Published on April 29th, 2021
More and more people are becoming concerned about ‘fast fashion’. A lot of clothing isn’t built to last, and you’re far more likely to find cheap synthetics than natural fabrics like silk in fashion nowadays.
If you’re not deeply engaged with the world of fashion, it can be difficult to work out how to find and buy high-quality clothing.
Brands put a lot of time and effort into marketing, and it can be difficult to tell genuine, sustainable, quality products from overhyped cheap stuff.
But don’t despair. There are some simple tips you can follow to help you distinguish high-quality clothing. Read on to learn how to become a connoisseur of long-lasting, stylish attire.
How to Ensure Your Clothing is of Good Quality
Pay Attention To The Fabrics You Buy
What is high-quality clothing? Brands will often jump to provide answers: it’s whatever’s on trend, it’s fresh and new, it makes a statement.
More important than all of this, though, is how long the clothing will last. It’s no good picking up the most stylish item on the market if you’ll have to throw it away after a couple of seasons.
It’s for this reason that quality fabrics are so important. Firstly, the most important lesson to learn here is that not all fabrics are created equal. Try to choose natural fabrics over synthetic ones, and avoid items with too much of any of the following:
Secondly, you need to be able to tell the quality of the individual fabric. A label guaranteeing that an item is 100% silk for instance, won’t ensure it’s of high quality. Instead, you need to look at the silk itself.
But What Should You Look For?
As with most things, the easiest way to learn how to identify high-quality fabrics is through experience. Go into either a high-end clothes shop or a vintage charity shop.
If you choose the latter, look for anything made before the 1970s, and feel it. Try it on if you can – you want to get a sense for how the clothes feel to the touch and how they sit on you.
Don’t be afraid to get physical. Pull on garments to see the stitching, and never buy something so thin that you can see your hand through it.
You should be paying attention to things like:
Once you’ve spent enough time familiarising yourself with the feel of genuine, top-tier clothing, you should be able to identify it easily when you’re out shopping.
Buy From High-quality Clothing Brands
As we’ll note below, relying on recognisable brands isn’t always a perfect strategy. But at least you can learn what to avoid, and build up some knowledge on what’s reliable.
Avoid Fast Fashion
Brands like Zara and H&M build their business models around moving large numbers of cheap products. While you might find some hidden gems, it’s better to avoid these shops entirely.
Pick Your Brands For Purpose
Different designers will have different strengths and weaknesses. A top-end, stylish designer might be perfect for evening wear, but less so for something like exercise gear. If you can’t see yourself wearing something for its assigned purpose, don’t buy it.
Look For Honesty On The Small Details
It might not seem like much, but a label that just says ‘imported’ can hide a lot. Stick with brands that are open about their processes, and ideally ones that are upfront on their labels. If you find yourself unsure on this, following fashion bloggers can be a great way to stay in the loop.
On top of all this, you can keep your eye on brands that highlight their focus on sustainability and quality. Companies like Jigsaw and Know the Origin, both UK-based, are perfect for those who want to avoid cheap, disposable clothing.
Hopefully the tips in this article will help you find better quality clothing whenever (and wherever) you go out shopping. Aim for durability, find trusted brands and develop your own sense of how clothing should feel.
While choosing high quality clothing won’t solve a problem like fast fashion on its own, you can at least be sure that your strong, long-lasting garments aren’t going to be making things worse by filling up a landfill within a couple of years.