Can you identify a Well-made Garment? 4 Tips to help you make Better Choices when purchasing new clothes:

Finding high-quality clothing, that will look good, and will last for more than a few months, is getting increasingly more difficult to come by.  Those real gems in fashion are getting really hard to find, whether you shop at the high fashion boutique, a department store, or a vintage shop.

Learning to identify the signs of good quality will then also teach you to recognize crappy, crummy and bad construction.

4 Key Qualities to look out for when you are shopping for clothes:

  1. Assessing the fabric;

How thick is the fabric of the clothing? 

Thinner fabrics might be suitable for modern styles, but are also indicative of a cheaper quality.  Items of clothing, like jeans, t-shirts, and shirts, should be able to withstand regular wear.

How does the fabric feel?

Does the fabric feel smooth, rough, stretchy, soft, heavy, etc.?  The heavier fabrics tend to be the better fabrics.  Test for wrinkling by scrunching the fabric in your hand.  If it is too lightweight and wrinkles immediately leave it be.

Is the fabric weaved tightly, or more loosely?

A garment will be more durable when it has a tighter weave.  Loose knits can more easily get snags and tears.

Is the pattern good to look at?

Bold patterns with stripes or plaid should be lined up neatly at the seams and hems.  Avoid pieces that should match, but don’t.

  1. Examining the finishing details:

How is the finishing on the seams?

A good quality garment will have more stitches and therefore tighter seams with less chance of coming apart.  Top-stitching should be in a matching thread and straight.  Also look for flat stitches, no loopy ones that can get snagged.

How are the buttonholes made?

The buttonholes should be tight with no visible loose ends.  Make sure that extra buttons are included to make repairs easier.

  1. Take a look around:

Compare several items of the same size to look for consistency.  Well-made garments will have minimal variations between each item.  Fast fashion items can vary wildly.  Read reviews of other people and their thoughts about your items of choice.

  1. Ask yourself the following:

Do I have something to wear with this?  Can I wear it with another clothing item?  A good measure for your answer would be that you can wear the new clothing with 2 or 3 things already in your closet.

Also, read the care labels; finicky details, dry cleaning and other worrying wash and dry care, should warn you that the care can turn out to be annoying and expensive in the long run.  Better to avoid this and be realistic about the care the clothes you wear actually need.