'Vanity size' and four more 'crazy' and wonderful American shopping trends - ForumDaily
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'Vanity size' and four more 'crazy' and wonderful American shopping trends

Buying clothes has always been a problem for me. As a child, back in the Soviet Union, there wasn’t much choice, and my best clothes were sewn by my mother. Chinese down jackets, which were the first, along with Turkish jeans, to penetrate the “Iron Curtain”, following the Gummi Bears and Phil Donahue, turned out to be of terrible quality, Tatyana Vorozhko shares her memories in a blog for "Voices of America".

I was not psychologically prepared for the Petrovka and Vladimirsky markets, popular places for overstocking of clothes in the 90s. My eyes quickly blurred, and what looked like bad taste at first glance, after half an hour of circling between the rows, began to seem quite normal. And these courageous men and women, who first bought goods, sometimes risking their lives, and then stood for hours in the cold, could push me anything. At first they acted with flattery - “are you buying this for your graduation at school?” - and then using direct psychological pressure: “It’s not my skirt that’s too tight. Your hips are too wide!” So I became the owner of a mouse-colored sundress made of soft burlap and a black tulle dress with zippers.

The first stores on Khreshchatyk already had a better assortment and conditions for trying on, but at that time they were too expensive for me, and the sellers were demonstrably arrogant. I immediately realized that I couldn’t pass the “face control” and left.

I liked clothing stores abroad - mainly in Europe - but I rarely went there - only when I went on journalistic trips. So my wardrobe grew very slowly. Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm - new sweater. The Israelis elected Ehud Barak as Prime Minister, and I bought an original bag and trousers. The story of a free heart transplant for a Ukrainian in a hospital in Poland is a demi-season coat.

During my first visit to the US, I was delighted with the moles: the clothes are diverse, beautiful, cheap. Denim skirt for 4 dollar? 16 sweater? On my first shopping, I almost doubled my wardrobe.

Since then, the clothing sales sector in Ukraine has been transformed, innovative approaches have emerged in the United States and in other countries, and I ... have given up on moles.

Below are some of my observations on new trends in clothing sales in the USA. Everything is based on my experience of 13 years living in four American states, supported by research.

The list is not exclusive to the United States - some of these trends are present to one degree or another in Ukraine.

Size is a relative matter

Manufacturers of many brands sold in the US market are downgrading to make customers feel better and buy their things. This is called “vanity size” (vanity sizing). Size 8 in 1995 was equal to today's 6, in 1970 - second, and in 1958 - zero! Plus, sizes vary between brands. In shops H&M, Zara and Ann Taylor 8 size women are much slimmer than those who buy the same size in Calvin Klein and Guess. I personally wear things from size zero to size eight, depending on the store and the year of purchase.

On the other hand, in the US, some brands offer clothes that will be tailored to your body, such as men's clothing companies. Indochino and Black Lapel.

New popular trend - clothing subscription

Subscribing to clothes is gaining popularity in the USA. For example, a company Le tote, which haunts me on all networks with the persistence of a maniac, offers the following model. For $49 a month, a stylist creates two outfits and sends them to the client, based on style information (for this you need to take a test). If you vilify it, you send it back. If you really like something, you can leave this thing, and the company will charge its cost from your card. You can choose things online or by yourself. The clothes don't need to be washed or dry cleaned, and shipping is free.

Besides the obvious - paying money and not replenishing my wardrobe - what stops me in this scheme is the need to constantly run to the post office. But I will be happy to put myself in the hands of a stylist, because I myself will buy another gray trousers and a sweater a la “sailor girl”.

The ethics of clothing and footwear production becomes as important as aesthetics.

Buyers began to pay more and more attention not only to the quality, appearance and price, but also to how these clothes are made. It becomes less and less willing to buy things in the production of which children's or actually slave labor was used. They spoke especially loudly about this after the tragedy in Bangladesh in 2013, when more than a thousand textile workers died because of a house collapse.

Public campaign for fair trade and ethical clothing (Fair Trade and Ethical Clothing) brings together fighters for normal working conditions, environmentalists and clothing manufacturers. The organization issues to companies whose clothes are produced in decent conditions, a quality mark, which they inform customers.

I think that exporters of Ukrainian clothing should also point out that seamstresses receive above-market wages, work an eight-hour day in good premises, and have parental leave - if this is true. Kindness is trendy today, and this can be an additional argument to buy clothes from this particular brand!

Americans buy a lot of clothes

A feature of the American home, built at least in the last 20-30 years, is large closets for clothing. You have to put all your clothes somewhere.

According to Alliance data, 37% of women have 25-49 blouses, 32% have more than 25 pairs of shoes. The average American woman today owns 30 full-length outfits. In the 30s - only nine.

In the USA you can find both very expensive and extremely cheap clothes. Everyone here can afford new trousers or coats. If the shops in the malls are expensive, then you can look in the Salvation Army store (Salvation army) or on the Internet (Graigslist) and purchase for a few dollars or even get free.

Фото: Depositphotos

On average, an American family of four spends 1700 dollars on clothes per year, which is only 3,5% of the family budget. Americans regularly wear only 20% of their clothes, something remains to hang in the pantry with a price tag. I know, because my husband's sister handed me a bunch of such clothes.

By the way, to exchange or give clothes here (at least in our circle) is not considered something shameful. I replenish my wardrobe and get rid of the excess.

A lot of it gets thrown away. Every year, Americans send an average of 31 kg of textiles to landfills, which is almost the weight of my dog. Environmentalists are sounding the alarm, and some countries - such as Africa - are closing their markets to Western second-hand goods because low prices suppress domestic production.

For myself, to counter this trend, I introduced a voluntary tax. Every time I buy a new item, I donate an additional 30% of the price to needs in Ukraine - for treatment of the wounded, families without fathers, and the like.

More clothes are being bought online

Much of this is bought online. According to this study market, 96% of Americans buy things online. Of all purchases, 44% are in the clothing, shoes and jewelry category, second only to books, music and films. The younger generation does this most of all, and older people least of all. Moreover, millennials spend an average of 6 hours a week on online shopping.

I also mostly buy things online, but not because of reviews from other buyers. It's much better to try on the dress yourself than to read Mary from Iowa's opinion. But in the malls my head starts to hurt - there are a lot of people, light, smells - and after a couple of hours of shopping I get more tired than after 8 hours at work. True, when I buy things online, as a rule, I return more than half. So, for me this is also not an ideal solution.

And to Kiev

And most of all today I like to buy clothes in Ukraine. Every time I come to Kyiv, we traditionally go to restore my wardrobe with Tatyana Petkov, who edited a magazine for women for many years and, in my opinion, is a “style icon.” We give preference to Ukrainian fashion designers. Things from my last “summer Kyiv collection” of 2016 still evoke a lot of compliments, especially the light green dress with flowers.

And what new trends have you seen, what do you like, and what causes irritation, and how do you buy clothes? Your opinion is interesting to us!

Read also on ForumDaily:

Three stories of Americans who chase discounts

Overview of Russian online stores in America

6 ways to shop at Costco and Sam's Club

7 easy ways to make a bargain with Big Lots

Miscellanea purchase loudspeakers shopping
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