You know that you have officially entered an economic downturn when articles start appearing that offer utilitarian and, dare I say it, thoroughly useful advice. Like the piece on The Times’ website entitled "How to buy clothes that last".

There’s nothing earth shattering included; especially if, like me, you hand wash about 90% of your clothing and scrutinize the labels on garments to an alarming degree of detail.  It is, however, nice to see common sense reasserting itself after a prolonged period of gorging ourselves on all that is cheap and throwaway in fashion. 

Which means that, suddenly, advice that your mother would have given (and which in all likelihood would have been greeted with heavy sighs and rolled eyes) seems right.  And while I admit that it may not take a genius to ask the question "With trousers, skirts or dresses, sit down, stand up, sit down. Is it creased and disorderly? Are you? Is your underwear on show to the world when you’re seated? it often seems that it might, especially with the vast amount of knicker-related sightings that one encounters on a day-to-day basis. 

Of course, it would be lovely if an upsurge of interest in durability led to more clothes that were actually, well, durable (a drop in prices for "decent" clothing would be nice as well) but that’s probably just wishful thinking.