What is the most important requirement for creating a high-quality wardrobe? Exactly: You should be able to spot good clothing when you see one. You must be able to distinguish between a long-lasting, well-made item and one that looks nice on the shelf but won’t last more than a season. You must know a) the characteristics that distinguish high-quality garments from low-quality garments and b) how to spot these characteristics while shopping.
This and the next posts will provide you with a general introduction to evaluating the quality of clothing to assist you in doing so. In this first section, we’ll look at materials, then move on to seams, tailoring, linings, and features like buttons, zippers, and pockets in part II. In the second installment, I’ll also include a downloadable one-page cheat sheet that outlines the most significant data.
Because the majority of this information is technical, don’t feel obligated to read it all at once. Instead, treat these two articles as a resource to which you may return whenever you want to add a new item to your wardrobe.
1. What is the definition of quality?
Before we go into all of the many characteristics you may use to evaluate the quality of a garment, let’s start with the basics: What exactly is quality? What distinguishes low-quality clothing from a high-quality one, in particular?
When we talk about quality, we’re talking about a lot of distinct things that are all related:
We want our clothes to be long-lasting, lasting more than a few seasons. We want durable clothing that we can move around in without fear of ripping seams or buttons popping off. We want our garments to stay in the same shape as when we bought them, not stretching out or shrinking with time. We want clothes that fit our body form and don’t distort our silhouette or limit our movements. We don’t want a cloth that pilled or faded after a few of wears or washes. We want our garments to feel pleasant against our skin so that we may enjoy wearing them rather than removing them as soon as we come home. You can also buy clothes from VZZR.
Finally, we want our outfits to appear to be high-quality garments. The cloth is silky smooth, the seams are clean, and the detailing is exquisite. It’s not like it’s about to break apart.
The fabric, seams, lining, tailoring, and even little elements like buttons and pockets all play a role in whether a garment checks these boxes or not.
2.1 GENERAL PROPERTIES
The fabric is by far the most significant aspect of a garment. A garment made of flimsy, itchy, or pilling fabric is never a good addition to any wardrobe, no matter how lovely the detailing or well-crafted the seams are.
When evaluating a garment’s fabric, there are two aspects to keep an eye out for:
- the fabric’s quality, as well as its suitability for that particular piece
- The first element is to determine how good the fabric’s quality is in comparison to other fabrics of its type, such as cotton, wool, or denim.
There are some characteristics that separate high-quality cotton from low-quality cotton, for example, and this post will give you a fast rundown of the most crucial ones for six common fabric kinds. The second aspect is to consider how well-suited the fabric is (independent of quality) for that specific item, such as the activities you intend to wear it for, the weather, and so on. Even the finest cashmere fabric isn’t suitable for activewear, and if you’re searching for a warm, low-maintenance winter coat, you shouldn’t opt for a delicate silk item.
Cotton is a popular fabric for a reason: it’s soft, versatile, durable (when of decent quality), and relatively inexpensive. Cotton’s staple length, or the length of the individual fibers that make up the fabric, is its most critical quality feature. Long cotton fibers are generally considered to be of higher quality than shorter cotton fibers. This is why:
- A finer yarn can be spun from longer fibers. Fine yarn can be tied more tightly, resulting in a stronger and more durable garment.
- Long fibers also have the advantage of being able to be spun into a softer yarn. The shorter the staple, the more difficult it is to spin the fibers into yarn without little ends protruding from all sides. Cotton strands that are longer can be tightly linked together, preventing them from moving in opposite directions.
- Some textiles are less breathable than others because they have microscopic air pockets that act as thermal insulation between the individual threads. Cotton manufactured from long, finely spun fibers can be woven very tightly to eliminate air pockets and the sweaty feeling that we associate with poor ventilation.
Flax fibers are used to make linen, which is inherently smooth but not extremely elastic. Linen is an excellent summer fabric since it is airy, quick-drying, cooling, and lint-resistant. There are fewer quality variances between linen and cotton in general, so if a garment already has a significant linen component, that’s a positive sign.
The diameter and quality of the individual wool fibers that make up the fabric are used to determine the quality of wool. These, in turn, are dependent on the animal’s breed, food, and stress levels, as well as how the fibers were handled during the manufacturing process.
Denim enthusiasts abound on the internet, as well as a plethora of differing viewpoints on what makes denim good or terrible. Denim’s quality is mostly determined by the quality of the cotton used and how it was weaved. The finished piece’s wash is what drives denim prices up, but it’s not so much a question of quality as it is of additional labor/production costs.
Leather is a type of material, not a fabric. A leather piece’s quality is mostly determined by the type of “grain” it has. Full-grain leather, which has not been sanded, buffed, or rectified to keep the skin’s natural fiber strength and longevity, is generally regarded as the highest-quality variety. Top-grain (also known as rectified grain) and split-grain leather have been severely processed, making them less durable than full-grain leather and unable to develop the desired natural patina of high-quality leather over time. Examining the small grains on the fabric is one technique to tell if a leather item was produced from full-grain leather.