While one-half of being stylish and knowing how to dress is taste, the other is understanding the meaning of well-made clothing. Not all clothing is created equal, and this varies by designer, price, and retailer.
However, don’t assume that just because you dished out your life savings to own that designer jacket you’ve been craving means that you actually got your money’s worth. You can’t rely on a label or price tag alone to ensure that you’re getting true quality. Here are a few visual tests to check whether or not you’re dealing with fine garments, or cheaply made garbage.
1. Underwear Fit and Fabric
Your number one concern with underwear should be support and function. For example, you don’t want to work out in underwear that doesn’t provide support. Everyday Health recommends that while it’s fine to wear underwear in luxurious fabrics once in a while for special occasions, underwear for everyday use should always be made of cotton or synthetic blends. Check out VK Nagrani designer boxer briefs that offer high quality basics that retain form and function alike. Well made underwear shouldn’t be slouchy or lose their shape too quickly, and in general, they won’t be sold in bulk packages. The best way to figure out what brand of underwear works the best for you personally, though, is to explore a few brands and see what wears best.
2. Dress Shirts
Gentleman’s Gazette advises that in order to determine whether a dress shirt is well made, you should check to make sure that the fabric pattern matches up properly at the shoulder to sleeve seam, pocket, and split yoke, among others. This is an indication that the shirt was made with care by professionals, rather than mass produced and sloppily manufactured to turn a profit as quickly as possible. Dress shirts can be worn with a suit or with jeans, and should be carefully assessed since they’re very versatile. Unfortunately, many manufacturers will rush out these staple garments in order to keep up with trends and offer products as cheaply as possible. This is what you want to avoid, and examining dress shirts for things like pattern precision and stitching is a good way to get a sense of quality.
3. Dress Shoes
Dress shoes are one of the most important staple items in any man’s wardrobe, as well as potentially one of the most expensive. Therefore, it’s absolutely essential that you know what you’re doing when you’re shopping for a new pair of shoes. According to Kinowear, a pair of well-made dress shoes will be made of leather and have leather soles that are stitched, not glued, to the bottom of the shoe, and the stitching itself should be impeccably even and unassuming. Shoes like these can boast a hefty price tag, but it’s worth it in the long run. The point of finding well-made clothing and accessories isn’t just for presentation, but also the fact that they’ll be long lasting. If you purchase a pair of shoes sticking to these principles and invest, caring for them properly will ensure that they’ll last for years. On the other hand, skimping on the price and trying to go for a pair of cheaply made shoes in faux leather with a glued sole means you’ll be returning to the same store later in the year to replace them when they fall apart. Shop with care for dress shoes especially, and never settle for anything less than leather.
Suits are one of the greatest fashion statements there is for a man, if only because they come in iconic styles and hold many social connotations. There are also suits that are specifically intended for particular types of formal events, whereas others are aimed at being for business. You need to know what you’re looking for, though, so you can invest in the right type of suit. Articles of Style points out that a few hallmarks of a well made suit include handmade button holes, real horn buttons, extra fabric in the seams allowing for alterations, and even jackets that lack lining since absolute precision is necessary. You also need to remember that a suit will never fit you off the rack, nor should it. Any well-made suit will need to be altered, and there should be enough fabric to do so.
The more familiar you become with clothing structure and what looks good on you, the easier it’ll be to know what to look for as you debate whether to purchase something. Following these simple rules is a good start to deducing whether something is really worth your money, but there are more advanced signs as well. Practice makes perfect, and you’ll definitely understand the difference once you experience what a waste of money a poorly made shirt can be in the long run.