Friday, February 1, 2013


       As we prepare for life as we know it to change drastically, we cut back on spending to invest in our future.  If we cut out a cup of coffee with double shots of flavor in order to buy another item for the prep box, we don’t feel the pinch.  If we substitute a #10 can of butter beads for a haircut we don’t need, who knows?  No one is going to deny you a little fashion. I am not asking anyone to start wearing combat boots to the corporate office.  I ask you to stop buying disposable clothing. 

with the exception of length and the hat
this suit still works.
     Fashion is fine if you look at it head on.  Fashion starts on a design board and ends up on the runway.  High end designers build their pieces for the people who purchase them with great care and great attention to detail.  They build their clothing to last for ages.  Original Coco Chanel still hangs as it was designed.  Actresses are wearing vintage designer haut couture on the red carpet and those dresses are not the ready –to-wear shabby fabrics at the mall.  Real designer clothing lasts.  I ask you to consider buying clothing built to last. 

      In an economic crunch no one is going to care about the designer name.  They may judge you to be beyond silly to wear the things that rip at the seams and fray as you have nothing else to wear. You may be judged soft, or an easy target.   I recommend you buy the best made and be clever with the way you wear it.  If you are truly being judged at work by your wardrobe, you may want to rethink the job. 

     So, let’s get back to the issue of combat boots.  I own three pairs of well made boots, a pair of combat boots, a pair of good hiking boots, and a pair of cowboy boots.  These boots are for the years to come, the hiking the camping the come what may.  I wear sneakers with good tread on them to work.

     You may not want to invest in boots for yourself, but think about your shoes lasting forever and where you will get replacements.  Don’t fill your closet with shoes that can only be worn from your desk to the copier and back.  If you have to walk home from work, you will want a pair of shoes that will meet the challenge, shoes that will make it home.  My great Aunt Em walked to work in Manhattan everyday in a pair of ugly walking shoes that looked like orthopedic booties. She changed into her banking shoes that were comfortable, and sensibly fashionable but not tight or showy.

     Clothing for after the crunch will need to wear long and hard but not wear out.  Some groups will choose a particular cammo pattern or go all black.  It doesn't matter what you decide as long as you remember when purchasing to buy the best you can afford and inspect each garment carefully for quality of stitching and fabric.  If it isn't what you need, leave it on the shelf or send it back and demand better.

here is a place to look
for weak stitching
     I was in a shop recently that sold clothing to law enforcement.  I found the pants I wanted for my grandson's cosplay outfit, then I inspected them.  The fabric was not an even weave throughout.  It was a looser weave across the back than down the legs.  The stitching showed signs of threads breaking.  Several loose ends had been stitched over as the needle was re-threaded.  This means the fabric was pulled too fast through the machine and the thread couldn't take the stress.  The tag read made in the USA, but further inspection found it was assembled in Mexico.  

this is an example of a double stitched
reinforced seam that will wear  forever
from istock
note the orange tip on the 'weapon'
and I chose a blurry photo for
     We went somewhere else.  I am not spending $30+ on a pair of pants that will wear out in the washer or rip when he bends over.  Inspecting pants at a surplus shop, I found a pair for $20 that he wore to Mega Con, and then were tough enough to wear to school.  He will outgrow them before they wear out.  That is the clothing I am looking for when I prep.

     Look through your closet with new eyes.  Look for signs of real craftsmanship and long term wearability.  Don’t buy cheap, even when it costs extra for the label.  Names mean little or nothing anymore.  The quality is in the workmanship and the fabric.  You are prepping for disaster, or rather, prepping to survive.  

     It is possible to put together outfits for everyday wear and for work that will last until the end of your time.  Add more earth tones to your wardrobe.  Let the trendy colors fashion demands be accessories that are easily left behind when it isn't needed or trends change.   

     With the money you save, you can buy an entire wardrobe for after the stuff hits the fan, or outfit an entire other person.  When you are not wasting money on momentary trends, you can concentrate your fortunes where they need be.  

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