Posts Tagged ‘thrifty fashion’

Beverly Cleary, circa 1935.

… I unpacked my meager wardrobe: two woolen dresses, one brown serge and the other navy blue, the fabric cut from bolts of cloth that had lain for years on shelves in my grandfather’s general merchandise store … A skirt from a remnant, another that I had made from a pair of my father’s old gray pants. I had cut them off at the pockets, ripped the seams, washed and turned the fabric, which was perfectly good on the wrong side, and made myself a four-gored skirt to wear with a pink sweater I had knitted. A couple of cotton dresses; a bathing suit; a badly made skirt and jacket left over from high school; my precious bias-cut cream-colored satin formal, which made me feel like I was slinking around like Jean Harlow in the movies …

Beverly Cleary (1916-1921), American children’s literature author.

This quote is from Ms. Cleary’s memoir, My Own Two Feet (Morrow Junior Books, 1995).

I truly enjoy sartorial detail like this in a memoir.

At the height of the Depression, 1934, Ms. Cleary moved from her small hometown in Oregon to Ontario, CA to attend Chaffey Junior College. In those days, most people didn’t have big wardrobes. Nor did they toss away clothing like it was a used Starbucks cup. Clothing was kept and mended, altered, and refashioned. My great grandmother, who was a whiz at the sewing machine, made all of her daughters’ clothing, and anticipating future alterations, she always allowed for generous seams and hems.

Ms. Cleary’s sewing talents and thrift would be much appreciated today as we struggle to fight climate change while trying to find a path to sustainable fashion. I think one place to start is with this old goodie: Make do and mend!

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Frugal-is-the-New-BlackConsumers have changed their habits. They’re used to saving cash, and (that’s seen) as not a bad thing. We can only deal with so many possessions and the culture now is that it’s fashionable to be thrifty.

– Julie Palmer, business consultant at Begbies Traynor.

Interesting trend going into the important fall and back-to-school season. All year I’ve been reading article after article in Women’s Wear Daily about the Millennial (18-34) consumer spending habits veering toward food and electronics and leaving clothing on the shelf. Many have student loan debts and well as high housing costs plus since the
“Great Recession” consumers want a deal and are less likely to pay full price for anything, clothing in particular. Consider also the Millennial role models, high-tech types like Mark Zuckerberg. Need I say more?

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