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Category:  Clothing and Accessories

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Recognizing Quality Clothing

By Cyndi Roberts and Tomilyn Lane

January is a great month for frugal shoppers! First, there are all the white sales. Best of all, are the clearance sales on winter clothing. And right behind the clearance sales, comes the beginning of garage sale season. But, how do you know if you are really getting a quality garment? Here are some things to think about before you buy, whether you are buying new or used.

Remember that designer labels don't always equal value at an outlet or off-price store. Designer labels are there because they didn't meet their own quality inspection. This means that even though it looks fine on the hanger, once you wash it, you may have a skewed sleeve, or the item could shrink 2 sizes. Or it could be never know. Use your best judgment on price vs. risk.

Fabric that contains 100% cotton or mostly cotton will shrink. Polyester won't.

Take the bottom of a garment and scrunch it up in your hand. This will help you determine how it will look after being worn and washed. If the fabric feels "cheap" it probably isn't worth buying. Cheaper clothing uses a lower grade of fabric that can shrink and look old after just one wash...even in cold water.

Higher quality garments will have buttons spaced more closely together and sewed on securely. Also look for metal zippers, not plastic ones which do not last very long.

When you are shopping for previously owned clothing, be sure to take along a notebook with the measurements of everyone you are shopping for. A size 4 isn't a true size 4 if it has been dried in the dryer many times.

Buy clothes that are classic in style as opposed to trendy clothes. You are more likely to wear these as they won't go out of style. And re-selling them your- self will be easier.

When buying sweaters, check where the arms naturally rub up against the body for pills.

Remember, navy and black items can sometimes be dyed back to their original color if the item is in good condition, just faded. And jeans can be cut off for shorts if the pair is good except for worn out knees.

Using these tips, you are sure to be pleased with your purchases, whether you shop at retail shops or yard sales.

Cyndi Roberts is the editor of the "1 Frugal Friend 2 Another" bi-weekly newsletter and founder of the website of the same name. Tomilyn Lane, her daughter, a former merchandiser for JCPenney, holds a degree in Fashion Merchandising and is now a happily married SAHM of 2. Visit to find creative tips, articles, and a free e-cooking book. Subscribe to the newsletter and receive the free e-course "Taming the Monster Grocery Bill".

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Category:  Clothing and Accessories

Related Links: | Clothing and Accessories | Beauty |

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