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In this article I want to talk about how you can find high quality clothing brands that last.
As we continue our talk about steadily establishing a wardrobe consisting of pieces you can wear for years, I’d like to lay down some of the elements I look for in clothing to determine high quality construction.
I talked about some of my favorite natural fabrics and why I think they’re wonderful for a long-lasting wardrobe in one of my articles. I’d like to take it a step further and discuss the construction aspect of things.
These fibers, when combined with a lot of the other characteristics I’ll explain, can help you locate a high-quality garment regardless of your budget.
Because, as you probably know, price isn’t always a sign of quality, and it’s all too easy in today’s world to be overwhelmed by a high or low price tag as an indicator of quality.
I’m aiming to dispel some of those beliefs and provide you with some tools to help you become a more informed shopper in the future.
High Quality Zippers
The first is a high-quality, well-constructed zipper.
Nothing beats a metal zipper, especially a YKK, in my opinion.
They make some of the greatest in the business. They’ve been around for a long time and are true professionals in their field.
I always look to see whether a clothing has a YKK zipper in addition to a metal zipper.
Then I’ll run it up and down a few times to make sure everything is in working order and there are no snags.
The following step is lining. Some of my more structured designs, such as jackets, blazers, coats, skirts, and pants, benefit from lining. It’s just a lovely addition, in my opinion.
Because your skin isn’t rubbing directly against the clothing, it extends the life of the item. It’s a lot easier to take care of, and I think it looks better on the body.
When feasible, I like to seek for a lining, and I get bonus points if the lining is made of a natural material, such as silk.
Extra Buttons & Thread
Extra buttons and threads are next on the list. These minor improvements, in my experience, are usually an indication that the garment was built to last and that the person who made it intended for it to be mended.
As a result, they want it to last a long time so that you can replace and fix items as needed rather than having to dispose of something.
I think it’s a nice touch because it reduces the frustration of having to seek out the exact same thread or buttons when you have a repair problem.
Natural fibers are my favorite when it comes to high-quality apparel that stands the test of time.
I wrote an article on some of my favorites and how I like to spot the finest quality possible, but I believe that it’s simply the best because it wears well, lasts a long time, is easy to care for, is comfortable, and so on.
However, I believe that a natural fabric is an added plus when seeking for a high-quality outfit.
It actually does extend the piece’s lifespan, and it’s something I look for in almost all of my apparel, but especially in things that I want to keep for a long time.
Strong, Neat Seams
Looking at the seams is one of my favorite methods to tell the difference between high and low quality.
This, in my opinion, tells volumes about the garment’s general structure, and it’s one of the first things I look for.
What I do is gently tug on it to ensure that it does not break apart on its own, which would be disastrous.
Then I double-check that it bounces back. You’ll be wearing the garment, and our human bodies don’t stay still. It’s crucial for a piece to move with you.
I also like to hold it up to the light and check that I can’t see through the stitches very clearly, as this indicates that it was done incorrectly.
I’ll also look for snags, uneven stitching, and anything else that appears sloppily done.
It’s been a great method for me to detect even high-quality things at a low price point since those small elements really do suggest how well the garment will hold up through washes and wears, which is something I believe is really important to consider.
Spot Cheap Seams
In a similar vein, I prefer to inspect the seams of everything I’m purchasing to ensure that there are no noticeable anomalies.
I like to turn the piece inside out and see how everything is put together.
Unfinished edges are usually a symptom of poor craftsmanship.
However, a serged edge, which is the common looping edge seen on clothing, is preferable to an unfinished edge. They aren’t the best, but they are the most popular and will suffice. It’s nice, but it isn’t perfect.
You should definitely pay attention to these seams, depending on how much money you’re willing to invest.
French seams, on the other hand, are, in my opinion, the Rolls-Royce of seams. They take a lot longer to make, need a lot more attention, and last a lot longer.
When it comes to patterned apparel, I want to double-check that everything is in place.
I enjoy florals and stripes, and I prefer to make sure that everything matches at the seams.
So I don’t like things to be completely off along the shoulders and sides because it just shows how much work and care went into making that piece.
If the time was spent to line everything up, you can usually conclude that the overall structure was done with a lot more care.
It’s not foolproof, but it’s a good indicator of whether the product will be of high or low quality right away.
Even, Secure Buttons
The next section is all about buttons.
I adore buttons, and I believe that the right one can completely transform a garment. You can transform something simply by replacing a low-quality button with a high-quality button.
But, beyond that, I like to inspect the garment I’m purchasing to ensure that the buttons it does have, even if they’re of poor quality, are lined up, firmly connected, and that the button holes match the buttons.
It may seem obvious, but you’ll often find that the buttons on a lower-quality clothing are a touch too wide for the buttonhole. This can lead to the buttonhole wearing out too quickly over time.
I also enjoy making sure that everything is in order. I don’t want a button that is completely out of place because it will show up with use, especially if it’s my jacket.
So there are a few things to bear in mind. You can’t unnotice them once you start noticing them. It’s a terrific tip to have in your apparel purchasing arsenal, in my opinion.
Rich, Even Dye
I also prefer items to be well-dyed and evenly distributed. I don’t like a lot of fading unless I’m buying secondhand, in which case I’m a little more lenient in the faded area because things can be re-dyed.
Last but not least, I appreciate well-cut items. Particularly when it comes to fitted items like jackets and blazers.
I prefer everything to be balanced. I don’t like asymmetrical shoulders, I want straight shoulder lines, and I prefer sleeves that are all the same length.
Just a general sense of consideration for the clothes. It not only lasts longer that way, but it’s also a good sign of the piece’s quality.
It’s also simpler to customize. If you have to repair someone’s faults to begin with, there is less work to be done.
Those are my go-to tips for detecting high-quality, long-lasting clothing brands, regardless of where I shop.