the travesty of mass-manufactured clothing

This has long been a lament of mine, but it’s really come to the front this summer. It’s a personal opinion that spandex really came into its own when clothes stopped being made by normal people. Remember all those novels where the heroine yearned for a “store-botten dress?” Little Anne of Green Gables pined for puffed sleeves. (I think that particular trend sounds horrible, but no matter.) Then Matthew Cuthbert gets busybody but kind-souled Rachel to make her one? Then Marilla, not to be outdone, sews her more? I need a Marilla.

Anyway, like I said, spandex. Stretch jeans. Stretch tees. You can get away without tailoring if it clings to your body by itself. Who needs measurements when the difference in an inch is negligible? Anne’s horrible yellow wincey which was much too tight and much too short, sounds like an improvement on this summer’s dresswear. For the past several years, I think, all the college girls have been running around in dresses that cling at the bust but flare and flounce pumpkinily. It’s ugly. The styles have pretty names: babydoll, empire waist, etcetera, but they give everyone the same untailored finish. Even Anthropologie, an incredibly expensive store, has succumbed to the trend.

Oh! speaking of trends! The new shorts/tunic attachment thingies? Like we wore when we were seven?? They’re back. I have yet to see anyone wearing them, thank God. Robyn tried one on in the dressing room the other day. She looked like Carol Bernette in a negligee. It was ridiculous. They rode up the back something awful. That’s another instantiation of how mass-manufacturing can’t quite cut it. They took the average (I suppose) torso length of a teenager and cut all clothes accordingly.

Maria and I are going to combine forces. She’s going to teach me what she knows about sewing and I’m going to.. learn. When I stop to think about it, this proposal sounds very parasitic. Ah well. She already agreed. And then we’re going to make our own clothes. And they will be better than the ones at the store, they will be prettier, they will be more delicate and better made and of finer quality and finally I will be able to afford to wear what I want. She wore a dress she’d made herself the last time I saw her, at a show, and I could not stop ogling her. It reached mid-calf, a batik of some sort, with a beautifully rendered bust. Spaghetti straps. It was gorgeous.

That’s my rant for today. (Can I also say, real fast, that I think up much more interesting and beautiful patterns than the pieces in stores? Can I just say that?)


  • Emily Wimbish wrote:

    I’ve been making my own clothes, and re-making vintage ones, lately, and it almost completely took away my desire to buy any of the clothes I saw when I visited the new H&M in Raleigh…. Sewing things for oneself is vonderful. (:

  • ms.pie wrote:

    i want to be your marilla.
    p.s: this winter. Anne of Green Gables. on video. You. and Me. and spandex. seriously.

  • Omg I just realized I hear that wayyyy too seldom. You. And Me. And Spandex.

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