My Beefs with the Fashion Industry

Today’s post is one that’s been churning around in my brain for quite some time.  In fact, it’s been on my list of post ideas for months, but other topics kept taking precedence. Well, the time is now!  I have a number of complaints about the fashion industry and the list keeps growing longer day by day.  Although I don’t like to focus on the negative, some things just need to be said.

Fashion industry rant

What complaints do you have about the fashion industry? 

I realize I may be preaching to the choir and many of you may share at least some of my complaints.  You also may have a few of your own to add to the mix.  We may not be able to change the status quo, but we can commiserate with others who feel our pain.  The following is a list of my current “beefs” with the fashion industry.  I welcome your comments on my rant and any additions you have to the list.

A Sea of “Sameness”

On Monday, I wrote about the successful shopping trip I had this past weekend, when I focused on filling defined wardrobe needs instead of “shopping for sport.”  It’s great when we can pinpoint things we truly need to round out our closets and even better when we can actually find these pieces in the stores. Sadly, this isn’t always the case.  Sometimes we really need a particular item but fail to find it even after an exhaustive search in numerous local shops and online stores.

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in terms of merchandise selection at almost all retailers.  Everywhere I look, I see virtually the same types of items. There is very little diversity among the offerings at all retail establishments, regardless of what their target market seems to be.  Each and every store is offering an abundance of the current trends and very little else.

Case in point…  The pants styles that have been in vogue for a number of seasons have been skinny and/or cropped.   Sure, there may be various colors and fabrics on offer, but they all have narrow legs and many of them are cropped to ankle length.  If that style of pant is your “bag,” you’re in luck!  If not, then tough beans (I could use a stronger word here, but we’ll keep this PG).

The same is true for color choices.  If your favorite colors are trendy, you have a smorgasbord of choices at your disposal.  Otherwise, you’re out of luck.  You have to either select colors that aren’t your best or simply wait until the next round of color trends roll out and hope for the best.

Even the “Old Lady Stores” Have Followed Suit!

It used to be that only the stores that marketed to juniors and twenty-somethings were so trend driven, but now it’s all stores.  I even went to some of the stores that focus on more mature women (e.g. J. Jill and Chico’s) and I still saw only narrow and cropped pants on offer.   I’m sure I could find an online retailer who carries other pant styles and shapes, but I wouldn’t be able to try them on and would likely have to pay both shipping and return fees for my chance purchase.

It’s not just colors and pant styles that are homogenous in the retail landscape, it’s pretty much everything.  For a number of years, the only available shoe options have been flats or sky-high heels.  If you want a low or mid-height heel, it’s pretty much “no dice.”

More and more these days, we either have to buy the trendy items or walk away empty-handed.  I’ve never been one to do the latter, but that has increasingly become my choice in recent months.  I’m not a big fan of the current trends, so it’s been easier for me to just say no.  Unfortunately, however, I really do need new pants, but I just can’t find them.  While I may look okay in some skinny styles, I can’t wear tight pants due to a painful nerve condition.  With the current pant styles, even if I size up, the legs are still too snug, especially since I have larger thighs to begin with, relative to my waist size.

Where Oh Where Has the Quality Gone?

Although I have my specific concerns, this isn’t just a personal rant here.  It’s a complaint about the fashion industry at large.  Not only do we have far fewer style options these days, quality has taken a nose dive as well.  The fabric has gotten thinner, sewing has gotten sloppier, and after a few washings, many garments are history.   This might be expected from “fast fashion” retailers, but I’ve noticed this with larger department store and specialty shop buys as well.  Nothing lasts like it used to.

For years, I’ve purchased my workout tees from Eddie Bauer.  They used to last me at least a few years through literally hundreds of wears and countless washings. However, the most recent tees, priced similarly to the ones I bought years ago, are ready to be tossed after only tens of wears instead of hundreds.  It’s incredibly disappointing and I know it’s not isolated to this one particular store.  Garment quality has been plummeting everywhere.

Where and How Are Our Clothes Made?

Along with concerns about quality, there are increasing worries about where and how our clothes are being made.  It’s next to impossible to find clothing made in our home countries these days, unless we happen to live in China or Southeast Asia.  In these days of “fast fashion” and rapidly cycling trends, the majority of clothing manufacturing has been outsourced to other countries.

Sadly, the conditions in which garment workers spend their days are far below the standards most of us would deem acceptable.  Atrocities like the factory collapse in Bangladesh are not only tragic; they are becoming more and more common.  Pollution runs rampant in China and other countries where our clothes are made, such that rates of lung cancer and other diseases are skyrocketing.

A Book to Read and Some Steps to Take

Many of these issues are highlighted in the fabulous book, “Overdressed:  The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion” by Elizabeth Cline.  I read this book earlier this year and found it both enlightening and disturbing.  Unless the fashion industry does an about face soon, there will be even more dire human and environmental consequences.

Reading about the sad state of affairs in how our clothing is being made, we may wonder what we can do to make an impact.  We can voice our disgust for manufacturers’ irresponsibility by buying less, purchasing higher quality garments, and spending our clothing dollars for more ethically made items. The latter two options are easier said than done, but you can find some tips and resources on sustainable and ethical fashion in this “useful links” post I did a few months ago.

Sizes are All Over the Map!

What size do you wear? Chances are your answer will be a range rather than a specific number, and that range may consist of three or four sizes instead of just two.   For years, I wore a standard US size 8 or Medium.  Now, I can fit into anything from a 4 to a 10 and from an Extra-Small to a Large, and my weight is virtually the same as before!  The vanity sizing trend has been adopted by more and more retailers and they haven’t adjusted their size charts accordingly.

This makes online ordering all the more maddening, as the size that is supposed to fit is often far too large when it arrives.   For those of us who regularly have to order online (including tall folks like me), the ensuing frustration can make one’s blood boil.

Even men’s sizing isn’t as consistent as it once was.  My husband has worn a size Large shirt for his entire adult life, but these days he’s often swimming in these shirts, especially those from US retailers.  And he has an even harder time finding pants than I do, as manufacturers seem to think that all men over 6 feet are “big and tall,” not slim and tall.  The poor guy was wearing workout pants from 12 years ago until recently, as we just couldn’t find any new options to fit him!

