Sunday, May 19, 2013


There's a clothing company that does something stupid every few years and then they get a lot of attention. Negative attention but attention none the less. The CEO said something stupid about not having large sizes because he only wants cool, beautiful people wearing his clothes and there are memes everywhere. More attention.
A factory collapses and garment workers die. It's happened before. It happens because we want cheap clothing and clothing makers want lots of money. The workers live and die in that breach.
I'm not terribly interested in clothing. Maybe I should say that I'm not interested in fashion. I like my clothing. I think I have a style, of sorts. I like natural fibers and clean lines. I generally prefer a loose fit. I like color. I do feel good in a new outfit, or a favorite outfit. But I don't feel like I need new clothes every season, or even every year.
For awhile I've wanted to write about my shirts but as a topic it never got me wound up. The news lately keeps triggering my thinking.
When I was a teenage hippie chick many of us wore thermal underwear shirts under overalls. Well. Actually. I never did because I could find them in my size but I always wanted them and then one day I found them in a Lame Giant catalog. Good colors and my size but always cotton poly blend. I made do.
From time to time I'd get a catalog from Big and Tall. I guess they figured if I was buying big clothing there must be a man in my life who also wore big clothes. One day I noticed thermal shirts on the cover and I looked inside.  They don't seem to be on the site right now but they were 100% cotton and ... they were cheaper.
I mean.
Why is men's clothing better quality and cheaper?
I bought a few before I went to NC, which turned out to be a mistake because Mom keeps the house at a balmy 75 all of the time. They're great in SF though. As the summer rolled around the catalogs came covered in short sleeved shirts. I bought a few. I love them. All of the shirts are a bit too big. I wasn't sure about the sizing. I still love them.
One day I remembered that I'd heard men's and women's shirts button in the opposite direction. I checked my new shirts against shirts I'd gotten from a women's catalog and yeah. Different. Again I wonder why. But also, if I walk up to you on the street and you're wearing a shirt not specific to your gender I will not notice. I am really quite obtuse about such things. And if someone looks at my shirt and notices ... oh well.
The tag says the shirts were made in India. Of course there's no detail about exactly where. It's unlikely I'll buy more any time soon. Not because I'm boycotting but I just don't buy clothes very often. But it's troubling.
There are small companies that make very nice clothes for fat people and I buy from them as often as I buy from anywhere. I feel like they produce locally but I'm not really sure about that.
And I find myself with not much more to say. I just wish I could buy a shirt, in a fabric and a color and size that I like and know with certainty that no one was living with misery and fear. Having recently read about the history of cotton it seems like it's never been true.

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