Tips for Buying Quality Clothes for Your Wardrobe

Ever wonder why some clothes are so expensive?

Well, of course the answer is quality.  But, you already knew that, right?

When you go shopping do you pay attention to the prices, the quality of the garment or are you an impulse shopper?  If it looks cute and it fits, buy it, right?  Well, let’s think about that.  Have you ever bought a winter scarf, just to find that you’re purchasing another scarf the following year?  Why?  Is it out of style?  Does it just look old?  – And it’s only been one year.  Did you check the quality?

Quality checking while you are shopping will actually save you money on your wardrobe in the long run.  Although you may spend more money, the old adage that you get what you pay for is very true with clothing.  So this year when you search for a new scarf, because last year’s shrunk after one wash, or the dye faded, or it just didn’t store well, try this quality check:

Cashmere Scarves

Cashmere Scarves (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Find two scarves in the same department store.  For example, two cashmere scarves.

Be sure one is a moderate price, let’s say $25.  And the other is about $100 or higher.

Hold each scarf in separate hands and feel the fibers in the material.

The more expensive scarf will feel softer and denser with consistent thread hairs.  This label probably states 100% cashmere.

The cheaper scarf will most likely feel like coarser hairs.  This is because the cheaper scarf; although labeled cashmere, is most likely blended with other fibers.  The label could say 100% cashmere blend.  The key word here is blend.  Because this scarf is blended with other fibers, it is cheaper.

Let’s look at one more final reason that one cashmere scarf is more expensive than the other. The best cashmere items are made from the finest hairs handpicked from Mongolian goats in the Spring.[1]  You’re paying more for finer quality hairs in the expensive scarf.  On the other hand, we may never know where the coarser hairs in the cheaper scarf came from.  They may even be synthetic.

So this year, if you go out to buy a scarf and want a good quality that will last several years, consider purchasing the more expensive scarf.

Want a few more tips for checking the quality of clothing while you shop:  Try these additional tips:

  1. When buying a wool jacket or sweater, squeeze the wool tightly with your hands for several seconds, like you are trying to squish it all together.  If the material is smooth when released, then the quality is expensive and will last longer.  If the material remains bunched up and wrinkly, then you might be getting another jacket next year too.
  2. If a pocket is fake, or super skimpy, the manufacturer may have cut corners to save money on material.  If you don’t have a place for your cell phone, or perhaps car keys, this item may end up just hanging around your closet and not get much use.  You would be better off purchasing an item with useful pockets.
  3. Most clothing that is fully lined is a better quality.  If a lining does not completely cover the inside of a garment, then by the same time next year, you will most likely see the lining ends showing through the front of the garment and you’ll probably be buying another one of these items next year too.
  4. The width of the material left around the seams is a telltale sign of a quality garment.  If the seams lie flat on the inside and there is enough material left for alterations, you have a quality garment.
  5. Hem stitching should not been seen from the outside of the garment, unless it is intentional in the design.
  6. If you pull the seams, the threads should not be loose, or see through.  If they are, then perhaps the garment will not hold up in the washing machine too many times.  Also, weak seams can become crooked over time.
  7. For trousers, is there at least two inches left in the hem for alterations?  If so, then this may be a quality item worth custom fitting.

So with these tips, and your next shopping trip, you just may start transforming your closet into a custom wardrobe of your own.


Shopping Tips for Buying Clothes

Clothes by Emporio Armani, one of the most lux...

Clothes by Emporio Armani, one of the most luxurious and famous Italian fashion houses (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fall is a great time to go shopping!  Fashion designers love the Fall too – because you are shopping for all of the designs that are shared during Fashion week. Top designs from these shows present the colors of the season, the length of our skirts, the width of our trousers, materials, patterns and many more fine tuned designs.  Fall is a big shopping season for both designers and consumers who are done with the summer colors and want something new.

Believe it or not, we as consumers, really do drive the fashion industry.  Either we buy it, or we don’t. If blue was a big color during fashion week, then you will most likely see blue in your local department store.

Now, as the consumer, you have an opportunity to respond to designers by either buying their ideas or passing by the rack that does not catch your fancy.

Below are some great tips to keep in mind when you head out to shop for your Fall wardrobe this year.

  • Printed designs catch the eye and tend to make certain areas stand out.
  • Flowers tend to enhance areas.
  • Horizontal stripes widen areas.
  • Vertical stripes will elongate your body.
  • Solid colors tend to be more slimming and tend not to accentuate certain areas.
  • A darker background color and big pattern will provide a slimming effect with a distraction – this can hide body flaws.
  • A solid dark color will provide a slimming effect and focus will be on your face instead of your flaws.
  • If you would like to make your hip and thigh area look smaller, go with a solid color bottom and a printed top.
  • If you would like to enhance your bust line, select a pattern that is bright with a busy pattern on the top and a darker bottom.
  • V-neck cuts give smaller chests a boost.
  • Ruffles accentuate the bust area.
  • If you have a wide waist area, gathered fabrics in a solid color reduce the appearance of a thick waist.

Happy shopping!!

Archived article: Fall 2012 Fashion Must Haves

Fall is a great time to layer your clothes and add textures, but what’s in for Fall 2012?  As we transition into the colder months, our wardrobe also makes a transition.  Not only is it a great time to clean out your closet, it’s a great time to add new pieces and update your wardrobe.  As we add scarves, boots and jackets to our wardrobe, we can also add some flare.  And flare is what Fall 2012 is all about.

