East Coast Woes

You all remember East Coast Sharon from before with her crazy clients, well she is back with a mother-of-the-groom dress to share.

Hey Mrs Mole,
Here is a MOG (mother-of-groom) gown that came in yesterday. image4

Actually, there are 2 gowns. One in a size 6 and one in size 8. The size 6 is too tight on the top and the size 8 is too large in the butt. Of course, she had to try on both gowns, just to show how unhappy she is with both and the looooong story of how she acquired them.

She was concerned that I would need to take the zipper out of the size 8 gown and reset it in order to make it tighter. No, it’s crap knit fabric, so if I take in the sides, it should stretch across your butt just tight enough to make you happy! And she needs it by Thursday, of course !!
But take a closer look at this Ralph Lauren $250 knit mess. The brooch has a large stone missing. I will swap out the brooch with the one from the other dress.


The back seam is opened at the bottom of the zipper, so that needs to be closed.

image1 And the hem is falling out, or was never put in properly. But it needs to be shortened anyway. image2
I don’t know how many Ralph Lauren items go through your doors, but what I have seen in the past 2 or 3 years seem to be garbage. Remember last winter when a woman brought in the $800 black leather dress that had an invisible zipper where stitching caused the very thin leather to act like perforated paper? It was a Ralph Lauren.

And every time someone brings in nearly new sheets that the elastic has come loose or the header is coming off, they have all been Ralph Lauren.

I’ve altered Lauren men’s shirts whose sleeves are not identical.
Hey Ralph, you might want to reconsider some of your designs and put some of your money into quality control ! Just sayin’.

So she has over $500 invested in these 2 gowns plus what I will be charging her. All for a 4 hour function where there will only be 75 guests.
Think she could have done much better at David’s Bridal ……or a consignment shop !!!

My answer to Sharon is – Yes, I have had clients who bring me loads of RL from outlet malls and the pants legs are NEVER the same length. The fake price tags says $200 reduced to $20. What my clients never realize is that these garments are actually made for outlets, not just “overruns“. That $20 pair of pants were NEVER $200, they are worth $20 on a good day. So don’t be like Sharon’s poor client had to buy 2 dresses,  just to get one single one, decent enough to wear to a wedding.

I tell them if they are going to continue buying these “bargains”, to make sure they have a tape measure handy as it will cost more than $20 to fit them properly. The legs are not just an inch longer, they are completely different sizes stuffed into the same crotch shape…beware!

Veggies this week?Oct-2015-2Oct-2015-3

What about citrus fruit?Oct-2015-4

Mr. Mole brought in these brand new first harvest key limes from the baby tree before bringing it into the garage before the first frost hits.

This week we have escaped the sewing room and office for a little R&R, so no brides, no writing assignments…just time to see different things and different people and return ready for the next deluge of clients. Hope all your sewing projects are pleasing and productive and wearable, not wadders!

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35 Responses to East Coast Woes

  1. Jen (NY) says:

    I noticed quality discrepancies with RL bedding items several years ago and I’m not surprised so much to see that this is also the case for RL clothing, outlet or not. I guess the profit outweighs the potential damage to the designer’s name on the higher end lines. RL certainly isn’t the only one, at least I noticed some very poor made CK items in the past as well. I don’t buy based upon labels, but I guess a lot of people do…

  2. fabrickated says:

    I love Sharon’s sassy attitude. It is amazing that people fall for “labels” every time, without even looking at the garment. It’s a Calvin Kline, darling… etc. As if one would be impressed by the name alone.

    I am so glad you are enjoying a little time out, and I am so excited to see your “key limes”. We don’t have any of these, so never really understood what a key lime pie was. I think they are small and not very sweet, and therefore ideal for cooking into a sweet pudding. Am I right?

  3. That’s terrible that a brand would still put their label on such shoddy work. And consistently it seems! No pride.

    I have a silk RL skirt I bought out of season from the Bay. It was $35, which is less than the cost of the silk itself. The tiny rolled hems are perfect on it, I marvel at the construction of it every time I wear it. My rolled hems are never that uniform. I suppose that is the difference in buying from the outlet and buying from the boutique.

