Generally, you cannot get something fast and cheap and expect it to be of the highest quality. When I first started out in fashion I was making custom clothing. I was being trained in couture techniques and my mentor told me that I will get customers that want a princess Di type dress or some elaborate hand beaded bodice, by next Friday and they only want to pay $100. I thought, okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration but I understand the point she was trying to get across. I was going to get customers that did not understand that quality takes time (and I have no desire to work for 23 cents an hour).
When you buy an inexpensive item and it doesn’t last, we brush it off with a simple, “you get what you pay for.” But is the reverse true? Does that mean that just because something is expensive that it is automatically of superior quality, well no, not always. And in all honesty, I have gotten inexpensive items that have way outlasted their more expensive equivalents. So, I ask, how do you know you are actually getting what you are paying for? There are those brands that are well known for their quality and you are comfortable spending the money because it is a safe bet that you are getting a high quality garment. What about emerging designers or smaller labels?
Before you drop hundreds- or even thousands- of dollars on that cute, new, must have garment, here are some details to look for and a few questions to ask;
- Is the person making your garment well trained in their craft? And let me clarify- well trained does not necessarily translate as ‘been working for 20 years.’ There are amazingly talented artisans that only have a couple years on their resume. Check their portfolio- Facebook- Instagram or reviews.
- Is it made from quality fabric? There are some amazing synthetics out there for performance wear and such, but for fashion pieces generally natural fibers still stand up better than synthetics. The fabric should also have a good hand. Nothing is worse than a dress you love but can never wear because it is super stiff or itchy.
- Do the patterns match up at the seams? Plaids, horizontal patterns and designs should match up at seams and pockets.
- Is the stitching work even and void of thread clumps? Top quality items will not have thread clumps or loose threads.
Now-how do you know if you are getting all of this? If you are buying it in a store you can see for yourself the quality of the garment. You can look at the label and see where it was made, examine the seams, see how well the garment hangs and check the hand of the fabric. However, if you fall into the increasing number of people that do their shopping on the internet you can obtain some info from the item description. Examine the photo of the garment and how well it hangs on the model. Also read through the about me page and you can always shoot them an email and ask them any questions you may have.
Now a plug for my business, because this is my blog and I can do what I want to. At ThE COalition for Fashion we use quality fabrics and our designs are either made in house by highly talented seamstresses or we use a manufacturer that I totally trust to produce the top quality that I require for my designs.
And as always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact us
firstname.lastname@example.org or 480-744-6461