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The $5,000 Coat, or Can I Save Money by Making My Own Clothes?

A high-quality, beautiful, long-lasting coat...that you could make for a lot less!
A high-quality, beautiful, long-lasting coat from Bergdorf’s…that you could make for a lot less than the $4,990 price tag!

The other day, I was talking to a friend whose daughter has a great job. The daughter travels around the world for her company, and therefore, gets to shop in Europe (lucky!). Two years ago, the daughter went to a designer’s store in a European capital and purchased a $5,000 coat. The coat was exquisite, but the next morning, the daughter regretted spending so much money on a coat, and she tried to return it.

“My goodness,” said the clerk, “this is not America. We do not take returns.” The shop would alter and repair the coat forever at no charge, but it would not take the coat back. The daughter felt terrible at the time, but now, two years later, she realizes the value of her purchase. It fits her perfectly, and she wears it with pride. It truly will last forever.

Clothing as an Investment

While my sewing skills are not on par with a European designer’s, my friend’s story is a good reminder of what I am approximating when I make my own clothes: All the wools at The Confident Stitch are cast offs from designers, so when I use our wools, I am sewing with the same quality used by the $5,000 coat-maker; and, I will alter and repair my clothes forever. I won’t charge myself a cent.

Consider True Costs

When people say they can’t save money by sewing their own clothes, they are referring to fast fashion brands that use sub-par fabrics and under-paid labor. They need to compare what they sew with what they would pay for Eileen Fisher separates or a designer coat. An Eileen Fisher simple linen jersey tee costs $100. Linen jersey at The Confident Stitch costs $22 per yard, so for approximately $35, you can make yourself a linen jersey t-shirt. While you would spend less than $35 for a t-shirt at Wal-Mart or Target, you would pay almost three times as much for the Eileen Fisher tee.

Yes, you can buy a cheap t-shirt for $10 to $15, and a coat for under $100, but those clothes aren’t comparable to the clothes you make. The clothes you make fit the wearer, and are made with the perfect high-quality fabrics in the perfect colors. Plus, time spent making clothes is sewing time, and sewing time is awesome!

One thought on “The $5,000 Coat, or Can I Save Money by Making My Own Clothes?

  1. Becca G says:

    Many many years ago my Father said Beck buy the best quality clothing you can
    & pay attention to the cut & style, there are some fashions that are classics & others that are gone in a blink.
    I don’t make a ton of items but the ones I make I take my time to do right & buy the best quality fabric I can afford & I make timeless classics.

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