Every Other Day is a Sale

It used to be that stores held sales at the end of every season in order to clear the floor for the next season’s merchandise.  But now some stores (I’m looking at YOU, Macy’s!) have a “big sale” just about every other day!   It’s gotten to the point that many people won’t even buy something unless it’s on sale; they’re so used to getting a “deal” on every single purchase they make.

People are so accustomed to buying their clothing at low prices and that’s part of what’s driving the trend toward lower quality and manufacturing outsourcing.  Nothing happens in a vacuum and all of these factors are having a domino effect on the fashion industry.  It’s like a “chicken and egg” problem, though.  It’s hard to tell what came first – the ever-changing trends, the ever-present sales, the expectation for low prices, the plummeting quality, the landscape of “sameness,” or the outsourcing of all manufacturing to China and elsewhere.  My guess is that competition drove the low prices and everything else followed on from there.

It’s All a Big Mess!

From my vantage point, it’s a fine mess we’ve gotten ourselves into, as Laurel and Hardy would say.  I’m sure there are other issues I haven’t mentioned, but my topics above are more than enough to have this shopper shouting, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”  I used to love shopping and I used to be able to find interesting and creative pieces that were high quality and made in the USA.   Of course, these things cost more, but I didn’t mind because that’s the way it had always been and that’s what I was used to.

Even now, I would be more than willing to spend a larger sum of money on my clothes, but I’ve found that a higher price tag is no guarantee of higher quality or ethical manufacturing.  For a while, I was able to find better pieces at thrift and consignment stores, but the quality has declined there, too.  Such stores are usually at least a year or two behind, but now it seems they’re only a few months behind and are packed with the same cheap and unimaginative clothing that I find at the mall.

We’ll All Need New Things Eventually…

Sigh… It definitely seems like it’s high time I find other interests and passions, for the reasons above as well as other reasons I’ve highlighted in previous posts.  But even if shopping no longer resides in the forefront of my life and my mind, I’ll still need new things on occasion. We all will, and where will be turn now that the malls have become such a vast wasteland of mass-produced crap?

I’m all eyes and ears.  I’m open to suggestions for where to turn to buy beautiful, well-made clothing that isn’t the “trend du jour” and hasn’t been churned out of a polluting, human rights violating factory in the Third World.  You may not know, either, but perhaps some of you can offer some good news to counter my fashion “beefs.”

Of course, I will continue to search for answers and will share what I learn here. I’m also open to guest posts on the topics of “fast fashion” and ethical and sustainable shopping.  We could all stand to educate ourselves better on these topics, as I don’t think things will improve anytime soon.  It takes some extra time to do due diligence on how and where things are made, but it’s worth the effort.  You’ll end up with superior clothing and you’ll feel better about wearing it.

Hope Springs Eternal that Things Will Change!

I like to consider myself an optimist, so I do believe there’s hope for the fashion industry to regain its luster once again.  Perhaps a big name designer will take a stand against all of the insanity and spearhead a movement in the right direction.  Hope springs eternal!

As for me, I’ll try to take a “chill pill” and carry on as best as I can.  While I hope all of the things I wrote about will change before too long, in the short term, I hope I can find some pants that don’t hurt my legs or make me look like I’ve just emerged from a flood.  From my keyboard to God’s ears!

81 thoughts on “My Beefs with the Fashion Industry

  1. I think you covered all my rants and very well at that!
    if only, the industry would take note.

    THANK YOU for your blog, observations, advice, etc.

    • Glad you liked this post, Karen! Yes, I wish the industry would take notice… Perhaps if enough people write and talk about the issues, they will.

  2. I have to agree with a lot of your points! For better-made clothes, check out the blog Tomboy Style (no association), they feature made in the USA good-quality clothing brands quite often.

  3. I hear you on the quality and the sizing! While it’s lovely to wear a pair of size 6 jeans it’s um…not entirely accurate. Although the skinny style seems to be the most popular, I don’t seem to have too much trouble finding bootcut pants or mid heeled shoes. It could be different areas of the country carry different items and I do a fair amount of shopping online.

    • I think there may be different options in various areas of the country (or in different countries). Choices are few and far between in my area, though. I know I can order online, but I fear I’d have to buy 100 pairs of pants (with all of the returns in between) before I’d find one that works. It may come to that, though!

  4. I rarely go into a mall or even a retail stand alone store – too much money, too much sameness. So I prefer to shop thrift and I can do my own alterations and restyling. But I participate in an informal ongoing clothing swap and have access to clothing that other people purchased retail.
    I shortened the sleeves on a Talbots all season lightweight wool suiting jacket and my experience of it was typical. While I was surprised to find generous seam allowances, I was equally surprised and disappointed to see that a jacket that would have retailed at around $200 had unfinished raw, raveling seams inside. My respect for a brand vanishes whenever I see this kind of poor construction. And I’m sure it’s a byproduct of the fast fashion appetite. And in me as well because there’s no way I would take apart the entire thing and clean finish the seams on the jacket – and the lining.

    I also hate when unlined jacket facings are not tacked down and this I do take care of myself. It makes a difference to how it behaves and appears when worn open. And the other day I thrifted an LL Bean plaid cotton flannel shirt with an incredibly soft fleece lining – we’ll see how soft it remains after washing – and was disappointed to see they hadn’t matched the plaid on the side seams. I might expect that from a no name discount retailer but Beans used to have a reputation.

    • How great that you do your own alterations, Vildy! That probably saves you a lot of money. Too bad even the better retailers are skimping on quality. Sadly, I’ve noticed that, too. It seems the number of brands we can trust is dwindling by the day. I hope it will turn around at some point.

  5. I agree with all of your rants here, and I probably have more under my sleeve! Like for example, the importance that marketing took in the fashion industry – creating brand universe and image to artificially increase the price of garments while keeping the quality as low as cheaper products.

    I totally agree on the “sameness” of cuts, fits, styles and colours. I have gone through my boxes of clothes in the cellar and noticed the slight difference in cut and colour of the clothes from 5 years ago. I think it participates to a larger problem of standardization – as if society was trying to make us fit into the same silhouette, the same tastes, the same preferences, instead of letting the consumer’s own identity develop (if it makes any sense).

    The good side though, is that styles change quite rapidly. So now what I do is, when one year there is a specific fit or colour that matches my taste, I “stock up”, and when it doesn’t match my taste I pass my way.

    Anyway, thank you for this interesting and thought provoking post!

