Since Michigan consistently tops the charts of high unemployment rates, (an unwelcome award no local appreciates), it only makes sense to trade full designer prices for single digit bargains available at thrift stores.
America’s history provides a significant example of the relationship between fashion and economics. In the 1940s American fashion was a direct mirror of the restraints enforced by World War Two. Fights broke out in the streets of Harlem over those clownish zoot suits because of the garments flagrant use of excessive fabric. The number of pleats, pockets and colors used in clothing were all regulated to stanch the use of war resources in the civilian sector.
Today shoppers may not be under governmental restrictions when choosing between Anthropologie and a Forever 21 knockoff, but our own bank account would surely benefit from a little canny shopping. Consignment shops offer contemporary clothes with generous mark-downs. Thrift and antique stores take a bit more effort to navigate, with gems hidden under piles of junk(each of us thankfully disagreeing on which items are gems and which are junk) but worth the effort when unearthing a well made skirt that will last a lifetime instead of a season.
On the surface, a shopper’s only concern may be finding a good deal, but whether consciously or unconsciously, every educated purchase helps satisfy economic and social aspirations. Not only is second-hand clothing a form of recycling, it also opposes the heinous working conditions of Chinese manufacturing and USA outsourcing, and to add a really sumptuous cherry to the social pie, a truly unique look can be moulded to fit every autonomous spirit. So next time you need to enhance your wardrobe remember to buy cheap, unique, and local.