DIY Seamstress Embarks On Year-Long 'Clothes Diet' | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Sept. 2

You can see a selection of Chinese films or meditate on the meaning of the word “axis” at an art exhibition.

NPR

These 5 Crops Are Still Hand-Harvested, And It's Hard Work

Saffron, vanilla, palm oil, cacao and cottonseed oil are still picked by hand in some parts of the world. Sometimes that manual labor shows up in the price of the food; sometimes it doesn't.
NPR

The Politics Of Calling In Sick

A growing grass-roots movement aims to establish paid sick leave in the U.S., enjoying some success at the city and state level. The issue is already playing big in 2014 political races.
NPR

Why Do We Blindly Sign Terms Of Service Agreements?

Audie Cornish talks with University of Chicago Law School professor Omri Ben-Shahar about terms of service agreements for software and websites.

Leave a Comment

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