As clothes have become cheaper, our clothing consumption has gone through the roof. In 1930, the average American woman owned an average of nine outfits. Today, we each buy more than 60 pieces of new clothing on average per year. Our closets are larger and more stuffed than ever, as we’ve traded quality and style for low prices and trend-chasing. In the face of these irresistible deals, our total spending on clothing has actually increased, from $7.82 billion spent on apparel in 1950 to $375 billion today.
A fascinating and brief history of the rise of cheap clothes. Focused on women, but men can learn much from it, too. Two of the key results of this trend are a glut of clothes on the second-hand market and too many people impulse buying cheap clothes they don’t need.