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  • FIRST POST
    • PipneyJane
    • By PipneyJane 2nd Jan 18, 12:52 PM
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    PipneyJane
    2018 Fashion on the Ration challenge
    • #1
    • 2nd Jan 18, 12:52 PM
    2018 Fashion on the Ration challenge 2nd Jan 18 at 12:52 PM
    Based on the original 1941 Clothing Rations, I've decided to a "Fashion on the Ration" challenge for 2018. Since I already have an overflowing wardrobe and a yarn stash approaching SABLE*, my aim is to shop more thoughtfully. Any money saved will be a bonus. Would you like to join me?

    The original ration was 66 coupons. Items of clothing had the following coupon cost:



    To break it down into Women's clothing only:-


    Lined mackintosh or coat over 28" - 14 coupons
    Under 28" short coat or jacket - 11 coupons
    Frock, gown or dress of wool - 11 coupons
    Frock, gown or dress of other fabric - 7 coupons
    Bodice with girls skirt or gym tunic - 8 coupons
    Pyjamas - 8 coupons
    Divided skirt or skirt – 7 coupons
    Nightdress - 6 coupons
    Dungarees or overalls - 6 coupons
    Blouse, shirt, sports top, cardigan or jumper -5 coupons
    Pair of slippers, boots or shoes – 5 coupons
    Other garments including corsets - 3 coupons
    Petticoat or slip, cami-knickers or combinations - 4 coupons
    Apron or pinafore - 3 coupons
    Scarf, gloves, mittens or muff - 2 coupons
    Stockings per pair - 2 coupons
    Ankle socks per pair – 1 coupon
    1 yard wool cloth 36"wide – 3 coupons
    2 ounces of wool knitting yarn – 1 coupon

    Assumptions for the challenge:-

    • 1 metre of fabric equals 1 yard. No penalty for width.
    • 2 ounces of wool knitting yarn equals 50g of any knitting yarn containing natural fibres. Note: according to a display I once saw at the Imperial War Museum, there was a different coupon cost for man-made fibre, but I've never found out what so let's assume acrylic is half the coupon cost of wool.
    • Based on the quantity of fabric and work involved, a "corset" is the equivalent of two bras.
    • Ditto one pair of Cami-knickers would equal two pairs of modern bikini-style knickers or thongs.
    • Bodice with skirt = shirt/blouse/t-shirt purchased at the same time as a matching or co-ordinating skirt or trousers = 8 coupons in total.
    • Dungarees = jeans = 6 coupons.
    • Ditto trousers
    • Second-hand clothing is exempt.
    • Leather handbags aren't mentioned anywhere in the clothing coupon data. The assumption is that they weren't made once the war was in full swing. Ditto leather wallets and purses. I assume a leather handbag involves the same effort and leather as a pair of shoes at 5 coupons. A new wallet/purse can be 2 coupons.


    Beyond trying to find a trench coat with a warm, detachable lining to replace my almost warn out one, I don't have any clothes-purchasing plans for 2018. (14 Coupons) My quest for the coat may take a while, since I want one where the detachable lining includes sleeves. I have been looking since September.

    Care to join me?

    - Pip








    *SABLE=Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy
    Last edited by PipneyJane; 02-01-2018 at 1:58 PM. Reason: annoying paragraph spacing
    "Be the type of woman that when you get out of bed in the morning, the devil says 'Oh crap. She's up.' "

    C.R.A.P R.O.L.L.Z. #47 Official Brain Harvesting Body Counter
Page 6
    • RicardaRacoon
    • By RicardaRacoon 26th Sep 18, 6:04 PM
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    RicardaRacoon
    After some consideration and a chat with my Mum - "Are you sure you want to knit a black jumper????" - I ordered green yarn for a jumper. I'll knit the White Horse jumper (https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/whitehorse-2) but make it slightly longer and with long sleeves. I love a little challenge when knitting and one of my favourite podcaster knitted it and said the lace wasn't too complicated. And once the lace part is done it'll be all stockinette so quite realxing and I'll be able to watch Foyles War while knitting.


