The Costs of Fashion

And How To Calculate What You Want To Pay.

I’m not talking about the ecological price of fashion, for as long as you only use natural fibers, like I do, the cost is negligible.

The Cost To Your Wallet

This is to many this is the important point. How much do I have to pay? Can I pay less somewhere else? Before you do much of that you need to understand…

The Cost Of Making It

There are two parts to the cost of making something. The Cost Of The Materials and The Cost Of Time.

Some styles, yes probably only take an hour, maybe two, to make nicely. Especially if they are mass produced, but even some slightly customized pieces won’t take any longer. Even a fully customized to a odd body shape, may depending on the style, only take an extra hour.

But, as soon as you add lots of details, even if you aren’t supposed to notice the details, (looking at smoothly set in sleeves, they are the literal worst) the time adds up. And the more seams, particularly fussy seams, the more time.

People should be paid well for their work. Here in the USA, the minimum wage is a little over seven dollars an hour. But that is for unskilled labor, so many people recommend that seamstresses ask for more. I have slightly mixed feelings about asking for more, because it is already expensive enough to pay for many full days of work.

That is in America though. The cost of living is higher. So we need more money to survive. So… You look for somewhere with a lower cost of living and pay them!

Yes, this is a great idea. Buy “everyday”, “basic”, clothes from a shop that cares about their workers, it strikes the best balance between the cheap things that come from Chinese Slave Labor and the expensive things that will support someone.

Look for people who mention living wages and other such terms. Look for shops that talk about knowing their workers. Ask about how much they pay. You may get a slightly odd quote, but there may be a reason behind that. If they tell you they “pay per piece” glance at their price extremes and you should realize why, some garments are hard and some are easy.

So now that you’ve read through the lecture on supporting others, let’s talk about materials. Look at the specs for the dress and at the details, then look online for how much that material would cost. Then subtract up to 20% on the assumption they got it at wholesale prices.

So how much should you spend? It depends. But spend wisely.

A Photoshoot Of Style

As a small town librarian there is plenty of time for personal projects. I chose recently to document what I was wearing as I enjoyed the look.

As the day was cold I chose the thickest, longest socks from my collection. I also choose the leather Reeboks as they are the best for walking and running in.

My skirt is a lovely purple, 100% wool, pleated affair from Pendleton. I got it at the thrift store. (I live in a lovely neighborhood for thrift stores.) I noticed the fabric first, then the length and style. Upon discovering that it would fit me I bought it. Only then did I realize that it was purple and I, therefore, didn’t have to worry about trying to get more purple into my wardrobe.

The books are Inheritance by Christopher Paolini, Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery, and New Chronicles of Rebecca by Kate Douglas Wiggin. I’ve read them all and enjoyed them to varying degrees.

Lastly, I know nothing about the shirt, other than the fact that it is a maroon basic. The purple hair ribbon is a satin strip that I picked up somewhere.

There you have it. Do I look like a librarian? Should I go through and remove all the k’s because my eyboard is acting up and not letting me get it on the first hit?


Shoe Thoughts: Vans off the wall

I have never cared for the look of Vans or Converse. In my mind they both look very close to the same and neither of them look flattering. So when we were given a couple of pairs they stayed on the shelf.

Finally on a rainy day last spring I decided that my leather sneakers wouldn’t do. I wore them once, thought they were reasonably comfortable and then summer came and I went barefoot.


Fall came and has no mostly gone and I started wearing them again. We’ve been having a bit of Indian Summer for the past couple of weeks but it’s getting cold again. I took the pictures in this post several weeks ago during the second snow we’ve had this fall. Hurrah for global warming.


The color. I hate light colored shoes, they just show the dirt. (but it’s okay, my leather sneakers were white) These pictures are not an accurate representation of how my shoes look now.

The shoes are loose.



The shoes are loose.

The shoes are comfortable. I don’t know if this is partially because they are probably like three sizes to big, but they are wide enough that I don’t mind wearing them for hours.


Snow is weird.


An Outfit Of This Summer

Over a year ago I posted about two items I made. A super cool Butterfly Shirt, modeled after my favorite shirt of all time. An Orange Skirt, basic, but quickly using up the fabric I brought back from India.

I wore them together because they were both brand new and I was super proud, but I’ve been wearing them together ever since and I will admit I love the look. It’s bright, it’s bold, and the fact the the shirt is mostly blue is hardly noticeable.


So M and I went out the other morning and caught some pictures that captured the essence of the outfit. And Me. And when I wear it.

I actually found it a little difficult to pose in because the grass was little more than dew and clippings. Also I’ve decided to stop wearing it for the summer. I like to wear it several times in between washes, so that it will not get as worn out so quickly.

Sorry there are no pictures of the back of me, but M thought my hair was a mess.

I think that is all.

A yellow and purple plaid with with white writing saying "leave a comment"

A Swimsuit And A Throwback

You may remember back at the beginning of summer I made a swimsuit. I promised to come back at the end of summer and review. I wanted to review it earlier, but I kept not getting pictures. I still don’t have pictures of me wearing it, but I’ve finally got a nice flat lay. So pictures of it worn may be coming, but for now..

The Fit

Lets be honest I made it myself, so of course it fits well.

The Built In Bra

No that doesn’t go under fit, but it works perfectly. I’m so glad I decided to use my fabric scraps for it.


The Swimability

Can I swim in it. Yes, really well.

The Green Factor

The only new material that went into the swimsuit was the thread. The main fabric is rayon, but there is some rubber in the elastic. And the zipper is plastic.


The Style Factor

You might not be able to tell, but I think it looks super cool. A slight 1920’s inspiration, with an asymmetric hem.

Honestly I’m super happy with it. I’ve never even considered making a swimsuit before and now I’ve made one.

Here is a random picture of the sunrise I got this morning when I went out to get the rest of these pics.