The Quality Test
Before skipping to the counter, do a quick quality test to make sure your potential purchase is durable and made to last.
Feel: Do you like how the fabric feels on your skin?
Scrunch: Perform the ‘scrunch test’. Does it wrinkle? If yes, does it de-wrinkle naturally? If not, do you prioritise ironing?
Weight: There is no ‘correct’ fabric weight, as all fibres are different. However, by running your hands and eyes over a garment, you will see if it’s too light and flimsy. If there are already pulls and faults in the garment when it’s still in the store, bid it farewell! If it can’t hold up in store, there’s no chance it will hold up in the real world.
Seams: A quality garment will have 10-12 stitches per inch. Instead of straining your eyes and trying to count, gently pull a seam from the inside of the garment, if you are holding a quality garment, no light will peer through.
Patterns: The pattern on a garment pattern – like plaid, or horizontal stripes – should match up directly at the seams. This is one easy way to spot a quality garment.
Trims: Any quality garment featuring buttons or beads should come with spares – should they pop off or go missing, it will be an easy x.
Zippers: Take them for a test run! Run zippers up and down a few times – ensure the fabric doesn’t catch and that it doesn’t get stuck. Invisible zippers can look great, but these tend to be the trickiest to sew... if sewn too close to the fabric, the fabric will keep snagging.
Lining: In a quality garment, lining will exist to help the garment drape well and avoid constricting your movement.
Movement: No doubt this garment is going to join you on some wild adventures, so make sure you have full movement. Exercise those glutes and do a couple of squats, jump up and down, pretend to drive... Don’t worry, no one is watching!