    • Good points about brand universe and image, Kali. I didn’t think about that, but what you wrote is definitely true! I plan to “stock up” when pants I like become available again. As it is, most of the pants I’m wearing are from 2009 and earlier! It’s a good thing I take good care of my clothes.

  6. I suggest Talbots for pants (multiple styles, lengths, fits, fabrics) — and Eileen Fisher for quality. I think you need Tall length pants, as do I, so you can go to your local Talbots, try on a variety of styles, then order Talls (for free) in the store — yes, it’s a pain they’re not carried in the store, but it’s currently my only option. BTW, returns (to the store) are also free, so I feel perfectly justified in ordering a variety of pants and keeping one (or even none) if nothing is perfect.

    If folks are truly willing to pay more for quality, I suggest Eileen Fisher clothing. It is expensive but is made with thought, detail, and care.

    • Thanks for your suggestions, Bette. I am already a fan of Eileen Fisher and bought a few pieces from that brand over the summer. I’ve been happy with them so far. Talbots used to be in my two local malls, but they’re not there anymore. But I do see two stores within 10-20 miles of me, so I will check them out. Good to know about free shipping when you order things in the store!

  7. I buy a good amount of my clothing when I go to Germany once a year. This is of course not a very practical suggestion for most people.:) On my last trip over, I noticed that there too, an abundance of shops selling cheap crap, but there will be at least one dress shop still for women that sells well made, classic clothing in a city of about 50,000. I have worn a Basler trouser on a 10 hour flight and got up without a crease in them. Those paired with my beloved Eileen Fisher keeps me pretty happy, albeit with a somewhat limited wardrobe. Thank goodness for scarves to keep things fresh.

    • Maybe I need to take a trip to Germany, Cornelia! I’ve actually always wanted to go there… I haven’t heard of Basler trousers, but they seem like they’re good quality. I am already a fan of Eileen Fisher and am gradually adding some of her pieces to my wardrobe. I agree with you that scarves help to keep things fresh.

  8. I have a few additional pet peeves, but you’ve hit the most irksome “trends.” I am hanging on to my current wardrobe for as long as I can because I can’t replace most of the stuff in my closet with anything of equal quality — almost at any price. Maybe it’s time we all went back to making our own clothes so we can get finished seams, tacked facings (or even facings!), properly finished buttonholes, correctly placed darts, generous hems and seam allowances, and tailoring for our own bodies. Plus the ability to select our own fabric! The reason I started sewing as a teen was to express my own individual style and to have clothing that no one else had. Sigh!!

    • Oh, yes, a few more pet peeves: every dress/skirt at mid-thigh and the rarity of dresses with sleeves, esp. in the winter! Waists in dresses that are set too high above the natural waist, thus creating a “little girl” look.

    • I’m starting to wish I’d learned to sew, Dottie. I guess it’s not too late… I agree with the pet peeves you added. Being tall, those short skirts and dresses are extra short on me, and the “little girl” look is especially silly on me. I love dresses and skirts, but they’ve been almost as difficult for me to find as pants recently. And even though I live in a warmer climate, I get cold easily and would love to find dresses with sleeves. No such luck most of the time!

  9. Oh goodness, the pants thing again. I wear pants almost exclusively and was down to one pair that fit (boyfriend jeans) besides a few work-out/loungewear pairs. I searched for months and was up to at least 150 pairs tried on in stores. Debbie, although I’m not tall like you, as I’ve shared before I have health problems too. Some of them are of the painful nerve variety, as well as musculoskeletal and GI. I finally ended up with maternity jeans from Target! They laundered well, I had them hemmed for my New Balance athletic shoes, and they are really comfy. It’s such a relief to have them, and as long as the band is covered with a longer top (which sits low-rise below the belly on this pair) you can’t even tell the difference from an outfit perspective. The irony is not lost on me since my husband and I are happily childless. But this may be my new secret weapon, because there will always be a market for maternity jeans and they were easy to find in a classic bootcut style. I don’t even remember seeing skinny or cropped jeans in that section.

    • You are a testament to tenacity and creativity with your pants struggles, Claire! I wouldn’t have thought to try maternity jeans, but it may come to that. We have to get creative when the marketplace isn’t giving us what we want. Most people can’t believe that tight pants hurt me so much, but it can be very painful, especially when I sit down. When it’s warm, I wear skirts and dresses all the time, but when it cools down I need to wear pants. Tights can be painful, too, so that isn’t really an option for me with the skirts and dresses. I’m glad you found something that works for you and I hope I will soon, too.

      • I’m with you, Debbie. Tight pants make me feel so sick, I want to leave the office and go home to throw them off and put on yoga pants! Ill-fitting pants honestly make me feel like I’m going to be sick.

        I remember reading, long ago, a woman’s post regarding tight things around her waist. I don’t know if this is a middle-aged thing or what, but I do know I’d rather suffer through cold winters in dresses than deal with that tourniquet around my stomach. I thought for awhile that it was just me, but I’m thinking it’s far more common than I realized.

        I do recommend Talbots Talls — perhaps try the Hollywood waist pant and the Heritage side-zip — both are comfortable over the mid-section, have a fuller, boot-cut leg, and come in Tall lengths.

      • Thanks for this tip, Bette! Multiple people have suggested Talbots (both in comments and emails), so a trip to that store is in my near-future. I don’t think I’ve ever really liked tight pants, but they didn’t used to cause me actual physical pain. Most of my pain is in my legs, but I don’t like pants that are tight around the waist, either. I am aiming for looser fits with some spandex in the fabric. Part of why yoga pants are so comfortable (I share your love of these pants!) is due to the high spandex content. I have some Gap “perfect trousers” that are almost as comfortable as yoga pants and I think it’s because they have 5% spandex. I will update everyone on my pants finds when (hopefully when, not if) I find something that works for me.

      • Hi Debbie
        Have noticed in the comments that you are looking for tall pants. May I suggest an English retailer Dorothy Perkins. They make tall pants and my favourites are the eden jegging. I am not a tall but these are skinnies with lots of stretch and a pull on quite high waist. I run around after kids in these and they are as comfy as yoga pants, I think. I have about 5 pairs in various colours and some really lovely dressy ones in a coated fabric. They are very reasonably priced and delivery is quite good too. on line at
        Pauline from Aus

  10. What annoys me is that even if you pay more at certain stores, the clothes are still made in China. I find that the quality is the same as at the cheaper stores and I am just paying more. I watched a documentary on Made in China and this clearly showed that the high street stores and the label clothes were made in the same factories from the same fabrics. In Australia we have paid more for years and now with online shopping we at least have a chance at paying less although the shipping costs can hurt and some brands have a deal where goods can’t be shipped here because of a local outlet that charges twice or three times as much. So you guys at least pay less for the same crap. It’s not only clothes in Australia, we pay three times more for makeup and skincare. That’s why Aussies travel with empty luggage to the US to stock up.