    Plus I've ordered two pairs of grey trousers. Actually wanted to buy a second pair of jeans - normally I have two, but one pair was beyond repair in spring and I got through summer with only one pair - but I feel like having grey trousers again. A few years ago grey tweed trousers were my winter staple....
    I'll only keep one pair of them though, so that'll be another 8 coupons...



    Polly thanks for the hint with the underwear, I completely forgot to look at our own list and just checked the "Official" one.


    Pip, lovely jumper, of course I had to have a look at Ravelry! Well, yes, it is possible to knit one with 10oz, but I doubt it'll work for a winter jumper with long sleeves. Plus I'll wear it with jeans, so want it "un-1940ie-ishly" long. I know most women in the 40ies wore croped jumpers either with skirts or highwaisted trousers but I'd look rather square in that with my current size so will go for hip-lenght.


    By the way, speaking of 40ies fashion... I saw a girl last week at the station who was dressed very 1940ies but in a very casual way, I'm not even sure she realised she looked that way. Green high waist trousers that were quite wide, a striped top and a little yellow cardigan. Plus a headband. I hads a little fashion-crush...
    Resolution for 2018"Live better on less" - Less stuff, less waste, less silly spends but more make do and mend and more fun
    • PipneyJane
    • By PipneyJane 27th Sep 18, 7:14 PM
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    PipneyJane
    After some consideration and a chat with my Mum - "Are you sure you want to knit a black jumper????" - I ordered green yarn for a jumper. I'll knit the White Horse jumper (https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/whitehorse-2) but make it slightly longer and with long sleeves. I love a little challenge when knitting and one of my favourite podcaster knitted it and said the lace wasn't too complicated. And once the lace part is done it'll be all stockinette so quite realxing and I'll be able to watch Foyles War while knitting.


    Plus I've ordered two pairs of grey trousers. Actually wanted to buy a second pair of jeans - normally I have two, but one pair was beyond repair in spring and I got through summer with only one pair - but I feel like having grey trousers again. A few years ago grey tweed trousers were my winter staple....
    I'll only keep one pair of them though, so that'll be another 8 coupons...



    Polly thanks for the hint with the underwear, I completely forgot to look at our own list and just checked the "Official" one.


    Pip, lovely jumper, of course I had to have a look at Ravelry! Well, yes, it is possible to knit one with 10oz, but I doubt it'll work for a winter jumper with long sleeves. Plus I'll wear it with jeans, so want it "un-1940ie-ishly" long. I know most women in the 40ies wore croped jumpers either with skirts or highwaisted trousers but I'd look rather square in that with my current size so will go for hip-lenght.


    By the way, speaking of 40ies fashion... I saw a girl last week at the station who was dressed very 1940ies but in a very casual way, I'm not even sure she realised she looked that way. Green high waist trousers that were quite wide, a striped top and a little yellow cardigan. Plus a headband. I hads a little fashion-crush...
    Originally posted by RicardaRacoon
    Ooohhhh.... Me too! My fashion style is hugely influenced by the 1930ís, 1940ís and 1950ís. Iíd have loved to have seen her.

    The White Horse Jumper is lovely. What shade of green did you go for? Also, who is your favourite knitting podcaster? I listen to Knit British, Yarns From The Plain, Catheness Craft Collective and the Knitmore Girls but Iím about 5 months behind now. (Thereís 220-odd podcasts in the queue but my new job will cure that.)

    I do appreciate what you said earlier re coupons for sweaters/cardigans not being the same as the yarn content. For most very fine-yarned sweaters, there isnít that much of a differential - your classic round necked cashmere cardigan weighs between 200g-300g and you could knit it for that. But not everything does. I succumbed today to a 96% wool 4% angora cardigan. There is no way on earth that I could knit it in the 5 coupons it cost to purchase ready made. I reckon it was made of double that in yarn (thereís no scales here or Iíd weigh it). Itís a classic yolked cardigan with coloured trim: http://www.eribe.com/uk/shop/ladies/cardigan/alpine-cardigan-greyberry-greyberry.

