After having established the importance of quality clothing, it's time to talk about how to recognize quality when you see it.
The story goes that when someone is trained to recognize counterfeit bills, they learn to so by studying the real deal. And so it goes with quality clothing, as well. If you really want to understand the difference between a well-constructed piece and one that is inferior, get thee to a high-end clothing retailer or design showroom. Feel the fabrics, the weight of the garments, examine the stitching and the detailing. Try on some pieces, and see how well they fit. Once you've been around clothing with solid workmanship and excellent fabrics, you will have a much better sense for what goes into a quality garment.
Beyond familiarizing yourself with the look and feel of quality, there are a number of things that you can search for in a garment that indicate how well it is made:
1) High quality fabrics are usually made from natural fibers, and include cashmere, woven tweed, fine silk, and herringbone. The hand, or feel, of the fabric should be supple and smooth. If the fabric is stiff then it likely of a lesser quality. Also, beware of any sheen on suits or jackets, as this is a warning that the fabric is not up to snuff.
2) Quality clothing is usually lined. A lining helps keep the shape of the garment and protects it from any moisture and oils on the skin. But make sure that the lining fits the item, and doesn't pull the garment in any way. An ill-fitting lining will keep the piece from hanging properly when you wear it.
3) A well-made garment will have small, careful stitches that are flat and nearly invisible. If the stitching looks more like basting, puckers in any way, or doesn't appear secure when you pull on it, walk away.
4) Look to see that any stripes or patterns match up at the seams. Matching patterns is a step that is often ignored when building a garment because it is tricky to do. But it makes a huge difference in the overall appearance of the piece.
5) All hems should be double stitched, and for all intents and purposes, invisible on the outside.
6) Look for plastic buttons. This is one sure sign of a lower-quality garment. Also look to see that the buttons are neither on too tightly or too loosely. Either way can cause problems for the wearer.
Now that you are armed with the knowledge, I hope that you will feel confident the next time you need to make a quality call on an item of clothing.
See you here next time...same blog time...same blog channel....
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