Go Against The Grain

Go Against The Grain

Photo by Katherine Braun
March 2017

Treasure Hunts Suck

   Shopping is akin to going on a treasure hunt. You spend time searching high and low for something worth your hard earned money, for what? A small handful of pieces that were actually worth the time and effort? 
   Shoppers tend to stay within their comfort zone: trusted stores and brands. They find themselves coming back again and again, sometimes despite the outcome of their purchases.
Cheap material that's almost transparent? --I paid the price for it
Something breaks after a wear or two? --It must have been a fluke on my part.
Mystery hole? --It had to have been me
  As a consumer, I find myself making excuse after excuse for the company... and returning for more clothes on my next shopping spree. 

It Doesn't Have to be Like This. 

    My call to action for all consumers is this: If you aren't getting the quality that you expect, think about the stores and brands you are throwing money at. Rid yourself of the pack mentality that, "Everyone shops here so it must be the best.". Don't isolate your influence as a consumer to one or two 'trusted' stores. YOU ARE THE CONSUMER AND YOU HOLD THE POWER! Your money is a symbol of ideas, principals, products, service, and quality that you love and support. Think about that the next time you go shopping.  

Think About Where You Shop

Photo by Katherine Braun
March 2017
Flannel from Mills Fleet Farm

Where you would you buy a flannel? A beanie? 
   Most people that I know would say Forever 21 or another popular teeny bopper store like Maurice's or American Eagle (of which I am not familiar with). 
     Disclaimer: I'm a sucker for Forever 21. Their racks represent not only the grunge aesthetic but also the boho flower child, athleisure queen, and contemporary chic princesses of the world. Forever 21 feels fresh without trying too hard. 
  I've found many surprisingly nice quality dresses on their website that I would rank 12/10 would recommend to a friend. But their quality does not stretch across all of their products... you definitely get what you pay for. (Always buy the more expensive item if you're stuck between two similar pieces... you're paying for the materials). 
Photo by Katherine Braun
March 2017
Flannel and beanie from Mills Fleet Farm
BUT ENOUGH ABOUT FOREVER 21. 
After some research, I've found that flannels are best purchased at *drum roll* farmeresque store such as Theisans, Mills Fleet Farm, *insert name of your animal feed 'n renovation tools/hunting gear store here*. 
    Stores that sell farming supplies don't fool around when they sell clothes meant to perform. Overalls, flannels, beanies, jeans, boots... you name it, you'll find a product that looks just like your Ugg boots (Bearpaw for the win) or Forever 21 beanie but made of more durable materials. Plus, flannels are actually made of flannel (the fabric) at these stores! Who knew, right?
Photo by Katherine Braun
March 2017
Can you imagine the average shopper at one of these stores trying on a Forever 21 flannel? Uh-uh. That quality wouldn't fly. Fortunately for Forever 21, their consumer base ignores quality of products for street style cred (and I'm guilty as charged). 
    It feels like the best kept secret of the grunge fast fashion game. Why do we tend to stay away from these stores even if they have great quality pieces that we are looking for? 
The answer is aesthetic.
Photo by Katherine Braun
March 2017
    Farmeresque stores aren't trying to be the trendy-without-trying-too-hard older sister of Forever 21. They don't have large window displays with lacey bralettes and boyfriend jeans or tee shirts that say "Dope" or "Slay". These "animal feed 'n renovation tools/hunting gear" stores don't even have window displays because they aren't really marketed to women... but that doesn't mean you can't find really great pieces on their racks. These companies provide clothes you can live in, and I think that that's really important. 
    Fashion is plagued with fast fashion. Fast fashion stores are filled with cheaply made trendy pieces that don't always stand the test of time (although there are always exceptions). Remember the crosses and tribal print days of Forever 21? *cringes*
   Just like you, dear reader, I hate having to replace clothes that shrink, rip, go out of style, and don't live up to my expectations. Because of these issues that plague my wardrobe, I will be implementing some extra thought and common sense when trying to find specific pieces to add to my wardrobe. Who wants to buy cheap crap that doesn't last? Nobody. If you don't get the quality you expect, go somewhere else. 
Photo by Katherine Braun
March 2017

All opinions expressed on this blog are my own and do not reflect the companies mentioned.

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