One of the best and easiest ways to keep your wardrobe more sustainable is to buy good quality clothes that will last you for years. At first it might seem that good quality clothing is expensive but it will actually help you save money in the long run. You won’t be forced to buy new pieces every season because your old clothes will still be in good shape.

A good practice is to start counting how much the clothing piece will cost you per one wear. Let’s say you’re buying a swimsuit from a reputable sustainable company, it costs $100 and you’re planning on wearing it for at least three years (or summers). Divide the price from a number of years and you’ll get a real price. That “expensive” swimsuit ends up costing you only $33 per summer. Or even less because it might serve you even longer. Fast fashion companies made us believe that clothes are cheap and disposable. But doing this simple math will prove you that by shopping at these companies we’re just spending more money without even noticing.

So how do we shop for good quality clothes? Here I collected some of my tips that hopefully will help you find well made pieces. And if you really have to buy something from fast fashion retailers, try using these tips so you’ll get the best they can offer or maybe you’ll decide not shop there anymore.

Check pattern at the seam

Print is fun! But not when it’s poor quality because manufacturers were trying to save cost and didn’t care enough to match the print. If print looks broken at the seams, you can be sure that brand is just trying to make more pieces and get more money. Good quality clothes are the least of their concern. 

In a picture below you can see two different striped clothing pieces. The one on the left has “broken” stripes and the one on the right has continuous stripes. It’s even difficult to notice that there is a pocket, right?


Picture on the left is from and edited by 

What materials is it made of?

Did you ever have a T-shirt with sleeves that would stretch out after one wear? I sure did! Cheaper lower quality fabrics tend to stretch out really quickly and if you are like me and love to roll your sleeves up, you’ll notice that really quickly! Next time before buying a new T-shirt, try to stretch the fabric and see if it comes back to its previous shape. If not, imagine what would happen to that piece after a day of wearing it? It would stretch out, and not only it would look bad, you wouldn’t feel like wearing that piece ever again. 

It’s mostly always best to look for natural fabrics. It not only looks better, but it lets your skin breath, keeps you warmer (wool, cashmere and etc.) or colder (linen)

Seams are Important

Check for any loose or uneven threads. It’s a sign of the garment that was made in a rush and the person who sewed your piece was probably forced to make a certain amount of clothes to meet the quota. Again, manufacturers cared more about making more pieces in a short time rather than making sure they were making the best quality clothes or investing in their employees. 

In the picture below are two examples of seams. The one on the left has a loose thread, seam is uneven and just looks unfinished. The one on the right is completely opposite. Seam is even and looks neat.



Try It On

If you tried new clothes at the store and it looks like the cut is just wrong no matter what size you’re putting on, you don’t have room to move your hands, it’s hard to breathe… Just don’t buy it. If it feels wrong in a fitting room, it will feel the same on a street. Otherwise you can accidently buy a pair of jeans where side seams always end up in the front. You know what I’m talking about, right?

Always Check Care Instructions

It’s not fun to ruin your clothes after the first wash so always make sure you read the care instructions. And do that before buying anything because you might buy clothes that need to be washed by hands or dry cleaned only. Will you have time/money/patience for that? And make sure you’re not getting a piece that just cannot be washed or dry cleaned at all. And I’m not talking about waxed jackets or other speciality clothing that have repair shops. Fast fashion manufactures love putting these tags on poor quality everyday clothes like blouses or sweaters because washing just ruins that garment completely. 

It’s always useful to know how to read fabric care symbols. Symbols can differ in each country but it’s not too difficult to understand them once you know your country's symbols. Below is American laundry care chart.



Fabric care symbols  (American Cleaning institute)

Don’t forget, less is more and a bigger closet full of clothes with uneven seams won’t help your style!


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