You walk down the produce aisle of a grocery store firmly squeezing a cantaloupe, inspecting spuds for eyes, carefully inspecting the vegetables. You do the same in the meat and dairy, carefully screening the products for defects, dings, and holes. If you're feeling really picky, you might even read the ingredients labels of prepackaged foods. Quality is highly important when buying food, and usually that diligence pays off. Plus it would be a waste of money to buy something defective.
When it comes to shopping for clothes, you might take a similar approach, carefully reading sales tags, looking for the right size and fit. But are you considering the longevity of the garment? How it was made? What about its practicality? The majority of us do not, especially in our world which is inundated with trend after fashion trend leading us along. Just because something is pricey, doesn't mean that it's well made or even better than a cheaper garment. That being said, you do tend to get what you pay for. A $5 bargain bin t-shirt probably won't last quite as long as its $10 department store counterpart. Sometimes it takes longer than a store's return date policy for a garment to completely fall apart, which means money has been pretty much wasted. It's estimated that the average American household spends $1700 annually on clothing alone. Here are some tips to avoid spending more than you anticipate on your wardrobe.
How to spot issues
One surefire way to determine if a garment won't last long is to check the hems and seams. I'll be honest, I'm no seamstress, I can hardly manage a clean back-stitch, however I can tell when something is wrong with an article clothing. Crooked seams, sparse stitches, and enormously thick hemlines are evidence of bad construction. If there are buttons, are they firmly sewed on? The same goes for sequins or beading. If it's not firmly attached, don't buy it. When buying jackets and skirts, check to see if there is lining on the inside. Lined clothes tend to cost more because of the extra step in making them, but they will last in the long run. Check the care tag on the inside of the garment to see what it's made of. Natural fibers tend to do better in the wash than synthetic ones such as acetate and nylon.
Among some of the hottest trends competing for attention this year is what is being called “Scandinavian Style.” The clothing of this style is understated, practical, and minimalistic. Form does not outweigh function in the clothing designs, which is why it is so refreshing to see. The most important aspect of the clothing is the quality, is that they are made to actually last longer than the season's latest fads. There is a growing interest in children's clothing from Scandinavia, most notably in the brand Pale Cloud. Part of the wonder of the way these clothes are marketed is that the brands which represent them don't plaster themselves all over the apparel; the clothing speaks for itself.
When it comes to shopping for clothes, make sure to place quality as a top priority. It may make your shopping trip a little bit longer, but you'll be thankful you did!