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Thread: The fabric of our lives

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    The fabric of our lives

    All this talk of corduroy takes me back to junior high. Corduroy pants were king back then and cool kids either wore corduroy or denim (and brands of jeans is probably a topic worthy of its own thread). I remember my father not only had corduroy pants but also had a cordoroy suit (hey it was the 70's - a decade rivalled only by the 50's for tackiness).

    Synthetic fabrics exploded in the 60's and 70's and if corduroy was king then polyester had to be queen. Polyester cleans easily but boy does it not breathe well. Nowadays it seems we rely more heavily on synthetic/natural blends which claim to offer the best of both worlds.

    Do (and did) you find your wardrobe dominated by certain fabrics? What do you like or dislike about certain fabrics?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    In the late 70's in high school I was a real preppie and preferred wool and cotton materials, aligators on everythng and was teased about it some - so for Halloween I dressed up in a polyester suit for school that day and everyone came up to me and complimented my outfit and said "hey why didn't you wear a costume?"

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Like lp, I've always preferred mostly natural fiber clothing: cotton, wool, linen, cashmere. I don't have many synthetic fiber clothing items since I don't like how they feel. I have mostly a classic prep style so it's not hard to locate clothing in that vein made from natural fibers.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Natural fibers for me. Mostly cotton.

  5. #5
    I was forced through a polyester period in the early 70s and hated it with a passion. By the time I graduated HS in '78, everyone had left the poly behind and donned denim jeans and cotton shirts. Indeed, every casual photo of folks in my HS yearbook is denim/cotton. Peer pressure, anyone?

    My year in Maine left me hopelessly prep-styled, even to this day. Cotton, wool, and the occasional linen for me.



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  6. #6
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    The touch the feel of cotton - I have a friend who is actually an editor for the marketing department for Cotton Inc. down in NC. I always thought it was cool that they refer to their trade union organization just solely as "Cotton".

    I stick to natural fibers whenever possible for everything from underpants to outerwear. The only things I wear consistently that are not cotton or wool are probably my running shorts and running socks which are mostly polyester. I used to wear the polyester, moisture wicking shirts too but found those get stinky and do not like to really come clean in the wash so I've been wearing old concert t-shirts instead usually.

    I wear a lot of corduroy... all year long. I have cords with wales of different widths depending on the season. Sometimes I like to go an entire week while wearing a different pair of cords to work each day. I have cords where the wales are so narrow and tight you would mistake them for normal wool dress pants, but they seem to be about 100x more durable - look for "whipcord" type pants (I love them!) if interested. I have two corduroy sport coats that I wear quite frequently - a heavy brown one that is good as a piece of outerwear in the fall with a sweater under it and a lightweight green one that I will wear in spring and early summer. The corduroy sport coat is great because it can go with everything from jeans to chinos to a pair of gaberdine trousers.

    I also have a lot of wool. I have wool shirts, pants, sweaters, sport coats, suits... All of my sweaters are wool. My wife really likes cashmere but I like the heft of wool and as the sweater ages they seem to form to your shape better than a cashmere (or cotton sweater). I have wool flannel suits and wool tweed suits that get much more wear than my worsted wool or wool/cashmere blend suits. I just like the texture of the rougher types of wool.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  7. #7
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    This is making me think of some shirts I had in elementary school (I usually wore them for "picture day" since my mom thought of them as my best shirts) that were what she called "Terry Cloth"? Does that ring a bell? This would have been in like 1978 - 1979 or so. They were kind of rough and towell-ish really. I loved them.

    And yes, at times I wore them with my cords.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  8. #8
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ursus View post
    This is making me think of some shirts I had in elementary school (I usually wore them for "picture day" since my mom thought of them as my best shirts) that were what she called "Terry Cloth"? Does that ring a bell? This would have been in like 1978 - 1979 or so. They were kind of rough and towell-ish really. I loved them.

    And yes, at times I wore them with my cords.
    Ah yes, I had quite forgotten about terry cloth. I remember I had a terry cloth shirt in elementary school. And yes, it appeared to be the same material used in making sweat bands.

