How to Recognize High-Quality Clothing

How many times have you looked at a stranger and noticed how well they were dressed? I’m not talking about how well the color and the prints of their clothing matched necessarily. I’m talking about how their clothes looked on them- how their suit hung well on their shoulders, or how their pants were creased and looked crisp. This is the difference between low-end clothing and the more expensive, high-quality stuff. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking clothing that’s bought at Wal-MartâÂ?¢ or K-MartâÂ?¢. I buy a fair share of my casual wardrobe at those type of department stores too. I can always find my size, and it fits my budget.

But if you’re looking for business attire, or for an outfit to wear for a special occasion, then you need to look for, and recognize high-quality clothing. Knowing how to spot well-made dresses, skirts, suits, blouses, slacks, shoes, and other wearable items, will not only help you buy distinctive dress clothes. It will also assure that you’re getting value for your money.

In order to recognize high-quality clothing, you’ll have to learn to look for specific signs. Buying costly, brand name items such as Gianni Versace, Polo, Adidas, Nautica, Alfred Dunner, and Nine West generally assure you that you’re getting your money’s worth. These brands usually wear and look good for a long period of time. But a brand name and a high price don’t always equal high-quality.

Here are the signs to look for to recognize high-quality clothing:

1. Fabric
Inspect the fabric whether the garment be cotton, gauze, silk, linen, wool, twill, polyester, velvet, and so on. The fabric should have been cut and sewn on the grain. Patterns and stripes should match all over the garment. Not run against each other.

The fabric should also hold its shape fairly well if you grab a handful of it, bunch it together, then let it loose.

Grab the fabric at the seams with both hands. Gently pull it. If the thread in the seams pulls apart a bit, they’re not sewn properly. The seams should be reinforced and the thread should hold securely.

2. Seams and Hems
The edge of seams and hems of a high-quality garment are always sewn straight. They are also “finished”. They are never left “raw”. This special application prevents the seams from unraveling. Seams and hems should also be pressed so they lie flat.

If a garment has a hem that’s at least two inches wide, that’s another indication you are buying the best clothing available. Wide hems allow the clothing to be easily altered, if need be.

3. Fasteners
Any buttons, hooks, et cetera, on the dress, skirt, suit, blouse, slacks, et cetera, should be sewn on securely. Check the garment for loose buttons and other fasteners. The button holes in a high-quality garment are often bound with thread for durability. Zippers should also move freely up and down without hesitation.

4. Trim
Any trim that a high-quality piece of clothing has should be sewn on securely. Gently pull on the trim at different places to test it.

The trim should also complement the garment in color and in style.

5. Linings
No matter what type of fabric the linings in suits, blazer, and jackets are made of, the material should be dense and opaque. If the lining was properly sewn into the garment, it will not be tight. Instead, it will hang with a bit of give so it doesn’t rip or tear.

6. Shoes
The best quality shoes are, of course, made from leather. Don’t always trust the look, though. There are many types of fake leather that look like the real thing. Always check the tags on the shoes to find out what they are made of.

Check the seams to make sure they are sewn straight. They should also be durable, and not pull apart easily.

Grab the sole and the upper part of the shoes and gently tug them. The sole should not come away from the upper.

Emblems, designs, and other trim should be securely attached to the shoe too.

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