8 Easy Ways to Recognize And Avoid Low Quality Clothing When You See It!

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1. The seams aren’t straight or have loose threads. 

One of the fastest way to determine the quality of an item is to turn it inside out and look at the seams! If the seam has loose threads, is not straight, or appears to have been stitched over multiple times, the item is not good quality. You can also grab the fabric on either side of the seam and gently pull it apart a little. If the fabric at the seam separates, the seam is very weak and was most likely poorly sewn.

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2. The fabric is mostly synthetic or poor quality.

First step, read the fabric tag. Ideally, you would want the fabric to be mostly natural fibers (cotton, wool, angora etc.) rather than synthetic fibers (polyester, rayon, viscose etc.). There is a big drop in quality when you drop below 80% natural fiber.  Fabric with mostly natural fibers and somewhere around 1-5% synthetic fibers (particularly lycra and elasthane) is more likely to retain it’s shape without getting baggy over time. Also, viscose is one of the fastest synthetic fibers to stretch, pill, and generally fall apart. So don’t buy viscose if you want to be able to wear the item over and over.

Second step, inspect the fabric. Run your hands over it and look for flaws. Grab a section and crumple it in your hand for 10-20 seconds and then release.  If it retains tons of wrinkles, steer clear. If it retains no wrinkles at all, steer clear. Hold the fabric up to the light and stretch the fabric to see how tightly woven it is, and how much give it has. A thin low quality cotton will have lots of give and let through lots of light, in comparison to a higher quality cotton.  

3. There are no facings or interfacings. 

If there are no facings or interfacings, the item will quickly get that rumpled sad baggy look that cheap items get after a few wears. Interfacing is a strong fabric sewn in between the layers of a garment to help it hold its structure. Facing is a piece of fabric inside a garment opening, like a sleeve or neck opening, that enclose the raw edge of the fabric. Both facings and interfacings help a garment hold its shape. You especially need them on blazers and skirts/pants. There should be interfacings around the waistband, by the buttons, on the collar and shoulders, at the edge of the sleeve, and on the hem. You can see facing just by turning the item inside out, and you can tell whether there is interfacing by feeling around where it should be. Cheap clothing manufacturers will often skip facings/interfacings to save money, and the garment will look just fine on the hanger, but it will quickly become misshapen after several wears.

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4. The garment doesn’t have a lining. 

Well ok, not all articles of clothing need a lining, but the kinds that do need one really really do need it. Linings seriously prolong the life of an article of clothing by providing some slip when you put a garment on or move around in it, which minimizes stretching of the garment fabric. This keeps the fabric from getting misshapen and baggy, especially in key movement areas like the elbows, knees, and butt. Linings also protect the outer shell from sweat and skin oils. If you buy a skirt that doesn’t have a lining, you can actually accomplish the same thing by wearing a slip underneath the skirt.

5. The buttonholes are flimsy.

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Make Getting Dressed Easy – Pick a Uniform!

Ever notice how so many designers wear the same outfits over and over again?

Vera Wang

Michael Kors

Carolina Herrera

Trying to create a new and interesting outfit every single day is stressful (not to mention a huge time-suck).  But you want to dress well because it affects affects how you feel about yourself and even how well you perform at work and in life (see this article from the Washington Post). The solution to this problem is easier than you think: develop a uniform.  Great designers and fashion icons have been doing this for years because you get all the benefits of dressing well, without having to reinvent the wheel every day.  You can wear your uniform as often or a little as you like, but the point is, when you need it, it’s there for you.  Here’s what you need to know to make this work for you:

WHAT A UNIFORM SHOULD DO:  

1. It should reflect your personality and values.  When you wear it, you should feel comfortable, confident, and like yourself. 

2. It should be tailored to your every day life. If you are an attorney, it should inspire confidence and be able to make it to 10 pm without wrinkling too much.  If you are a stay at home mom, it should do absolutely everything including the dishes and never ask for a day off or a thank you. Just kidding, it should be durable, comfortable, and washable.

3. It should bolster the rest of your wardrobe. To be economical, the items in your uniform should be able to do double-duty with the rest of the items in your wardrobe.

HOW TO CREATE A UNIFORM

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Get the Look for Less on EBAY!!

This was one of the top pins on pinterest today, and understandably so. It looks great. I love that the classically structured blazer keeps the just-shy-of-over-the-top accessories from looking too goth. I’m a huge fan of ebay, so I’m going to show you how you can get this same look for super cheap on ebay just by searching for the key words. Assuming you already have at least one black shirt already in your wardrobe, here is the rest:

Search: Leopard scarf

 

 

 

 

 

 

Search: Skull Silver Ring

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How come she looks so cool, but when I pull my hair back like her I just look like a creepy little boy?

Btw, I am completely in love with these cuffs and I really want a pair. They would turn any minimalistic outfit into something stunning. Especially if you forgo all other jewelry. You can get a similar pair of cuffs for only $25 here at ASOS.