Choosing Your Investment Clothing

The stores are always full of great fashion at every price point. The choices can be overwhelming indeed.

We all buy the occasional fad fashion item. Inexpensive, trendy clothing is often “disposable”. Buy it, wear it, and then either discard or shove in the back of the closet when the trend is over. These fashion items usually offer little longevity when it comes to style or quality. Although they definitely have their place and purpose, they are meant to be temporary and fun, not investment clothing.

If you are looking for longer-lasting pieces for your wardrobe or are building a core wardrobe, quality construction is key, especially when buying jackets, blazers, skirts, or slacks. These items are usually pricier, so here are some things to consider to ensure you are getting your money’s worth.

  • Seam allowances are 5/8″. They should be finished off with a zig-zag or other finishing stitch.. and should not fray or show loose threads anywhere. Seams should look smooth and hang straight, without wrinkles or puckers.
  • Interfacings shouldn’t wrinkle or pull. The best are sewn, not fused.
  • Buttons should be sewn on tightly, without loose threads. The best buttons are bone, shell, leather, or covered. Buttonholes should be straight, without loose threads.
  • Fabric patterns should match at the seams.
  • Hemlines should hang straight and even. Stitching should not be visible and the inside should be finished with tape.
  • Pleats, vents, and collars should lie flat.
  • Look for classic cuts that flatter your body type.
  • Fit is very important. That said, be prepared to tailor your clothing. Even a ½ inch can make your outfit look more custom-made and expensive.
  • Although natural fabrics or blends are generally better than synthetics, choose linens and cottons carefully, as they tend to wrinkle easily.

For the most interesting wardrobe, don’t be afraid to mix it up. While your investment clothing can last for years, adding some lower-priced, fun, trendy pieces can freshen up your look and give it an instant update without spending a lot of money.