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Women's clothes... buy it for life? What are your favourites?

 
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Many versions on this same theme - this is one of the less (musically & linguistically) obnoxious ones, lol:  
 
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Catie George wrote:i could see it making sense, but not, personally, now.

My biggest issue is time! Sewing is not hard, but it is fiddly, and quite time consuming to do well (especially when taught by a perfectionist who does everything the '9right' way).

My last project took about 5 days of my Christmas break. Project before that 10 hrs and never finished. One before that (easy circle skirt) 2 weekends + 5 evenings.  Yes, you can save time by reusing patterns and buying the fabric and notions for multiple at once, but it's still a lot! I don't have 15 extra hours in a month to use for sewing at this point in my life.  



I think the main problem with many people is the time spent making something that ultimately they won't wear. Ask me how I k ow that! One needs to plan carefully, don't cut corners and choose a pattern and fabric that suit and is simple.
Maybe I will start a personal journey thread once I start seeing in the fall. I really think this is a skill worth reviving from a frugality and survivalist point of view.
 
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I have been disappointed by women's carhartts. The elastic seems to cut the life in half, plus they don't reinforce the top of the thigh and knee the way the men's carhartt's are reinforced. If you happen to find a very heavy women's cut carhartts, they might be worth a try.

I wear a lot of men's carhartt's, both light and heavy canvas. Ernie shreds them faster than I do. One surprising long wearing pair of pants for Ernie has been a pair of lighter weight, American-made, hemp fiber trousers.

My mother's go-to work and winter casual pants are flannel lined jeans from LL Bean. They are a good durable option. I don't love the heaviness; or how they feel when damp. I think I work in damp brush more than she does, she is more into smaller scale gardening and on-trail hiking.

I am also a big fan of thrift store and army surplus shopping for 100% wool, linen, cotton, hemp, or silk clothing, second hand. If you can tolerate odd colors or Grandpa fashions, you can sometimes find very durable stuff that way.  One long time favorite was olive wool Army pants with button pegged legs, the best for cycling in rain and misty weather.

 
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Erica Wisner wrote:One long time favorite was olive wool Army pants with button pegged legs, the best for cycling in rain and misty weather.


What a dream. I have a pair of old paratrooper pants in heavy cotton duck (the kind that look like they have a bike seat stitched in the crotch, looks uncomfy but quite the contrary) and another pair of HEAVY wool dress pants (too heavy for actual activities, like thick felt, not sure what they were for... deployments to Siberia?) that I got in an army-navy in NYC many, many years ago. Best purchases ever!

My love of Carhartts only extends to the men's pants, to be honest I've never seen the women's but I can believe that they would be substandard, sadly.
 
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I just remembered another place to look: Online consignment stores! When I was pregnant, it was really hard to find maternity shirts, let alone ones I liked. So I looked at online consignment stores. Prices were often thrift-store prices for the things I was looking at $3-6 per shirt. Sure, you can't try them on or feel the material, but they do tell you what fibres the clothes are made of, so you can search for linen or wool or cotton and click on ones that look decent and see if there's anything else in them other than cotton/linen/wool/etc.

It's actually kind of addictive, because you can just keep scrolling for what seems like an eternity, seeing more and more stuff. And, since the things a lot of us are looking for are usually not what most people are looking for, the prices often seem to be marked down.

Here's the one I'd bought my maternity shirts from, and now I'm scrolling endlessly through linen shorts and wool pants : https://www.swap.com/

Oooh, I just remembered I can organize the search results by price. $6 for brown 100% wool pants! Eeep!
 
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Nicole Alderman wrote:I
Oooh, I just remembered I can organize the search results by price. $6 for brown 100% wool pants! Eeep!



Ah! I had a favorite heavy wool pair.  In fact, I still might.  I know I no longer fit into them, but if I find them I will post them here for a giveaway.  It's hard to just let them go out the door if they won't be appreciated.  Treasures!
 
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I am a big sewist and have learned a few tricks over the years to make my sewing more efficient.  These tips may not work for everyone but they work for me.

Buying fabric, pattern, notions, driving, etc  = I buy notions in bulk from Wawak and patterns when they are on sale.  I check the pattern sales online and go to the stores with my list ready. Fabric online. So 4 hours per year total, .04 hours/week

Cutting out pattern = If I need to trace and add seam allowances this could be 1 hour, it could be 2 hours if I have to assemble the PDF print- at-home pattern.  With regular patterns, probably .5 hour

alter pattern = .33 hours as I have learned my needed alterations and have all rulers, curves, etc.

prewash + iron fabric = All fabric is washed upon entering the house, or sent to the dry cleaner if it is that sort.  It gets processed in bulk, so each individual fabric takes .1 to wash.  Ironing? I have an iron press and I also have the big board Big Board so even a large garment probably takes .5 hours

layout and cut pattern, transfer pattern markings, etc = I use generally simple shapes and employ pattern weights instead of pins.  I also use an elevated, extended cutting table with grid mats.  I use snips to mark almost all markings. .25 hours

Sew long seams and iron flat= .5 hours

Sew fiddly bits (plackets, waistband, press and sew darts, pleats, etc)= I try to avoid fiddly bits but if I do have to use them, .5 hours

Install notions,  buttons, clasps, zippers, etc, = Again, with my clothing style there are not many of these.  Maybe elastic, with elastic puller: .1 hour.

