From a young age I remember seeing Nan’s sewing machine propped up in the dining room alongside her bag of knitting needles and several (quite garish, as it was the 80’s) different colour knitting wool balls. Being a child of the wartime generation and one of 13, she was used to rations of which she brought forward into her everyday way of life and wearing hand-me-downs and sharing clothes with her sisters wasn’t something unheard of.
Across a mix of Trousers (often from one of her sisters wardrobes), Shirts (purchased from in town), Dresses (made by her own fair hands following the latest patterns), one or two Coats (again, hand-me-downs) and Knitwear (hand knitted ‘roughly’ following the pattern, liked to add a twist did Nan!), on average I think I can remember there being a maximum of 12 pieces in her wardrobe all of which were seen as necessities and then a few other garments for ‘special occasions’. It was through seeing these styles proudly hanging in her wardrobe, neatly pressed that I started to see how much she valued the longevity and the wear potential she could get from each garment.
If we were to compare this with modern times, we could look at the cost a garment would have been in the 60’s of which was made in the UK, from £7 for a pair of trousers (equivalent to approx. £155 in 2018) to £3 for a Shirt (equivalent to approx. £70 in 2018) in reflection to the number of times each garment was worn, countless times where Nan was concerned so let’s estimate at least 250 times across a 6-7 year period. This equals £0.90 average per wear in today’s cost equivalent and the garments were still holding strong!
Quite an interesting comparison but something which is intriguing to think about when reviewing a garment’s price alongside the story behind the creation, and at h.huna we really do wish for each and every piece to be loved and worn for as long as possible in reflection of our Grandparent’s eras.