How brainwashed by brands are you?
Do you truly care what an item of clothing really looks like, or is your love of an item based on a logo associated with a brand?
Have you ever been in a store and thought, “Yuck! That is some seriously ugly crap!” only to then realize it is a high end designer brand and suddenly you need to rethink your snap judgement. After all…those high end designers know more about fashion and style than you do…right?
We’ve been convinced that certain brands mean they are “special”.
They deserve extra attention, higher price tags and inevitably, if you purchase them, envy from those around you. You can trust those brands. Their endless marketing campaigns and pervasive comprehensive branding strategies rule our world.
Where does our common sense end and marketing brainwashing begin?
If thrifting has taught me anything, it is to look at an actual garment for what it is, and not at the brand.
Oh sure, as a reseller I know that I’ll have an easier time selling an item if it is a known brand, but that does not mean that is a higher quality piece. In fact, I often believe that brands are coasting on their old status of quality. They no longer adhere to the same high standards they advertised in the first place. This is another reason I love vintage. Vintage existed when quality still meant something. Many mid to upper level brands produce in the same factories using the same materials as fast fashion brands. The only difference is sometimes design and obviously price.
Don’t be fooled! You’re not paying for quality…you’re paying for their endless advertising campaigns.
If you want to get real about products you need to take the time to understand and recognize quality.
Don’t rely on a certain brand’s promise. They may be exaggerating or outright lying. Rely on your own eyes, sense of touch and personal knowledge.
While I shop almost exclusively via thrift stores now I’ve trained my eyes and fingers to know and understand quality workmanship. Yes, I still look at the brand, but I also look at a long list of other items.
15 Tips To Check Clothing Quality and not be Brainwashed by Brands
- Is it lined? Generally a lined garment will last longer and look better. Lining an item of clothing costs more.
- Are the seams and hem straight & finished correctly? Frayed seams are a big no-no. French seams are higher quality. At the very least seams should be finished with a serger.
- Are the seams loose? Take a good look, pull them apart a bit. Do they hold? Turning a garment inside out is the best way to see flaws with seams.
- Are the seams rippled or puckered? Rippled seams are often due to poor craftsmanship. Be sure to check the side seams and areas around zippers.
- What are the fabric contents? Natural fibres generally feel better against the skin however they often aren’t as durable as manufactured fibres. You are less likely to have pilling with natural fibres. Natural fibres are more expensive.
- Are the buttons sewn on properly?
- Does the zipper work well and is it properly sewn in? Sloppy workmanship will leave the bottoms of zippers loose or sewn in poorly with puckering at the sides.
- Metal zippers last longer are more durable than plastic zippers and less likely to catch or get stuck.
- Does it come with spare buttons?
- Do the button holes and buttons fit?
- Are the button holes sewn properly or have they started to unravel?
- Does the item hang on your body correctly, it is uniform and symmetrical where it should be? Often you can’t see flaws in an item until you try it on.
- Does the pattern match up at the seams? This is a real easy way to see if they tried to scrimp on fabric.
- Does the fabric match the cut/design? Choosing the right fabric for the design of a garment is important as to how the finished product will look. Improperly chosen fabric will not hang or lay correctly.
- Do the pockets pucker? Pockets should be positioned to feel natural and lay flat when closed. Same with collars.
If you take two minutes to take a well informed look at an item of clothing you will be able to ascertain its level of quality and be assured you are getting what you’ve paid for.
Branding influences us, but let’s not let our intelligence and common sense be ruled by marketing.
These tips are useful for discovering the quality of a garment however they do not help you decide if the piece is ideal for you. Your personal style statement and self knowledge of your body type and its best features will help you better decide if the piece would make an ideal addition to your closet and life.
Do you find yourself being brainwashed by branding?
Do you have any additional tips you’d like to share about checking clothing quality?