    Does anyone own any silk garments? Seems like the price of silk declined considerably in the latter part of the 20th century. Anyone know why?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    In the mid-late eighties did anybody else wear a lot of "Shaker - Knit Sweaters"? You know the ones I mean? And we cool preppy boys didn't wear shirts under them, and we didn't wear socks with our top-siders either.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  10. #10
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    I refuse to wear spandex, latex or see-through shirts, otherwise I'm good.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  11. #11
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    For work I definitely prefer cotton or other natural fibers. I recently bought an awesome linen suit, for example. But in my weekend life, I do find myself wearing more and more synthetics – mainly athletic wear. No, not track suits (another topic of discussion!?) but what I guess today they are calling “performance wear.” Between going out to our land, biking, running or being out and active with the family, I find it meets my needs best (dries fast, keeps you warm, breathes well, doesn’t get wet or as stinky with sweat, etc.). Most of this stuff I have collected at thrift stores over the years, too. I still often wear jeans on the weekends, but I do also have some “camping pants” for lack of a better term that are a cotton/poly blend.

    As to the decline of silk, I have actually been contemplating some silk long undies for the holidays. But I think in general, at least for these kinds of items, the development of materials like polypropelene (sp) has cut into the market. I think silk ties and silk scarves are probably still as popular as ever (and certainly is the “got to” fabric, at least for ties) but I also expect that market is shrinking. Definitely fewer people wear ties today than in 1950. Maybe scarves, too…
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  12. #12
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    Definitely fewer people wear ties today than in 1950. Maybe scarves, too…
    And where you can find a decent cravat these days?
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    Mostly cotton for me. No wool, because it gives me hives. My vast aloha shirt collection includes cotton, silk, and rayon, and one hemp. A couple of linen shirts, but I'm finding they're not too practical.

  14. #14
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    What were (or I suppose are) nehru jackets made out of? (I bet ofos knows - then we'll all have a big laugh at his expense!)
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    I pretty much wear cotten or cotten blends. A few of my Hawaiian shirts (which I tend to wear to work all summer) are synthetic fibers. I don't wear denim. On a chilly day I wear corduroy. In the winter I usually wear a wool overcoat, with a fleece vest underneath. Today I wore my Glacier Park fleece jacket - I am not sure what it is made of but it is soo soft.

    And though it isn't exactly a "fabric", my clothes often have residual cat hair
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

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  16. #16
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    I refuse to wear spandex, latex or see-through shirts, otherwise I'm good.
    And the rest of world thanks you for your sacrifice.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  17. #17
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    What were (or I suppose are) nehru jackets made out of? (I bet ofos knows - then we'll all have a big laugh at his expense!)
    Hate to disappoint, but I didn't participate in that fashion statement. BTW, what were your parachute pants made of?
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  18. #18
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    I prefer polyester. Every time I go to Sears I make a stink because I can't find Perma-Prest 4-piece suits any longer (with reversible vest and 2 pairs of pants!)
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  19. #19
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    BTW, what were your parachute pants made of?
    I wouldn't know, I was too busy still wearing cotton/canvas painter pants to participate in that silly fashion trend
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  20. #20
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    When I read the thread title I can't help but hear ".....like sand through the hourglass, these are the days of our lives...."
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  21. #21
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    When I read the thread title I can't help but hear ".....like sand through the hourglass, these are the days of our lives...."
    You're aware, of course, that I actually stole that title from a different source.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  22. #22
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    And where you can find a decent cravat these days?
    Indeed! Now, I do have two ascots. Not that I have ever worn them beyond Halloween. But they were my dad's, so I pretended I would. Someday...

    Cravat


    Ascot
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  23. #23
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    You're aware, of course, that I actually stole that title from a different source.
    I was not aware.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I can't believe that nobody has yet mentioned hemp. Or for that matter, bamboo or linen. Add in cotton and wool and you pretty much sum up the majority of my wardrobe. I do have silk long undies and would recommend them.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  25. #25
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    I can't believe that nobody has yet mentioned hemp. Or for that matter, bamboo or linen. Add in cotton and wool and you pretty much sum up the majority of my wardrobe. I do have silk long undies and would recommend them.
    I can't condone the killing of vegetation for clothing although the hemp doesn't seem to care.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

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