When it comes to clothes, there are 7 critical details to look out for. Learn how to assess these and you’ll buy, better, dress better and look better.
A Hume – Taking Care of the details since 1929
Making mistakes in what you buy and wear can be costly. We’ve all done it. Bought bad clothes that don’t fit; that sag, bag and bobble after a few wears and hang like a rebuke in our wardrobes. Reminding us daily of our ability to get it wrong.
Understanding the component parts of a well-made, well-fitting garment leads to better judgement, better buying decisions and fewer mistakes.
The quality of the fabric determines how well a garment will hold its shape and how durable it will be. The best way to determine a garment’s quality is to touch and examine it.
Touch – natural fibres (cotton, linen and wool) should feel soft and strong. If the fabric feels at all rough it is an indicator that it was spun from shorter fibres and will not be as durable, or hold its shape so well.
Density – Check the density of the fibres by holding it up to the light. The weave, even on fine fabrics should be tight and even with no gaps.
Weight – the weight of the fabric should be appropriate for the garment’s function. It should hang well and bounce back into shape if pulled slightly.
Comfort and breathability – how does it feel against the skin?
Synthetics – synthetics are not a bad thing in themselves. A small percentage of synthetic can add to the durability and elasticity. Form fitting jeans often use a percentage of lycra or polyester.
Seams, Tailoring and Lining
How well a garment is made and the quality of the tailoring determine how well it will fit, how well it will wear and ultimately, how good you look.
Seams – examine the seams carefully. Seams should be straight, neat and flat. With no loose threads, or stitches. Patterns should match at the seams. Check seam strength by pulling on either side of the seam. The thread should remain tight. Equally, a miserly seam allowance can lead to puckering, and crooked seams. Both of which entirely spoil the cut and fit of a garment. The seam allowance should be at least 6.4mm.
Tailoring and Fit – examine the fit and tailoring carefully. On structured shirts, dresses and jackets, darts, back seams, and yokes, front and back should ensure that the garment fits well. Pools of gaping fabric below the bust line, over the shoulders at the back or around the waist are all indicators that either the item doesn’t fit well or is poorly tailored. Check that the garment does not ride up when raising your arms above your head (jackets and shirts), or when you walk (trousers and skirts).
Lining – jackets, coats, structured dresses and transparent fabrics should all be fully lined. The lining should be well constructed (see seams), feel good against the body, not ride up and have the same, or compatible care instructions as the outer fabric.
Zips, Buttons and Details
Zips – zips should run smoothly, lie flat against the body and lock at the top.
Buttons – buttons should be evenly spaced, strong and secure. The holes should be of sufficient size to keep the garment secure but easy to use, strong and reinforced. An extra button with spare thread is a sign of quality.
Pockets – check seams and stitching, all pockets should be strong and lie flat without interrupting the cut and fit of the garment.
If you found this post helpful and know of anyone else who would enjoy it, please use the social buttons to ‘like’ and ‘share.’ Thank you.