WAMU 88.5 : Metro Connection

Filed Under:

DIY Seamstress Embarks On Year-Long 'Clothes Diet'

Play associated audio
Lauren Talley, 25,  finishes sewing a dress in her apartment in Northwest D.C.
Emily Berman
Lauren Talley, 25, finishes sewing a dress in her apartment in Northwest D.C.

Lauren Talley grew up sewing. She made sleeping bags for her Beanie Babies, and even designed her own prom dress.

Now, a decade later, Talley says she's alarmed at the poor quality and high price of much of the fashion industry's offerings. So she's decided to go off the grid, fashion-wise. No clothes buying, for a full year.

"I calculated how much I spent [on clothes] in the last year," she says. "It was over $2,000! I was shocked and kind of embarrassed that I had spent that much."

It was on a shopping excursion at Bergdorf Goodman, late last fall, that this all started to come into focus. As someone who sews, she saw Bergdorf's akin to a museum. She walked around the store, examining the way skirts were lined, and the blouses were stitched. She held up a beautiful dress, and looked at the tags. It was made of cotton, made it China and the price? $500.

"I didn't understand why you'd spend that much money on something that is the same quality you could buy much cheaper," Talley says.

So she decided to take a time out. "I can't change that our clothes were made there, but I can choose not to buy them."

The way she sees it, making your own clothes, is a lot like making your own food.

"You could easily go to a fast food restaurant and grab your dinner, and its another thing to go the farmers market," she says. "In the same way, you can run to H&M and pick up an outfit. To make something, you really have to want to make it."

[Music: "Wild Ones - Karaoke Version (Originally Performed by Flo Rida & Sia)" by Real Instrumentals from Pop Instrumentals Top 50]

Photos: Clothes Diet

NPR

How A Music Writer Learned Trust Is The Ultimate Backstage Pass

Lisa Robinson knows how to talk — and how to make others, especially musicians, want to talk. The veteran rock journalist speaks with NPR's Wade Goodwyn about her four decades behind the scenes.
NPR

Can Wal-Mart Really Make Organic Food Cheap For Everyone?

The giant retailer says it's adding a new line of organic food that's at least 25 percent cheaper. But a large-scale production and supply of organic food likely can't be achieved overnight.
NPR

Obama Adds Malaysia To His Asia Itinerary

Obama travels to Malaysia next week, where the government is under fire for the handling of a missing airliner. NPR's Wade Goodwyn talks to Josh Kurlantzick of the Council on Foreign Relations.
NPR

Watch For The Blind Lets You Feel Time Passing

A new watch allows the blind to feel time on their wrists. Designer Hyungsoo Kim tells NPR's Wade Goodwyn his watch allows users to tell time accurately without revealing their disabilities.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.