How to Shop for Quality Clothes


Attention shoppers! Since we’re not slaves to fashion, we’re skipping how to pronounce the names of the thousands of designer labels out there. (Is that what you thought this post was about?)

A lot of people are brand loyalists and shop according to brand. Quality clothes are not necessarily name brand. I’ve seen some cheaply made, high-priced, name brand clothes out there.

Quality clothes are built with care and built to last. You can find quality clothes at major department stores and thrift stores. You don’t have to spend a lot if you know what to look for.

Identifying Quality

First off, skip the label. We’re training ourselves to look for quality by getting out of the brand box. Next, follow these basic principles and you’ll be able to tell junk from jewels in a jiffy.

  • Determine if the fabric selection matches the purpose of the garment.

No matter how cute it is, you don’t want an exercise outfit made out of raincoat material; that cheesecloth skirt is going to require some secret service undergarments.

  • Check the seams.

Does the piece of clothing look like it’s going to rip apart when you tug on it? Does it look like your cat stitched it?

  • Check for hanging strings.

If there’s more than a few strings, chances are the piece will be in pieces soon.

  • Check the hardware.

Are the buckles, clasps, and zippers working and attached properly? Are all the buttons, button holes, and beads there?

  • Is the fabric forgiving?

We’re not packages ready to be shipped off. Clothes shouldn’t feel like a cardboard box.

Once you can identify quality, you can do your own QA inspections on labels, big and small. See how they measure up to your new, defined standards.

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