dressed up like a lady: The Collars Love: Choies!!!

Jul 31, 2013

The Collars Love: Choies!!!

You know how there are those Asian online clothing stores like OASAP, who offer blogger programs that give you points to redeem for free clothes as long as you post links to the shop when you post an outfit featuring the thing you ordered? I try to link up most of my outfit attributions anyway, just out of courtesy, but I don't usually participate in those programs because after trying a few, I found the clothes were often crappy and the sizing was bad. And I can't even blame the shops for that part -- Asia-based retailers aren't normally catering to 5'8" gals with hips.

But then I got offer from Choies, which is where I got that batshit crazy baseball jacket style sweatshirt I posted on Friday

I took them up on their offer because a cursory look at their selection revealed that by God, they have the biggest selection of WEIRD, CRAZY STUFF I have ever seen in one place. It's like a virtual walk through a Hong Kong street market. Allow me to illustrate.

Could I interest you in some apparel featuring your favorite "licensed" (???) properties?

How about something with an animal?

How about something with an animal screaming?
Or a delightfully unintelligible abuse of the English language? (Bite Threat America?!) 

Or for the lady who has everything...stuff too bizarre to describe (P.S. They're the ones who pixelated the inside of that shoe...).

So you see why I couldn't resist. For the record, the crazy baseball jacket hasn't fallen apart in the wash yet.


  1. As a fan of tea time, i want that shirt. I am tea time's cheerleader and the woman on that shirt has an awesome fancy hat. I'm in love.

  2. You crack me up. And I don't believe it's selling out if it's you like the product and it fits with the theme/style of your blog. Looks like a lovely match, and I adore your honesty!

  3. I love your blog but do you worry about who makes those clothes, I like that you thrift are vegan and love the environment and presumably animals but buying Asian made may be supporting sweatshops. Your choice I am just saying and I know it is almost impossible to find Made in America. I just bought $$$ M.Kors tennys and was shocked that they were made in China they went back. Pls don't take this as a lecture I am only posing a question as you have more influence than you may know esp to teens I see in therapy I always refer them to your blog for inspriation of how to be a fashionista on a budget and recyle. good blog love it.

    1. Hi Nancy! The only problem you'll ever find in opening up a discussion like this with me is in the fact that I am extremely verbose. It takes me way more time to edit a response down than to write out my response with a zillion words...so this could be lengthy.

      I agree that sweatshop labor is a massive problem for a million reasons. Even outside the human rights issue -- which is very significant -- there's the environmental impact, not to mention the deflation of value for goods and overall warping of the world economy into a non-sustainable mess.

      Just as you describe yourself, it has become nearly impossible to purchase even higher price-point goods with any expectation that they were made in a country with fair labor practices. Even Brooks Brothers garments are made in Malaysia and Coach bags are made in China.

      Many of the reasons that I make a point of seeking out second-hand consumer items fall under the above reasons. Indeed, voting with your dollar is one of the most important ways to effect your world. But it's worth noting that for many factory workers in the developing world, the same explosive manufacturing sector that we're shaking our heads at is for them, creating a middle class that until the past decade, did not exist.

      So to boycott all items made in the developing world on ethical grounds the way that I boycott meat would not entirely make sense, as these two ideas don't perfectly map to each other. I'll never meet a cow that I think might be fine with getting slaughtered, but I might very well meet a factory worker who prefers it so much to subsistence farming that he would think I'm a jerk for boycotting his factory's good on his supposed behalf.

      For the most part, I do avoid buying goods made in the developing world because I have the luxury of believing that this position is in the worker's best interest. Talk about privilege -- it's almost patronizing of me. But I also have to acknowledge that the net amount of suffering that I contribute to when I accept a free jacket made in China is nowhere near as easy to calculate as it is with animal products.

      It's also important to note that part of what I feel is worthy of reward in the case of this particular store is the creativity in the design of these garments. This shop is independently owned as far as my research can tell. While an economic model built on sweatshop labor is abhorrent, the spirit of this newly entrepreneurial segment of Asian society is not. Human minds went into the design of the wildly expressive items at this shop, just as they went into the shop itself, and the choice to market its goods through bloggers. In the end, this is why I made an exception for this shop, which is what I was trying to get at in this post.

      Also, this is more of a sidebar, but I want to mention that I do own items that were most likely mass produced -- or at least items that I can't say for certain were made in acceptable conditions. As we've both discussed at this point, it's hard to avoid. The only difference is that if I post an item I ordered from Asos, nobody knows (not even me) what country it was made in until you look at the tag. Asos is a British owned company with garments made in lots of different countries, but by and large, most of their items were made in the East. Choies just happens to be an explicitly Hong Kong based shop. This makes the issue of manufacturing easier to notice, but not more categorically relevant. To act like it's more reprehensible to own something from Choies than it is to own something from Asos would be, in my mind, a little bit hypocritical. Just wanted to add that.

    2. Oh, I just read this whole thing... And I might just have a little to add.... since I am from a developing country... and I have happened to work in an export house myself which exported for Macy's Delias and other such brands.

      The fact of the matter is... the living conditions in both of these worlds are so different that what may be a cultural shock to you will be completely ok and 'normal' here. Because of the mass-production economies of these developing countries have progressed. I do not support in human working conditions at all in any way... but I only want to say that what maybe inhuman for you may not be inhuman for a person, who without this "sweatshop" job will be lying starving on the street.

      The problem of employment here... the problem of making ends meet... is so deep rooted that I can't possibly finish in a whole blog post if I wanted, leave aside a comment. What maybe a basic amenity in your eyes will be a luxury here.

      At the same export house, I did not have proper clean drinking water for scorching summer months. I worked longer hours than assigned.. everyone is expected to here actually... I even traveled 4 hours everyday for it..But I kept my job for quite some time. Maybe its not directly relevant but I guess it goes on to convey a picture of what to expect.

      In the end I only want to add that, all companies are not the same though. MNC's usually take your employees way more seriously.

  4. You might even theorize that those Engrish slogans are carefully planned to be so entertaining, but having been to Hong Kong, I know that it's legit.

  5. And this has to the craziest and most original categorization of the merchandize at any online store. I have gone through their website once or twice.. but never in such depth... plus as most Asian online stores... no one stands out from the other... all look the same.

    So before this post... it was just another online seller.. but now I can put it into a category in my memory. Which is definitely good for Choies...! Now whenever I will feel like getting a little crazy.. I know where to shop :)

    Swati @ The Creative Bent


Leave a comment. It's good for our relationship.