Tuesday, September 23, 2014

DRESS-OF-THE-DAY 20: The Walmart Dress

In celebration of NATIONAL SEWING MONTH (here in the United States), I've decided to do an intensive blog series (well, intensive for me who obviously does not always make the time to blog), featuring a dress (or two, or a style) each day, not previously presented on this blog. Some will be my own creations, whether I used patterns or designed them myself. Others will be pieces I admire. Either will include an analysis and maybe some sources, history and tips. (At least, that's the goal.) I also have some guest bloggers scheduled (exciting!)

And now on to the Dress of the Day!

Okay. So strictly speaking, discussing 'The Walmart Dress' seems to have nothing to do with Sewing... but economically-speaking, it's all related. So maybe stick with me and we'll get to the point.

  • The Walmart Dress is a simple design, made to have a variably fit, accommodating a range of body shapes and sizes. For example, this one is a stretchy knit, composed of six pieces in total, with elastic inserted in the empire waist.
  • The Walmart Dress follows current popular trends. This one is a maxi dress, a style seen everywhere this past summer.
  • The Walmart Dress is a mass-produced article of clothing, made at a cost that is far less than a person can acquire the materials to produce said item. In fact, it can be purchased by the consumer at a price many times less than it would cost them to make said item themselves. Why? Because of a globalized, greedy, consumer-based economy.
  • The Walmart Dress is a symbol of globalization, the death of artisanry, and the widening socio-economical gap between the wealthy and the poor in this country (The United States). The quality is poor, but the price cannot be beat. On the same note, other stores, carrying similarly mass-produced items, price their goods up to ten times higher. So what is someone with a tight budget going to do? And can you really blame them for wanting to stretch their hard-earned money just a little further?
  • The Walmart Dress makes consumers devalue goods, rendering them incapable of recognizing the importance of quality and supporting more local clothing producers, artists and craftspersons. The same can be said for most products available through such Coporate Chain Stores... but thankfully the 'Buy Local' movement is continually growing, spreading awareness of the availability of quality, locally produced goods and the support it renders to regional and small scale economies.

Oh. That was much more ranty than I had intended. And I really don't blame people for shopping at Walmart, especially when one's budget is tight. However, it's just something to keep in mind, that when you can, spend your money on the work of an artisan or a small, locally based company, support your own regional economy, because it is likely the one that supports you, your neighbor and family.

And now that you've successfully navigated this blog entry, here's a reminder about the Steampunk Apron/Bustle Mini-Sweepstakes (details here).


  1. You are so right: With your criticism and the kind words for people with less money...

  2. I admire when people see The Big Picture while examining "little" things like fashion. It's all connected. Great post, buddy.