How to Choose a High-Quality Garment
Check the quality of clothes before you spend your hard-earned money. The following is a quick rundown on the particulars of good craftsmanship.
Fabric and Stitching
1. Inspect fabrics to make sure patterns line up at the seams'especially at the shoulders, collar and sewn-on (patch) pockets.
2. Hold fabric up to the light and make sure the weave is tight, even and uniform, with no loose or undone threads. If the fabric has beads or sequins, make sure they're securely attached.
3. Check the grain of the fabric. The vertical grain should run straight up and down the garment, and the horizontal grain should run at a 90-degree angle to this line.
4. Crumple heavier fabric, such as wool, to see if it bounces back, either immediately or in several minutes, indicating resistance to wrinkling.
5. Verify that all stitches are secure and straight. You should see about 8 to 12 stitches per inch.
6. Examine hems, which should be nearly invisible. Hemmed bottoms should hang straight and not curl or pucker.
1. Compare fabric lengths: Fold pants, shirts, skirts and other garments in half lengthwise to ensure that the right and left sides are symmetrical. Check that the right and left sides of the collar are equal in shape, size and positioning.
2. Confirm that patch pockets lie perfectly flat against the cloth, with no space between the pocket and the front of the garment. While holding the garment upright, make sure that the pocket doesn't hang away from the front.
3. Hold up clothing to ensure that the lining follows the cut of the garment, falls smoothly and does not extend below the hemline. In general, women's slacks are fully lined, while men's slacks are lined only in front to just below the knees.
4. Verify that buttons and buttonholes are sewn tightly, with no unraveled thread. In general, the more buttons a shirt has, the higher quality it is; spare buttons are an added plus.
5. Try on a shirt before buying it. Button it fully, making sure that buttons are placed well so that the shirt doesn't gape open across the chest.
6. Pull zippers up and down a few times to make sure that they run smoothly and don't snag.