Today, it's hard to spot quality clothing based on the price tag alone. Costly designer garments can be shoddily made; modestly-priced clothing can be of top quality. To get the most for your money, look for good fabric, appropriate styling, and proper construction and finishing -- good buys can be found at every price point. Try these tricks to sort out the good from the bad:
- Examine fiber content and care labels. Quality fabric has more natural fiber, and can endure normal laundering or cleaning processes.
- Assess the overall appearance. Gathers or puckers at the collar, cuffs, or waistband signal a poorly made item. Top stitching should be flat and even, zippers should be hidden and smooth.
- Check buttons, buttonholes, and fasteners. Bulging buttonholes are a bad sign; closures should be neat, tight, and adequately attached to the clothing. Check that buttons are firmly sewn.
- Check hems. Unless a visible hem is part of the garment's design, hems should be invisible. A hem that rolls or twists is a warning that the fabric was cut off-grain (and the garment will follow).
- Eyeball the seams. Look for straight, smooth seam lines and even stitching. Seams that are stretched, skipped, scanty, or bubbled will look even worse when worn.
- Finger the finishes. Flip up the hem and check seam and hem finishes. A well-finished seam won't ravel; a generous hem will allow alterations and will help a garment hang properly.
Save money on clothing
Clothing, like food, is an "elastic" expense in the family budget: it can be stretched or squandered. Save money and keep the family well-clothed with these tips:
- Shop seasonally. Best buys on clothing occur at the end of each season, when clearance sales move out winter clothing to usher in spring styles. Retailing seasons are falling further and further out of whack with the real world, so pay attention! Shop for clothing bargains when retailers move from one season to the next.
- Don't buy just to buy. Shopping for clothing can be part outing, part therapy, and part social event. Stick to your lists, and if you don't find what you're looking for, don't buy something else just to buy something. That's a prescription for clutter later on -- a desperation purchase that takes up space because you really didn't need it and now won't wear it.
- Know when to mend. Clothing in need of a stitch or two can be found at great prices, but be smart about taking on garments that need repairs. Know your sewing skill level and let it guide you. There's no point in buying pants that need a new zipper if you've never touched the zipper foot of a sewing machine!
- Shop at thrift or consignment stores. Quality pre-owned clothing may be purchased inexpensively at thrift or consignment stores. A bonus is that the consignor will check incoming clothing, and will reject stained or very worn garments.
- Peruse garage sales for deals. At yard sales, do judge a book by the cover; a seller offering carefully hung clothes beats the neighbor's jumble of dusty garments. Look for quality labels as brand names can shortcut the search for good quality in pre-owned clothing. Just be sure to also check garments for any odors, stains, missing buttons, etc. Your deal can quickly become a dud if you get home and find your purchase now gets relegated to the "gardening clothes" pile.
To be sure all of your treasured clothing purchases have a clean, organized space to be stored in, please consider having custom organizers, cabinetry, and shelving designed and installed for you by Closet City. We can virtually double the storage space of a standard closet, providing you with ample room to snatch up clothing deals all year long!
Work Cited: Townley Ewer, Cynthia. “Cut the Clutter: a simple organization plan for a clean and tidy home.” DK Publishing, 2016.