For tight items that you want to fold around your body (e.g., jeans or t-shirts), look for a fabric composition that contains about 2 to 5% of an elastic synthetic material. Hopefully, these tips will help you shop better, but they’re only useful if you’re looking for clothes you’re going to wear for years. Even a poorly made garment can hold up well if you only wear it a handful of times before throwing it away. But that won’t give you anywhere near the best value for money, and it’s bad for the planet, even if you recycle or donate your unwanted clothes. Many quality garments have gussets (small triangles or additional diamond-shaped pieces of fabric) sewn into them to reduce stress on clothing. You can find gussets on the side pants of men’s shirts, for example, and on the armpits, shoulders, and crotches.

Other telltale signs of poor quality are not always easy to spot, as they are often the result of steps that have been skipped. For example, Rissanen points out that the best way to build a cross-seam would be to use two stitches of different lengths, one on top of the other. It strengthens the seam of the crotch, which is important because it is one of the most stressful areas of the pants.

This may not be a problem with items like loose skirts or draped tops, but it can be a problem in garments like tight dresses or shirts. On the other hand, pills that are formed in synthetic fabrics such as nylon and polyester usually remain visible after they are formed. This means that stubborn pilling can be a sign that a garment is not entirely made of high-quality natural fibers.

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We want sturdy garments that we can throw away without having to worry about tearing seams or flapping. We want our clothes to remain the same shape as when we bought them, and not to stretch or shrink over time. We want things that fit our body shape, don’t distort our silhouette, or restrict our movements. We don’t want any substance that fades after using or washing it several times.

As soon as the fabric begins to stretch or relax, the hem begins to swell and bend along the hem line. In high-quality clothing, the hem is usually finished in such a way that it can retain its shape. Two of the most common quality finishes are “biased binding” or “invisible” finishes.

So you have to be careful with synthetics and investigate them. They are exceptionally cheap and probably poorly manufactured. This is because natural fibers are not only more expensive, but sometimes also hold up better over time. Ultimately, the fibers that are made in a product will tell you a lot about the product itself. High-quality clothing is often made of wool, cotton, cashmere and silk.

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