When it comes to the question of quality vs quantity in clothing, I am a big believer in quality. In my opinion, a beautiful pair of 100% Italian wool black dress pants that fit perfectly is worth more than 5 pairs of cheap polyester dress pants. But finding quality clothing in this day and age is difficult. In our current fashion era trends are constantly changing and fashion designers have to keep up with the ever growing demand. The market response has been fast fashion, which is the massive production of inexpensive clothing .Fast fashion clothing collections are based on the most recent trends that are presented at Fashion Week. In order to be competitive in a fast fashion market, clothes have to be designed and manufactured quickly and inexpensively to allow the mainstream consumer to buy current clothing styles at lower prices. Gone are the days when clothes shopping was a special event. This means that the overall quality of clothing is decreasing. At the same time, the market for higher end clothing is decreasing which makes it more difficult for fashion designers to produce high end clothes. It is just too expensive.
Thankfully there are still people out there who truly appreciate well made clothing and beautiful textiles. I would like to believe that if more people understood the value of well-made clothing, they would not be so quick to shop at the Gap. In order to appreciate clothing it is important to understand the design process, the construction process, the differences in fabric and the importance of fit. My goal is to share knowledge on these topics in future posts. I would also suggest trying on higher end garments to see how it feels. A good analogy would be wine tasting- once you learn how wine is made and you have tasted the expensive wines, it is difficult to go back to the cheap stuff.
The challenge, of course, is to create a wardrobe without breaking the bank. Going into debt for your wardrobe is counter productive because the stress you will feel with having a large debt will take away the joy you will feel when wearing the clothes. My solution has been to sew my own clothes however I am aware that this is not an option for everyone So what do you do? Is quality clothing accessible to people on a budget? My answer to that is yes.
I rarely shop for clothes since I make my own but when I do shop I will look for more expensive pieces that are on sale. I never pay full price unless it is an item that is limited and I really love it. While I do like designer clothing, I do not buy designer pieces just for the name. Just because it is an expensive designer piece does not mean that it is of higher quality or that it will automatically look good on you. With clothing, price is not always a measure of the quality . My criteria when buying a piece, aside from the style and fit, is the quality of the fabric and the quality of the construction. This is a topic I will delve further into in future posts. Finding these items on sale, or at places such as Marsalls and Nordstom Rack, requires time and effort but once you reject the idea of fast fashion, moving from quantity to quality, you will enjoy the search for each special piece and you will value it for many years instead of throwing it away after a year or two.
Do you have to wear high end clothing to be stylish? Absolutely not. There are lots of affordable, stylish clothes out there to buy. The question to ask yourself is how do you feel in the clothes you wear? If they do not make you feel amazing then maybe it is time for a change.