    • Thanks for sharing about the issues unique to Aussies, Pauline. I was aware that many goods are more expensive elsewhere, but I didn’t know they could be twice or three times as much. My sister-in-law is from Canada and she and her husband always buy their clothes when they come to the US.

      I hear you on the “made in China” issue. I’ve been astounded to see that some really expensive garments are still made in China. After I read “Overdressed,” I looked in my closet and saw that only a few things I own were made in the USA. Everything else (no matter where I bought it or how much it cost) was made in China or somewhere else in Southeast Asia, as well as a few items made in Mexico. I’d like to see the documentary you mentioned. I will see if I can find it.

      • Thanks, Debbie. The documentary was by Gok Wan, an English stylist, called Made in China. He is half Chinese. His visit to the underwear factory was enlightening. I don’t know whether to mention the brand but it has very elaborate fashion parades yearly and the clothes are made in the same factory as the Targets etc. Very interesting that we pay so much more for the same thing without the tag, and even more here in Aus. Our big retailers are trying to get the government to introduce a tax for online overseas shopping as more and more people shop online and they are losing sales. I have no sympathy for the retailers (although I would hate people to lose their jobs) because they have been ripping us off for years and years.

      • Thanks for the additional information on the documentary. I have heard of Gok Wan but don’t know much about him. I’m very intrigued to watch the documentary, though, especially after what you wrote above. I sometimes see the more expensive items and can see virtually NO reason for the cost inflation, other than the brand name. It seems we’re being duped, at least in some instances. I hope you don’t have to end up paying an extra tax in Australia for overseas shopping, especially since it’s already so expensive for you!

    • I am from Australia but live in Europe. The last time I was home I was hoping to buy some clothes to bring back that would be a bit different. I was shocked how expensive the clothes were. Even in cheap stores like Sussans it seemed everything was around $100. The prices in designer stores like Scanlon and Theodore were exorbitant . The only thing cheaper in Oz are Ugg Boots. They cost over $300 in Europe and what people here don’t know is that the Ugg brand that is sold here is made in China.

      • It wasn’t until this post that I learned about the high prices of clothing in Australia. I hope to visit your beautiful home country soon, CS, but I won’t plan to do much shopping there! I had read about Ugg boots being made in China, which was a bit of a surprise. I really thought at least those shoes were made in Australia!

      • Debbie, there are a lot of Australian manufacturers of “Ugg” boots but the famous one you all know are made in a China.

      • I was really surprised to see this, frugalscholar. Until recently, I thought all EF clothing was made in the USA. Why the high prices for Made in China items, I wonder?

  11. Debbie, you must be reading my mind with this blog post! I agree with every single thing you said. I also used to be an EB fan and still have things I purchased several years ago. When I recently ordered some henley shirts to replace my older ones I was absolutely shocked at the difference. These new ones were made of scratchy, much thinner fabric and cost more than I paid a few years ago. I immediately returned them to the store and told the manager how disappointed I was with them. Made me feel better but I didn’t get the impression the manager really care. I have become disillusioned with Talbot’s as well. Over the summer I purchased a cotton knit shell and cardigan. I wore the shell twice, washing as directed, and noticed a hole already in the fabric. In front – as in, very noticeable and now I can’t wear it. This item was definitely not inexpensive. I’ve had better luck recently with WHBM items. I don’t believe they have Talls per se but their regular pants are too long for me. I’m 5’6″ with a 31″ inseam. They too have a lot of skinnies but also offer trouser styles. I asked my hubby to find the Made In China documentary and he can’t locate it anywhere. Did you have any luck? BTW, thank you so much for your quality writing and honesty!

    • Hi Kim
      Google ‘Gok Wan made in China watch you tube’ and you should get a result. It was a series of shows. Worth watching.
      Hope this helps

    • Sorry to hear you’re experiencing the same type of quality issues, Kim. EB was one of the more recent ones to go south and I was so sad to see that happen, as I’d been a longtime fan. I DO shop at WHBM at times and they have talls in some pants (online). I will look there the next time I’m at the mall. I’m glad you liked this post! As I said, it had been brewing for a long time.

  12. Agree! Quality is gone and sizing has gone haywire. Ten years ago I wore a 4 or 6 petite and even though I’ve gained 5 lbs I now wear a size 2. I will add one more rant – the necklines on the majority of tops I find in the stores are too deep on me, way too low cut. And I won’t wear embellishing! Recently I’ve faced the fact that I mostly only like to wear Eileen Fisher T-shirts, because they are never too tight, or too low cut and are tastefully designed. But because of the cost factor I now have only a few tops. Whereas in the past I had a closet filled with more tops than I could wear in any given month. Still, even if I had the money EF is not easy to find and most of the time my size is sold out.

    • I hope there isn’t too much more vanity sizing, Terra, or you could be sized out! I wonder what the people who REALLY wear size 0 and 2 are doing! I have the same problem as you with the tops being too low-cut! I often have to shorten straps on tanks and take other tops up at the shoulders. I’m glad you’re having good luck with Eileen Fisher tops. Better to have fewer really good options to wear than a bunch of “ho-hum” options. Too bad there aren’t more EF stores in California. There is one in Orange County, but that’s not all that close for either one of us.

      • I have a small frame and there are actually many brands where I’m completely sized out. These days I have to shop online as many stores won’t stock their smallest size (size 00) in the store. I feel it’s completely ridiculous that my size isn’t even a number. Ten years ago I was a size 2. Fast fashion trendy places like H&M seem to cut smaller (perhaps because they are targetting a teenage audience), but the quality is so poor that it’s totally not worth it.

    • You are right Debbie, I am almost sized out. Some of the brands I bought a few years back no longer make clothes to fit me because the smallest size is swimmingly large. And the odd part is I’m not all that little. Recently I spent some time reading a wonderful blog for petite women and at 5’2″ and of medium-thin normal weight, I came away from the blog feeling like a giant because the women who wrote in were all so very tiny. They wrote about having an impossible struggle to find clothing to fit them.

