "Forever Toilet Paper" because the clothes disintegrated so quickly (as opposed to Zara and other fast fashion brands that, while fast to market, still put at least a little work into quality.)
The problem with clothes manufacturing is that there's huge diminished returns - by paying 6 times more you don't get 6 times higher quality. Clothes technology is rather simple.
That's six times.
This feels like when somebody with no clue about development claims whatever you are working on is “simple”.
Something tells me clothes technology is far more complex than you claim.
I've been trying to get 100% natural materials (cotton, wool, leather) and they seem more comfortable, less stuffy (especially for sleeping) but that might be a placebo.
I imagine most people don't think about their plastic fabrics being plastic at all, they really don't feel like plastic. So when you see lint balls or bits of lint floating about the house you don't think to yourself "Ah, little bits of plastic going into my lungs". When you empty the lint catcher in a drier and pop it right in the bin, it probably doesn't cross most minds that it's a little bundle of plastic fibers. I like to consider myself pretty well informed on the topic and it wasn't until this year that clothing fibers even crossed my mind.
One morning it occurred to me that I've been flushing microplastics away, which is really terrible...
Catching particles coming from the wash seems like a pretty tough problem. Even if the washing machine could somehow catch these, I can't see consumers (and thus manufacturers) jumping at the chance to clean out dirty soapy goop from a washing machine filter... which I imagine will resemble cleaning out a shower drain trap pretty quickly.
Natural materials are obviously more comfortable, more breathable, hypoallergenic, etc. These fabrics are literally the product of millions of years of evolution for putting on top of an animal's skin, and work well with its physiology.
There's of course significant processing applied to those materials before they're suitable as clothing (cotton obviously needs to be picked, it's not on an animal to begin with; leather needs to be tanned).
Huh? They're obviously optimized for regulating the temperature of the animal they came from. Except for cotton and linen. And they weren't woven. Viscose is pretty comfortable, but it's not a natural fiber. Fiber blends are pretty amazing, too. There's some interesting properties you can get with blends.
To give you an idea how fast FN is, they'll sell then make a product (in that order) so fast that when the customer gets it in the mail, the paint hasn't dried yet.
Quality is not their forte.
If everyone tried to keep up with the latest trends we'd be throwing out nearly our entire wardrobe every year.
Also, how are people wearing out their clothes so quickly. I bought a super cheap shirt from forever 21 once and it lasted for years with no sign of wear.