    • mrsmole says:

      You do have to inspect everything no matter where you buy the item. Some of Sharon’s clients buy from the designer stores themselves and run into shoddy seams inside which she has photographed and sent to me. Good thing the clothes can be returned and/or fixed.

  4. erniek3 says:

    Whoa. Two different sized legs on one pair of pants. That may beat two right sleeves on one shirt.
    The wonders of the world never cease on your blog. Thanks again for the giggle.

    • mrsmole says:

      Imagine 2 pair of pants, one sweat pants with 2 different sized legs…it might get past inspectors and imagine a white linen unlined pairs or pants with ripples in the crotch seam where the extra large pant leg was “eased” into the seam….nasty, but for $20 it makes it a treasure!

      • mhdwileski says:

        Hey, I might be interested in these (for at-home only)! My legs differ in size around the calf by almost 1 full inch. Luckily, sewing my own clothes makes this an easy fix, but if I found a pair of RTW with this discrepancy, I just might do the happy dance!!! What outlet did she shop for these?

  5. fabricfan says:

    Oh, there is nothing like a reduced tag to make one so excited that you don’t see the flaws.

  6. Tia Dia says:

    haha! I have to agree with fabricfan! What a hoot. I am loving those key limes. Such great goodies from the garden!

  7. Sharon says:

    Oh My ! The thought of Key Lime Pie makes me weak in the knees. Wherever you are Mrs. Mole, please find a piece of that divine tart pie and eat a slice or me !! And hope you are relaxing. Wink, wink.

  8. sewhopeful says:

    I don’t understand why she bought two sizes in the first place. Why not just get the 8 or did she get the 6 just to demonstrate to you that she is a 6 in the hips? She didn’t just buy it for the broach did she? These people are just totally bewildering.

    • Sharon says:

      Her story of ending up with 2 dresses bent my ear for far too long. One was shipped from another store, one was returned, another shipped. My head was going round and round and wanted to plead with her to simply put the darn dress on, as she was taking up too much of my time with details that I didn’t need to know. She didn’t notice the missing stone nor any of the other flaws until I pointed them out to her. She had waited til the last minute to make her final decision on the “perfect” dress, that obviously wasn’t quite so perfect!!

  9. accordion3 says:

    I am constantly amazed at what people will put up with when it comes to shoddy workmanship!

    I suggested to a colleague that building a relationship with a seamstress was an excellent way to get clothing that fits. She is a plus size woman and spends a lot on ill-fitting clothes in fabrics she doesn’t like. We worked out how much it would cost over three years of clothes, including drafting basic pattern blocks for her shape, labour costs and fabric costs.

    She was convinced and is now sourcing a seamstress…

  10. Carolyn says:

    I tell people all the time that the clothes in the outlet stores were not leftovers but actually cheap knockoffs made for the outlet stores and tagged like they were originals…sadly very few people believe me. The lure of the myth of the bargain designer goods is too strong. Also, I am amazed at what crappy fabric is used in garments that cost hundreds of dollars – talk about scamming consumers! Otherwise nothing about that very sad tale surprises me! Y’all are saints cause I couldn’t do what y’all do! *bows and claps*

  11. Bunny says:

    Looks like Mr. Lauren retired just in time! It seems all clothing manufacturers cannot resist the siren song of cheap Asian labor. Hopefully Karma will kick in and the smart ones will turn it around. I just bought some neat tags for my upcoming bagmaking. They say, embossed in metal, “handmade in the USA”. People are just getting smarter and as recently discussed in the NYTimes, becoming more quality aware. Wouldn’t it be great if we, as consumers, walk away with our dollars to the point of them realizing they need to bring back the work to the US for quality manufacturing?