    Yes, Iíve travelled to France to purchase something made in Scotland. Iím also well aware that Iíve blown half a yearís clothing allowance on something I could have made myself - did you see the price? It wasnít cheaper in Euros - but thatís why I save up each month, so that when the special item appears, I can purchase it. Itís beautiful; itís in my colours; itíll keep me warm in my portacabin; and it is smart enough to wear to work on a dress-down Friday when I go to the main office.

    Iíve got 21 coupons left until January. While Iíll keep my eyes open for a new suit, I would not be surprised if I finish the year with 10 or more left. Most current fashions donít appeal to me and I have more than enough clothes, although I will have to lose some weight/my spare tyre to fit into some of them. (Is it just me? Are designers deliberately mining the ugly end of the 1970ís for clothes designs?)

    - Pip
    "Be the type of woman that when you get out of bed in the morning, the devil says 'Oh crap. She's up.' "

    C.R.A.P R.O.L.L.Z. #47 Official Brain Harvesting Body Counter
    • Laura_Elsewhere
    • By Laura_Elsewhere 28th Sep 18, 8:00 PM
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    Laura_Elsewhere
    I do hope the authorities don't read this thread - I can't believe it of myself, I've always been such a law-abiding obedient little soul, but...

    I met a black marketeer again today, a Mr. Asda, and he had a pair of black jeans in just my size and leg-length (not commonly found together!) and a bra (scarlet!!) in my size (even more rarely found together), so I paid him cash and made my way home quickly, with many a furtive look behind me.

    I know I should feel ashamed, but... the jeans are so comfortable, and the bra (once I'd carefully cut the extensive foam 'armour-plating' out of the cups) feels and looks lovely too!

    I must just turn away next time some spiv sidles up to me and offers me clothing or yarn!
    • PipneyJane
    • By PipneyJane 28th Sep 18, 10:13 PM
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    PipneyJane
    I do hope the authorities don't read this thread - I can't believe it of myself, I've always been such a law-abiding obedient little soul, but...

    I met a black marketeer again today, a Mr. Asda, and he had a pair of black jeans in just my size and leg-length (not commonly found together!) and a bra (scarlet!!) in my size (even more rarely found together), so I paid him cash and made my way home quickly, with many a furtive look behind me.

    I know I should feel ashamed, but... the jeans are so comfortable, and the bra (once I'd carefully cut the extensive foam 'armour-plating' out of the cups) feels and looks lovely too!

    I must just turn away next time some spiv sidles up to me and offers me clothing or yarn!
    Originally posted by Laura_Elsewhere
    Hopefully the jeans will last for ages. Ditto the bra.

    Thanks for the laugh, Laura.

    - Pip
    "Be the type of woman that when you get out of bed in the morning, the devil says 'Oh crap. She's up.' "

    C.R.A.P R.O.L.L.Z. #47 Official Brain Harvesting Body Counter
    • PipneyJane
    • By PipneyJane 29th Sep 18, 2:17 PM
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    PipneyJane
    Oops! Miscounted
    Afternoon All.

    I was updating the Fashion On the Ration sidebar in my blog when I realised that Iíve miscounted the coupons I spent on Regia sock yarn. That last skein I purchased was 50g, which counts as one coupon, but I put it down as two. Díoh!

    That means Iíve got 22 coupons left, not 21. Not an abundance of riches, but every coupon helps.