  13. I have a beef about a shirt I purchased from Nordstrom a year ago, made in America, by a company who is touted for their ethical practices. My shirt is a trapeze tunic style, made of rayon spandex jersey. I wore it today with a pair of leggings. I haven’t worn it more than perhaps 20 times, and I wash it delicately.

    Today as I sat at my desk, a ray of sunlight came in and lit up the front of my tunic. As I looked down, I saw how horribly pilled and tired the fabric looked despite my meticulous care. I realized suddenly that I needed to replace this piece–before what I thought was its time–because its a color that I wear often, and one that may be difficult to find.

    I was really disappointed that my top didn’t hold up. Although I got it on sale, at original price, it was not exactly cheap. Just because its American made doesn’t mean its well made, unfortunately.

    • Rayon does not wear well at all and does get that pilled up worn look very quickly.I won’t buy it for that reason which makes difficult shopping even harder!

    • Very good points that both of you made, Deby and Andrea. I wonder if Deby’s top didn’t last long because of the rayon or if there were other factors involved. Situations like this are why I fear buying more expensive clothing. If I KNEW that the higher prices mean higher quality, I would happily pay them. But I think we need more “benchmarks” for high quality besides the brand and where the item was made. I didn’t realize that rayon didn’t wear well, but now I know. I feel like I still have SO much to learn on these types of issues!

  14. Great post, I’m so glad to be meeting people who share the same values with clothing as I do. Hopefully together we can initiate some change.
    In terms of more ethical and environmentally friendly retailers, I can suggest the following:
    – People Tree is one of the largest ethical/environmentally friendly brands and definitely worth checking out. They have a relatively good range, but I do know some people find their style a little too boho-ish.
    – stylewithheart is a website that showcases many different eco/ethical brands. It can be a useful place to start looking because you don’t have to go far to see a variety of brands and styles. It’s possible to search by various eco/ethical criteria, such as fairtrade, organic etc.
    – One that is most probably useful only for New Zealanders/Australians (although they ship worldwide, price on quotation): Kilt is a brand that makes all their clothing here in NZ. The clothing tends to be fun without being too trend-driven, would most probably suit a wide age range, and includes some decent basics. Less of a focus on environmental factors, however.
    Hope this is helpful 🙂

    • Thank you so much for sharing a few names of retailers who offer ethical and environmentally friendly clothing, Emma. I had not heard of these brands, but will look out for them. I’d like to create master list of these types of brands to make it easier for people to access this information. I know there are other lists out there, but I trust what my readers share with me here. I recommend that others check out your wonderful blog, too, as you offer even more great information there!

  15. Hello Debbie,
    Your are so not alone with these concerns.

    You may enjoy the research – and writing – done on the issue of too-fast-to-satisfy-real-women-fashion the by the UK magazine Intelligent Life.

    Their March/April issue (also available online) carries the Slow Fashion Manifesto based on a straw poll conducted amongst 40 women aged 18-84.

    Hope you’ll enjoy their articles as much as I do – yours and IE’s both.

    • Thanks for sharing the Intelligent Life article, Helle! I look forward to reading it, as well as other articles on their site (I will check out the March/April issue for sure). I’m glad to know I’m not alone in my concerns. Perhaps if enough people voice these issues, we’ll see some change in what we’re offered by the fashion industry!

  16. You have sooo hit the nail on the head Debbie regarding the “beefs”.
    It is absolutely frustrating here in Alberta, to try and find anything that is a basic and is in a neutral- we have so few places to shop here that are not “garbage stores”(ie: Garage, Suzy Shier, etc and in the stores that used to carry half-decent stuff like the Bay or such it appears the buyers are attracted to shiny stuff- you can’t find a basic pair of nice jeans or a tee without it having some “bling” on it. In my frustration I have turned to shopping almost exclusively online but in the last few years, this has started to be difficult as well because of the sizing issue that you speak of. I think of all the issues you have spoken of from lack of decent basics to poorly made, the sizing issue is the worst for me at least-I am and have always been an 8(except when the anorexia is rearing its head and the numbers begin to drop) in everything from tops to pants yet in the last 3 to 4 years the size “8” has clearly changed- I am ending up with 6s and sometimes 10s,etc in my closet. While I know some might say well what is the problem with sizing, for someone who suffers from an eating disorder and does not have the ability to accurately view their body in terms of size, this is very problematic. I can never be certain( in my eyes) whether I am taking a larger size because I have gained ( hence eating too much and think I need to cut back) or if I am not eating enough with the smaller sizing( and the body disorder is rearing its ugly head particularly when I have used the fit charts these retailers have utilizing my body measurements and yet- the item often ends up not fitting correctly- in most cases based upon the fit charts ,it is too big which then sends me into a panic thinking I am not eating enough). Either way neither situation is a good one when struggling with this disorder. I am glad to hear that others are having the issue of this sizing dilemma and that it isn’t my personal disorder that is causing the closet discrepancy.

    • Thanks for raising a new wrinkle to the inconsistent sizing issue, Abgurl. As you know, I also have a history of anorexia, so I can really relate to what you shared. Since I rarely weigh myself (too triggering!), I have long relied on my clothes as a barometer of whether I’ve gained or lost weight. With sizes all over the map in stores, that makes things harder. And as you mentioned, buying things online is incredibly difficult these days due to sizing discrepancies and inaccurate size charts! The issues you raised about clothes being too “blingy” is one I didn’t mention but should have. That’s frustrating, too, as I tend to prefer more classic and streamlined styles over anything that’s overly embellished. Too bad such clothes are SO hard to find these days!

  17. What a good rant, Debbie 🙂
    Thanks for this.
    I couldn’t agree more, both as a customer to clothes shops and as a wee shop owner trying to find the best there is to offer to my customers.
    I’ve found that by making some clothes myself (accessories are easy for me, mittens and scarves and hats for example) I get to choose a bit more for the quality and coloring and style and at least know exactly where my clothes are made and under what conditions (mostly in the comfort of my own sofa sipping a cup of hot tea, quite unlike most fashion industry sewers and seamstresses I’ve heard of 🙂 . But it does get difficult to find things to wear from shops when you’re not a fashionista, and not “the average size”, and when you’re looking for quality and good craftsmanship.
    Keep on ranting, we all should. Because if nobody does, nobody’s going to notice and nothing will ever change.
    In a sense it would be easy to vote with our feet and our money, and just walk out of the poor quality and poor working condition -shops, but as we all need clothes to wear, where do we go to?
    Lately I’ve bought everything I’ve needed (apart from underwear and shoes) from thrift shops and that has helped some. You can very easily spot the good quality, because most of the items have already gone through various washes and wears, and it’s easy to see which items are still in good condition, and as they have been left unused by other people, their sales are sales of a different kind, and do not contribute so clearly to the fast fashion industry. And at least for the past three months this has kept me out of the ordinary shops, so I clearly have voted with my money.
    But what if you don’t have thrift shops where you live, or cannot find the right size or style even if you do? Where do you go then? Hm.

