In past lessons we’ve discussed investing in high quality pieces of clothing. But how can you be sure you’re actually getting quality. Of course heading straight for well known high end brands can be a safe bet, but sometimes even luxury brands don’t always offer the highest quality. So how can you tell if a piece is worth the price and will stand the test of time?
I’ve created a checklist to help you the next time you’re unsure of what to look for when it comes to quality…
√ Inspect the seams. They should be tightly and firmly stitched and finished off cleanly with no loose strands hanging.
√ Thread used should match the fabric.
√ Feel the fabric. It should drape well, have a good weight and feel nicely against the skin.
√ Buttons should be good quality (not chipped or flimsy) and sewn on securely.
√ Button holes should be cleanly finished and evenly spaced.
√ Look for hidden zippers. Occasionally an exposed zipper will be used as a design feature, but otherwise is typically a sign of a lesser quality garment.
√ Prints and patterns should match up at the seams.
√ Is there a lining if needed and if so is it the ideal fabric (heavy enough, a color that doesn’t show through, and not sticking to the outer fabric).
√ Check to be sure there’s no drop stitches in knit garments.
√ Check for any pilling on knit garments. If there’s already pilling it will not hold up in the long run.
√ Check the label for what the fabric is made of, look for natural fibres.
√ If any embroidery or handwork is present, look for uneven stitching as this proves it’s hand made and not stitched on with machine.
√ Check if any embellishments are sewn on securely.
HOMEWORK: As homework I’d like you to go shopping (brutal I know). Except this shopping trip isn’t about shopping exactly, but about exposing yourself to quality pieces.
Go to the most high-end shop in town. You needn’t buy anything, but take a good look at the garments and get a (literal) feel for what makes them nice. Feel the fabric, check the seams, inspect the details.
The more familiar you become with different qualities the better you’ll be able to make informed purchases in the future.