    - Pip
    "Be the type of woman that when you get out of bed in the morning, the devil says 'Oh crap. She's up.' "

    C.R.A.P R.O.L.L.Z. #47 Official Brain Harvesting Body Counter
    • PollyWollyDoodle
    • By PollyWollyDoodle 29th Sep 18, 7:38 PM
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    PollyWollyDoodle
    Every little helps! I'm off to buy some new bras tomorrow - not something I can get second-hand as I'm an awkward size. That'll be 3 coupons (I can only afford to buy two) but I think I'm going to end the year with coupons left. Might buy some more fabric but there's not much I need.
    "Inconceivable". "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
    • Laura_Elsewhere
    • By Laura_Elsewhere 30th Sep 18, 10:53 AM
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    Laura_Elsewhere
    I'm really looking forward to 2019's challenge, because seeing you finishing with coupons in hand whilst I've had the utter shame of turning to the Black Market has made me really question what on earth I was merrily flinging coupons about on earlier this year!

    I'm really looking forward to starting again and seeing how far I can make my coupons go! I already have so much fabric and yarn, for one thing... although whether it's the right kind of fabric is something else.

    Maybe I can class it as coupon-free if I sell unwanted fabric and use only that money to buy other fabric? Hmmm, am I already trying to tweak the system...?

    But I have a pair of very nice trouser-y things cut out ready to sew, and a gloriously opulent pale-pink heavy upholstery-satin dressing-gown cut out ready to sew, so once I've finished October's commuting and working, I shall have at least two major garments to make with no coupons needed!
    • PollyWollyDoodle
    • By PollyWollyDoodle 30th Sep 18, 8:09 PM
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    PollyWollyDoodle
    Your posts always make me smile, Laura! In fairness, I adopted a 'buy nothing new' policy a couple of years ago so it hasn't been too hard for me, and I'm on a very tight budget.

    Two new bras today, £60 (ouch) and three coupons but they're an item I won't compromise on, I'm not fussy about clothes generally but I need the right support.

    Are these the 'accidental' trousers that you mentioned before?

    Edited to add: I am now on 47 coupons, I may well buy some fabric with my remaining ones.
    Last edited by PollyWollyDoodle; 30-09-2018 at 8:15 PM.
    "Inconceivable". "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
    • PipneyJane
    • By PipneyJane 7th Oct 18, 4:18 PM
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    PipneyJane
    Did anyone else catch the item on BBC Breakfast on Friday about how the average Briton purchases over 26kg of new clothes each year? The next highest were the Germans, who purchase 16kg. I donít know where the French came but the Italians were fourth at around 10kg.

    Aparently this is double what we purchased 10 years ago! Iím horrified. Sadly, I canít find a link to the source of the news item, but I believe it was an investigation by a Parliamentary Committee. The MPs blamed fast fashion, M&S, Primani, etc, but who is buying all this stuff? In this age of austerity, how can they afford it?

    I just donít get it. OK, Iím not fashionable - fashion rarely suits me - and with current fashions it is difficult for me to find clothes Iíd actually wear. It doesnít help that the really cheap stuff is usually polyester and most synthetic material makes my skin creep. But that means that someone-else out there is buying a whole lot more than 26kg of clothing to make up for the likes of me.

    - Pip
    "Be the type of woman that when you get out of bed in the morning, the devil says 'Oh crap. She's up.' "

    C.R.A.P R.O.L.L.Z. #47 Official Brain Harvesting Body Counter
    • PollyWollyDoodle
    • By PollyWollyDoodle 7th Oct 18, 6:17 PM
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    PollyWollyDoodle
    Good heavens - I'm not sure what 26kg would look like but I must be well below that. Was it this https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6244055/The-average-Briton-buys-clothes-large-suitcase-year.html? (Sorry, the only non-paywall article I could find.)

    I wonder why we buy so much more than other nationalities.
    "Inconceivable". "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
    • Laura_Elsewhere
    • By Laura_Elsewhere 7th Oct 18, 8:28 PM
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    Laura_Elsewhere
    At least one of my 20-something nieces never keeps summer clothes, going to Primark and online sites to buy herself a whole new wardrobe every time she goes on holiday abroad a couple of times a year. She just factors in 50-100 quid for clothes to the cost of the holiday...

