How many times have you shopped and looked at two almost identical pieces of clothing at two completely different price points and wonder how much of the price difference is related to the quality of the product or simply a brand premium?
It may be tempting to purchase the cheaper option, but first, to ensure that your purchase will last for years and not weeks, why not try our 6 tips to help you identify true quality?
Stitches should be consistent, evenly spaced and without loose threads hanging out at the ends. They should be taut but should not pull the fabric or cause it to pucker. This is especially so for fine fabrics such as satin and chiffon.
The number of stitches per inch (or SPI in short) can have a direct influence on the seam stitch appearance and the seam elasticity on stretch fabrics. Shorter and denser stitches on a garment take more time to sew but will make the garment sturdier.
A lined garment does not ensure its quality. Sometimes, lining a garment is an easy option to hide an average stitch finishing. Some fabrics look best without lining. How a garment is draped or pleated also determines the need for lining.
When lining is used, check to see that it’s not visible or shift around within the garment. The lining is also the layer that directly contacts your body, so make sure it feels good on your skin.
Next time you shop for a garment, take time to flip it inside out to take a look at its finishing. If a garment is unlined, make sure that the finishing isn’t sloppy with loose threads and overlapped stitching. Binding, french seams and clean finished lining may take more effort, but it adds to the strength of the garment making it look pretty inside and out!
4. Hems & Seams
Hems and seams should be straight and clean with no puckering around the stitches and zippers. If the garment has a pattern or stripe, it should align as much as possible at the seam. This means more effort and waste of fabric when cutting the fabric which naturally adds a little more to the cost of the garment.
5. Type of fabric
Natural fabrics such as cotton and silks feel lovely on your skin and breathe well, but they can wear out sooner than synthetic fibers and often require you to hand wash or dry clean them, which we know is a big no-no for many of our customers.
The good news is that with the advancement in garment technology, polyester no longer has to be associated with being sticky to the skin and non-breathable. These fabrics often cost more, but they last longer and more importantly, feel good on the skin.
6. Trust your hands
The best way to judge a fabric is to touch it. Does it feel thin or rough? Or does it feel smooth and soft? The more dense the fibre, the more likely it is going to last longer, and this applies to the most lightweight of fabrics.
Gently rub the inside of the garment on your skin, if it feels sticky or rough, it’s not going to feel good after wearing it for hours.
Lightly pull or scrunch up the fabric in your hand to get a feel of how it falls back into place.
Take these 6 tips with you the next time you shop and we promise you less heartache when an item you purchase wears out only after a few washes.