Archive for December, 2008

Aim to sustain

The end of a year like 2008 is bringing with it numerous cautionary tales about how our recent attitudes to clothes shopping will have to change and how we must all strive to become ‘recessionistas’.

This recent Times article is in some ways no different, but while it is primarily warning against excessive buying so as to avoid excessive recycling, the following quote caught my eye:

If we spent exactly double the amount of money on each garment and bought exactly half as many garments, nobody would be impoverished by that.

Quality, it seems, is very much back on the agenda – and choosing your fabrics carefully will certainly go a long way towards preventing the ecological problems we currently face.

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December 30, 2008 at 4:29 pm Leave a comment

Looking forward to it?

We shall soon be saying goodbye to 2008 and welcoming in 2009, so the time has come for me to make the obligatory predictions for the coming 12 months.

This task is always tricky, but given the unforeseen nature of the ‘facelift’ the high street has suffered in 2008, the job has become even harder. One thing that is almost certain, however, is that we will be saying farewell to more shops, but what has not been so well publicised is the difficulties certain brands may also face.

The availability of labels that may in themselves be solid going concerns could well be limited by the fact that the stores they supply are financially insecure. If, as some people have suggested, fashion brands do become more like cash-and-carry businesses, only producing items at short demand from retailers, then their ability to produce clothes of real quality may as a consequence be reduced.

closed

Photo: Manu Mohan

All is not lost, though, as 2009 looks like it will be the year in which the value of clothes will be scrutinised more than ever before (for more on this, see the linked Times article). With more collaborations between designers and our favourite high street shops (Matthew Williamson is next up at H&M) and the credit crunch doing a fine job in some cases of separating the wheat from the chaff, I expect the new year to have more and more people hankering after what this blog is aimed at promoting: well-made, unfussy clothes at affordable prices.

December 30, 2008 at 3:44 pm Leave a comment

The 3 R’s – Reduce, Re-use and Recycle

So Christmas has come and gone, and in all likelihood will have left you with a few more items of clothing to squeeze into your already over-full wardrobe.

It is also likely that the festive season will leave you with a bit of time on your hands (especially now the mad panic of present buying is over), so why not put it to good use and sort out what killer pieces will be (and certainly won’t be) adorning you in 2009.

storage

Photo: Franci Strümpfer

If you’re anything like me, you will have been hoarding clothes wherever you could stash them for quite some time – now is your chance to think about what you are realistically going to wear again and what you are not (the latter almost certainly including anything with holes artfully gouged out of it).

One thing to watch out for, though, are items that may not have been worn for a while, but are great candidates to be brought back into circulation under the umbrella of simple style. Re-introducing things that a few years ago might have been considered rash additions to a student wardrobe but now fit well with a more polished look is a great way to kick-start the new year.

And for those pieces that don’t make the cut, always remember that one man’s loss is another man’s gain. While I can’t foresee male swishing parties taking off any time soon, charity shops or shelters are always grateful for clothes that are in good condition at this time of year – look up where your nearest one in located and see whether they have given any guidance as to what types of clothing they really need.

December 29, 2008 at 12:56 pm Leave a comment

Sales hitch

I have up until now only made passing reference to the utility of simple, inexpensive style in the current climate. However, recent events have prompted me to be a little more vocal about it.

You cannot have failed to notice that every shop on every high street has for the past few weeks been desperately trying to tempt you into propping up the ailing economy by splurging on their own merchandise. Sales, just like love at this time of year, are all around.

I have talked about how to play the sales before – saying that they provide the perfect opportunity to pick up great clothes cheaply, not cheap clothes in great numbers – but I think there’s something more important at stake here.

Keeping in mind that looking and feeling great does not have to be accompanied by a hefty price tag will surely allow us all to enjoy what may have to be a toned-down festive period this year. The sales may be working towards a similar goal, but swapping the mad-dash consumerism they inevitably prolong for a more nuanced approach to sating your style needs is likely to pay long-term dividends as the credit crunch continues to bite.

December 15, 2008 at 2:23 pm Leave a comment


Welcome to the site dedicated to the virtues of simple, inexpensive and ethical style for guys. My blog posts are designed to keep you up-to-date on all things topical, but don't forget also to check out the advice pages and external links for immediate ideas on how to achieve A Simpler Style.

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