What happened to all of the Classic Items? You know those basic essentials that get a lot of use and tend to be flattering on most people? I have noticed a decrease in these items in department stores and chain stores and an increase in size-specific clothes made to suit a certain stereotype. The newer clothes normally aren't practical enough and become out-of-date quickly.
Whenever you pick up a good style book the first words of advice tend to contain the words "must-haves" and "essentials". Items like trench-coats, LBDs and black flats are usually mentioned and in a way I guess I could agree that these items are still available to the general public, only, they have changed quite a bit. Trench coats that come in bright seasonal colours are featured in the pages of mail order catalogues, Little Black Dresses have become smaller (sometimes unflatteringly so) and black flats are definitely present (though there tends to be a small variety of practical choices available in larger sizes)...
I find the sizing problem to be a difficult one. As a Vintage Gal I like to be able to buy classy clothing that is modest and practical. This goes for all areas of my wardrobe including dresses, jackets, shoes and undergarments. Also being a thin tall girl, I find that if I am lucky enough to find what I want that it just happens to be out of my size range. Smaller sizes tend to fit into the trendy and revealing category. Instead of having a range of different work skirts that are available in different shapes as well as colours, there is one A-line option in a stretchy fabric and a complete range of tube skirts (way to short for most dress codes) to fit your needs. The humble collared shirt still exists, but the fabric is probably a bit clingier and see-through than it should be. The last time I had a look at button up shirts at the local department store the short-sleeve they had was verging on cap-sleeve length.
It seems that the only time decent essential items are available is when those items are on-trend. They might also be available on online repro stores that are for Vintage gals, but in most cases you are up for a big shipping bill, or you are paying through the nose for an item, Or, the item is not available in a plain version anyway... You can most definitely buy sewing patterns for anything you want, but then you'll need to know how to sew it, or know someone who can sew it for you, And, you will need the right fabric...The most luck I have had shopping for Classic items is at the local Op-shop, but the range is quite limited.
I think it would be nice if some department stores could get some more practical ranges in stock. A range of knee length and three quarter skirts; A-line and pencil skirts; grey, cream, khaki and black. A range of half slips and modest strapless bras in all sizes. A range of soft cotton button up blouses. Some practical patent or canvas shoes; oxfords, (low) evening heels and ballet flats. The most important thing would be to make these items available to as many sizes as possible.
I think some of the unsightly outfits spotted on people in the cities could be due to the fact that many stores are set on following trends rather than selling clothes that are suited to the wearers needs. It could just be my up-bringing or how old-fashioned I am, but I think having some more practical, essential items in stores would be more beneficial to everyone. Wouldn't it be better if there were some clothes that weren't dictated to by age or size?
Maybe I'm alone on this one and maybe I'm dreaming. I don't want a vintage world, I would just like a few more conservative, practical and affordable choices in department stores. I think it would be stupid to let trends control the stores, making it harder for people to find clothes suited to their wants and needs.
What do you think?
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