I've never been a fan of fast fashion (think retailers with super-trendy, cheap items that turn over fast like Forever 21, Zara, and even Gap and Old Navy these days). Fashion magazines have often touted the idea of high/low dressing: investing in classic pieces you'll wear for years, and saving on the trendy items that will only have a season's shelf life. Still, I've never been comfortable with the idea of buying something knowing full well I'll throw it out within months - it just seems wasteful!
It appears I was onto something. This article from the Huffington Post, 5 Truths the Fast Fashion Industry Doesn't Want You To Know, gives a great summary of the serious downsides of a $5 shirt or $30 pair of shoes.
Whenver I read fashion blogs and message boards centered around fast fashion, I get the sneaking suspicion I actually spend about the same in terms of dollars on my relatively high quality purchases as many women do on large quantities of cheap clothing, shoes. and accessories. Sure, you could buy 10 pairs of cheap shoes for the price I spent on my Manolo Blahnik BB pumps - but if you do actually buy 10 pairs of cheap shoes and they all wear out in months and/or give you blisters, who really comes out ahead? In the meantime, a resole every couple of years on my BB's and I'll be wearing those in comfort for years!
And don't forget, with all that quantity comes clutter, disorganization, and paralysis when getting dressed: the kind that comes when you have a closet stuffed full of clothes. but nothing to wear.
I have to admit that my closet is probably 40% J. Crew, and that brand falls quite a bit closer to fast fashion than I'm exactly comfortable with. I'm trying to move away from the siren song of 40% off sales, and invest more wisely in fewer things. And, I hope to share some of my discoveries along the way, so stay tuned!