We know that in 2023, the average household’s income, especially in our native UK, is getting tighter. With the cost of almost everything going up, some luxuries are having to be cut. However, clothes are still something we all need, and the demand for a gentleman to look good is as high as ever.
As such - and it’s with some sadness we say this - fast fashion is king. Quick fixes with a high turnover are what many of us turn to when money is an issue. However as with all quick fixes, this comes with unfortunate side-effects. These items almost invariably fit less well and wear out quickly, necessitating the need to buy and rebuy every year. Inevitably this leads to a false economy; the moment you have to replace something is the moment it ceases to be cheap.
The answer to this might be counterintuitive - buy more expensive items, because it will save you money. Let us explain how this might work.
Buy Cheap, Buy Twice
Even with increasing awareness of environmental protection, carbon footprints and labour conditions, fast fashion is still going strong. Pragmatically, we understand that people have less money to spend than they once did, and still want to look good, but we also believe there’s a better answer.
Many years ago, clothes were made with care and were expensive to buy. Generally made locally, they were designed to last a long period of time and were put together with quality materials and workmanship, even in the era of factory-production. Fashion was still seasonal of course, but you weren’t expected to have a new summer blazer or winter coat every single year - clothes and outfits would be reused over many years, and would be made with this in mind, lasting appropriately.
We think that a lot of this mentality has been lost, and it’s to the detriment of both style and quality in general. A few key pieces, forming the central core of your wardrobe, can give off distinction, consistency and confidence. It’s not the same as having no imagination - just a few touches when added to strong base notes can look incredible.
High-Quality Items That Last
Money always has the potential to be an issue, and can be especially tight if you want to look good. Many of us have jobs that require us to put on a smart appearance, and many more of us like to look sartorially elegant off-duty too!
It’s important to say that our mission doesn’t mean that the wearer should spend more money. In fact, shopping like this is almost certain to save you money. Buying some key items, relying upon them and looking after them in turn will almost certainly be lighter on your wallet than following every trend you’re told to. This even extends to things like t-shirts and jeans; quality, durability and fit will be much-improved when buying reputable brands using proper materials.
Shopping for quality fashion doesn’t mean mindless luxury, either. We’re talking about good quality basics that will last, keeping you stylish through a few years at least. Of course this is not a barrier to having nice things, and we think it’s important to allow yourself a little decadence now and then - it’s more that high quality clothes are not just an indulgence for the rich.
When you’re looking for clothes that will last the distance, natural fibres are your friend. Unless your garment is for a specific purpose where man-made textiles are necessary, such as waterproofing, natural cloth will likely be of higher quality and better finish. More than that, these textiles tend to be more environmentally friendly, requiring more care and fewer resources to make. Cotton, wool, hemp and, of course, silk are all entirely natural products, and are often used when producing garments of the highest standard.
Cravat Club’s silk is no exception to this. Silk has been produced in Asia, and China more specifically, for thousands of years. Spun from the threads produced by the larvae of the bombyx mori silk moth, silk’s luxurious finish has been prized since antiquity. These incredible creatures, when fed on mulberry plantations, produce a natural fibre that has incredible strength and a beautiful, shimmering finish. When worked, this becomes a delicate and durable fabric that can be spun into anything from lingerie to parachutes, including, of course, Cravat Club’s entire range of men’s accessories.
Good For Your World, Good For Your Wallet
We think it’s important to have a handle on where your clothes come from. Unfortunately, bad labour practices continue in the textile industry at large, and they can be difficult to avoid altogether. However, buying products that are made in their country of purchase is a great start, and is also likely to ensure that the money you pay goes into the right places; quality materials, excellent craftsmanship and careful fitting. It’s also a good move to protect the environment too - clothes made quickly and in vast quantities use up a phenomenal amount of resources, and exporting them around the world only makes sense economically, rather than environmentally.
Lastly, it’s not an accident that cheap clothes wear out and need to be replaced often - this is deliberately “baked in” to the process. The idea is that you keep spending money by inducing the need to replace your last outfit. We think this is wrong-headed and certainly doesn’t benefit you, the wearer. Spend your money cleverly on key items, and your wallet and wardrobe will be much happier.
Cravat Club’s ascots, ties, evening scarves and pocket squares are all 100% silk and are all handmade in England. If you’re passionate about high-quality fashion, have a look at our upcoming SS23 range and perfect your seasonal wardrobe for years to come.