The ‘sow your own clothes’ ethic is not what it was a generation or two ago. Our grandparent’s generation made their own clothes because it was a less expensive option, because it could produce good results, and because it was an expected thing for women/mothers of that time. Younger people (usually girls) learnt how to do this from their own parents, and the considerable skills required were simply part of their upbringing.
There is a certain loss of creativity here. The average person no longer possesses these sowing skills, but they usually don’t possess the time, motivation or the need either. It’s cheaper to buy a department store dress than try to make something equivalent. And while designer brands are more expensive a home-made equivalent (which is sometime very good) doesn’t have the designer label, so it misses out on the prestige.
One up-side to this is that we all (both genders) spend more time on other pursuits; we can afford to concentrate on a career and specialize a little more. Hopefully our creative side is catered to by this. Another up-side is that we can afford to dress rather well with only moderate expense. If there are clothes available, and there seems to be more than ever, we can usually afford anything so long as it isn’t high fashion or designer label, which aren’t needed unless we are at a special occasion or mixing with the super-rich. These days it’s easy for the average person to have a reasonable high standard and still be individual with all the options available.
Problem is that what we buy off the rack is not tailor made to suit us. This is largely compensated for by the considerable number of styles and variations available; we can usually find some things that fit us; but there are always more individuals than options. If we find something that we like, something that suits us psychologically, but doesn’t suit us physically, then we should consider alterations.
Alterations are no longer the domain of most home hobbyists. A few individual have the experience and skill set for this, but most alterations are best left to the specialist. If you do find that item that looks right when you see it on the rack, but isn’t looking right when you put it on, consider alterations. Alterations don’t change everything, but they can do more than most people realize. If the part of the clothing that is hardest to fit is right, (if the shoulders on a top, or the thighs on the pants are right) then the rest can usually be bought into line. If it’s one or two alterations than a garment can be perfectly cost effective to alter.
Today we have more options than ever for clothing. Designing your own styles may not so popular anymore, but not too many people had the imagination for this anyhow. Now the clothes are made by the people who specialize in clothing design. Either you buy something made specifically for yourself, or you choose something specifically for yourself with the knowledge that a little alteration is always an option.
These days we can almost take descent clothing for granted, and spent our time on what we happen to find important in life, quite probably in aptly suitable attire.