...And Making the Choice of Quality Over Quantity
When it comes to choosing good quality well made clothes there are certain things you need to look out for. Unfortunately due to the rise in fast-fashion clothes are no longer built to last but rather built to last a season then be discarded in favour of something new. Ensuring the need for new clothes continues.
Below I am going to cover some things to look out for when buying new clothes to ensure they’re good quality well made items and why it’s important to buy good quality clothing. Throughout my experience in selling clothes for my clients and offering bespoke service, I have worked on with many different garments.
The quickest and easiest way to tell whether a garment is good quality and well made is by the price. As a general rule the higher the price the better quality the item should be, although it’s worth mentioning that is not always the case. You need to look at the other factors below to truly establish whether it’s good quality or not.
If an item is cheap then it’s highly likely that it’s made from cheaper materials and won’t be as well made as a more expensive item. Fast fashion clothes are cheap and generally not well made so if you visit stores that sell fast fashion it would be safe to assume that the items are not built to last.
Check the Stitches
The first thing you should do when checking the quality of a garment is check the stitches and seams. Look out for any gaps and holes in the stitches. To test the seams pull them slightly apart, not too much, just a little bit, if you see a hole then it’s not well made. The seams and stitches should be tight. The tighter and more frequent the seams the better.
The Hems Are Complete
Whilst you are checking the stitches and seams remember to check the hem. Is it complete? It’s not uncommon for fast-fashion outfits to have hems that have been cut rather than finished to save time and money. Often referred to as raw hems.
Hems that are folded over and then sewn will last longer and be less likely to fray.
Material Is Important
The material the item is made from is important as there are cheaper and more expensive materials. An example of cheap materials include man made material such as polyester, polypropylene, elastane, nylon and acrylic. Almost all fast-fashion items are made from these types of materials.
Natural materials such as linen, cotton, hemp and leather are considered more expensive materials and with correct care will last much longer than their synthetic counterparts.
Can You See Through the Material?
Hold up the item of clothing and check if it’s see through. If it is then that’s a sure sign that the item won’t last and will become misshapen after a few washes. Clothes made from sheer materials contain fewer fibres which makes them prone to tearing. Make sure to check any silk garments because even though they are lightweight if it’s good quality silk you still shouldn’t be able to see through it.
An easy test for checking whether a material is see through or not is to hold the item up to the light and check if you can see your hand through the material. If so it’s best to put it back and find a garment made from better quality material.
If you're in need of lightweight clothing for the summer choose linen and good quality silk clothes because although they’re very light they are still durable.
Check The Labels
Always check the labels for two reasons. One to find out what materials the item is made from and two to see if the label has clear care instructions on it. If the garment is made from good quality materials it’s likely that the label will provide more detailed care information. The company gets bonus points if they include details about where the material was sourced and what grade of material has been used. This tells you that the company has a good ethical policy and cares about their impact on the planet.
How To Tell If It’s Good Quality Denim
New jeans should feel stiff and heavy. That is a sign that they’re made from high quality denim. If they are light and flimsy then they’re made from cheaper denim with fewer fibres that will not stand the test of time. Some companies pre-wash their jeans in chemicals to make them appear softer but this can make them less durable. When it comes to jeans the harder and firmer the better.
Why Choose Quality Over Quantity
Making the conscious decision to choose quality over quantity is important for a few reasons:
Better For The Planet
Fast fashion is incredibly damaging to our planet and environment. In fact it’s the second biggest polluter in the world after the oil industry. . As the need for mass produced clothes increases so does production and transportation both of which have a big carbon footprint.
According to a new study produced by Finnish school Aalto University fast fashion produces 92 million tonnes of waste per year.
Better For Your Wallet
It may not seem like it to start with but buying better quality items is actually better for your bank balance. Aim to buy better quality items which may initially cost you more however it will save you money in the long run as you won’t need to constantly replace your clothes.
‘’Buy less, choose well, make it last’’ Vivienne Westwood
Better For You
High quality clothes make you feel better and provide a more enjoyable experience than the cheap alternatives. Clothes that are high quality generally fit better and hang better as clothes made from thick and sturdy materials always look better than clothes made from cheap thin materials.
There is also a psychological aspect to it as when a person spends more money on an item they feel prouder wearing it, meaning they stand taller and also look after the item to prolong its life.
In conclusion the ultimate aim when it comes to your clothes is to buy better and make it last.