Friday, May 16, 2014

The Hunt for Quality

In a marketplace consisting of mainly fast fashion, finding a quality garment amongst the variety can seem almost impossible. With stores like Forever 21 and H&M changing their inventory what seems like daily while keeping price tags ultra affordable, garments and accessories are no longer manufactured to last. Instead, they're manufactured as quickly as possible to provide us with the constant storefront change that we know and love so well. If you can spot quality in places like these, the super-low ticket price will pay off in the end... if not, you may end up with a garment you can only get one use out of. Fortunately for all of us, spotting quality actually isn't that hard! Check out our tips on how to find pieces that will last.

Look Inside
A well-made garment looks as great on the inside as it does on the outside. Enclosed seams, like the ones seen on the inside of this jacket, are also an indicator of quality. Because seams like these utilize more thread and demand more time and effort, they show that a lot was invested into the making of this garment. They're also great because they improve comfort and allow the garment to lay correctly on the wearer.

Check Details 
Get technical with the product to understand how much time was put into its appearance. Items that are produced quickly in mass amounts typically have flaws because of how rapid the work pace is. Check how straight the stitching is. Look at fixtures and closures. Try zippers. It's all in the details.

Read the Tag
Be aware of what the garment is made up of. Cheap fabrics like polyester, rayon, and acrylic are not going to last. If you have to, do a little homework on fabrics... they all have pros and cons. For example, cotton is great for soft, comfortable clothing, but it tends to shrink in the dryer.

Examine Seams and Hems
The seams of your garment will show you how it will fit you. If you see a seam naturally twisting instead of going straight down on the side, you know the piece won't fit correctly... think of all those tops that you fidget with all day every time you wear them. If hems aren't lying flat, this is another flashing sign that the garment was not produced with care.

Try It On
Get a feel for the durability of the piece by trying it on. Can you see through it? Thin fabrics are used more and more in trendy pieces in order to produce them inexpensively. This is an immediate indicator that the garment is not quality. 

With these quick tips, you will learn how to pick out the creme de la creme at discount stores. Hopefully your new-found eye for quality will also ease the pain of spending a small chunk of change in exchange for a great garment. Shop on!

Truly Yours,
P.S. "It's better to have fewer things of quality than too much expendable junk." - Rachel Zoe

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