    I find it a bit hard at times to remember we're related...
    • PollyWollyDoodle
    • By PollyWollyDoodle 8th Oct 18, 1:09 PM
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    PollyWollyDoodle
    Good heavens. Perhaps there was a mistake at the maternity hospital ...
    "Inconceivable". "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
    • PollyWollyDoodle
    • By PollyWollyDoodle 9th Oct 18, 7:37 AM
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    PollyWollyDoodle
    Yikes, did anyone see 'Stacey Dooley Investigates: Fashion's Dirty Secret' last night? It's available on I-Player. The production of cotton is wrecking the planet ... I did know something of this, but I was shocked to see just how bad it is.

    I really need some new jeans - that is a need, not a want, I wear jeans pretty much every day if I'm not working - but I think they're going to be coming from a CS now if possible. It's always a real challenge to get jeans to fit, I foresee an awful lot of trying on, especially as there are usually only two or three pairs in my size in each shop.
    "Inconceivable". "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
    • Laura_Elsewhere
    • By Laura_Elsewhere 9th Oct 18, 2:57 PM
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    Laura_Elsewhere
    Between research showing that bread made using modern (Chorleywood) methods being so bad for you, and research showing that artificial sweeteners are worse for you than sugar, and research showing that our clothing choices are killing the planet...

    I am basically becoming my grandmother!!!!

    This morning I showed Mum how to make up a packet bread-mix, and she was very excited. Just before lunch I dashed out to their excellent nearby hardware shop and bought her a sheepskin-on-a-stick long-handled duster thing to get the cobwebs out of their high ceilings. After lunch I helped her tactfully explain to their "Woman who does" how to actually do a few things, because Mum was having to go round afterwards re-doing things...

    I am definitely turning into my paternal Gran - my maternal Nana was an excellent housekeeper but she didn't teach Mum any of it. Gran taught me all my housework and sewing skills, and Grandaddy taught me lots of gardening and now in their 70s and 80s I'm being asked by my parents how to do this or that old-fashioned thing!

    I found clothes-moths fluttering about in the pile of wool blankets, so those went out on the line in bright sunlight and 30mph gusts and not a moth-egg in the world would stay attached in that! Their precious silk duvet went out for half an hour and the cover into the wash ("how often do you wash it?" I asked Mum... she looked vague and said she wasn't sure it came off... in other words, they've used that silk duvet on their bed every winter since 1999, and have never washed the cover nor hung the duvet out on the line to air it... eeeuuuuwwww!)

    Anyway... rambling...

    I just bought new jeans - that spiv, Mr Asda, if you recall. But I should have known that a pair of jeans for £8 means somebody somewhere is cutting corners...

    Hmm.

    Next year, I shall be REALLY keeping to my coupons, and shall we say that second-hand clothing has a lower coupon rate, to encourage us to Make Do And Mend?

    EDIT: I now realise second-hand clothing already IS exempt!!
    Last edited by Laura_Elsewhere; 09-10-2018 at 3:08 PM.
    • Laura_Elsewhere
    • By Laura_Elsewhere 9th Oct 18, 3:05 PM
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    Laura_Elsewhere
    I really need some new jeans - that is a need, not a want, I wear jeans pretty much every day if I'm not working
    Originally posted by PollyWollyDoodle
    The more stretchy the denim, the quicker it wears through, so maybe you could investigate different cuts of jeans and possibly even altering them, so you can buy ones with less lycra, therefore harder-wearing?

    I used to wear men's button-fly Levi 501s all the time when I worked as a field archaeologist and they lasted a million years. Still around on eBay for 40-50 quid a pair, look great on most women's shapes with a big belt, and last for years because they are made of really good denim. I think they make a version now but it's not as good, so definitely look for the old styles... and of course FABULOUS pockets because they're designed for men.
    Why do people think women only need titchy little pockets?!?!
    • PollyWollyDoodle
    • By PollyWollyDoodle 9th Oct 18, 3:47 PM
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    PollyWollyDoodle
    That's an interesting point Laura - I used to buy men's jeans when I was younger (and slimmer!) because I liked the fit better. . I might investigate that again when I've got more time.

