Finding out you’re allergic to synthetic clothing might not sound so bad to a lot of people – especially guys, since their clothing isn’t meant to hug their curves. These days, you see companies advertising “organic cotton yoga tops” and “cotton socks” and all that jazz. Ever really looked at the label? What I’ve found is companies will call something a “cotton shirt” or “cotton underwear”, but that only means that cotton is indeed in it. That DOESN’T mean there’s no spandex, lycra and other synthetic fabrics. In 90% of the cases, I’ve found the items aren’t 100% cotton. I’ve found a couple reasons for why companies have chosen to not use 100% cotton:
- Synthetic fabrics are cheaper
- Synthetic fabrics help the clothing to hold their shape
- Synthetic fabrics help the clothing last longer through the wash / dry cycles
Point blank, creating all these plastic fabrics isn’t doing us any good. It’s bad for the environment and plastic doesn’t tend to have wonderful effects on humans in the long run either. When plastics heat up, they actually release some of their chemicals and it can be very dangerous to us. But with all of that aside, I love stretchy yoga pants! I love sheer tops and funky belts… but that’s all over. So, what is a girl to do?
When my skin comes into contact with synthetics, I break out. It’s itchy, it hurts and it doesn’t stop until I’ve eliminated the allergen and have washed my hands or whatever other part of me touched it. It’s a pain. Literally. Shopping in stores? Not so fun anymore. In order to find out if something is 100% cotton, I have to look at the tag which means I have to touch it. “Oh, this is 100% polyester? Awesome! Now I can drop everything and go wash my hands.” So you see, it’s not time efficient or convenient. If you can get a friend to agree to go with you and look at the labels, that’s great! Otherwise, just shop online. It’s much less disappointing. I spent hours in the mall one day going to every single store searching for cotton jeans. I seriously found ZERO. I suppose I could go to L.L. Bean and buy some 50 year old mom jeans, but honestly I’d rather never leave my house. I don’t even want to wear mom jeans when I’m 50! Or 70!
So, what’s the solution here? Shop online or shop with a friend that can touch everything for you (then buy that friend a drink for helping you!)
These are my two favorite sites that I buy a lot of my stuff on. YOOX has a lot of options and you can search "100% cotton". On American Apparel, you can actually sort the clothing by fabric which is a dream come true. BIG time saver!
- YOOX.com This is an Italian warehouse with TONS of cotton jeans and more! Even skinny jeans! AND they go on sale. I've gotten jeans from them for $40, no joke. That's where the jeans in the photo are from.
- Americanapparel.com They're great for t-shirts and sweaters. The rest of their stuff style-wise is kinda hit or miss for me. BUT they give you options. The photo of the t-shirt is one from their site.