Cheap and chic of the week

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H&M has a surprising quantity of  100% cotton frocks for under $100, and I’m of course partial to this shirt dress, which looks light and easy and goes for an amazing $34.99.

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19 Thoughts on Cheap and chic of the week
    Praleen
    11 Aug 2022
    12:29am

    I love the shirt dress! Bought several at the beginning of spring, and have been wearing all summer. I think they look great, and they definitely feel great in the extreme heat (mine are all short sleeved). Also, can completely change up appearance with accessories, use as a coverup, etc. And pockets!!!!

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    Tiffany
    11 Aug 2022
    2:51am

    How much do the workers get paid when a dress costs this little?

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      Kim France
      12 Aug 2022
      8:19am

      Fair point. As regular readers know, I don’t typically link to fast fashion brands like Mango, Zara, and, in this case, H&M. But I also regularly receive feedback that the pieces I show here are on the pricier side, so I try to accommodate those who’d like to see well-priced items too. It’s impossible to satisfy everyone, so apologies if I fell short here for some of you.

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      Viajera
      12 Aug 2022
      12:22pm

      It’s a good question and while I don’t know the answer, there is some interesting reading on the site:

      https://hmgroup.com/sustainability/fair-and-equal/wages/

      I am not sure that higher prices would mean the workers are necessarily better paid. As a consumer it is just hard to know, I think. Lots of people go around saying nice things.

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        Viajera
        12 Aug 2022
        12:25pm

        Mind you – to me, one of the biggest issues is, was this item made in a country where the people are politically free to organize. In this case, I forgot to look. Usually a page will just say “imported,” and I won’t know until I actually get the item.

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      Kay
      12 Aug 2022
      10:08am

      I hate this mentality. There is no ethical consumption in capitalism. You can’t buy your way out. The H&Ms of the world aren’t great but they are under scrutiny.
      The answer is stop buying so much damn stuff.

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        Pia
        13 Aug 2022
        12:31pm

        Yes! The number one thing we can do is not buy so much in the first place. When I get the urge to buy just for the sake of it I hit a thrift store. That way I can satisfy my shopping desire and feel a bit better about it. Not a perfect solution…but better.

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        Kay
        12 Aug 2022
        7:05pm

        I fully agree with you about buying so much stuff. I’ve gotten really into the idea of Swedish death cleaning lately.

        But also the concept that there is no ethical consumerism under capitalism is also incorrect. Like, we do believe in some ethics around labor and pollution. We put restrictions in place around child labor in the US, for example. If ethics weren’t a part of it, we wouldn’t really care if children in the US labored or not (i am being deliberate with saying that as our concerns over children in other countries are famously lagging). Aja Barber has discussed this and I find the things she writes really eye-opening and helpful for framing for me. Definitely corporations should be held to higher standards, but also we as consumers have a (small in comparison for sure) part of it as well.

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    Francine
    10 Aug 2022
    5:30pm

    I’m so sorry, but dresses and house slippers like these bum me out. I could swear my mom wore them around the house whenever she hennaed her hair.

    My heart yearns for sexy, cool glamour (and clothes with buttons and zippers) that announce my presence in a room. And yea, I’m a Leo.

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      Liz
      10 Aug 2022
      6:32pm

      Ha, I’m with you, Francine. It’s just so shapeless. The dress I love from that page is this one, but I’m not flat chested enough to pull off the braless look it pretty much requires:

      https://www2.hm.com/en_us/productpage.1078003002.html

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      jenn romolini
      12 Aug 2022
      11:17am

      I weirdly own this dress & the tie around the waist can be worn loose in the back, like it is here, or tied around/nipped in at the waist, which is the way I’ve been wearing it, which gives it a super chic/flattering silhouette. You can also unbutton the top lower down, which makes it drape in a sexy way and roll up the sleeves, which shows more skin & I think makes it even more flattering. I bought this last minute for a funeral & have worn it with strappy/sexy sandals and gold jewelry & it really is a versatile dress/quite a find!

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    A. from the Bay
    10 Aug 2022
    4:36pm

    I literally LOL’d – I’m wearing a black shirtdress (aka sack dress) from one of the last posts like this about H&M, with white sneakers to try to look current (although, been there, done that in the 80’s with the white sneaker thing, and so was hesitating). I went back and bought the blue plaid version today, prompted by this post: https://www2.hm.com/en_us/productpage.0982173003.html. HIGHLY AGREE with EIF discussion about what the heck to wear/how to dress self these days. Decided to channel my high school/college self and lean into my punk/alternative/goth cravings. Has to be done within reason, as not to raise any eyebrows in the office or appear totally ridiculous. Often left house during pandemic looking Like I Gave Up, or Elderly, or Crazy (sorry, I know not a PC term), or a combination. Like wearing old sweatpants that I used to be embarrassed to be seen in on laundry day, just out and about and to office. I wear a lot of black. A lot.

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      Mamavalveeta03
      10 Aug 2022
      11:22pm

      Sounds cute, fresh, and modern!

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      Viajera
      10 Aug 2022
      5:20pm

      Me too! I am inching my way towards wearing a lot of navy instead. Just because I am bored with myself.

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        Viajera
        10 Aug 2022
        5:21pm

        Btw, it won’t let me post the other 2 things, as a reply to myself. I can put them here though if anyone’s interested.

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    Viajera
    10 Aug 2022
    3:06pm

    Oooh, thanks for the reminder!! – I’d been meaning to pick something up. It is getting toasty and somehow, I never seem to have lightweight clothing. I am going to try this one:

    https://www2.hm.com/en_us/productpage.1046578005.html

    If it looks okay, I’ll probably remove the sleeves and possibly raise the neckline. Or, I won’t bother and I’ll return instead. When it’s really warm I can’t deal with sleeves. … … … I also stumbled across a sleeveless hoodie dress for winter. I actually paused briefly to wonder if it would be too “young,” which I usually don’t think to do. But I got it anyway. It would look very cute with the faux leather leggings I didn’t buy bc I didn’t have anything to wear them with. And, I actually do need a vest for winter. Who knows, maybe it will go back too. I think it is part recycled! And I think it would look fine with just regular pants too. Kim, make sure you get the commission – sometimes, I get fed up with shopping, give up, and then go back. I hope I didn’t do that, but I may have. Their filters are decent though. … … … Then, I flew too close to the sun, in trying to find lightweight chino-type pants which are not black. That was a no-go. Oh well. You can’t win them all. Esp with a short shopping attention span.

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      Viajera
      10 Aug 2022
      5:19pm

      So, I posted this earlier but it got eaten. Couple other things I looked at.

      I almost bought this for a summer robe (bc the real one was tooooo short – you know, I forgot to check in men’s … hmm ):

      https://www2.hm.com/en_us/productpage.1062645001.html

      I might go back for it. And this is the vest hoodie dress:

      https://www2.hm.com/en_us/productpage.1002629003.html

      I saw lots of other stuff. Somehow I never think of shopping there.

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    Elisabeth
    10 Aug 2022
    6:07pm

    A lot of the dresses on the site look like perfect sleep dresses! Which, I’m here to tell you because the youngs told me, are NOT the same as nightgowns. The More You Know! 😀

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    dk
    11 Aug 2022
    10:22am

    I bought this dress a few weeks ago and it is great, the picture does not do it justice. It’s just fitted enough thru the shoulders to give it a bit of structure and yes, it’s a little billowy but that’s perfect on a hot day. You can add a belt and depending on jewelry it can dressed up or down. I wear it with sneakers, birks or sandals and have gotten tons of compliments on it.

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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