People are out in full force this holiday season and looking for ‘great’ bargains is hard to find. Depending on what you might be looking for, know that things aren’t the same. . Shoppers should remain vigilant throughout these next couple of weeks, whether you purchase online or in-store, products are more expensive and the quality is lacking; do a little research to get the most for your money.

Shopping for quality clothing is a problem, especially today. I spent the day hunting for different clothing items I needed, only to be disappointed. It didn’t matter if I chose to go to a better store, such as Macy’s or Soma…the great quality I once knew is no longer there, not to mention price. Whether you are looking for under garments or better casualwear …materials and hardware (such as zippers, buttons and clasps) are just cheap. Just like so many things today, there are reasons for the lack in standards when it comes to garments; lesser quality (cheap fabrics) and of course cheaper labor, especially in certain parts of our world. Most of the tags inside clothing will read; Made in China, Bangladesh, India, and so on. I was stopped by a woman while I was shopping, she was somewhat mystified and wanted to know if the sizing on the clothing had changed; she said nothing fit appropriately anymore and the stitching was off, including socks that were binding (tight) at the ankles. I assured her she wasn’t going crazy; ever since the pandemic everything seems to be cheaply made. The store associate agreed. In fact, there were customers returning clothing items already (gifts) because something snagged or there’s thinning threads coming out from the garments. However, if you take the time to search sale racks…you might find something from the last couple of years that hadn’t sold, and you’ll notice the difference; a little better quality indeed. This was the case in a couple of stores, so I was glad I spent the time to look.

The cheaper clothing is partly to blame for all of the Americans working remotely from home. This group of people has taken to comfort clothing, ditching dresses and suits. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, better clothing for women as well as men has declined since the pandemic began in 2020; so looking for higher-end clothing has become a bit of a struggle, but if you have money you can probably find it at your high-end stores such as Sax 5th Ave. or Nordstrom’s; which I heard isn’t exactly a whole lot better these days.

Inflation is here and will likely stick around for a while; there’s not enough people working those kinds of jobs (retail, hospitality, customer service industry) that kept the world going ‘round. Our society has changed; certain jobs are now being replaced by robots and kiosks because no one will fill the positions. Times have changed and will continue to evolve; these are uncertain times for sure. So…for what it’s worth, keep your chin up, learn to have more patience and do some research before purchasing something you might regret. There’s nothing like feeling Buyer’s remorse for making that purchase you were unsure about to begin with…but this too shall pass. Also, one last thing…Do not forget to check about stores’ return policies; some have changed this year. So, happy shopping, and take heed…“Merry Christmas & Blessings to all.”


Make your week count.

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