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· Super Moderator
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Let's parse this sentence from the article: "At a time when the economy is growing, unemployment is low, wages are rebounding and consumers are eager to buy, Americans are spending less and less on clothing."

A couple of points:
- "the economy is growing": true, but most wages are stagnant, and the vast lion's share of the growth is only going to a small minority of earners (this is called "income inequality", and it's rising very rapidly in the USA; my own town, Atlanta, has the greatest income inequality of any US city)

- "wages are rebounding": correction, *average* wages are rebounding... look at the fine structure and you see a mix of mostly stagnant wages with a handful of rapidly increasing ones, such that the overall average is on the rise. Journalist - at a very far remove from being mathematicians, have never been able to grasp the uselessness of averages without also reporting on medians.

- "consumers are eager to buy": So? again, most wages are flat. Have fun window-shopping.

- "Americans are spending...": come again? what's an American, exactly? No category which describes 330 million people is of any use as a market segment.

Here's what I'm seeing: two separate apparel universes are peeling apart and moving rapidly away from one another. One the one hand, the increasingly worthless garbage billed as "clothing" that one finds at Target, Wallmart, Macy's, etc. On the other, an increase in bespoke apparel, more luxury men's shops (at least here), more small-run, exclusive shoe makers, etc.

So I don't think clothing is imperiled per-se... I just think it's important to be on the correct side of the income divide as it expands into a less-and-less bridgeable gulf.

There *was* a time when the typical man could have clothes tailored, buy good shoes, and so on, and so naturally folks were better dressed *on average* than now; those days are long gone. Frankly, it's no longer actually possible to dress well on a budget (I'm excluding "thrifting", because the real cost of thrifting - factoring in opportunity and other costs - is never factored in, so it's impossible to compare to store-bought clothes), but that doesn't mean people aren't doing it.

DH
I think this is brilliant! Thank you!



I'd only add that in the "peeling apart" you so aptly describe has created inverted standards where cheap, ugly, ill-fitting clothing along with concomitant grooming and behavior is thought fashionable and attractive among the masses.
 

· Super Moderator
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This subject has come up from time to time on the forum and many of the opinions by the many astute members, when combined, I find for the most part valid as to what got us here. Having witnessed the evolution of men's clothing for the past 70 plus years, I care not a whit what some pimply faced so called journalists think. Most of us won't be swayed from our position regarding dressing well. I do on the other hand am more interested in what members think the future of men's clothing will look like.
 
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