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 fine...you never know. Use your best judgment on price
Fabric that contains 100% cotton or mostly cotton will shrink.
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
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
http://www.cynroberts.com 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".