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Old 04-27-2015, 01:03 PM
2,787 posts, read 1,521,652 times
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everything in the original post is true. i have even thought about going back to sewing my own tops in the style i want want but fabric choices are so bad it is depressing.
i have some luck with banana republic, talbot, JJill ( which runs BIG and i am 5'2" and medium build. even their xtra small fits me only if i take it in a bit) Ann Taylor and The LOft are the ones i go to first to find things. Gap and J Crew very occasionally. Eddie Bauer is also good. JC Penny sometimes, if you go for certain brands. Kohls never ever fits me.
Macy's is good with the Style & Co, Charter club. Lord and Taylor.
i don't need to shop much any more, thank god. just for something new to wear.
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Old 04-27-2015, 01:04 PM
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LL Bean is also worth a try.
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Old 04-27-2015, 02:01 PM
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I liked Coldwater Creek. They're out of business now. I did get 100% wool sweaters online from Ireland and both the men's and women's are beautiful.

I've also started sewing some simple summer dresses using patterns from the 60's I found on ebay. Dresses in the stores and online are all too short, too clingy, or too formal. The old shift style dresses disguise imperfections and look quite nice made up with the right high quality fabric. The shirtwaist style can work too, as long as the buttons are close enough together.

A lot of the fabric shrinks more now, so if it is washable fabric it should be prewashed.
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Old 04-27-2015, 03:55 PM
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I really like Boden. Nice, quality products, excellent Customer Service.

Nothing wrong with dragging out the knitting needles---great therapy!
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Old 04-27-2015, 04:23 PM
5,537 posts, read 4,378,162 times
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Originally Posted by Snootylooter View Post
Warning - this is a rant from an angry over 60 gal. If you cringe when you hear "back in the day they used to . . .", you might wish to move on to the next thread - lol!

Where are the fabrics they used to make clothes out of? I mean the fabrics that weren't tissue thin, shapeless, light as air, crap! I've been changing my wardrobe lately (gee, thanks Pinterest!) and have been shopping for sweaters, t-shirts, top, jackets. Everything I seem to find, from Targets to Macys, is made of fabric I could poke a finger right through, that looks like it would snag on a cross look, that could attract static and lint in a nano-second, and that just hangs limp on the hanger. I realize that fabrics changed when layering became the fashion key (& also when the economy tanked), but the quality has suffered tremendously.

I've got my lumps and bumps like many women and these limp clothes don't help. I've been looking for what we used to call medium-weight pull-over sweaters to wear with slim jeans and boots. I've looked in every store in town and am finding the same - anemic knits with no weight, shape, or resilience. Lots of acrylic blends & boxy bodies with narrow sleeves seem to be the norm. I've watched 2 labels that I used to buy degrade so badly that I no longer even look at them. I got cheeky/desperate the other day and even checked out the men's dept. Seems they are starting to suffer the issues there, too.

Is there quality still out there & where are you finding it? If I was 20-something I would search out vintage - but that never works well on 60-something. I could knit & sew my own - no, not really lol!

Suggestions - or should I drag out the knitting needles?
I only buy clothes from two places - J Jill and Eddie Bauer. Yep, everything is see through now. I tried J. Crew and even their "sweaters" were see through. And they were not cheap.

I am 54.
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Old 04-27-2015, 06:48 PM
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For t-shirts, I like Duluth Trading. Higher necklines, longer lengths plus elbow sleeves, and sturdy, opaque fabric. The prices are not too bad, around $22 per shirt, but often on sale. For capris and cropped pants, I found some great linen blends on the Dockers website.
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Old 04-27-2015, 07:00 PM
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
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As others have said, OP, you speak the truth!
And when it comes to the "everyday dress" (office, casual dinners out) the fabrics & designs are worse. Thank God for Calvin Klein dresses --- now there's some quality.
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:00 PM
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I thought Lands End was noted for their fabric quality and durability. Try them? Also, I live in a city where we have a large Hmong community--and they make and sell beautiful handmade clothing in their marketplace. If you can, try to visit one of these types of markets--the seamstresses do beautiful work. I have always noticed plenty of classic styles (pant suits, slacks, blouses) made from good quality fabric in those places. Nothing fits me (I am 5'10" LOL!) but I always thought for shorter women, their handmade clothes would be perfect (men too--for those with a short inseam).
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:20 PM
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,874 posts, read 12,914,194 times
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Originally Posted by Snootylooter View Post
Macy's is our "fancy store" where I live & I completely agree with you. They have been my biggest disappointment. They have oriented their market to the younger buyer, and their "middle-age" selection gets less and less floor space as the seasons progress. Plus, some of their lines like JM, Alfani, Charter Club, and Hilfinger are using cheaper fabrics. Last year they pulled the petite section completely and filled the space with more Style & Co - and, yup, tons of skinny jeans!
Speaking as someone who worked for various Robinson-May stores for some years, I can tell you that ALL department stores record the successes and failures of their sales as carefully and as often as television networks record their ratings.

