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godnose

Clothing and dressing well, perils of the high street, value for money

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Hi all,

Starting this thread due to this topic coming up on the Debenhams thread about how sh*t the quality of clothing is now.

- this is the thread:

It's true, the high street has made it impossible for people to achieve value for money. Fast fashion, stuff that falls apart and looks tired after a handful of washes. And then the more premium end of the high street Marks & Spencer, and up to Reiss still produces the same feelings, it's pricey but the quality improvement is not justified by the cost. For those willing to invest a little carefully (and yes more money) it is possible. It is more expensive and not for everyone - I was like that once too. But having a very talented partner in the fashion industry has taught me a lot.

The high street has set these prices in our minds of what is acceptable, a t-shirt £5, trousers £30, 5 pack of socks £10, and so on. This is a total drug and not grounded in reality.

Please come with your fashion issues and we can advise each other. Most of what the fashion industry puts out there is total rubbish, in terms of clothing and the propaganda they produce so you have to be careful. I'll tell you this in confidence: I once debated buying a pair of shorts for more than 12 months :blink:... I finally got them and I am delighted! I know I'll wear them in 10 years time and still love them.

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7 minutes ago, godnose said:

 I once debated buying a pair of shorts for more than 12 months

What were the pros and cons in relation to this item of clothing?

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17 minutes ago, Errol said:

What were the pros and cons in relation to this item of clothing?

Ha ha, well I needed to know that I really loved them. I tried them on 4 times to make sure. I don't wear shorts that often so that was one factor. They were quite expensive and they're a little 'fancy' and not that many occasions call for fancy shorts. Shorts are normally worn for casual occasions where I'll end up lying on the grass or at a potentially messy bbq. In the end I decided I did want a special occasion pair of shorts and went for them!

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i do that with cars, but often find i have to compromise on something in the end because nothing ticks all the boxes all of the time and the number unticked gets longer every time.

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I don't really have favourite brands but the things I find are more likely to suit me are French Connection (although not recently so they may have changed a lot), Diesel, Ted Baker (only shoes. Also had some nice Gosha Rubchinsky things from China. As an insider, are you able to do an Amazon and say "customers who liked these also bought...." ? There are probably loads of good clothes manufacturers I never heard of. 

The only thing that I know in advance I probably won't like and don't even bother picking off the rail are Pierre Cardboard and Gap.

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7 minutes ago, Funn3r said:

I don't really have favourite brands but the things I find are more likely to suit me are French Connection (although not recently so they may have changed a lot), Diesel, Ted Baker (only shoes. Also had some nice Gosha Rubchinsky things from China. As an insider, are you able to do an Amazon and say "customers who liked these also bought...." ? There are probably loads of good clothes manufacturers I never heard of. 

The only thing that I know in advance I probably won't like and don't even bother picking off the rail are Pierre Cardboard and Gap.

I can definitely do my best. Post some items you liked / like the look of. Gosha Rubinksy is quite of the moment and definitely fashion forward in the streetwear area but pick carefully cos those trends can fall off fast - best to buy slightly off trend!

 

French Connection is pretty decent by high street standards. I had to buy a suit for a wedding and tried every retailer on Oxford Street. French Connection won by mile, I had time on my hands so I took pause and a 30% off offer came along.

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Outside london, you could count the number of proper tailors, someone who can make a full mans suit from scratch on both hands, and most of them will be over sixty. Someone who works directly in the fashion industry will know more than me, but these skills must be dying. I know tailor made suits are beyond the average persons income to justify buying, but i still think the disinterest in these skills  is still a reflection of what is going on generally. 

You see all sorts of trendy businesses now, street food, cupcakes, microbrewing but from what ive seen nobody is interested in doing anything with sewing. I have zero aptitude for sewing but surely there must be loads of young people with an interest to learn? 

 

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2 minutes ago, nothernsoul said:

Outside london, you could count the number of proper tailors, someone who can make a full mans suit from scratch on both hands, and most of them will be over sixty. Someone who works directly in the fashion industry will know more than me, but these skills must be dying. I know tailor made suits are beyond the average persons income to justify buying, but i still think the disinterest in these skills  is still a reflection of what is going on generally. 

You see all sorts of trendy businesses now, street food, cupcakes, microbrewing but from what ive seen nobody is interested in doing anything with sewing. I have zero aptitude for sewing but surely there must be loads of young people with an interest to learn? 

 

Yes absolutely. I believe that British Sewing Bee sent sewing machine sales rocketing. Up by a huge number.

The drop off in skills is, I believe, part of the wider political-economic movement. De-skilling workers, moving manufacturing offshore and making the whole process so complicated and price-efficient that it's near impossible for anyone to start up a business and compete. It tends to be so expensive, it's almost unsustainable, basically only works at the high end of prices. I've looked into making top notch, quality t-shirts in Portugal from Supima cotton. We're talking approx. €20 per piece FOB value. So once it's in the UK and marketed, I could sell for £50 to make £25 per shirt. If I'm selling to retail, they'll double that and add VAT. So you can see that the t-shirt will end up £120. Suddenly you realise that companies charging that have no other option if they're small and really trying to do good quality.

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Just go to sainsburys tu sale. There's one 25% off at the moment I think.

I used to buy all my stuff in the US, but now it's not worth it. The Tu stuff is fine and cheap as chips. I use it for work and it's fairly hardwearing. Sure it isn't the most stylish, but it isn't terrible either. I got a pair of jeans for 6 quid at the last sale.

I think there was one guy on here who was complaing about splitting trousers all the time (can't remember if it was Tu or some other budget brand). I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions on that one.