2.28 hours for a regular garment if I am doing the math correctly.
Hope these tips help someone.




Catie George wrote:
From my experience:
Buying fabric, pattern, notions, driving, etc  =1.5 hrs.
Cutting out pattern = 1 hr (read instructions, mark cutting lines, cut, iron pattern pieces).
alter pattern =0.5-2 hrs.
prewash + iron fabric = 1.5 hrs.
layout and cut pattern, transfer pattern markings, etc = 1-2 hrs.
Sew long seams and iron flat=1.5 hr.
Sew fiddly bits (plackets, waistband, press and sew darts, pleats, etc)=2 -4hrs.
Install notions,  buttons, clasps, zippers, etc, = 1-2 hrs.

So about  10 hrs to 15.5 hrs, plus more time for my screw ups, etc. About 5+ hrs of screwups on my last project- (button holer not working and 1 way directional fabric that you can only see in strong light, and a lot of seam ripping..)

My last project took about 5 days of my Christmas break. Project before that 10 hrs and never finished. One before that (easy circle skirt) 2 weekends + 5 evenings.  Yes, you can save time by reusing patterns and buying the fabric and notions for multiple at once, but it's still a lot! I don't have 15 extra hours in a month to use for sewing at this point in my life.  

 
pollinator
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I want to read all of this, but have a headache, so will do that later.  In the meantime, I've found shoes that are comfortable and last -- they are made in America, by SAS.  The first pair I had came from Goodwill -- I paid about five dollars for them.  So they were used when I got them.  After several years, I realized that I was still wearing them constantly, they didn't make my feet hurt (like just about all of my other shoes did after a few hours), and they were still in good condition.  So I found the company on-line and bought some new for myself and my daughter.  I still buy us each a pair of sandals every year for summer use, but the rest of the year we wear the SAS shoes almost exclusively.  They are expensive, but quickly pay for themselves because they last so well.

 
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I am a fan of TSC's blue mountain pants. 100%cotton kahki mens work pants. The material is holding up better then my mens carhartts. Not as soft though. But at $10 a pair during the sales? They work just fine.
 
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I didn't see anyone mention Red Ants Pants. Designed by and made for women in the U.S.A.

https://redantspants.com/products/original-work-pants/

And Tougher:

https://tougher.com
 
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Now that I've read how fast other permie women go through clothes, I feel better, but it is still shopping time. I have about 3 or 4 skirts with holes, 2 or 3 pairs of holey pants, and worst of all, my sandals broke. I have super duper wide feet. I can usually fit what they sell at Walmart, but that lasts usually 1 season. I tried Nordstrom. They have some, mostly in the men's section which weigh twice as much as in the women's section, and also leading less than a season (for more money) and neither Walmart or Nordstrom's are compostable. I thought of making my own.

I figure it might take as long and be more fun than a store, but now I'm trying to be practical here: any suggestions for superwide durable sandals? What about super wide cowboy or riding boots? Something the stickers and pokey seed won't stick in. Thanks! Ideally, if it won't last more than a season, be compostable.
 
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For sandals I've been really happy with Birkenstock clogs, they last a long time and are easily repaired. My feet are fairly wide, and I've had no issues fitting them.

For boots, I like Dr Martens, because they fit me well and the types I've had seem to last a long time.
 
Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
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Kate Downham wrote:For sandals I've been really happy with Birkenstock clogs, they last a long time and are easily repaired. My feet are fairly wide, and I've had no issues fitting them.

For boots, I like Dr Martens, because they fit me well and the types I've had seem to last a long time.



Absolutely!  Berkenstocks and DMs. My friend has a tattoo of the DM bootprint on her back!
 
Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
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Just a thought - I also have very wide feet. When buying walking boots or DMs, get the ones made for men as they tend to be wider. I had a wonderful pair of walking boots but when I walked the Camino de Santiago I was in trouble after 5 days. I reinvested in a good brand of walking boots but got those made for men and they were, and are, a dream to wear.
 
