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8 Secrets to Spotting High Quality Clothes

Woman looking at clothes for quality

This post about how to find high-quality clothes was last updated in January, 2019.

Do we really need to splurge in order to find high quality clothes? Not all of us can spend $400 on socks, and that’s okay. It’s about knowing how to spot affordable, reliable clothing without breaking the bank. That being said, here are 8 ways to pick out the best of the best.

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8 Ways to Spot High-Quality Clothes

1. It has lining.

This is when you say everything’s lined. Not true. I’ve definitely picked up some jackets and skirts that could have used a little extra help. We all have that one garment in our closet, where we ask ‘‘why is this see-through?’

Yet we take it home anyway because it’s chic. Yes, it’s true that some pieces are meant to be sheer. But most pieces need to be lined, or else the garment looks flimsy and cheap. For jackets and coats, I find  lined ones more comfortable against my skin than the un-lined ones.

2. It has extra notions included.

button up jeans

Ever had a jacket that zips and buttons up? How about a pair of pants with more than one hook-and-eye? When I’m trying on clothing, sometimes I wonder why there are so many latches, hooks, zips, or whatever.

Instead of asking that question, just count your blessings. Having an extra closure or a sturdy, reinforced seam goes a long way if you don’t have a sewing machine handy. These extra closures are also a mark of high-quality clothes.

3. The seams are straight, with top-stitching.

Look at the seams. Are they dotted, crooked or coming apart? Not a good sign.

Extra stitching — like top stitching — is a good sign. Usually pieces that have a lot of top-stitching are high quality pieces made with extra care.

4. The hem is smaller.

I’ve spent enough time in front of sewing machine to know that smaller hems take much more time than larger ones. Not to say you won’t find larger hems on high quality garments — it depends on the style and design of the garment. But, smaller hems take much longer to execute than larger hems, especially on slippery fabric like chiffon or jersey.

Lower-quality pieces need to be produced (and sold) quickly. So they’re usually going to skip the features that take longer to implement.

5. Decorative elements are secured.

woman wearing sequined dress

It’s pretty normal for a sequin to fall off a blouse or for a bead to fall off a sweater. But if the glitter on your razzle dazzle dress leaves a trail across the kitchen floor, then you have a problem.

Take that dress right back to whoever sold it to you. If it sheds in the bag, imagine what’s going to happen when you put it in the wash.

6. The material is strong.

Some fabric blends are stronger than others. You want to know why your jeggings, leggings, and yoga pants start pilling after only a few washes? Because they’re probably made from a cotton/polyester blend, and this blend is notorious for leaving little white balls in all the wrong places.

If you want sturdier pieces of clothing, try blends/natural fibers that are known for their strength like wool.

7. Look past the price.

Don’t depend on price for quality. Just because you’re paying a lot for a garment doesn’t mean it’s well made and comfortable. Try it on, test it out, and if you have the opportunity, look for reviews on individual garments before you buy them.

8. Remember wash and care.

Clothing care lable

High-quality garments can easily take a turn for the worse if they’re not cared for properly. Make sure you read the care labels and follow the directions. This will keep your favorite pieces looking fabulous for the long haul.

With the power of home economics invested in me, I now pronounce you a clothing expert. You may pick your clothes.

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