I went clothes shopping today. Specifically, I was looking for a couple of pullovers that I wouldn’t have to iron and could wear under a jacket to a business meeting. I made a foray into a bunch of shops in Victoria (admittedly, a relatively small trading area). My conclusions:
- The eighties are back with a flaming (in every sense of the word) sword of vengeance. Stripes! Primary colours! Sleeves rolled to the elbow! Big buttons! Skinny jeans! And that’s just the men. It’s all awful.
- Like magazine racks, men’s wear departments are suffering increasing incursions by departments for women. This is on top of the usual ghettoization of men’s wear (“Oh, yeah, we’ve got some men’s shirts in the basement, down that hatch in the floor, behind some cardboard boxes. Watch out for rats.”) Clearly my gender is not spending enough on clothes.
- Thankfully, my underwear of choice–pride of Truro, Nova Scotia–remains the same.
- I would kill and pay a premium for a store that could streamline my clothes shopping experience.
Tunics and Pajamas
I specifically visited two hemp and organic fashion stores in Victoria: Hemp & Company and Fiber Options. I didn’t find any of the pullovers I was looking for, but I did get a couple of casual shirts at the latter store.
Both were combinations of bamboo and organic cotton. One was from HTnaturals, and unfortunately made in China. The other was a cool t-shirt (er, unflattering product shot) from Salts Organic Clothing (they also have a blog). It’s made in Canada.
In both stores, I
did didn’t find any clothes that I would wear that would qualify as (an awful term, but bear with me) ‘business-casual’. All of the hemp products looked like pajamas, or hung off me like tunics. They weren’t even a little cool.
This has consistently been my experience at stores that sell clothes made of hemp. I’ve begun to wonder if there’s a chicken and egg problem with these stores and their suppliers:
- The average person won’t buy the current offerings in hemp clothing AND
- The people who buy hemp clothes aren’t interested in what the average person might buy.
This is all speculation, and I’ve only taken a very small sampling thus far. Still, I wish I could find a store that offered great clothes made of organic fabrics that ranged from pajamas to business suits. I know Vancouver has more to offer–maybe I’ll look around the next time I’m in town.