    • Thanks for sharing your perspectives, Anne-Marika, both as a consumer and as a shop owner. I agree that making your own clothes is one good alternative, as is buying secondhand items. I have enjoyed reading your posts about doing a round of Project 333 using all thrifted items. Very inspiring! For years, I’ve been a big fan of thrift and consignment shopping, but the quality in such stores has also suffered as of late. Perhaps things are better in Finland where you are, but in the US, it’s getting harder and harder to find quality items in secondhand stores. I haven’t given up, but it’s getting rather bleak. I agree that we have to all keep on ranting and voting with our dollars as much as we can.

  18. I’m new to your blog and have read this post with interest. I hear you on the multitude of problems with the fashion industry. I am wondering, however, why custom-made clothing does not seem to be an option. There are custom clothers aka tailor and seamstresses all over the country. Custom-made garments aren’t much more expensive than “better RTW” and present none of the issues you mention above. Yet, most people never consider this option. I’d say vote with your dollars and stop supporting an industry that doesn’t appear to care about its customers.

    (I am not a custom clothier. I sew for myself and occasionally for family members).

    • Welcome, Alexandra, and thanks for your comment. I think many people don’t consider custom clothing because we’ve grown accustomed to low-cost clothing. However, I agree with you that this SHOULD be an option for more people. I see lots of tailors around but I don’t see too many advertising custom-made clothing, but I’m guessing that many of them do that type of work. I agree that we should vote with our dollars and stop supporting “fast fashion” retailers, which seems to be most of them these days!

  19. Wow Deb as you can see from the responses you have totally nailed it!!!!!I keep thinking that the quality can not get worse ,but it is just in free fall.I ran into(a “nice”) dept. store last night to pick up a can of delicate wash and thought I would take a quick peak since I am in the same pants issue as you(only from a short and stubby angle and 2009 sounds about right ).It was just depressing-NYDJ just covered in sparkle thingies and not all US made for sure .And touch the fabric on these supposedly higher quality brands!Really just so awful,for ex. wool dress coats that feel like cheap craft felt,RL T shirts that look like they are from Target and everywhere the rayon replacing cotton-yuck!I was in EB because I had been able to get some nice sweaters and tops for my daughters and now their “cotton” sweaters have 40% nylon which means they will look awful really quickly.It just feels impossible to find quality at any price these days or stuff without gaudy beads,sequins and endless weird”embellishments”.The total lack of sleeves in dresses(obviously cheaper to sew) but it really is just absurd in anything but summer clothing and even then there are a lot of us who don’t want it then either.
    Interesting comments from your Australian readers. I just purchased a sweater from Woolovers in England and a huge % of the reviews are from Oz-now I know why. And so far I do like the cotton sweater I got from Woolovers and they do actually have some tops with short sleeves so I may try one of those.
    Thrift/consignment shopping-also getting harder because the clothing”feeding” thrift shops is plummeting in quality.
    I was a 4-H member in the 60s and 70’s and as a part of the clothing competitions we would have judging contests and we would be given for ex 4 garments and we would rank the quality of the hems and have to give reasons.In a given contest there would probably be 10 elements of clothing construction covered and there would be a jr. and a sr. level so I started doing this at 9.I think I acquired a baseline knowledge of quality this way and so much of what I see as trendy fashion elements is really just to cover up awful technique.
    It isn’t too learn for you to learn sewing and I am planning to relearn.Just be warned the quality issue is a problem in fabrics too-except for quilting.I would recommend in person classes or finding a retired home ec teacher or skilled seamstress.
    One last thing sorry so long here.You might try and have the pants made for you. That is what my Mom did and she is a fine seamstress but was having fit issues related to her age.They can work up a pattern and then you are set.I found someone on Craigs list to make my Mother of the Bride dress a few years ago .It cost me no more than a dress from a nice dept store.
    Your blog is quite interesting and I am so impressed with your openess and honesty .Thank you.

    • Woolovers-absolutely the best company to get sweaters from. Great quality, fit is exactly as the charts ( given for each item,not a generic chart and outstanding price with customer service). It is the ONLY place I will buy my sweaters from.

    • Thanks for this comment, Andrea. You raised a lot of great points and I agree with everything you wrote. I think it’s great that you learned about quality at a young age. I think most people would have trouble distinguishing a high quality item from a low quality piece. I am seriously considering having some pants made at this point! I’m going to try a few other suggestions that readers have given me and if those don’t work, then I may pursue that option. I’m glad you like my blog – thanks for letting me know!

  20. Here’s a tip: When you are in your favorite store and facing various clothing design/fabric/construction issues, SPEAK UP. Ask if there is some way officially to register your issues — through a customer feedback system, talking to the manager for the area (misses, juniors, shoes, etc.), and so on. Write to the store manager about your long tenure as a customer and current disappointment. And, bring your “failed” clothing BACK to the store and ask for a refund. Retailers do listen to customers and can modify (up to a point) the mix of clothing on offer. (This may take a season or two to accomplish.) WRITE or e-mail your on-line retailers, clothing manufacturers, etc. WE have to let retailers know our issues. Unfortunately, we are fighting a huge supply line stretching across oceans — and one that’s been decades in the making. I think clothing companies have been slowly lowering quality to keep clothing “affordable,” and retailers — both long-established ones and newer “fast fashion” ones have been accepting this lower quality to keep their collections affordable. Also, we the consumers have been “trained” to shop by the “scoring a deal” method — sales, coupons, loyalty discounts, clearance, etc. I know, I know — it’s less painful to accept inferior fabric or poor construction if we paid $11.99 for a $59 blouse. But we are complicit in the whole mess by making the purchase anyway.

