by admin on May 3, 2012

well constructed clothing

among the many things that esme’s fashion class learned from the long-time owner of a green dry cleaning business in monterey was that clothing ain’t what it used to be.  esme gathers that over the last 20 years or so, quality of manufacture has declined, resulting in garments that bleed, fade, and deconstruct quickly.  esme experienced this herself recently when her new (expensive) equipment silk blouse came apart at the cuff.

i gather that clothing producers used to have quality control departments that no longer exist.  in addition, manufacture off-shore means less control from u.s. buyers.  mr. green emphasized that the life of laundered men’s shirt–no matter how pricey—is a maximum of 2 years.  well, no wonder mr. noir’s beloved plaid shirts have started to fray!

frayed shirt

certain brands fare better than others.  the kirkwood brand (costco) holds up well, while land’s end shirts are notorious for deconstructing quickly.  the label black and white requires special care, as black patterns and details tend to bleed onto white backgrounds.  the woman’s label st. john was held up as an example of enduring quality…..but these are 4 figure garments.  come to think of it, esme’s mother owns some st. john pieces that have lasted for ages!

what lesson can we learn here?  perhaps one should check with one’s dry cleaner before investing in clothing.  in the meantime, esme is checking her closet for beloved garments bought in the good old days of pre-1990….when you got what you paid for.

always learning something unexpected,




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