TV Segment: 7 Signs Of Quality Clothing

This story airs on KTRK, Channel 13 News in the Stretch Your Dollar Segment on March 6, 2013. The tips and details about the clothing shown in the story is provided below. Thank you Coquette Boutique for providing the shoot location and all the garments used to demonstrate the tips.

Quality clothing is worth spending extra for because it lasts longer. Quality costs more because finer hand craftsmanship takes more time and finer fabrics are more expensive to produce. How can you tell whether a garment is constructed to last or cheaply made? Here are 7 keys to quality fabrication:

1. Lining  – When a garment is lined, it lies smoothly and moves easily on your body. Unlined items can ride up or bind up. If the lining is properly sewn into the garment, it will be a little loose. The lining will hang with a bit of give so it doesn’t rip or tear. Lining also provided coverage under sheer fabrics, so you don’t need a slip or camisole.

  • Mannequin is wearing: ALC Leopard print  and leather jacket ($1199), Coquette Boutique


2. Seams – Check the seams to see if they are strong, flat and straight. Steer clear if they are they crooked, puckered, separated or coming apart. Extra stitching, such as top stitching or bound selvages, is a sign that the piece was made with extra care.

  • Mannequin: Brokedown Dream Catcher Tank ($64) and Koch Gold Sequin Mini Skirt ($395), Coquette


3. Closures and Embellishments – Check buttons, sequins and beading to see it they are attached securely. It takes time to attach these decorative elements on to the clothing and even more time to sew or attach them securely by hand. Look for embellishments that are sewn or riveted. Be wary of loose embellishments or decorations that are attached with glue.

  • Mannequin: Renzo and Kai Embellished Blouse ($310), Coquette


4. Extra Notions – Higher quality clothing comes with extra beads, sequins, buttons, or matching thread or yarn. These extras come in handy if you need to repair or tailor your garment (Mannequin same as #3, above).


5. Pattern Alignment – Look at the pattern on the garment and see how the pattern lines up at the seams. If patterns match at the seams and make the garment look as though it was made from one piece of fabric, that will indicate quality. Patterns that don’t align at the seams indicate the garment was made quickly, cheaply or by machine.

  • Mannequin: Renzo and Kai Leather Patch Dress ($710), Coquette


6. Zippers – If clothing has a zipper, zip it up and down a few times. Quality made clothing will have a zipper that glides smoothly without catching or snagging the fabric. The zipper should be centered and covered with fabric to make it invisible (unless it is a design element of the garment), lie flat on the garment and remain locked when the zipper pull in laid flat.

  • Mannequin: Camilla Zip Front V-neck draped Kaftan ($750), Coquette

7. Fabric – Polyester fabric blends can form pills after just a few wearings. Look for natural materials like 100% cotton or wool. Athletic wear should be thick and firm to give you support. Skip the fabric softener when caring for athletic wear and anything with lycra to reduce pilling and make the fabric last longer (Mannequin same as #6, above).

Before you buy a garment, try it on, test it out, and check all the details. How do you tell if a garment is made well? I’d love to hear your tips too. Please share them in the comments!

What’s Sarah Wearing: Leopard print jersey dress (Eloqui, $99), semi-precious rosary necklaces (Coquette, $300)

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