    I wonder if a worldwide boycott for say — 30 days — would have any affect. But meanwhile SPEAK UP and let the people who peddle inferior quality know that we want better. And then be prepared for (and accept) higher prices.

    • Excellent points, Dottie! I encourage people to make their feelings known. A lot of retailers now include the option to offer feedback on their websites. I rely a lot on customer reviews when I shop online and I’ve written quite a few reviews myself. Many retailers don’t have product reviews but you can still submit comments via their website or by calling their customer service lines. I plan to do more of this type of thing myself and I encourage others to do the same. A worldwide boycott would be great (especially if it was during the holidays!), but that’s probably not going to happen. Your point about how customers have been trained to “score a deal” is spot on. We as consumers are definitely complicit in the problem, as you pointed out.

      • While on-line reviews, etc., are OK, a more direct approach with a LIVE PERSON is even better. Most bricks-and-mortar stores have some kind of customer feedback system. You should start with the sales staff and ask (not on Black Friday, mind, but on a calm and quiet day when you get someone’s full attention) if there is a FORMAL process for registering a complaint or indicating a preference for certain kinds of clothes (knee-length skirts) or brands. You may want to take it up a notch and talk with the manager of a specific dept. or even the whole store. Retailers don’t want to lose customers! Also, by immediately taking back clothing that has shrunk (even when hand-washed in cold water) or whatever, you are letting the retailer know that there was something wrong with that brand or batch of garments — tossing the garment away does NOT supply feedback about the problems. This is an important exchange of information, not a confrontation to be avoided or dreaded. (Being calm and polite will get you a lot further in this discussion — you’d be surprised what some retailers might be willing to do to make you happy!) The manager is accountable for sales in his/her dept., and needs to see what is happening with the clothing in it. How else is he/she going to know that he/she needs to step up and improve the quality/mix of brands/styles, etc., of what’s on offer.

  21. I can recommend reading Lucy Siegle’s book ” To Die For. Is Fashion Wearing out the World.”

    I have stopped shopping in H&M and Zara as the clothes are cheap in terms of fabric and construction. I have also noticed in myself that when I buy cheap clothing I don’t respect it and I am buying already knowing that I will dispose of it in the near future. The chapter in Lucy’s book about what happens to the clothing you donate to the clothing bins is quite eye-opening as well and might make many readers think again about throwing out clothing to them.

    My major complaint is that a lot of clothing does not cater to women of “a certain age.” A lot of clothing is either too young (too short, tight, low-cut and embellished) or too dowdy (boring, staid, not edgy enough.) I am not a young lady but I don’t want to dress as an old lady either. I like edgy, stylish clothes but I also want sleeves, not too tight and not too low.

    My favorites are always from Scandinavian designers, Swedish and Danish, which have a minimal aesthetic, quality fabrics and beautiful construction and details (eg.french seams, flat-felled seams, quality buttons.)

    • I can recommend this book as well and have done on a number of occasions on this blog. Where to get good quality clothing these days seems to be a bit of a conundrum, considering that the more expensive stuff is not necessarily better. I have absolutely no (decent) second hand stores available to me where I live (Spain) and the number of retail chains I have access to is also limited. Thankfully there are a few of the better quality UK stores close by (like Marks and Spencer and Monsoon) or I would have very few options indeed as the Spanish cheap clothing chains are truly awful.
      I fully agree on H&M and the quality has plummeted over the last ten years. I still have some H&M items from my student days and even though they were cheap at the time, they lasted me through hundreds of washes and the quality was miles above what it is now. I don’t know if Zara made a bit of a turn in the last few years/ months but I find myself, for lack of better options, using them a fair bit. Firstly, their designs are quite good (modern but not overly trendy). Secondly, a lot of the stuff I bought from them was made in Portugal and Morocco. I could be wrong but I would at least hope that garment workers are working in better conditions in these countries than in S/E Asia. Thirdly, the quality of a lot of their items is actually decent, considering that they are one of the cheaper chains. It depends on what you buy of course- a €70 blazer will last a few years, a flimsy €10 tee will not. PS I have no affiliation with Zara, just sharing my experience!
      Btw I totally agree with you on not respecting cheap items. I am spending more now on items than I used to because it makes me think about the purchase more and I will only spend the money if I truly want something, and intend to keep it for years, and not just because it’s ok and is only €5.

    • Carolyn and K, thanks for sharing your feedback about H&M and Zara. It’s interesting that Zara seems to be making a turn-around, K. Perhaps they are paying attention to the backlash in the marketplace. We can only hope! I have Lucy Siegel’s book but haven’t read it yet. I bought it on K’s recommendation and look forward to reading it after I finish the very long Steve Jobs biography I’m reading (excellent book but very, very long!).

      Carolyn, I totally agree about the lack of good options for “women of a certain age.” I feel like most clothes are geared toward teens and twenty-somethings, but aren’t WE the ones with more money to spend? I just wish it were a bit more equitable. Like you, I don’t want to look old and dowdy, but I don’t want to be “mutton dressed as lamb,” either. More than anything, I wish we had more options available to us!

  22. For great basics I like Filippa K

    Zara does make great jackets. Unfortunately nothing fits me well in Zara. I have broad shoulders and slim hips and legs. I have to get L or XL in tops to fit across my shoulders and back. As I am not large, this means the armholes, waist and hip are too big for me. The pants never fit well either even though I take S. Zara clothes are not cut for my body shape so it is not for me. But I agree the designs are great.

    • Thanks for sharing about Filippa K, Carolyn. A new name to add to the list! I agree about Zara running small. The few times I’ve shopped there, I’ve often had to wear a Large and at most other retailers, I’m a Small or Medium. They seem to cut for more of a juniors figure from what I’ve seen. Same with H&M – I often had to size up there, but I don’t shop there anymore due to what I’ve learned about them.

  23. I agree with all of these rants. They inspire me to knit my own clothes. It is a very powerful feeling to make, love, and wear something that is truly me.

    • Thanks, Rochelle and Hilda. Glad you liked this post! I can imagine it’s very rewarding to make your own clothes. I’m not sure I have the patience for that, but never say never…

  24. Great post! I hate shopping for clothes now because of the poor quality and lack of variation in styles. I keep my best-loved clothes as long as I can. The only solutions I can think of are to buy used and vintage, swap with relatives and friends, and support local designers and clothes makers (all of these methods were mentioned in the Overdressed book). I’ve decided to change my shopping approach. I used to make a list of things I needed to round out my wardrobe, for example, a pair of black trousers, then go looking for them in stores. Now I’m thinking I should go to a consignment shop to look for trousers, and settle for buying a good quality pair in any neutral colour – then building an outfit around them from my existing stuff. That way I am not looking in 10 stores for the perfect NEW black trousers, when the charcoal ones at the vintage store could have hit the mark!