If the departments you see disappearing were making money, they wouldn't BE disappearing. You didn't buy enough. Other people with your same tastes/budget didn't buy enough. And if they are using cheaper fabrics/worse construction in the departments you do like, it's because their profit margins aren't high enough for their stock holders if they use the good stuff.

Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, all carry clothing that is a step up in quality from Macy's, although even some of them aren't up to levels they used to be. Many of those stores do business online but because online buyers tend to be even younger than the customers who shop in the store, I don't think you'll gravitate toward those styles either.

Neiman-Marcus sends out beautiful clothing and shoe catalogs to me via snail mail that contain many outfits suitable to the more mature working woman.

Some of the brands carried on the television shopping channels are of surprisingly good quality and high style, yet are cost effective because of the huge volume of their sales. (QVC is all over Europe these days, too.) You have to be selective about brands though and it's the smaller companies that appear with less fanfare that are the best. The other great thing about TV shopping: the size ranges are exceptional from XX small to 3X and petites through talls on most things. On the whole QVC carries higher quality with less reliance on edgy trends than HSN. QVC's best-selling line is its in-house sports line called Denim & Co. The styles are very casual and aimed to everyday, at-home wear but the quality, both fabric and construction, is excellent.

Among the dressier QVC brands I can attest are exceptional quality in fabrics and construction:
Office and dress-up clothes: George Simonton, Bob Mackie, and Linea by Louis Dell'Olio (all with elegant styles great for women of a certain age); Joan Rivers (her blazers and accessories are top-notch and cut exceptionally well for petite women); Isaac Mizrahi and Liz Claiborne (casual clothing, Liz is harder to find that she used to be).
Coats: Dennis Basso.
Pajamas and at-home wear: Stan Herman (excellent quality and wearable designs).
Shoes: B. Makowsky, Kenneth Cole, Ryka, Trotters, Clarks.
Handbags: Dooney & Bourke, B. Makowsky.
Quality costume jewelry: Honora, Judith Ripka, Kenneth Jay Lane, Nolan Miller, Robert Lee Morris, Joan Rivers (all above-average workmanship and creative designs).

You can shop all these brands online and if you see things you like you can sign up for E-mails to get notices of when new collections by these brands appear on television. Returns are easy, too. And before you buy something, read the customer reviews. Often the comments are VERY instructive.

Don't make the mistake of thinking the TV shopping channels are schlock for the hoi polloi. Even the Smithsonian licenses to them these days.
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:27 PM
23,902 posts, read 31,123,865 times
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Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
haha, right! I wouldn't expect anything at Target for people past their 20's. And people 60+ are their own demographic. People have been saying forever that there need to be designers who specifically design contemporary, tasteful looks for that group. Now that the Boomers are entering that demographic, you'd think designers would catch on. It's potentially a huge market.

Macy's in the last couple of years has suddenly reoriented itself toward the youth market, almost exclusively. I hear that some of the stores still have items for professional office wear and a closer to middle-aged market, but some stores have gone whole hog for cheap cr@p that looks like teen wear. So OP, if you're not finding anything you like at Macy's, try another location, or look online. I used to get quality colored jeans for a great price at Macy's, but then suddenly, all they had was skinny jeans. Then I discovered that they still carried my old standby's, but they'd moved that line to their online venue. As if it would kill them to dedicate any floor space in the store to slightly more conservative or "mature" clothing.
Weeeellll, I have to differ with that. I buy lots of clothes at Target, and I am WELL over 20. Over half of my work wardrobe comes from H&M, but probably half of my casual clothes, (including bikinis and gym clothes) comes from Target. I have a beautiful fire-orange raincoat that I bought there 3 years ago, and I get nothing but compliments every time I wear it. I also have some sweaters that are perfectly suitable for work, and a couple of twill pants too. Most of their t-shirts are too thin for me, but they definitely have a decent selection of perfectly suitable clothing.
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