The Case for Fewer But Better Clothes

From the 1900s to 1950s, American consumers spent approximately 12-14% of their annual income on clothing. Today, we spend about 3%. But our closets are actually bigger. The average American house has doubled in size since the 1950s and closet space has increased, too, particularly with the advent of the walk-in closet in the 1980s. We likely have more than five times as many clothing items as we did in the first part of the 20th century. The move of clothing production overseas where labor costs are low has made it possible for us to have large quantities of items without paying much for them. But this could be changing.

Author: Keila Tyner


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