Shopping quality is something that comes up often on this site. Or if it hasn’t lately it definitely needs to make a come back. I strive to have the highest quality for my clothes at either an affordable price or a good investment piece. Case in point: the outfit shown above. I’ve actually done both of these things at once with this outfit and I’m going to be talking about why it’s important and how to do it.
Now, shopping for quality clothes means knowing how to spot quality. There are times when just looking at a piece you can tell. Or if you know it’s a specific brand, chances are you’ll know if it’s a quality piece from that. Not always, but for the most part. Once you’ve gotten past just looks, how do you tell if it’s quality or not? Well first things first, inspect the garment.
Pick up the piece and give it a pat down. Is the stitching well done, without any loose threads, uneven hems or stitches, or ? Is the fabric in good shape as far as weave goes? What is the weave made out of? Cotton, wool, polyester, rayon, viscose, silk? Try to stick to natural fabrics such as cotton, wool, and silk. Yes sometimes these items can be more expensive, but that’s where investment pieces come in to play.
As far as investment pieces go I’ll say this: pick classic basic that will last for years. I’ve have these Frye boots going on six years (above) and they’re still as relevant to my closet as they were then. I also suggest investing in pieces like coats, handbags, and classic shoes (think the perfect pump or flat.) For basics like t-shirts, I say buy nice ones, but you don’t need to spend $50 for a t-shirt a la Macklemore.
So why is quality clothing important? Well you want to get your money’s worth, right? Too often we pay too much for too little. We buy what’s hot, new, and hip without checking to see if it will last more than a few wears, let alone a few seasons. If you want to build a wardrobe that will last, then start looking for quality wherever you can.
That said, quality is sadly getting harder and harder to come by these days. Even some of the brands that used to be prided on their quality have gone to cheaper methods of production and fabric. I still shop at these places so I’m not telling you not to, but use my tips above for retail shopping. Also, never buy anything full price. It’s a scam.
How can we combat this on our quest for quality? I also shop vintage whenever I can. To me there’s nothing better and you can find some great pieces that no one else will have! It’s fun not to look like everyone else, plus I’ve created a whole collection of vintage silk scarves that I treasure. I love vintage but it’s tricky to shop it (you can read my tips here.)
What’s your stance? How do you find quality clothes?