Size Matters

Subtitle: I Remember The Good Old Days

Many years ago when I was still working and living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I purchased a nice London Fog jacket. (As many of you may know, this “was” a quality brand of clothing.) The material was comparatively lightweight and it had a hood, which made it perfect for the spring weather (and frequent rain showers) common to that part of California.

After I retired and eventually moved to Oregon, the area in which I settled had much cooler Spring weather and was not as rainy, so the jacket got pushed to the back of the closet and was replaced by (more casual) sweatshirt jackets.

Then, about five years ago, I made a move to another part of Oregon. The weather here is more reminiscent of the Bay Area so I decided to dig out my old London Fog jacket. Remarkably (probably due to quality), it still fit perfectly; however, to my disappointment (but not unexpectedly), it was no longer “in style.”

So, based on my past experiences with this brand of clothing, I placed an online order for a new London Fog jacket in the same size as my older one.ย It arrived a couple of days ago — and to say I was disappointed is putting it mildly.

The jacket material itself was considerably inferior to my old one, but what was most disturbing was the way it fit. It was WAY too small. I looked at the tag to see where it was made and … you probably know what I found.

For those of us who have been around for a few years, it’s difficult to “adjust” to the inferior quality of nearly everything we buy. The “Made in U.S.A.” tag has all but disappeared and is most frequently replaced by “Made in China.” All due to the greediness of U.S. companies (and their executives).

There’s little doubt our lives have improved with the many new and innovative products that have been developed over the years. Yet one can’t help but wonder … at what cost?

And by all indications, it’s going to get worse.

24 thoughts on “Size Matters

  1. Unlike you, I outgrew my London Fog trench coat. Wore like iron, but when you can’t buckle the belt . . . .

    And, eff the style mavens get your money back on the new jacket and wear the old one. Have you seen how people dress now? Nobody really cares.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yes, you’re probably correct. “Nobody really cares.” But I do! It’s how I was raised. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Plus, over the years, as a general rule, I’ve found men are not near as conscious of their appearance as women. More than one woman has been referred to as a “clothes horse.”

      But of course the point of my post was the fact that most everything is being outsourced nowadays … and we the public are the ones (as usual) getting the short end of the stick.


      • That was your point, yes. But almost everything we use comes from third world countries who depend on those slave-labour wages to live on, now that they are being forced to live more like a first world country. If these industries suddenly brought all their work back to North America and Europe, the other 80% of the world would suffer severe consequences. And, the prices of made-in-America goods would jump so high most of us would not be able to afford them.
        I sympathize with what you are saying, Nan, and would that those industries had never left our shores, but that world is gone and can never be brought back. Greed has replaced quality, and given us quantity in its place, WITHOUT ever lessening the price. We still pay for quality goods, we just don’t get them anymore. And the rich get richer, while everyone else gets poorer quality goods. And since we buy them, even at those prices, nothing is going to change.
        I mean this in the most loving way, but if you want quality goods, we will have to go back to making them ourselves. And for the most part, no one knows how to do that anymore.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I have always thought that this massive outsourcing of production was a mistake. A nation should attempt to be near self-sufficient in its most important products. Now, with the current supply chain issues, we are getting a glimpse at what can go wrong when you outsource.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Won’t matter to the $20 million/year CEOs of the companies do the outsourcing. They don’t wear their own products, and they have no pride in what they “produce” anymore. It is all about money in their pockets, and the pockets of their investors.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I cannot believe at this time of your life you are worried about style. But I certainly hope that if you won’t wear it, you will be donating it to a clothing bank so it can help someone who needs a coat like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was raised to be conscious of my appearance, so it’s sorta’ second nature. ๐Ÿ™‚ (See my comment to Steve.)

      And yes, we donate all our discarded clothing — and other items — to the local second-hand store.


      • I figured you would, but this jacket sounds special to you, almost like a wedding dress. You have had it a loooonnngggg time. Now I’ll go look to see what you said to Steve.


    • I can’t help it, but I thought the same thing. I’d wear the old coat that was still in good repair. Or fix whatever it needed; buttons, new zipper, whatever. Most of my coats are over 20 years old & I doubt I ever have to buy any new ones.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Each to our own, I guess. I have two pairs of jeans I have been wearing for the past 5 years, and I hope to be wearing them till I die. But I’m not sure yet which pair I want to be cremated in, lol.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I have sweatpants AND jeans that are at least 15 years old (fortunately they still fit!) so it isn’t that I’m a “fashion plate.” But this coat just doesn’t “do it” for me anymore … and besides, what’s wrong with wanting something new?

          But beyond that — it seems most everyone missed the point of my post … that clothes are not made for American bodies anymore!


        • I certainly never got that out of your post, though I did wonder why you titled it “Size Matters” rather than “Style Matters.” Now the “Size” thing makes more sense. Except, I never noticed clothes not being made to fit “American” bodies. Gail tells me her clothes do not fit her anymore compared to how they used to fit, but she wears them anyway. For myself, I never noticed any change. My jeans fit, as do my T-shirts. That’s my whole wardrobe. One style fits all occasions!

