“Crying is for plain women. Pretty women go shopping.”-Oscar Wilde
Oniochalasia (n.): Buying or shopping as a method of stress relief or relaxation
It is without a doubt that shopping is one of the best avenues for allaying stress and it has also been known to be an effective method of lifting one’s mood whenever one is down in the dumps. Although hardly considered economic, this fact is especially so for women who have a unique affinity for sartorial items and a penchant for retail therapy. After all, a rather popular sentiment when it comes to shopping is wishing it was covered by health insurance as is it considered an excellent alternative to having a therapist. However, considering that to dispel the blues away and alleviate stress, you need to fork over some cash, you need to be extra meticulous and careful about the purchases you make. Before giving in to your shopping impulses take a look and survey your closets first? Are they filling to the brim with clothes you never wear? Or are they otherwise clothes you do wear but would wear out quickly? Regardless of whether you indulge your shopping with desires with retail buys or wholesale clothing, the fact remains that when it comes to shopping, you need to come up with a strategy in order to select only the best clothes that would last you for years and not months alone.
After all, nothing is more infuriating than seeing a brand new sartorial purchase look aged after a single wash, or having holes appear on it after several uses. While there are some clothes that are not made to last, this does not mean they should be disposable either. This fact coupled with the quality of clothes on the decline should give you a sense of urgency to be a bit more thorough in selecting the clothes you buy. Here are a few tried and trusted tips to ensure you do not make the mistake of buying easily worn-out clothes:
1.) Check the label
No, this does not mean the brand tag that your clothes come with, but rather it means the tag which indicates what the fabric content is. Regardless of where you bought your clothes, the fabric content would matter. These may come from a lot of sources such as plants and animals which would yield linen, cotton, silk, and wool. But in order not to over exhaust that limited supply, some of our clothes might be made from synthetic materials such as acrylic, spandex, rayon and the like which are spun from petrochemicals and plastics. These synthetic fabrics are made to feel a lot like natural fibers albeit, a lot less sturdy. These materials cannot withstand repeated laundering the way natural fibers can and would eventually break down in the wash or the dryer. For this reason, you need to be a bit particular about the type of fabric your clothes are made of, and consequently, it is advisable to learn what good quality feels and looks like.
2.) Use your sense of touch
There is no doubt that the singular best way to know and judge a fabric’s quality whether it is knit or woven is to touch it. In this way, you would have a better idea of whether the fabric feels soft, smooth or substantial or brittle, thin and rough. If you want a garment to last long, then you need to go for fabrics of substantial fiber as this would mean it is more likely to last longer. It does not necessarily have to be heavy, just ensure that the yarns and threads are tightly packed and observe the density. A good way to establish a sense of what fabrics will hold up well is to start with the clothes in your closet. Observe your clothes and determine which ones have stood up to the test of time and which have not. Get a feel of your own clothes in order to have a sense of what it is that made some of your garments age well.
3.) Hold it up to the light and stretch it
Sometimes, reading the label and touching a garment’s fabric just does not cut it. More often than not, if you truly want to ensure you are buying quality clothes that would last you long, you need to hold it up against the light and stretch it a bit. Touch alone would not be an excellent indicator of quality as there are some manufacturers who may add chemicals to make a cloth seem smoother and feel heftier. Holding up a particular garment against the light would give you a better sense of its weight and the density of its weave. Make sure you pay attention to the yarns as well. And remember, the more tightly spun they appear, the better.
4.) Look at the seams, inside and outside
While fabric quality is paramount to determining a piece of clothing’s quality, it is not the sole element that matters. Apart from the fabric itself, it would be wise to check what is holding your garment together. This means you have to pay particular attention the seams and see to it that the stitches should be closely spaced, even and lying flat on the fabric. Do not limit your scrutiny to the outer layer of the garment and check the insides as well. Avoid purchasing seams that look sloppy or garments that have spots where they appear loose or stitched over multiple times. Checking stitches and seams is imperative as this is what holds a garment together and ensures that it would not fall apart with movement or washing.
5.) Good quality will probably cost you
The bottom line here is: If you want your clothes to last, you need to pay a premium for it. Good quality means a lot more attention is given to detail and other aspects where manufacturers offering cheaper alternatives would overlook or even neglect. If you wish your garments and clothing to last, you must be prepared to spending money for it. However, a word of caution though: While cheap clothing can be readily dismissed as low-quality, a hefty price tag does not necessarily mean high quality. As indicated above, it recommended that you check first and know what to look for.
When it comes to shopping for clothes, it is always advisable that you buy those that would last you quite a long time. Hopefully, the tips written above would serve as a guide in helping you make better choices and purchases. As a result, you can have the best value for your money. Lastly, should your clothes seem to be breaking down, do not immediately resort to dispensing or giving them away, you can always choose to repair them and have them good as new. Choose your clothes well and avoid shopping on impulse, and you will have a wardrobe filled with clothes that would last you not only for months but for years to come.