Melinda McBride
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Just thought of another durable clothing item I've appreciated. About 25+ years ago I bought an Australian-made waxed cotton riding coat from David Morgan*. My coat doesn't get the roughest use--I wear it to ride the bus, not to ride horses. But it's lasted and stayed waterproof for all this time. Once a year I give it a rinse and re-wax it. The cuffs and hem are now a little frayed, but it's still serviceable and waterproof. My partner had an expensive Helly Hanson parka of the same vintage. It had some kind of breathable membrane waterproofing (not Gortex). The waterproof membrane on my partner's parka has completely disintegrated, while my coat is still keeping me dry.

I am thinking of replacing my coat only for appearance. I will pass it on to someone else whose needs are more functional.

I have the lighter weight version, which I see they no longer have in my size. If you are in a very cold climate, the heavy version might get too stiff in the cold.

Here's the link to the David Morgan website:

https://www.davidmorgan.com/

Search for Driza-Bone to find their long and short coats.

David Morgan also has a good selection of hats (I bought an Akubra hat the same time as the coat and am still wearing it, too) and other high-quality items, but not a lot of clothing designed for women.

* David Morgan is a family-owned company that carries an interesting variety of products, from work wear to handcrafted jewelry. They are based in Bothell, Washington, USA, ot far from where I live.
 
Nicole Alderman
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I just got my order from Swap.com. I'm impressed! Everything fit and was in good quality (though some smelled strongly of the detergent the people had washed it in. So I'll be washing and drying those on the line!).

Out of 7 items, 6 of them were actually made from the materials they said. The cotton blue genes that I was so exited about, are actually 28% polyester (rather than 100% cotton) . But, everything else was the cotton, linen &/or wool that it was said to be. Now I have--for the first time in my life--wool pants and linen shorts. Yay!
 
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I have several pairs of these Wrangler jeans.  They hold up well and not too expensive.
These are your classic mom jeans but they are still 100% cotton and have decent sized pockets for women's jeans.  Not all Wrangles are 100% cotton but these are and are heavy enough to wear when doing a bee hive inspection.  They also come in 30", 32", and 34" inseams.  
https://smile.amazon.com/Wrangler-Womens-Relaxed-Heavyweight-Antique/dp/B001618J78/ref=sr_1_10?dchild=1&keywords=women%27s+wrangler+jeans&qid=1571612051&sr=8-10


If you are ever in New Hampshire you need to stop at the LLBean outlet stores here.  The one in Concord NH is my favorite.  I buy a lot of my clothing there and they have the best deals on pants but you never know what you will find.  

I recently picked up some nice cotton t shirts from Lands End one sale at Amazon.  They are a nice pima cotton and the are holding up nicely.
 
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Am I the only one who likes a jumper over a thin cotton shirt with or without leggings?  I feel like I can do anything when covered like that.  So easy to bend and reach, and not too much heavy restrictive fabric at the crotch and waist.  I do have light over garments I keep at the backdoor: polyblend wind pants and zippered hooded jacket that are good at keeping dirt from my getting ground into my inner garments.  I buy the leggings where I can, the thin shirts anywhere, the jumpers and wind garments at consignment stores.  Now that I don’t go to work, I can wear what suits me instead of ugly « normal » polyester outfits.  That makes me So happy!
 
Carla Burke
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By 'jumper', you're talking about what we call (in the USA, anyway) a sweater, right? If so, then, for me it kinda depends on what I'm doing, and the length & style of it. That's not something I'm likely to wear, if I'm going to be outside, doing chores (picking straw, leaves, critter feed, wood chips, etc, out of yarn-based clothing isn't my idea of a good time, lol). But, indoors, just walking, or in the car, absolutely!
 
Chris Stelz
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Hi Carla, I call a sleeveless pullover dress a jumper.  Sometimes there are buttons at the shoulders like overalls.  Sometimes they have a shaped waist, sometimes they just hang.  Basically they give modest coverage for bending while wearing stretchy leggings and shirts.
 
Carla Burke
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[quote=Chris Stelz]Hi Carla, I call a sleeveless pullover dress a jumper.  Sometimes there are buttons at the shoulders like overalls.  Sometimes they have a shaped waist, sometimes they just hang.  Basically they give modest coverage for bending while wearing stretchy leggings and shirts.[/quote]

Yay! Then, that would be perfect, for me! (I've friends from the UK, who call my 'sweater' a 'jumper'. It's just one of the things that I have to actually stop and think about, since we've been chatting a lot, in the last few weeks, lol.) But, I love this style of jumper, and had forgotten about them. Especially enhanced with loads of pockets, these are great do - it - all items!
 
Nicole Alderman
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I've always thought of Jumpers as the dress equivanet of overalls. That's mostly because I first encountered the term "Jumper" as a little girl, when they were in style. What I first think of when I hear jumper is



Or better yet:  



But, like Chris said, it's really any simple sleeveless dress you pull over your head.
 
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