I read a book recently that changed the way I think about how I dress.
I don’t spend a lot of money on clothing. In fact, since I’ve started WildFire Accessories two years ago, I think I’ve spent less than two hundred dollars on clothing. That’s about $8.33 a month on shirts, pants, coats, shoes, and anything else.
I would love to tell you that this is because I’ve taken some kind of stance against our culture’s obsession with consuming more than it needs, but I haven’t. To be honest, I’m just usually broke, and food and fuel often trump the need for a new pair of shoes.
But, then I read Overdressed by Elizabeth Cline.
It was a great book; something anyone should read if they’re interested in sewing clothing or sustainable fashion practices. It isn’t just about sweat shops and how you shouldn’t buy anything made in China like you might expect. It goes into depth about how, even with the raising prices and inflation, fashion has actually become cheaper – both in cost and quality.
Throughout the book, Cline explains the contrast between buying clothes 100 years ago to now. How a well made dress in the early 1900′s may cost $200-$400 by today’s standards, but now, it’s common to refuse to pay more than $20.
How did we get to the point where we have to decide between buying a latte, lunch, or a new item of clothing??
As you may have guessed, Overdressed was somewhat of a game changer for me. Between my lack of funds and the desire to move our economy and quality of work standards forward, I have made some changes to how I think when buying clothes.
I would love to buy made-in-America items all the time, but, in reality, I don’t have the budget for it. So, as Cline suggests, I’m resolving to make most of my own clothing. From now until whenever, I’ll be striving to make more and more of my fashion accessories and clothing pieces here at home. When I need to look elsewhere for necessities, I’ll be looking for handmade and U.S. made products.
I’ve kicked off this new way of thinking by sewing several items for myself and others. The McCartney jacket, which you saw in a recent post, a custom hoodie for my nephew’s birthday, and a pair of shoes!
My “everyday loafers” – pattern by Shoeology
Ok, so they’re not really shoes since there not equipped to be worn outdoors, but with the right materials they could be.
I found this pattern in an Etsy shop called, Shoeology. She offers a handful of patterns from ballet flats to boots. I chose the “Everday Loafers” as my first project. The pattern was super easy to follow and I could make these with the materials I had on hand! But, I’ll talk more on that later….
I haven’t really decided what my next project will be but I’m trying to pace myself. Each bit of clothing is a challenge because I’m still so intimidated by the idea of sewing with a pattern. Isn’t that ridiculous?!?
I think I’m going to try out is the Neptune Tee by Pattern Anthology. We’ll see how it goes!
I would love for you to join me in this quest to be more conscious about our fashion choices! Stay tuned for more posts about my new goal and feel free to share your projects as well!