Friday, January 4, 2008

My Unsatisfied Sweater Craving: Alas, None to Be Had

I have carefully trained myself not to accumulate too many clothes, and to quickly pass along clothes I don't wear. I also force myself to donate clothes that are past their prime. This is a good habit - when I open my closet, everything is a live option. The basic premise of this approach is that if I give something away, I will be able to replace it. Seems like with a worldwide glut of clothing, 100's of catalogues, and 1000's of website stores, procuring the clothing you like shouldn't be difficult
Wrong! It's impossible! My winter mainstay- snuggly, loose, warm cotton sweaters like the one pictured - have gone missing. Instead the sweaters are clingy, thin, with low necklines, primarily cashmere. A nice look perhaps, but they don't cut it in my 62 degree house, and they're too tight to layer. They are mostly solid color, prone to staining and becoming shabby looking, and on top of it, they're unflattering, IMHO, unless you have a Sweater Girl shape. I love how fashion designers create something that looks good on 20 women, and the other 200,000,000 of us are expected to just go along with it!!

This clothing obsolescence frustration - when styles I have loved disappear and cannot be found even at the Vermont Country Store - happens to me periodically, and it drives me nuts. (Awhile back I included it in my post, "Ten Things I Hate About Shopping for Clothes".) My family is familiar with my ranting and raving - all those clothes out there, the desire and ability to pay for a high quality garment - and because the Fashionistas decreed this item OUT, too bad. The fact that apparel sales are way off? Irrelevant, it seems. Perhaps if the fashion industry queried actual customers, they might learn that people (okay, baby boomers) don't like having new fashions as much as they like buying new garments to replace old ones they loved wearing.
Sigh. Perhaps I'll find one at the upcoming clothing swap. My wonderful sister-in-law has volunteered to KNIT me a sweater, now that she has semi-retired from her extremely demanding career. It's a wonderful offer. Thought somehow it seems a little crazy in this hyper-consumer culture that if you want a warm, loose sweater, you have to get someone to make it for you!
What styles are you missing?

This sweater pattern, by the way, is called the Big Sack Sweater and I've learned it's from a book called Stitch "n Bitch.

Big Sack Sweater from My Fashionable Life, A UK Blog


Anonymous said...

Actually, the sweaters that you describe as being in are the ones that look best on me, and I wear them for work every day in the winter. So I won't need to knit any this year (not that I can knit or anything).

I know what you mean about how annoying it is when clothes that suit you perfectly go out of fashion.

Anonymous said...

Arghh. Frustrating. Have you given e-bay a try on this? Lot's of used clothing on Ebay. If you are screaming about this, there must be a market for it.

Anonymous said...

Have you considered having some clothes custom made? That way you get to pick out the materials and the style, and (hopefully) the tailor/seamstress takes care of the fit.

Anonymous said...

LL Bean may help you here, they have a selection of sweaters, some all cotton, I believe. Or try my choice: the Salvation Army.

Unknown said...

I can Always find what I need on ebay. My favorite jeans are no longer made, and instead of spending a bunch of time looking for them at thrift shops, I just set up a search on ebay. I pay a bit more, but it is still cheaper then new jeans.

Unknown said...

I too am a fan of loose, warm sweaters. They are a winter staple for me. Most of mine were inherited from my mother, and some of them are at least 25 years old. Some of them are finally dieing a long and slow death, and replenishing them will be difficult. I feel your pain!