Buy Nice, Not Twice
The clothes and goods we carry here at Porterhouse are more expensive than the clothes and goods you'll find at Target, H&M, Zara, et al. Responsible supply chains and built-to-last construction tend to do that to things.
A completely unsourced statistic from an episode of Netflix's Patriot Act: The average American purchases 68 new garments every year. This leaves a few things up to the imagination - do socks and underwear count? Do socks count as two? But we'll sort of wave our hands at that for now.
This is a huge and unsustainable number in terms of ecological impact of waste generated during production, shipping, and disposal of these garments. The roots of this problem are in the fast fashion cycle, which churns out a new "season" of clothing each week, sometimes more often. This clothing is cheaply made and trendy, ensuring its shelf life is practically nothing.
For more on fast fashion, feel free to dive into the full episode, which is excellent:
So how, exactly, do we cut down on the number of clothes we buy? Well that's where shops like Porterhouse come in. Here at Porterhouse, we value clothing that is durable, versatile, and classic in style. All of these aspects ensure that any single garment lasts longer and sees more wears, cutting down on the number of clothes you buy.
We try to avoid words like "timeless", because a style shouldn't necessarily be divorced from the period in time that brought it into fashion. But some styles do transcend their height of popularity and remain fashionable into the future. These styles become classic.
Well-fitting, dark-wash denim is classic. Tartans are way classic. Chore coats and camp shirts and chukkas continue to make the rounds because they're classics. So that's what we stock.
A lot of garments you pick up at H&M or even J. Crew can come off the rack feeling flimsy - made of thin synthetics that may quickly tear or wear through. It's hard to make these pieces last, even if you want to.
Here at the shop, we prefer clothing made from strong, natural fibers. Most of the denim we carry is selvedge, woven on old-school shuttle looms for a tighter, more durable weave. A lot of our favorite shirting features reinforcement stitching in high-tension spots, keeping them in one piece longer.
Fortunately, the line between business and casual has continued to get fuzzier. There are few professions that require a shirt and tie anymore. We imagine our best buyers as business professionals that can wear a patterned shirt, dark wash denim, and leather boots or sneakers to work. That same outfit can be repurposed for a date at all but the nicest restaurants after work.
That's not to say we can't get a little more formal, either. We stock plenty of solid-colored oxford button-downs that work well for a casual wedding, and some excellent neckwear to pair with it. Drop the tie, and that shirt is great for any other occasion.
Buy Nice, Not Twice
Also known as "buy once, cry once".
Could you fill your 68 item quota with $25 shirt-sleeve lyocell shirts from H&M? Yup. You could even fill it with $15 white long-sleeve button-downs made of 65% polyester (ew). And next year, you could be staring into your closet thinking you "don't have anything to wear".
Or you could spend more per garment and buy way fewer items that you truly love and will continue to wear for years to come.
Even if we cut down on the number of new garments we buy each year, we can still do better!
There are plenty of ways to buy second-hand clothing today, much of it with tons of life left in it. This is especially true of denim, where the pants may be retired due to the ebb and flow of your waistline rather than whether the pants are still fit to wear.
Here at Porterhouse, our goal is to try and close the loop a bit by offering a buy-back program and second-hand line within the shop. If you're local to Eugene and have some pieces you're ready to unload, contact us to talk about this program.