I ask you, "When did the quality of shoes and clothing deteriorate to plastic and polyester, respectively"? I've noticed for several years now, that the mass produced women's merchandise found around the country in departments stores has degraded to cheaply made, ill fitting, disposable garbage! For example, I've been searching from New York to Los Angeles for a fashionable, comfortable shoes that are versatile enough to wear to both work and weekend evening wear. I thought when I went to New York in August that I would definitely find a "leather" shoe that would fit this description. Wrong! I searched the entire city, and found mostly plastic man-made materials that I found to be ugly and certainly not comfortable! When I returned to Los Angeles, I searched again and found that most shoes, even the designer shoes, were partially man-made material and some kind of plastic.
When I was a young adult in New York in the late 60's early 70s, I shopped in Manhattan on 34th street and shoe store after shoe store, had shoes that were all leather, and made really well. Bloomingdales had fabulous leather shoes and they were stylish and gorgeous! If you go to Bloomdales now you will find that most of the shoes are partial leather and the rest man-made.
I was also looking for some great tailored light-wool slacks for work, and I looked in Nordstroms recently, and many of the designers are constructing their clothes in polyester.
If you've been paying attention to this trend, you will agree that this has been happening in all of the major department stores including Macy's, Nordstroms, Barney's, and even Saks, over the past decade.
Unfortunately, the middle class woman doesn't have much to choose from in the major department stores across the country. Quality is just not a part of the new millenium!