28 November 2005
Are You Wearing
Mrs. Robbie Boggs, second from right, teaches students to make
long-lasting, high-quality clothing items, in contrast with today's
trend toward "disposable clothing." Students are, from
left, Shaina Davis of Rock Spring, Ga., a dietetics major; Heather
Hase of Weaver, a fashion merchandising major; and, far right,
D'Netra Carter of Jacksonville, a dietetics major.
College students today are almost universally
buying consumable fashions—some call it "disposable clothing"—based on
the latest buying trends and other considerations.
Consumable clothing generally looks like the latest, authentic fashion
but in reality it is vastly inferior in quality.
"The use of consumable clothing
has exploded," said Jacksonville State University's Robbie Boggs,
instructor of fashion merchandising in the Department of Family &
Boggs, who holds a master's degree in clothing and textiles from the University of Georgia
and is a member of The Fashion Group International of
Atlanta, puts it this way: "It has really become a 24-hour fashion
Boggs says major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target, and J.C. Penney watch
the fashion runways in Tokyo, New York, and Paris to glean the latest styles,
and within 24 hours they have their version of those styles ready
for manufacturing. Consequently, she says, the quality of the clothes
suffers. Buttons are not sewn well and hemlines may be a little
Consumable clothing purchases are often made when a person needs
a certain item to complete a look or outfit despite the suspect
"Most students invest the largest portion of their clothing
budget on capital pieces in their wardrobes," said Boggs "Capital pieces are
usually clothing items that are worn over a longer period of time, such as
jackets or designer jeans."
Several students from Boggs' class shared
their opinions on consumable clothing.
"I don't like it, but there are times when I need one item to complete
an outfit," said Chirondala Brown, a sophomore from Anniston majoring
in fashion merchandising. "I can go to [certain retailers] to get the
item for a cheap price, though I know it won't last."
Brooke Huddleston, a senior from Jacksonville majoring in music and fashion
merchandising, had this to say: "I think stores that thrive on popular
trends are both good and bad. They are great if you are looking for that
trendy fashionable item that you know will only be in style for a season,
but their merchandise has proven to be poorly constructed. It won't stand
up to everyday wear and care."
And, says Katie Catrett, a sophomore from Jacksonville, "Consumable clothing
is clothing that is cute to wear a few times, but then it falls apart."
Catrett, a fashion merchandising major, said, "Consumable clothing just
isn't put together as well as higher priced items."
Heather Hase from Weaver says, "A lot of people are more concerned with
the latest fashion trends than they are about quality." The junior majoring
in fashion merchandising said she feels "people want the most stylish
items for the smallest price, and [they] don't intend on keeping those
items after the season."
Whatever your feelings about disposable fashions, you can be sure that
consumable clothing is here to stay because retailers and manufacturers
make a good profit from the product. As long as consumers want trendy
clothes at a cheap price, say Boggs and other experts, the trend of poorly
constructed clothing will have a niche.
information about clothing and issues related to consumable clothing, call
Robbie Boggs at (256)782-5056 or send e-mail to her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You
can also visit the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences website at http://www.jsu.edu/depart/edprof/fcs/.
for news releases by using the request form at www.jsu.edu/newswire/request.