To help you detect a poor-quality item on the spot, Bright Side has collected 10 tips that will help you avoid wasting your money.
10. Check the quality of cotton by squeezing it.
Grab some fabric, and squeeze it tightly in your fist for a few seconds. If the fabric looks like crumpled paper after this, it means it has been treated with a special agent to keep its shape. Such clothes will start looking like a rug after the first wash.
9. Pull the seams to see the gaps.
Quality items have dense stitches and thick seams. Try lightly pulling stitched pieces apart. If the seams show gaps, you are looking at a piece of junk.
8. Avoid open zippers.
Make sure to buy clothes and accessories with metal zippers covered with a strap: they are the most reliable and long-lasting. Open plastic zippers often break and are a sign of poor quality in almost any item.
7. Make sure the hem is wide enough.
Pants and skirts should have a hem of up to 4 cm. Blouses and shirts can do with a smaller one of about 2 cm. If there’s no hem or this place is simply stitched, you are likely looking at a low-quality item.
6. Give fabric a tug.
A quality item will always keep its shape. Take a stretchy part of a dress or a skirt, tug at it, and then let go. If the fabric loses its shape, you are looking at cheap and low-quality fabric.
5. Make sure the zipper matches in length.
Zippers on dresses, skirts, or any other kinds of clothes should be equal in length, even, and match in color.
4. Pay attention to the label.
Natural fabrics, such as cotton, silk, and wool, are strong and more durable than synthetics. However, 100% cotton can quickly shrink after washing. That is why it is a good idea to choose clothes with an addition (5-30%) of artificial fabrics (viscose, polyester, nylon, etc). These clothes won’t stretch out and will serve you much longer.
3. Make sure the seams and threads match.
Examine fabric patterns and thread colors. If patterns do not match and stitches are made with threads of different colors, it is a clear sign that this item was made in a hurry. Quantity was probably a priority here, not quality.
2. Check buttons and buttonholes.
When manufacturers make a fake or low-quality item, they often don’t pay attention to little details. That is why you should examine buttons and buttonholes before buying an item. Make sure that buttons are secured and no threads are sticking out. The holes should be neatly overlocked and evenly cut through.
1. Look at the coloring on the folds.
If the coloring on the handles, straps, or fastenings looks faded or leaves marks on the folds, this is a sign of a low-quality item. The same goes for when one part of the item looks lighter or darker than the rest. This kind of coloring will gradually fade after several washes.