    It's amazing how I can focus when I need to! Today I had half an hour left on my parking ticket after going to the bank. I decided to see how many CSs I could get round in that time. Two had no suitable jeans, at least no blue denim, I managed to try on four pairs in the remaining three shops and bought one.

    To my surprise, it was not too stressful because the choice was so limited. Usually buying jeans has me in despair because of the choice between boot cut/skinny/straight leg/high-rise/every variety you can think of. I wouldn't say these are a perfect fit, but they are good enough – and no coupons!

    I know what you mean about turning into your Nan. I'm not sure that viscose and man-made is any better than cotton, we now know that fleeces are bad for the planet and apparently we should all give up eating meat. I got myself into a bit of a state about single use plastic earlier in the year, I have decided to do what I can when I can but not stress about it too much. I think my footprint is probably pretty small compare to those of others. Do you think watching the Stacey Dooley program would change your niece's view about replacing her wardrobe every year?
    "Inconceivable". "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
    • PipneyJane
    • By PipneyJane 12th Oct 18, 1:19 PM
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    PipneyJane
    Good heavens - I'm not sure what 26kg would look like but I must be well below that. Was it this https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6244055/The-average-Briton-buys-clothes-large-suitcase-year.html? (Sorry, the only non-paywall article I could find.)

    I wonder why we buy so much more than other nationalities.
    Originally posted by PollyWollyDoodle
    Yes, it was, thanks.

    I've long wondered the same. Is it down to the quality of fabric or construction, which is so poor that we've become acclimated to having to shop for replacements every five minutes so do it thoughtlessly? To give you an example: my favourite pair of jeans are literally falling apart before my eyes - the fabric is breaking down on the front of the thighs - and that has never happened to me before. I purchased them in 2015.

    When I first moved to the UK, nearly 30 years ago, the fashion High Street seemed to be two-tiered: at one end, you could buy cheap but poorly constructed clothing made from man-made fabrics; at the other, you'd pay a fortune for anything made from natural fibres. The only shops that fell in-between were M&S and Next (both of whom made reasonable suits for work), but I didn't earn enough to shop there often.

    (In 1991 or 1992, I remember paying £50 for a pair of Levi 501 jeans. At that point, my take-home pay was less than £720/month. I wore those jeans to death; they were my only pair.)

    Things have not improved, even though the High Street has expanded considerably.

    - Pip
    "Be the type of woman that when you get out of bed in the morning, the devil says 'Oh crap. She's up.' "

    C.R.A.P R.O.L.L.Z. #47 Official Brain Harvesting Body Counter
    • Laura_Elsewhere
    • By Laura_Elsewhere 12th Oct 18, 11:00 PM
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    Laura_Elsewhere
    Pip, I think it's the other way round - the fabric became worse because we demanded cheaper and cheaper clothing so that we could buy more. I think the marketing caused the demand, and then the demand for cheap caused the drop in standards.

    As I understand it, they used to use long-fibres of cotton and wool and especially cashmere, but now the requirement for cheaper fashion means they cut corners, so what used to be done by cheaply-paid people is now done by machine, and so instead of laboriously combing out the fibres and spinning those into thread to weave or knit, they chop up the fibres, including the rubbish bits, and use different methods to force those little chopped-up bits into a thread that is woven or knitted.

    The longer fibres twisted together by spinning will grip each other and resist sliding apart so are stronger. The chopped bits will slide apart under mild stress.

    It's also why so many people think they are allergic to wool. There are people who are actually allergic to wool, but not vast numbers. Most of the people who claim wool allergy are actually having a contact reaction to all those gazillion little tiny ends poking into their skin.