    • Thanks for sharing an alternate shopping strategy, as well as some of the tips presented in “Overdressed.” These are all good ways of buying less and better utilizing what you have. I think people need to cultivate a more lasting view of their clothes instead of viewing them as disposable. The rapid trend cycle and the cheap prices have many people thinking it’s fine to just wear things a few times and toss them. I was guilty of that attitude myself but I’m happy to be turning things around. I wish I knew more tall women in my area to swap clothes with or I wish there was a tall consignment store nearby. Could be a good business idea!

  25. I just wanted to add one thing here and that is that just because an item is Made in China does not necessarily mean poor quality.
    Good quality clothes are made from good quality fabrics, are cut to grain, and have finishing and details that keep the garment in shape and wear well.
    I also notice that as the market reaches saturation with a particular fashion there are more and more cheap versions being pumped out. For example, cashmere. Five years ago this was a quality yarn with a price to match. Now, every store has “cashmere” but cheap cashmere is an inferior yarn which does not wear well in the long-term.

    • I didn’t see this comment earlier for some reason, Carolyn, but I thank you for making these very good points. You’re right that good quality clothing CAN be made in China. I know that Eileen Fisher makes some of her clothes in China, for example, and that brand is known for being of higher quality. You’re right about cashmere! I have trouble wearing wool because of the itch factor, but I was always able to wear cashmere until recently. Now I know that I can only wear the higher quality cashmere, which usually also has a higher price tag attached.

  26. Interesting that someone finally brought up the custom route. It IS more expensive but is what I am doing now as I don’t like shopping and am appalled by the low quality of what is out there-particularly as I used to sew myself, and know what a well made garment should look like. I work with a wardrobe consultant who is also a tailor. I had great fun the other day shopping for fabric for 2 pairs of dress pants and 2 skirts-wool of various weights. Yes, they will cost, and yes I must wait while they are made, but pants are a real problem for me and after paying for alterations to RTW pants it makes more sense to have them made. I now buy very little-accessories, jeans, shoes, and never go to the mall if I can avoid it. I tend to prefer classic/elegant clothes anyway, and get very fond of my things, so for me, custom made clothing makes sense. I am 58 and have a job where I need to look pulled together. I prefer a few good things to a closet full of junk. We shopped far less in the 70s and 80s, clothes were better made and lasted longer.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with custom-made clothing, Maharani! I’m starting to seriously consider going that route myself, especially for pants since they are so hard for me to fit. I don’t mind paying more or waiting for the clothes to be made because after all, I DO still have a lot of clothes. Also, I’m willing to wait for good quality pieces. Your best point was this one: “I prefer a few good things to a closet full of junk.” I now feel the same, but I had to learn the hard way and waste lots of money (and time) in the process!

      • I just bought a pair of cufflinks and am going to order a shirt made with French cuffs. That will probably be my only shirt purchase for the entire upcoming year. I do have 2 other white shirts, both bought off the rack, and both requiring extra buttons to fix gapping. Both now fit better but neither fits fully correctly-a very common fault is too low set/wide armholes so you cannot lift your arms w/o the entire shirt lifting up-dreadful. I was in London and also bought a top quality cashmere sweater that will go with all my pants and skirts-I expect to get 2 wears a week out of it this winter, will hand wash and store it properly between seasons, and expect it to last for years. American cashmere is very poor quality because of the demand for cheap items-I never buy it. If you pay a little more and wash/dry clean it regularly a good quality piece will reward you with years of wear.

      • Sounds like really smart shopping, Maharani. I didn’t know that European cashmere is higher quality than what we see in the U.S., but it’s good to know. I haven’t been very pleased with the cashmere I see in the stores, so maybe I’ll wait until my next trip to Europe to buy some 🙂

      • I like Eric Bompard, which can also be ordered online here, but if you have issues with online shopping that is not a helpful suggestion, I understand-and this is not a brand blog. I buy one a year and have 3. The quality is superb-heavy weight cashmere, beautiful styling, correct seaming and finishing. I have worn my first one for three winter seasons now and it looks like new-it is a classic V neck slim fit pullover that goes with a lot of things. I wash it myself. I like classics so that suits my style, but they have a range of interesting pieces. My point is I would rather do this and buy quality that get 5 cheap pieces that wont hold their shape, for the same price. I have a cashmere sweater dress (by Pringle) I bought in Scotland for 5 pounds in 1978 and I still wear it. It still does not have a single pill and I wear it every winter. I am never bored with it as it can be accessorized endlessly and looks as good today as it did then.

    • Thanks for this additional tip, Maharani. I agree that it’s far better to buy one quality piece than five sub-standard items. Sadly, I didn’t always know this and that’s why I had such a HUGE wardrobe that didn’t work for me. But fortunately, I finally learned my lesson and am working to cultivate a more workable wardrobe now.

  27. Great blog! as a swede i agree on the hazatdous quality on h&m nowadays, sadly enough. A brand that is expensive but seems to last and look new for many years imoe, is boomerang, they have a timeless classic style. Braintree and peopletree (uk) have ecological clothes, as well as the webshop they all promote bamboo clothes, which seems to be a great alternative to cotton, durable and breathes. Will coming back to read more! Happy new year from sweden!

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Wooly! It’s great to hear from a reader in Sweden. I hope to visit your fine country one day… I appreciate your tips on more ethical brands available in Europe, as I have a lot of European readers. I agree that bamboo is a great alternative to cotton!

  28. A very accurate list. Unfortunately, all these points are quite true. One of the reasons why I would overshop, is because in a sea of sameness, I would worry about being able to find my beloved style of item again if/when I needed it.

    • Good point. I think that’s part of why I’ve overshopped, too. At this point, I’m very frustrated because I can’t seem to find my beloved style items anywhere. I can’t believe how difficult it’s been for me to find seemingly simple items like black jeans and a grey skirt. All jeans are ultra-skinny or cropped (I prefer full-length and less skinny) and all skirts are mini or maxi, even though the midi length is supposed to be in. But don’t get me started again… 🙂

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