Clothes are no longer made the same as they were decades ago. We’re sure your mother or grandmother still has a vintage dress that looks impeccable despite being in vogue thirty or forty years ago. That’s because her dress is not the product of fast fashion. Fast fashion delivers cheap clothes with no consideration to the quality of clothing or the environment. In fact, fast fashion contributes significantly to greenhouse gases and according to Ecocult is considered to be the 4th most polluting industry in the world.
The time has come to look into high-quality clothing not only for fashion-related reasons but also to do your part in the battle against climate change. Yes, high-quality clothes may be more expensive but they look better, last longer, and are eco-friendly. Most of the high-quality garments available on the market are made from natural materials or sustainable fabrics. Manufacturers invest more time and money into their design and creation for quality pieces made to last.
One of our biggest mistakes is that we expect clothes to be cheap. Trends are changing every few weeks and we see ourselves caught in a vicious circle of buying more and more clothes just because they are affordable. We need to change our expectations and understand that conscious fashion is not only a trend. It’s the future of fashion. If you want to make more educated fashion choices and spend your hard-earned money wisely, check out our tips on how to shop for high-quality clothes:
1. Choose clothes made from natural fibers
Natural fabrics are the first sign that you are looking at high-quality clothes. Whether it is organic cotton, linen, hemp, or silk, you know you’re in the presence of a garment made to last. Moreover, unlike synthetic materials, such as polyester and nylon, natural materials feel better against the skin, wash better, and are biodegradable. You can also opt for newer sustainable fabrics like Tencel and modal and, when the winter comes, choose the comfortable and warm wool. It is best to avoid synthetic blends unless the amount of synthetic is under 5%. This is a guarantee the material is high-quality and the piece of clothing will retain its shape for a longer time.
2. Pay attention to the weight of the material
Look for clothes made with thick fabrics. The density of a material says a lot about the garment’s quality. Light fabrics that allow the light to pass through wear more easily than denser materials that pack a lot of fiber into them. See-through fabrics are a sign of low-quality clothing unless they were made with this purpose in mind. While thicker fabrics can’t be automatically associated with better fabrics, they sure add to the quality of a piece of clothing due to their increased durability. Additionally, fabrics with more weight hang more nicely and add a touch of elegance to the entire look.
3. Don’t be fooled by the softness of a material
We prefer our clothes to be soft. However, a soft material doesn’t necessarily equal high-quality material. Most of the high-quality fabrics get softer with time. Linen and hemp may not feel as soft as nylon but they are undoubtedly the better choice. Natural materials get softer and softer the more you wear and wash them, so don’t be put off if they don’t feel extremely soft when you buy them. Take, for example, jeans. You may think that jeans that are a bit stiff and mildly uncomfortable are low-quality jeans. However, this is not true. The stiffness of your jeans is actually a sign that they are made from a material with a higher thread count. Low-quality jeans may feel soft but that’s because they have been pre-washed with chemicals. Fabrics that feel suspiciously soft from the first touch are usually pre-treated and washed before getting into the stores, so you can expect them to fall apart faster than anticipated.
4. Look for straight seams and sturdy stitches
Turn the garment inside out and analyze the seams and stitching. Seams should be straight and neatly finished. You will never find low-quality clothes with impeccable seams. They will most likely have uneven seams with threads hanging off, and hems that haven’t been sewn or finished with extra fabric. The work will look sloppy and expose the garment to fraying. Stitching too is a great indication of quality pieces. Sturdy threads and reinforced stitches are some of the fastest ways to identify a high-end piece of garment. Just pull the fabric on either side of the seam. If everything seems secure and you don’t see any gaps, you are probably in the presence of a durable piece of clothing with hardy stitches.
5. Keep an eye on the little things
Whether we are talking about zippers, buttons, or thread, the details make the difference. For example, high-quality clothes usually have zippers hidden under a fabric placket. Exposed zippers increase the risk of the clothing getting caught in it. However, since they are the cheaper option, fast fashion often resorts to them. Another clear indication of the amount of thought put into the manufacturing is the presence of extra buttons sewn on a piece of spare thread. This means the fabric composition is reliable enough for the garment to have a long life and eventually need repair. Check to see if the panels of the fabric or leather are connected with glue or stitches. If glue is at play, you’re looking at a low-quality piece of clothing.
Aya Morrison is embracing everything that conscious fashion has to offer. We work with sustainable fabrics and many of our clothes are made from recycled materials. We believe in saving the world one garment at a time and make sure every piece of clothing receives our full attention. Our clothes are durable and polished inside out and are designed to last. Every piece of clothing available is meticulously inspected to meet the high standards of quality and we strive to deliver collections that enrich your wardrobe and protect the environment.