          Liked by 1 person

  4. We make a concerted effort to read the labels on everything we purchase these days, be it for the business or personal.
    Wherever possible we avoid stuff made in China.

    Another example; During the initial massive unchecked influx of Chinese goods several years ago our local clothing manufacturing industry in the Western Cape was all but wiped out with factories closing right left and centre.
    The government had to step in to prevent the industry collapsing altogether.,
    Ironic as it was the government who had negotiated heavily biased trade agreements, that caused the problem in the first place.

    There is now a campaign, albeit low-key, urging people to purchase locally manufactured goods, with the tagline Local is Lekker … or something like this.

    I have noticed that, for clothing, where an SA origin of manufacture is not clearly indicated it will at least indicate something like,
    Made in Swaziland, or Made in Lesotho using imported fabric.

    Not a perfect solution but better than nothing.

    As a veggie grower I even look to see if certain foods are imported.
    I discovered some of the garlic we were using was imported from China!
    In the US much / most of the garlic is imported from China!

    I grow my own these days. Not the biggest bulbs, I’ll admit, but the taste!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I suppose if I were younger, I could do with my clothes what you do with your veggies — make my own. But those days are long gone. In fact, my old sewing machine was handed over to the less fortunate more years ago than I can remember.

      And even though my post is about my personal experience with a piece of clothing, it’s more about the fact that nearly everything is outsourced — which means we pay more for less.

      Of course with clothing in particular being made by people whose stature is considerably smaller than most Americans, it makes it very difficult to even know what size to order!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. There used to be quality. There used to be pride in craftsmanship. Now we get to choose between slop or cheaper slop.

    And the corporations saw it was good. They then bought influence with politics and lo, it was forevermore.

    I’m a handy guy. I can walk through a Harbor Freight building, and see something there I could use. Well instead of buying it (unless I’m in desperation mode and need it now,) I’ll look it over, see how it was designed/built. If I really need this whatever, I can and will go to the scrapyard, buy some steel, and build my own for a fraction of the cost, and build it twice as tough.

    But when it comes to clothing, I’m at a loss. I could take up sewing I suppose, and may yet. Every single time I go to buy clothes the material gets thinner and thinner, to the point we will all be walking around in sheer clothing before long. I honestly can’t find socks, T shirts, or underwear I’d want to part with my money for. Denim jeans are still decent. Jacket zippers won’t hardly last long enough to get them home. It’s a sad state.

    I saw some Amish women in a Wal Mart a few days ago. They were all wearing homemade clothes. Yes, I looked close enough I could tell, without, I think, being creepy! But I admired that. No doubt the bolts of cloth come from freaking China, but the point is, we can do it if we had to. Or wanted to badly enough.

    I spent some time as a deckhand on a towboat as a younger man. I went through a lot of leather gloves. The best you could buy then, and still to this day IMO are the Wells Lamont. But even the leather on them doesn’t seem as durable as it once was.

    I have need to buy diving flags once a year or so, the nylon is so cheap the flags deteriorate very quickly. A few days of summer sun and some high winds they are done, or ripped free from the cheap grommets they come with, and floating downstream. And they want 25-40 bucks a piece for the cheap ones. I’ve been making my own for a while. Last year as I was getting geared back up to go, I walked through a Wal Mart, looking for something that exists, but I can repurpose it to make dive flags. I found some container lids about the right size, got them home and made my own. They are still good to go for this year. And I did not have to pay for the cheap crap. Cost me less than 10 bucks to make 2 flags, counting the paint. Though I’m sure the container lids were Chinese manufacture, to my dismay. But what you going to do? Even the steel I get at the scrapyard is probably Chinese. You can’t escape it, but you can try.

    We have to get good at finding what we can make work. Or just making or own. Or live with having settle for the cheap crap.

    China doesn’t deserve my money, neither do the corporations. We should all go Ganhdi.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, SD!! You got the point of my post! It wasn’t so much the jacket itself as the desire to replace it with something updated that (hopefully) would be of similar quality. However, I guess I should have known better.

      You’re fortunate to be such a handyman!! ๐Ÿ‘


    • Me, I can ‘t be bothered. I buy cheap, what cheap, and try to make it last like quality. But my lifestyle does not require the “things” yours obviously does. A walk on the beach does wonders for me, and requires nothing special to do it. The simple life has its merits.


      • Well, a pair of cheap mill boots would indicate he wouldn’t last long in the brush. Might be ok running a piece of equipment, but you gotta’ get in and out of the equipment. Not sure I’d trust ’em on the landing with a chainsaw, let alone out in the woods with chokers and a bull-line. Tennis shoes I wouldn’t let get out of the truck.

        We looked ragged cuz we were wearing five-hundred-dollar boots ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

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