Save. Spend. Splurge.

You know what’ll make me buy more clothing? Quality.

You know how The Gap can get back in my drawers?

If they start raising the quality on their clothing; namely basics like t-shirts & so on; white t-shirts should be twice as thick as they are today.

No more of this see through “tissue-thin” baloney.

The article I’m linking to above is about CEO Gregory Peck and how he plans on turning The Gap around to make it cool again. It’s an interesting read and I love reading about the retail industry, especially with how cutthroat they are.

Anyway, my answer to all of these rather blind retailers is that they’re missing what middle-class women (who buy a lot), want, and that is that the quality bar is raised.

Back to my t-shirt example.

I don’t want to buy a cheap t-shirt for $5 if it’s going to be tissue-thin.

You know what “tissue-thin” or “whisper-weight” or “feather-light” means in retail speak to me?

It means that they bought the cheapest cloth so damn thin, you couldn’t really use it for anything but straining your freshly ground coffee beans.


Not only that, they probably also mixed that cloth with spandex, nylon and goodness knows what, rather than sticking to 100% cotton.

It is very VERY hard to find 100% cotton t-shirts these days. Banana Republic made a great, thick t-shirt that was 100% cotton.

I went back to take a look at the white version and discovered they had tweaked it to improve on the fit (whatever.).

I went to The Gap, and found the favourite tee still at 100% cotton and the white one was NOT see-through. That’s a good beginning point, Mr. Peck.

I bought 15 of them just in case they ran out & switched the formula like their sister company did.

In particular with J. Crew (our favourite flogging horse on the blogosphere these days), I cannot justify spending $250 or whatever ridiculous amount they charge on some crappy sweater made in a Third World country (that just goes to show how inflated the price tag) is that is going to pill after 2 washes, look like crap and get a hole in it to boot.

No way.

Not only that, their prints are ugly, the colours are all weird and NO ONE WANTS TO WEAR IT.

To all the retailers out there: My advice is to raise the quality bar and stop producing trendy crap that no one other than a model in a catalog would wear.

Produce a set of staples in neutral, standard colours, and then create a second set or capsule of clothing that rotates each season. Stop trying to be cool.

These days, brands & stores like Emerson Fry, The Row (my coveted label), Isabel Marant, Alexander Wang, Cuyana, Acne Studios, Filippa K and so many more are way hotter and cooler just because they’re making quality basics.


  • Lori

    I really like the quality of Ann Taylor t shirts and they wash well. I usually purchase a few in various colors at the end of the season when clearance items are 60-70% off which makes them crazy cheap.

  • al

    Yes!! I agree.
    Buying quality clothing will last longer.
    However, Holt Renfrew is too expensive for my price range. My income does not sustain it.
    Do you have other suggestions? to buy nice, basic, classic, clothing in Toronto?

  • Yoko

    AMEN!!! You hit the nail right on the head!
    Though I must say that I was a bit disappointed that no Canadian store made your list of favourites. With the exchange rate, taxes and duties, ordering from the States is an expensive proposition. Local suggestions would have been nice.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      Hmm good point. For local suggestions, I tend to like thrift shops / consignment… Otherwise my “local” shops / haunts are Holt Renfrew, Ogilvy, & Simons in Montreal.

  • Michelle...

    Oh, I hear ya (from all the way Down Under 😉 )

    Why oh why is it so darned hard to find a non-see through white t-shirt? Where I live it’s a struggle to find decent t-shirts fullstop. My current go-to’s are NZ$6 K-Mart tees. They’re perfect except for the fact that I have no idea how ethical their manufacture is :-\ (they’re made in Bangladesh)

  • ella

    I love forever 21’s heathered v-neck shirts–they are the right thickness and the quality is very good. Also very comfortable. I’ve had these shirts for over a year and own about five of them. For under $6, I’m pretty impressed. Granted it’s not 100% cotton, but compared to other expensive shirts I’ve bought that are 100% cotton, the f21 shirts are perfect. I love affordable, quality basics!

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