    • Sharon says:

      You are right Bunny. Some people are getting smarter after repeatedly getting burned. Along with alterations, part of my shop is consignment of women’s clothing. Quite a few of my regular customers are always on the lookout for older, classic styled clothing. They realize if they have a well constructed, classic garment that fits them perfectly, it will look like a million bucks once they add contemporary accessories. Wise up folks. The designers put out trendy, shoddy garments so you wear them for only 1 or 2 seasons. They count on us to treat our clothing as disposable. How do we let the manufacturer’s know that we like what that are producing?….We keep buying their crap. If their sales suddenly dropped, bet they would make some drastic changes. Perhaps that is why Ralph has sold his company.

  12. I never knew that! Not that I buy Ralph Lauren, or any designer, I just find it to be such a waste of money for clothes. I was trying to think of the last time I bought something “nice” and I can’t remember. Although the most important occasion, my wedding, had something lovely and it wasn’t designer. I made it. Now you have given me more proof that I can make it myself and sometimes better for cheaper. Thank you for the post!

  13. symondezyn says:

    Wow, that’s a bit of a shocker isn’t it? I’m surprised any designer would allow their name to appear on a garment that poorly constructed. I find it interesting how that little designer tag that no one ever sees somehow adds more implied value to the average consumer than quality fabric, construction or fit. Something to ponder, for sure 🙂

    • mrsmole says:

      If you get compliments and asked, “where did you get that” you can smugly say, the outlet mall, but being able to say, “Oh, I made it” will really impress!!!

  14. I have been very impressed y some designer clothing – but also amazed at what people accept because it has that label. Experience has shown me that a high price doesn’t always equal good quality. Same goes for fabric. Still, it keeps us busy 😉

  15. maryfunt says:

    Absolutely true that the goods in outlets are made for the outlet and are sold for the price intended. No bargains! The outlets are appealing to those who want the brand but can’t or won’t spend money on the full priced line. If you are interested do a bit of research. For example, J Crew uses different fabrics and manufacturing standards for their outlet merchandise. Banana Rebublic, Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, etc., etc. all do the same. Even Burberry outlets are filled with pared down versions of the full priced line. Outlet mall business is exploding and the retailers are hard at work to capture the market. The profit margins on cheaply made goods are staggering. Read ” The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion” for eye opening information.
    It is amazing what people will buy and think they got a bargain. Every time I go shopping I’m return to my sewing room happy that I don’t have to settle for poor quality fabric and inferior construction.

    • mrsmole says:

      So true, Mary! Nina Garcia covers this in her books on style and why you should steer clear of them. We do get tempted but being a seamstress and able to create good fitting clothes that feel and look well on the inside as well as the outside is a real blessing.

  16. Beth says:

    It’s all a mess, the whole bridal business, hideous polyester, hideous creations.
    Why do brides think this stuff is magical? It’s all the result of limited imagination.
    The money they spend on these horrible creations could get a good dressmaker to make gorgeous, original, artistic outfits with natural fibres.
    Plus, the ethos of white/off white i.e. virginity/sullied virginity is ludicrous! No virgins here!

    • mrsmole says:

      Well Beth, if your budget it under $500, you would not be able to find a seamstress to make a dress never mind buying the fabric. I admire the brides who can keep to their budget and buy second-hand or at a David’s on sale and add a belt to jazz it up. The surprising ting is, in my valley, many of my brides are virgins, come from very religious backgrounds, even ones in their 30’s and so are the grooms, so we cannot paint them all with the same brush.

  17. Kathleen says:

    Never did care for Mr. Lauren, a.k.a., Ralph Lifshitz’s sh– -er- stuff.

    Nor do I wear any initials except my own. If “designers” want me to wear theirs, they’ll have to pay me for the advertising.

    My daughter, who married at 28, was absolutely entitled to wear her pristine white dress on her wedding day. (Our family is not fanatically religious.)

  18. Kristine A says:

    Is that so? Thanks for the tip, I thought those outlet really give buyers a good bargain and huge discount! I am glad I stumbled on this post while a site of my friend. I need to be careful when buying from these stores from now on!

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