The 4-Step Garment Check

Ashlynd headshotHello, Readers! The name’s Ashlynd. I’m a Personal Stylist based in Las Vegas; specializing in helping others change their lives by leveraging their wardrobes. My freelance journey started in October of 2015, but my love-affair with all things fashion started in the 90’s. After being taught how to sew, I had the crazy idea to attempt to make a pair of (very ill-fitting) shorts. Voila! The experience killed any desire to be a fashion designer, but it did birth a stylist! Learning about people and their stories and helping them visually express themselves to get to the next level is so much more rewarding than being bent over a sewing machine all day!

Today I wanted to share some of my best tips that I use whenever I go shopping for myself or a client. I don’t know about you, but wasting money (especially on clothes) makes me sad. It’s a new year, and it’s time to change how you shop! These tips will help you buy smarter, and actually wear all of your wardrobe.

No matter what price point you typically shop at it’s a good idea to make a thorough inspection of whatever you’re purchasing, but especially at discount or chain stores. Before you pull out your wallet…

…do the 4-Step Garment Check!

Is it as sturdy as it “seams”? I can’t stress this enough; check and double check all seams! The threads should not hang loosely on any part of the garment; they should have uniformity along the hems with no snags. Take a tug on the garment; are the threads visible along the seam? If so, put it back on the rack. The thread isn’t sturdy enough to move with you; and it definitely won’t last for a full season of machine washings.

Hold the garment at an angle toward the light. How shiny is it? Keep in mind that the shinier the fabric is, the cheaper the quality (the exception is satin). Shine also adds weight to your frame. Proceed with caution.

Zippers & Buttons
Stay away from plastic zippers; they just aren’t worth it. Can the garment be easily zipped up or down? Are the buttons hanging by a thread (pun intended)? Make sure all zippers and buttons are functioning properly and are securely fastened. Cheap buttons are a tell-tale sign of bad manufacturing! If you love the garment but the buttons are questionable, see your tailor to change them out, or DIY.

Lining & Hems
Check garment lining and hems. The lining should lay flat and stay in place regardless of how you contort the material. Cheap lining often tears at the seams on the inside of the garment. Hems should be even all around the garment (with an exception for statement pieces or items with purposely exaggerated hems). There should be no loose threads hanging from the lining or the hem. Hems for full-length garments should fall about an inch from the ground.

There ya have it, folks! I hope these tips help you save some cash on any less-than-steller garments, and give you an eye for quality!