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I wish you luck in selling high quality tshirts, t shirts are a classic, versatile item, there is no reason they should be seen as disposable. I suppose you would have to rely on a more discerning customer, plus there would be people who would see an inferior product at a similar price point and buy that instead because it has a designer label on it. Some designer brands have a lot to answer for in terms of selling overpriced poor quality items. Ive just been speaking to a dry cleaner telling me about people in tears, who have spent 500 quid on a designer blazer only to have it start to come apart within six months. 

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I agree that quality men’s  shoes are hard to find . As are decent shirts. Although at least they are not all like tents! However, it’s a viscous circle as male shopper visits decrease many clothing stores have cut back on clothes for men. 

Oh I did get a quote for a manufacturer repair of a pair of shoes. The estimate was £70 and no shoes for a month ! Still the last time I got Timpsons to do it and the results were ok but not great.

I have thought about mattress manufacturing and sale. 

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3 minutes ago, Ash4781 said:

I agree that quality men’s  shoes are hard to find . As are decent shirts. Although at least they are not all like tents! However, it’s a viscous circle as male shopper visits decrease many clothing stores have cut back on clothes for men. 

Oh I did get a quote for a manufacturer repair of a pair of shoes. The estimate was £70 and no shoes for a month ! Still the last time I got Timpsons to do it and the results were ok but not great.

I have thought about mattress manufacturing and sale. 

How about these?

https://www.manufactum.co.uk/dinkelacker-horse-leather-gentlemens-shoe-p1518693/?a=42020&c=198384

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5 minutes ago, Ash4781 said:

I agree that quality men’s  shoes are hard to find . As are decent shirts. Although at least they are not all like tents! However, it’s a viscous circle as male shopper visits decrease many clothing stores have cut back on clothes for men. 

Oh I did get a quote for a manufacturer repair of a pair of shoes. The estimate was £70 and no shoes for a month ! Still the last time I got Timpsons to do it and the results were ok but not great.

I have thought about mattress manufacturing and sale. 

I'd sleep on that one , if I were you...

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17 minutes ago, nothernsoul said:

Im trying to sharpen up my image a bit. Does anyone know what the best quality for money, off the peg mens suit is on the highstreet?

French Connection, Cos. New shop Arket is worth a shot. Topman currently has suits by Charley Casely Hayford, £250 each, 100% wool. I'd avoid the cheap £100 ones.

There are ways to look sharper without wearing the full suit look, but it requires some effort and investment. Whatever you're most comfortable with :)

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How about quality without looking sharp? I find smart insanely boring (unless you go to the sorts of extremes that you wouldn't wear every day). But I do want stuff that lasts and is comfortable. I also hate being cheap, and hate spending a lot of money, so good luck squaring that circle!

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12 minutes ago, Riedquat said:

How about quality without looking sharp? I find smart insanely boring (unless you go to the sorts of extremes that you wouldn't wear every day). But I do want stuff that lasts and is comfortable. I also hate being cheap, and hate spending a lot of money, so good luck squaring that circle!

Ha ha. You sound like me a bit. I also don't like the dapper look, but like to look well put together with unusual pieces. I could probably suggest some things for you. Is there anything you like as an example? And what is your budget like if you really like something? Say a shirt?

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43 minutes ago, nothernsoul said:

Im trying to sharpen up my image a bit. Does anyone know what the best quality for money, off the peg mens suit is on the highstreet?

I find Ted Baker suits fit well. However, they’ll fall to pieces in about a year!

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I get my shirts from Charles Tyrwhitt - they last years and don't shrink. Also decent Lacoste polo shirts will last until they wear out.

For me, it's Next that pisses me off, 20 years ago it was good quality unbranded clothing, now it's just overpriced shit. In my view there is no one selling 'unbranded but still good quality' on the high street.

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6 hours ago, godnose said:

Ha ha. You sound like me a bit. I also don't like the dapper look, but like to look well put together with unusual pieces. I could probably suggest some things for you. Is there anything you like as an example? And what is your budget like if you really like something? Say a shirt?

To be honest I've never really thought that much about clothes. Usually a jeans and T-shirt guy (or some other casual shirt). Not in the office, but I care even less about my appearance there. I certainly don't want to wear anything visibly branded, and I'm moving away from T shirts to shirts. What's old fashioned without trying too obvious to look old fashioned? Budget's hard to say because I've never been interested in any piece of clothing enough to really want to spend money, I've just decided that I should go for a bit more lasting quality.

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1 hour ago, Riedquat said:

To be honest I've never really thought that much about clothes. Usually a jeans and T-shirt guy (or some other casual shirt). Not in the office, but I care even less about my appearance there. I certainly don't want to wear anything visibly branded, and I'm moving away from T shirts to shirts. What's old fashioned without trying too obvious to look old fashioned? Budget's hard to say because I've never been interested in any piece of clothing enough to really want to spend money, I've just decided that I should go for a bit more lasting quality.

Not visibly branded, moving from t-shirts to shirts, old fashioned-ish without trying too obviously to look so, better quality. Let's try:

http://www.acnestudios.com/uk/en/man/shirts/

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On shirts I think many retailers cottoned on to consumers wanting 100% cotton fabrics and responded to lighter weight fabrics in odd weaves. I think the weave is to try to mask how thin the shirts are! I made that mistake just recently with a M&S sale shirt (I felt duped as the item was probably brought in for the sale). I’ll need to repurpose the shirt into Summer shirt as I don’t think I can return it! That’ll teach me not to try it on oh and shop in M&S!

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Nothing wrong with buying second hand if you have the time and inclination to sift through junk to find a gem - i find it somewhat rewarding when i strike gold. Amazing what you can find at car boot sale as well - bought brand new Asic mens runners never worn for £2.50 the other week - and i didnt have to suffer the trauma of a high street shopping "experience" :)

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  • 297 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
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      • up 5%



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