Pajamas Media has a round-up of action from the official kick-off of the Christmas shopping season.
Meanwhile, Virginia Postrel looks at–to coin a phrase–the Substance of Style:
The great thing about fashion markets today is how diverse they are, even outside of major metro areas. Many different styles coexist and there isn’t a simple, price-based status hierarchy. You can buy trendy but disposable clothes–“fast fashion”–or classic, enduring pieces. Basic jeans, sweaters, and T-shirts cost about the same, in nominal dollars, as they did when I was a teenager in the late 1970s, and their materials and construction are generally much better. Those cheap clothes are also helping a billion Chinese climb out of abject poverty.
The bad thing about fashion markets today is how many empire-waist tops and dresses they sell. I don’t care how cute, young, and skinny you are. Those things make you look pregnant.
The other bad thing about fashion markets is that they give The Decade That Taste Forgot a feeling of permanence it in no way deserves.