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Continued: Shopping for American-made, vintage and do-it-yourself clothes

  • Article by: AIMEE BLANCHETTE , Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 24, 2013 - 4:09 PM

Kristine Huson, 42, South St. Paul

Job: Marketing and communications manager at Children’s Cancer Research Fund.

Describe your style: Vintage dresses with modern flair added via accessories and shoes.

Wearing: Vintage dress from Lula’s Vintage Wear, Nine West shoes from Herberger’s, vintage ’80s belt and earrings from Macy’s.

What’s your favorite piece? “I have a huge weakness for vintage coats. I have one signature coat that’s a real show stopper. People stop and ask me about it all the time. It’s steel gray faux fur. I joke that I skinned a Muppet.”

What does “socially conscious style” mean to you? “Supporting locally owned businesses, giving clothing a longer life before it winds up in a landfill, supporting companies that facilitate good working conditions for their workers and supporting companies that champion causes.”

Do you have tips for shopping vintage? “Combine vintage with modern so you don’t look like you’re in a costume. Ignore sizes (the sizes are different now) and just try things on. If buying online, measure yourself. Know which eras work best for your body type — look to vintage style icons as a clue. Dip your toe into vintage by buying a coat, jacket, purse or tie.”

 

Handmade

Mary Beth Newman, 46, Minneapolis

Job: Sales associate.

Describe your style: Late ’50s/early ’60s; dresses, skirts with a sweater set. “I never wear shorts.”

Wearing: Hand-sewn dress made with fabric by Echino for Kokka, a Japanese import fabric available at Crafty Planet; thrift store sweater, shoes from Miz Mooz.

Why do you make your own clothes? “It’s hard to find clothes I really love for a reasonable price and in my size. There are great clothes for the smaller women in this country, but not much variety when you’re an ‘ample woman’ like myself. So years ago I dusted off my sewing machine, found fabric that I loved and started making skirts. I found a great dress pattern a few years back and have made 20 of the dresses in various fabrics.”

Do you give much thought to where clothes come from? “Most clothing commercially available stylistically bores me, and is disposable and poorly sewn. I’m waiting for the day when people start valuing quality again. Sewing my own clothing gives me ultimate quality control.”

Can anyone learn to sew? “Absolutely! Classes are available all over town. Or you can ask a friend to show you the basics. Handcrafts are definitely back to stay.”



 

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    Forget fast fashion. A growing number of socially conscious shoppers want stylish, durable clothes – from U.S.-made to vintage to making their own.

  • Kaia Roberts, 29, has an eclectic taste for used clothing. She can't even remember the last time she purchased something new from a retail shop. Roberts says she enjoys the thrill of the hunt in finding pre-loved pieces and it's fun to take advantage of things that otherwise would've ended up in the garbage. July 10, 2013. ] JOELKOYAMA‚Ä¢joel koyama@startribune.com

  • Greg Martin tries to buy American.

  • Kris Huson in her home on July 12, 2013. ] JOELKOYAMA‚Ä¢joel koyama@startribune July 12, 2013. ] JOELKOYAMA‚Ä¢joel koyama@startribune

  • Mary Newman in her home on July 12, 2013. ] JOELKOYAMA‚Ä¢joel koyama@startribune

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