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"The size of vanity" and four more "crazy" and beautiful trend of American shopping

Buying clothes has always been a problem for me. In childhood, during the Soviet Union, there was not much choice, and my best outfits were made by my mother. The Chinese down jackets, which, along with Turkish jeans, penetrated the Iron Curtain, following the bears Gummi and Phil Donahue, turned out to be of terrible quality, Tatyana Vorozhko shares her memories in a blog for "Voices of America".

For the Petrovka and Vladimirsky markets - popular places of overstocking of clothes in the 90s - I was not ready psychologically. My eyes quickly blurred, and what looked like bad taste at first glance, after half an hour of spinning between the rows, began to seem quite normal. And these courageous men and women who first bought goods, sometimes risking their lives, and then stood for hours in the cold, could shove me anything. At first, they acted with flattery - "are you buying this for your graduation at school?" - and then using direct psychological pressure: “It's not my skirt that is too tight. Your hips are wide! " So I became the owner of a mouse-colored sundress made of soft burlap and a black tulle dress with zippers.

The first shops on Khreshchatyk already had the best assortment and conditions for fitting, but then they were too expensive for me, and the sellers were demonstrably arrogant. I immediately realized that I would not get through the "face control" and left.

Jerusalem, 1999 year. I don’t have an automatic over my shoulder, but a new backpack, of which I was very proud then. The ensemble is complemented by a Petrovka shirt from the market and a skirt sewn by mother. Photo: Voice of America

I liked clothing stores abroad - mainly in Europe - but I rarely got there - only when I went on business trips. So my wardrobe was growing very slowly. Nobel Prize Ceremony in Stockholm - New Sweater. The Israelis elected Ehud Barak as their prime minister, and I bought the original bag and trousers. The story of a free heart transplant to a Ukrainian in a hospital in Poland - a mid-season coat.

During my first visit to the US, I was delighted with the moles: the clothes are diverse, beautiful, cheap. Denim skirt for 4 dollar? 16 sweater? On my first shopping, I almost doubled my wardrobe.

Since then, the clothing sales sector in Ukraine has been transformed, innovative approaches have emerged in the United States and in other countries, and I ... have given up on moles.

Below are some of my observations of new trends in US clothing sales. Everything is based on my experience of 13 years living in four American states, supported by research results.

The list is not exclusive to the United States - some of these trends are present to one degree or another in Ukraine.

Size is conditional

Manufacturers of many brands sold in the US market are downgrading to make customers feel better and buy their things. This is called “vanity size” (vanity sizing). Size 8 in 1995 was equal to today's 6, in 1970 - the second, and in 1958 - zero! Plus, the sizes differ between brands. In shops H&M, Zara and Ann Taylor 8 size women are much slimmer than those who buy the same size in Calvin Klein and Guess. I personally wear things from size zero to size eight, depending on the store and the year of purchase.

On the other hand, in the US, some brands offer clothes that will be tailored to your body, such as men's clothing companies. Indochino and Black Lapel.

New popular trend - clothing subscription

Subscribing to clothes is gaining popularity in the USA. For example, a company Le tote, which follows me on all networks with the persistence of a maniac, suggests the following model. For $ 49 a month, the stylist creates two outfits and sends them to the client, based on information about the style (for this you need to take a test). If you carried it, you send it back. If you like something very much, you can leave this thing, and the company will deduct its cost from your card. You can choose things online and by yourself. Clothes do not need to be washed or dry-cleaned, and delivery is free.

In addition to the obvious - to pay money and not replenish the wardrobe - I am stopped in this scheme by the need to run to the post office all the time. But I will gladly put myself in the hands of a stylist, because I myself will buy another gray trousers and a sweater a la "sailor".

The ethics of clothing and footwear production becomes as important as aesthetics.

Buyers began to pay more and more attention not only to the quality, appearance and price, but also to how these clothes are made. It becomes less and less willing to buy things in the production of which children's or actually slave labor was used. They spoke especially loudly about this after the tragedy in Bangladesh in 2013, when more than a thousand textile workers died because of a house collapse.

Public campaign for fair trade and ethical clothing (Fair Trade and Ethical Clothing) brings together fighters for normal working conditions, environmentalists and clothing manufacturers. The organization issues to companies whose clothes are produced in decent conditions, a quality mark, which they inform customers.

I think that exporters of Ukrainian clothing should also point out that seamstresses receive higher wages than market ones, work an eight-hour day in good premises and have parental leave - if that's true. Kindness is in trend today, and this can be an additional argument to buy clothes of this particular brand!

Americans buy a lot of clothes

A feature of the American home, built at least in the last 20-30 years, is the large storage rooms for clothes. You have to put all your clothes somewhere.

According to Alliance data, 37% of women have 25-49 blouses, 32% have more than 25 pairs of shoes. The average American woman today owns 30 full-length outfits. In the 30s - only nine.

In the US, you can find both very expensive and extremely cheap clothing. Everyone can afford new trousers or coats here. If the shops in the malls are expensive, you can search in the Salvation Army store (Salvation army) or on the Internet (Graigslist) and purchase for a few dollars or even get free.

Фото: Depositphotos

On average, an American family of four spends 1700 dollars on clothes per year, which is only 3,5% of the family budget. Americans regularly wear only 20% of their clothes, something remains to hang in the pantry with a price tag. I know, because my husband's sister handed me a bunch of such clothes.

By the way, to exchange or give clothes here (at least in our circle) is not considered something shameful. I replenish my wardrobe and get rid of the excess.

Much of this is thrown away. Every year, Americans send an average of 31 kg of textiles to the landfill, which is almost the weight of my dog. Environmentalists are sounding the alarm, and some countries - such as Africa - are closing their markets to Western second-hand goods because they suppress domestic production due to low prices.

For myself, to counter this trend, I introduced a voluntary tax. Every time I buy a new thing, I transfer an additional 30% of the price to the needs in Ukraine - for the treatment of the wounded, families without a father, and the like.

More clothes are being bought online

Much of this is bought online. According to this study market, 96% of Americans buy things online. Of all purchases, 44% is the category of clothes, shoes and jewelry, second only to books, music and films. Most of all this is done by the younger generation, least of all - by the elderly. Moreover, millennials spend an average of 6 hours a week on online shopping.

I also predominantly buy things online, but not because of reviews from other buyers. It's much better to try on the dress yourself than to read Mary from Iowa. But in the malls my head starts to hurt - a lot of people, light, smells - and in a couple of hours of shopping I get tired more than 8 hours at work. However, buying things on the Internet, as a rule, I return more than half. So, for me, this too is not an ideal solution.

And to Kiev

And most of all today I like to buy clothes in Ukraine. Every time I come to Kiev, we traditionally go to restore my wardrobe with Tatyana Petkov, who has edited a magazine for women for many years and, in my opinion, is a “style icon”. We give preference to Ukrainian fashion designers. Things from my last “summer Kiev collection” of 2016 still get a lot of compliments, especially my light green dress with flowers.

I am wearing a Ukrainian brand at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, 2016. Photo: Voice of America

And what new trends have you seen, what do you like, and what causes irritation, and how do you buy clothes? Your opinion is interesting to us!

Read also on ForumDaily:

3 stories of Americans who are chasing discounts

Overview of Russian online stores in America

6 ways to shop at Costco and Sam's Club

7 easy ways to make a bargain with Big Lots

Miscellanea purchase loudspeakers shopping
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