For most folks, scratchy or weirdly-placed clothing labels are not a big deal, as they can be snipped off and disposed of without much fuss. But for other people, particularly those interviewed for an article in today's Times, these tags are an epic tribulation. Leave them on and you risk a "distressing" situation like having "strangers, or your mother-in-law, tuck them back in for you." But their removal can be equally traumatic, especially when they are printed with fancy designer names or when the thought of a ragged label stub on your sweater is just too much to bear. If you suffer from these anxieties, you are not alone.
Leah Missbach Day, a 52-year-old photojournalist from Chicago, cuts out all of her tags but does not dispose of them.
[She] likes designer labels like Balenciaga, Alexander Wang and Dries Van Noten. But not next to her skin. “I cut them out because they’re scratchy and they bug me,” she said. “I’ve got a whole drawer full of tags.”
Rozlind Power, a 27-year-old events planner from Houston, cuts out the size tags if they're bigger than she'd like.
“It’s understandable when sizes vary so much,” Ms. Power said. “I wear an XS at Banana Republic but have a bridesmaid’s dress by Betsey Johnson that is Size 10, which I would probably cut out if I had to look at it all the time.”
Susan Fisher, a 56-year-old New Yorker, takes great pains when removing those bothersome little strings that tags are stitched on with.
[She] wears designer clothes by Donna Karan, Carolina Herrera and Jil Sander, [and] uses nail scissors to snip the stitching around labels and tweezers to pull out the threads. “Why leave them in there when they’re only going to annoy you?” she said. “The washing instructions are meaningless to me because I err on the side of caution and dry clean everything, and I don’t really care who made it as long as it looks good on me.”
But Marcia Sherrill, a 50-year-old handbag designer in New York, leaves her clothing tags intact.
She has a “moment of bonding” looking at the designer labels in her clothes before getting dressed. “To see the Givenchy and Yves Saint Laurent brands is a reminder that this little girl from Alabama made good,” she said.
That doesn’t stop her, though, from putting a Band-Aid over them to keep them from scratching.
In deference to these types of people, many clothing designers are printing their labels directly onto the fabric of their garments, or using high-tech transparent tags that nitpicky customers find less intrusive. Which seems to be a lot of effort to go through for something that has no bearing on a garment's outward appearance. In other news, it's slow season for fashion stories. Can you tell?