The bold colors from the summer are being carried over into Fall 2012.  Colored jeans are all the rage, but, for the Fall, camouflage patterns and prints are being introduced.  

If that’s not your thing, how about a glossy vinyl skirt or jacket?  Maybe you prefer good old fashioned leather instead, but this year, black leather is big.

I have put together a list of my top ten essentials for Fall 2012.  My top ten list is based on my research of current fashion as well as my personal opinion of what I, as a consumer would wear.  Although a glossy vinyl skirt may not make its way into my closet, a black leather jacket and boots are a definite.

Here’s my top ten 2012 Fall Fashion Must Haves List:

  1. Glossy vinyl jacket  or slicker
  2. Graphic design sweater or blouse
  3. Printed trousers/jeans
  4. Black leather
  5. Minimalist color block items
  6. Body contour dress
  7. Lace skirts and dresses
  8. Puffy vest or faux fur vest
  9. Skinny heel booties
  10. Gold jeans

Yes, gold and metallic is coming back; however, only the gold, not the silver.  You may see a lot of black and gold displayed together in stores this Fall.  Gold brocade enhances the solid black colors that we tend to gravitate towards in the Fall.  Enjoy shopping.

Archived article: Cobalt Blue for Fall 2012

Bold colors carry over into Fall 2012, but what is the color of the season this year?

English: Cobalt blue Deutsch: Cobaltblau

English: Cobalt blue Deutsch: Cobaltblau (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This Fall, you may notice bold colors of summer are carrying over into Fall.  Many clothes you see in stores right now have a minimalist look to them.  Bold colors are paired with white, creating a stunning bright look.  Color blocking with crisp clean structured designs can be seen in many of the major department stores.  As Fall lines don the racks of your favorite stores,  be sure to include cobalt blue in your Fall wardrobe.  Upon review of the many fashion magazines and clothing store ads, you may have noticed, the big bold color for Fall 2012 is this deep rich hue of blue.  Enjoy your fall shopping.  Be sure to check back soon for my list of “Must Haves” for Fall 2012.  Thanks for reading.

Fabrics and Textiles, visit a great site to make your own fashions

Chintz & Company on Homer St

Chintz & Company on Homer St (Photo credit: t-dot-s-dot)

A variety of contemporary fabrics. From the le...

A variety of contemporary fabrics. From the left: evenweave cotton, velvet, printed cotton, calico, felt, satin, silk, hessian, polycotton. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever made your own clothes?  Many of us believe this is an art left to fashion designers. When I was young, I took sewing classes in hopes to become the next famous designer.  I made some cute pieces that received many compliments.  Of course, I’m older now and those items have long gone to the good will.  If only I saved a few.  My creations of the 70’s may have made a comeback.  If you like to sew your own clothing, there is a great youtube site to check out for tips on creating your own one of a kind designs.  Learn how to make your own gladiator sandals, necklaces, shirts, hobo bags, scarves, costumes and much more.  This site incluces how to videos and information about sewing.  Visit:

below is a list of textiles and fabrics to use to create your own designs.














An example of cotton sateen fabric, used to li...

Electrically conducting yarn

Electrically conducting yarn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Harris tweed fabric

Harris tweed fabric (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




chantilly lace

Terry cloth.

Terry cloth. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)















Pills on a knit fabric
Pills on a knit fabric (Photo credit: Wikipedia)










harris tweed





















patent leather














terry cloth











Related articles

Archived article: Hot Colors and Trends for Spring

Do you have this Spring’s hot color?  As you may have noticed, when shopping this Spring, many bright colors and bright colored jeans are in the stores right now.  Colored jeans are big this year with bold bright colors.  Of course pastels are always a hit for Spring, but have you noticed specifically which colors are hot for 2012?

earthtone colors for Spring 2012

Pastels this year are subdued and muted so they have a more earthtone look.  Beige tones, tans and whites are hot. Black and white is a classic look each Spring and quite abundant this year.

orange/ coral

However, the big bold spring color this year is orange.  The orange coral tone is popular.  Perhaps you have noticed this color this year as you have started your Spring shopping. Have you also noticed different tones of orange?  Orange adds a pop of color to earthtones and muted pastels.  Even if you don’t like orange, you could pick up an orange lightweight scarf to wear with a tank top under a chiffon see through blouse. A pop of orange color will keep you current this year.

Add orange with earthtones this Spring/Summer.

Archived article: Spring 2012 Fashion Must Haves

Do you have the must have items for your Spring 2012 wardrobe?

As the warmer Spring and Summer months arrive, many of us get the itch to go shopping and update our wardrobe, replace older pieces of clothing and add new trends to our wardrobe.  As we transition into the warmer months, so too does our wardrobe.  We begin wearing lighter colors and lighter materials to keep cool.  But what are the must have items for Spring 2012?  Do you already have them stashed away in your closet?  

I have put together a list of my top ten essentials for Spring 2012.  My top ten list is based on my research of the many fashion magazines one can refer to as well as my personal opinion of what I, as a consumer would wear.

You can take this list to your closet and see what you already have.  Perhaps you only need a few items, or venture out to buy everything on this list.

Here’s my top ten 2012 Spring Fashion Must Haves List:

  1. Peplum top
  2. Shorts suit
  3. White pumps
  4. Printed frame sunglasses
  5. High waisted flare pants
  6. Pleated skirt
  7. One shoulder dress or top
  8. Oversized rectangle clutch
  9. Lace or crochet accented top or dress
  10. Metallic tank

oversized clutch

wear shorts as a suit