Have you ever noticed how some women look like they are dripping with money while others look like they are wearing hand-me-downs that should have been tossed long ago? How do two women wear the same style and yet one appears totally put together and the other merely dressed? Although price is often an indicator of quality, quality pieces can be found at many different price points. The key to classic dressing is to understand what constitutes “quality” and then to settle for nothing less.
First of all, if you are serious about buying clothes that are of a high quality, remember it is going to take a little bit of time. After all, you are the one with the power in this endeavor and, as the buyer, you are going to inspect the material and the workmanship of the garment to see if it is worthy of your time and money before you even think about trying it on. Now that you understand the dynamics of your position, prepare to use your senses of touch and sight. Touch the fabric and see how it feels against your skin. Scrunch it up between your fingers and let it go. Does it return to its original shape? Look at the material. Is the color consistent throughout the piece? If there is a pattern, does it match at the seams? Check out the zipper and the buttons. Run the zipper up and down, does it move easily? If it has buttons, button and unbutton the garment and make sure all of the buttons are securely sewn on. Are the buttonholes all the same size? Are they all finished? Look on the inside of the garment and check the seams. Are they straight? Are the seams finished? Are they pressed flat? If there is a lining, does it hang comfortably (if it is too tight, it will rip)? Is the hem even? Is there enough hem in the garment to let it out in case you ever want to lengthen it (two inches is ideal)? Is the hem finished as opposed to left “raw”?
If you can answer “yes” to all of the previous questions, it’s time to try the garment on. However, before falling in love with it, be objective just a bit longer and note how the material hangs on your body. You want the draping to be just right. Once the analysis is complete, you can gaze into the mirror and decide, as only you can decide, if it’s going home with you or going back on the rack.