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Can store lighting damage clothes?

TimelesStyle

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Bought a suit the other day in Bloomingdale's in Chicago which I had shipped to me. I didn't take time to try since it was a RLBL Anthony. It was the jacket off the mannequin, one of those half-mannequins that sit on a shelf over the suit rack. I didn't inspect the suit closely, but I seem to recall there being lights above it. Any chance sitting there will have faded it? I can't imagine that they'd display suits like that if damage risk were high, but since I didn't look carefully I'm curious if I have to be concerned once it arrives.
 

Don Carlos

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Originally Posted by TimelesStyle
Bought a suit the other day in Bloomingdale's in Chicago which I had shipped to me. I didn't take time to try since it was a RLBL Anthony. It was the jacket off the mannequin, one of those half-mannequins that sit on a shelf over the suit rack. I didn't inspect the suit closely, but I seem to recall there being lights above it. Any chance sitting there will have faded it? I can't imagine that they'd display suits like that if damage risk were high, but since I didn't look carefully I'm curious if I have to be concerned once it arrives.

Artificial light probably wouldn't have done much. It's sunlight/UV you've got to worry about. That said, you should expect some degree of shopwear if you selected a suit off a mannequin. Usually not a great idea to buy display items unless you're given a significant discount for doing so.
 

Twotone

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I'd be more concerned about clothes sitting in a south-facing sun-lit window than artificial light. Clothes don't really stay on display that long to really fade.

Your post reminds me of a high-end watch shop here in Denver. I walked by their display many times admiring a certain expensive time piece. It was on display probably six months or more. I finally walked in one summer afternoon and asked to try it on. The sales person removed it from the sunny display window and brought it over to me. I had to wait a minute for it to cool down before strapping it to my wrist. Watches are much more sensitive to high temps than clothes. No way would I have bought that watch. I don't think artificial lights would make that much of a difference with clothes.

The real concern these days are bed bugs.
 

westinghouse

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Yes.

I just looked at a brown leather jacket that was 50% off and I found out why when I looked closely.

The left shoulder that was facing the store window was faded.

I passed.
 

TimelesStyle

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Originally Posted by Don Carlos
Artificial light probably wouldn't have done much. It's sunlight/UV you've got to worry about. That said, you should expect some degree of shopwear if you selected a suit off a mannequin. Usually not a great idea to buy display items unless you're given a significant discount for doing so.

Why will a jacket on a mannequin experience more shopwear than a suit on the rack everyone's been trying? When searching for my size, the sales lady said there were several in the system, so perhaps I can call around and order another. I can keep whichever is in better shape. FWIW, it was 75% off, but even at that price, I'd always prefer the best possible example.
 

FIHTies

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Originally Posted by TimelesStyle
Bought a suit the other day in Bloomingdale's in Chicago which I had shipped to me. I didn't take time to try since it was a RLBL Anthony. It was the jacket off the mannequin, one of those half-mannequins that sit on a shelf over the suit rack. I didn't inspect the suit closely, but I seem to recall there being lights above it. Any chance sitting there will have faded it? I can't imagine that they'd display suits like that if damage risk were high, but since I didn't look carefully I'm curious if I have to be concerned once it arrives.

Yes

Generally this is avoided by rotation of the garment so that its not constantly getting hit by the light in the same areas but if left alone for long enough fade will occur.
 

Don Carlos

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Originally Posted by TimelesStyle
Why will a jacket on a mannequin experience more shopwear than a suit on the rack everyone's been trying? When searching for my size, the sales lady said there were several in the system, so perhaps I can call around and order another. I can keep whichever is in better shape. FWIW, it was 75% off, but even at that price, I'd always prefer the best possible example.

Probably not as much wear as a suit on a rack, but it'll definitely have been pawed at and groped thousands of times over.
 

stubloom

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Fluorescent lighting and sunlight can fade fabric, leather and suede. Iv'e seen countless garments over a 20 year period brought in or sent in for cleaning because the shoulders and/or the sleeves were "discolored". Unfortunately, it's not discoloration. It's permanent damage that cannot be reversed.

One client (with a significant investment in his wardrobe) went so far as to have the skylights in his walk-in closet permanently removed.
 

Kent Wang

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Should I stop line-drying clothes in the sun too?

I'm currently drying a charcoal sweater. I suppose it won't look any worse if it fades.
 

FIHTies

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Originally Posted by Kent Wang
Should I stop line-drying clothes in the sun too?

I'm currently drying a charcoal sweater. I suppose it won't look any worse if it fades.


I assume that this is a serious question so I will bite.

No, in order to damage it would have to be excessive and consistent exposure to the sun. No problem to wear clothing in the sun either :)
 

TimelesStyle

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Originally Posted by Don Carlos
Probably not as much wear as a suit on a rack, but it'll definitely have been pawed at and groped thousands of times over.

I am not super worried about that. This is one of those half mannequins that sit off to the side on top of a rack of suits. I would assume the hanging suits are subject to more pawing. I was only thinking that this suit would have been that much closer to lights than the suits hanging down below but I have to imagine there are other clothing racks in stores equally close to lights. When it arrives I will take a close look at the shoulders. Can't really complain about 74% off, thought.
 

Don Carlos

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Laer Surtep;3989883 said:
Originally Posted by TimelesStyle
Bought a suit the other day in Bloomingdale's in Chicago which I had shipped to me. I didn't take time to try since it was a RLBL Anthony. It was the jacket off the mannequin, one of those half-mannequins that sit on a shelf over the suit rack. You bought a used item. It has to be filthy from being out on display. Take a shirt and put it on a hanger in your closet where you don't have people walking by and dust and dirt all day and put that shirt into a tub of water after it's been hanging in your clean closet for a month. You'll be surprised how dirty the water is. Once dust (dirt) gets into an item it ruins it and no amount of washing will help. Same with shoes that lie around in the open at outlets and collect dirt and people's oily hands touching them. These are basically used items.
I wouldn't go quite that extreme in my assessment, but yes. This is, to some extent, what is meant by the phrase "shopwear." Items on display or out on the racks in shops suffer some degree of trauma that is not visited upon the items in boxes in the back of the shop. One should never pay full price for a display item, regardless of whether the degree of shopwear is visibly apparent on the garment.
 

Nicola

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Originally Posted by TimelesStyle
I was only thinking that this suit would have been that much closer to lights than the suits hanging down below but I have to imagine there are other clothing racks in stores equally close to lights.

The displays get redone how often? Once a season? The racks would get replenished if they actually ran out of stock. If it's this years a light colour and not in a big sunny window it's unlikely a problem.
 

TimelesStyle

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Don Carlos;3991181 said:
Originally Posted by Laer Surtep

I wouldn't go quite that extreme in my assessment, but yes. This is, to some extent, what is meant by the phrase "shopwear." Items on display or out on the racks in shops suffer some degree of trauma that is not visited upon the items in boxes in the back of the shop. One should never pay full price for a display item, regardless of whether the degree of shopwear is visibly apparent on the garment.


But to that degree, I'd prefer the suit off the mannequin if none are in backstock. First, while the jacket may be touched, nobody is trying it on, and the pants will be in the back completely untouched.

Second, since the mannequins don't have real arms (to create tension on the elbows), the suit will probably hold its shape a bit better. Lastly, the trousers sit in the back and definitely won't have been tried (my luck I'd otherwise get a suit someone tried on "commando day" lol).

The only suit I've ever paid MSRP for was a MTM job, everything else I get is at least half off. With this one, my only concern was fading, but IIRC, the suit room at Bloomies Chi. doesn't use florescent lights.
 

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