Tuesday, July 01, 2003

As much as I disparage the obsession, the addiction, the insidious tyranny of consumerism, I don't follow any party line. For example, I like some designer label clothes. There is something to be said for them. If I could afford it, I would wear a lot of Armani. Perhaps this comes from being the grandson of a tailor (an Italian one at that), because what I like and value about Armani clothes is their style, and that they are well made.

Of course there are certain names that are pure bull and marketing, that are no better and may be worse than non-name clothes. But some do mean something.

And many people, it seems, wear designer label clothes for the label, not the clothes or the designer. But to refuse to wear these clothes because of these people is to play their game.

In fact, my suits, shirts and some of my ties (none of which I have the opportunity to wear much these days) are designer label, although without exception I bought them either on deep discount or more typically in thrift stores. But even second-hand, they are in better shape than a lot of full price clothes. They are made in France, England and Italy, of good fabric. They are probably not as well made as the more expensive designers, and may even be as well made as the suits my grandfather tailored for his customers, in the small American town where he had his shop.

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