Fashion isn’t always about what looks good. Not even when it’s simple casual men’s fashion that typically isn’t very demanding. Why bring ot up? Cotton prices are higher this year than they have been in more than 15 years. What sends the price of cotton to twice its normal levels? Start down a path like this and you’re certain to hear something about
unrest in Egypt or something similar. And you would be right. China has had a terribly deficient rainy season with its cotton crop destroyed, and has entered the market to import what it needs. And some other cotton producers have been hit by floods. And that means less cotton for everyone. What does this have to do with casual men’s fashion?
One the one hand, it’s going to mean that T-shirt makers like Hanes, Fruit of the Loom and the Gap are going to try to find a way to work a lot more polyester into your T-shirts. And then of course, they are going to advertise a great new kind of T-shirt that they are undoubtedly going to push as the next big thing in casual men’s fashion – the thin T-shirt. It helps them keep from raising prices on your standard $12 T-shirt by $3. The thin T-shirt helps them use less cotton, and it helps them keep prices down at the $12 level you know and love. They have big-time textile engineers on the job trying and find ways to cut down on the density, the thickness, the weight of the cloth they use.
And they are going to try to take your attention away from the fact that your T-shirt is uncharacteristically thin all of a sudden. They’re going to be putting in more buttons, embroidery and fake pockets. And then, they will be trying to test the market for how much polyester is still acceptable. How 70s is that. So okay, are you going to have to hang out with your friends looking like discards from the cast of Saturday Night Fever with skintight pants and sequined polyester T-shirts? Well, those were all-polyester clothes; you will hopefully be only reduced to wearing 80% polyester. The rest will be cotton. While you’re at it, you might as well get used to polyester-blended undergarments and sheets to sleep on.
And of course, what they used to sell as a five-pack of underwear or socks will now be a 2-pack for the same price. And they’ll be pushing those polyester blend sheets as very high quality 800-thread count stuff. It’ll just take your mind off the fact that you’re going to be sleeping on a fluffy petroleum byproduct from now on.