Monday, May 26, 2008

The Hallmarks of Quality

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....

(For more information on wardrobe planning, please visit my website and sign up for my E-Zine.)

10 comments:

Matthew Shields said...

Jenn
I made a trip to the store today to pick up a few new things I'll be interviewing a few people this week and wanted to look my best. Thanks for adice so far it cam in handy when making my selections.
Focus Your Energy
Matthew Shields

Scott Bel said...

Thanks for the awesome information. I liked the thing about making sure the stripes line up. A small detail that makes a huge difference in appearance.

Scott A Bell
www.scottalexanderbell.com

drpeter said...

It seems like all men's clothing has plastic buttons?


Dr Helton, making your skin beautiful without surgery

JW said...

Buy one "good" piece of clothing instead of 5 not so good!

John

Aaron said...

"If the stitching looks more like basting..."

I don't think I can parse this with my limited fashion vocabulary. Can you describe "basting"? And I've noticed the same thing Dr. Peter has in relation to buttons and men's clothing.

Aaron

Sheridan said...

Cool. Nice to get 'inside' a jacket.

Sheridan

Michael B. Roth, DC said...

Great tips. I will use this good information to my advantage, thanks! Have a wonderful day.

Yann Vernier said...

Great information Jenn. And very timely... It's time I buy a new suit.

All the best,

Yann
Yann Vernier - Personal Coach

PS: It really looks like you have a whole market with us guys!

S Chambers said...

Jenn,
Another great post. So what do tehy make high quality buttons out of for a shirt?

Steve Chambers, Sales Training Expert

April Braswell said...

and another detail I've heard about is that ticking tape on the hems. I can't think of what it is CALLED. I've seen them on casual clothes from Orvis.

Do you know what that is called? and for that matter, do you even know to what I am referring? :D

As a Romance Coach, my male clients I am usually recommending spiff themselves up a bit more to embrace DISPLAYING their masculine authority well (to which women are sexually attracted, so it sexes men up, too in a subtle manner, no cleavage displays please gentlemen). And to the ladies, I recommend a good push up bra and a bit MORE of a classy display of sexiness and availability.

All the best!

April Braswell
Romance Coach, Online Personals Coach, Online Dating Coach, Romantic Relationship Coach