    And it's why cashmere now is so cheap, and yet doesn't last. The classic cashmere was phenomenally expensive but people literally worse their grandmother's cashmere cardigans because it lasted so incredibly well. The stuff now costs a tenner and lasts ten minutes...
    • monnagran
    • By monnagran 13th Oct 18, 9:39 AM
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    monnagran
    I can relate to this. When I was growing up in the forties and fifties, the only reason for getting a new item of clothing was that the old one was very old and worn out or you had grown out of it and it was due to be passed on.

    We usually had one outfit for best, you could recognise people in church by their outfit. This, when starting to wear out, was demoted to work-wear. When it was even too shabby to seen in public it would be covered with an overall and used for housework or gardening.
    The only deviation from this was that you could have a winter set and a summer set.

    The idea of actually having a choice of clothes didn't really start until the late fifties.

    Apart from a summer top that I picked up on the sale rail in Tesc*s I bought no new clothes this year, so presumably have nearly all my coupons unused.

    How's the black market in clothing coupons?
    I believe that friends are quiet angels
    Who lift us to our feet when our wings
    Have trouble remembering how to fly.
    • PipneyJane
    • By PipneyJane 13th Oct 18, 9:49 AM
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    PipneyJane
    Pip, I think it's the other way round - the fabric became worse because we demanded cheaper and cheaper clothing so that we could buy more. I think the marketing caused the demand, and then the demand for cheap caused the drop in standards.

    As I understand it, they used to use long-fibres of cotton and wool and especially cashmere, but now the requirement for cheaper fashion means they cut corners, so what used to be done by cheaply-paid people is now done by machine, and so instead of laboriously combing out the fibres and spinning those into thread to weave or knit, they chop up the fibres, including the rubbish bits, and use different methods to force those little chopped-up bits into a thread that is woven or knitted.

    The longer fibres twisted together by spinning will grip each other and resist sliding apart so are stronger. The chopped bits will slide apart under mild stress.

    It's also why so many people think they are allergic to wool. There are people who are actually allergic to wool, but not vast numbers. Most of the people who claim wool allergy are actually having a contact reaction to all those gazillion little tiny ends poking into their skin.

    And it's why cashmere now is so cheap, and yet doesn't last. The classic cashmere was phenomenally expensive but people literally worse their grandmother's cashmere cardigans because it lasted so incredibly well. The stuff now costs a tenner and lasts ten minutes...
    Originally posted by Laura_Elsewhere

    Hmmm..... Good points, Laura. I hadn't thought about the automated treatment of natural fibres in order to make cheap fabric. Yes, that would explain why my jeans are dissolving and also why cheap cashmere sweaters develop holes when washed.

    When i wrote my post yesterday, I was thinking about - but couldn't verbalise - whether we've got a "cultural cringe" about fashion and, maybe, that's why the British buy so many clothes. We're never "good enough" and are always trying to live up to an impossible standard. How many times have you read an article about dressing well that refers to stylish/chic French women and sets them up as the gold standard of being well-dressed? We've had decades of it.

    My own observation is that French women are no better or worse dressed than any other women. Culturally, though, their expectations are different - the French are more frugal than we are and prefer to buy things made in France (same as with their food). You can have a credit card in France, but you're expected to pay it off every month; if you don't, expect a call from your bank asking you to explain why. (I've witnessed this with French colleagues*.) If you don't have a huge amount to spend on clothes and can't borrow to maintain your habit, you'll tend to buy fewer pieces of better quality, coordinate them with the other things you own and expect them to last.**

    - Pip


    * My poor French colleagues. I used to quiz them about all sorts of things, particularly money-wise, in an attempt to understand how life is lived in France. To be fair, they'd do the same to me. As the resident Australian, I would translate Britain for them.

    ** On the rare occasions I've been to (and shopped in) Germany, I've noticed the same phenomena.
    "Be the type of woman that when you get out of bed in the morning, the devil says 'Oh crap. She's up.' "

    C.R.A.P R.O.L.L.Z. #47 Official Brain Harvesting Body Counter
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