Quality over quantity, how do you achieve that

HauteMama

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O.G.
Sep 22, 2006
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There are a multitude of examples. Let's take a coat, for example. You can buy a coat from a discounter that is lighter weight and a wool blend. As they sit in the store, it might look quite similar to a more expensive version, so many people figure why not buy the cheaper one? After all, then you can buy two or three in different colors.

But then you realize that the lining isn't as thick and it tears when you reach. The wool-blend isn't as tight and smooth and the coat pills where you normally carry your bag. You put your keys in your pocket a few times and a hole develops. You hang it by the tab inside the collar at the dr.'s office and the tab tears off one side. By the end of the season, that coat might be looking and feeling pretty shabby.

The more expensive version, however, would have had a thicker lining with reinforced seams. The lining and pockets would have stood up to a lot of wear. The tighter and smoother wool exterior would have been warmer and less likely to pill or show wear. Additionally, the tailoring in a more expenisve coat is often better, so the fit is more flattering (this depends on the coat and which brand works for you, though). Next season, all you need to do is have it dry-cleaned and it looks brand new again. A well-made coat can last you for many years.

This same scenario can be replayed with countless items. And it isn't necessarily the designer label that matters, just the construction of the item and the materials it is made with.
 

Flip88

Member
Jan 16, 2010
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Yes, it is all about quality which will last rather than almost 'disposable clothing' which you wear a few times only before the garment either fades, rips, seems come away, etc.

As a general rule my classics are quality because they will last me years. On the other hand if I see something that is not going to be my thing in a year or two I will buy cheap.

I have garments which are over 15 years old and look almost brand new after cleaning.
 

iloverien

Member
May 22, 2010
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0
i understand coats are an investment.
what about shirt, knitwear, jeans, etc.? i went to Zara recently and i love mostly everything except the price. would you spend 80$ on a chunky sweater? i'm scared if i have a crush on something, i will fell out of love eventually.
and if someone wear head to toe tailored clothes, it looks amazing, polish even. i wish i could have the luxury to do that...
 
Nov 13, 2009
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0
Norway
I'm afraid to sound REALLY snobby by saying those, but if you're counting stuff from Zara in the "quality" category rather than the "quantity" category, I think you might be talking to the wrong crowd. :sweatdrop:

At least I know I certainly don't shop at Zara for quality items. Take this pair of jeans I recently bought there. They're leopard print, so they're very much a trend item and something I know I probably won't want to wear in a few years time, and hence won't spend a lot of money on. So I bought them at Zara, figuring that would be okay. However, within maybe five wears one of the belt loops was torn, the button had almost fallen out and the fabric is already showing wear.

The way I see it, it's much better, and in the long-term more cost-efficient, to save up and buy those few, quality pieces you'll have for a long time if you take good care of them, rather than buying a load of things from like, H&M or Zara, which will fall apart within a few uses. Not that I don't like Zara, because I do - I absolutely love the clothes there; they're just not very well made. :shrugs:
 
Mar 10, 2007
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I'm afraid to sound REALLY snobby by saying those, but if you're counting stuff from Zara in the "quality" category rather than the "quantity" category, I think you might be talking to the wrong crowd. :sweatdrop:

At least I know I certainly don't shop at Zara for quality items. Take this pair of jeans I recently bought there. They're leopard print, so they're very much a trend item and something I know I probably won't want to wear in a few years time, and hence won't spend a lot of money on. So I bought them at Zara, figuring that would be okay. However, within maybe five wears one of the belt loops was torn, the button had almost fallen out and the fabric is already showing wear.

The way I see it, it's much better, and in the long-term more cost-efficient, to save up and buy those few, quality pieces you'll have for a long time if you take good care of them, rather than buying a load of things from like, H&M or Zara, which will fall apart within a few uses. Not that I don't like Zara, because I do - I absolutely love the clothes there; they're just not very well made. :shrugs:
Totally agreed. OP, if you are trying to achieve pieces that last 5-10 years by shopping at Zara, I don't think it's going to happen.

I adhere to this mantra of quality over quantity completely, with the added caveat that I refuse (in most cases) to buy something right when it comes out at full price.

Here are a couple of examples from my closet:

Frye motorcycle boots. Not cheap, but I have replaced the soles twice, and they are so comfortable I could walk for miles in them. And they look amazing with almost everything. Couple of hundred, not on sale.

An Alexander McQueen blazer (not the one I just got) that was on sale at NM last call for $800. I think I starved for a week to buy that. But it is one of my best pieces and it's been over 7 years and it still is in fashion and still looks great.

DVF dress. I think I have worn that thing everywhere! The jersey makes it easy to pack and easy to wear. $100-something on sale.

I don't think you have to spend that much money to get quality. Make sure you turn the top (or whatever) inside out and check out the seaming. If you see a lot of loose threads or it looks chaotic on the inside, it's not quality.
 

Greentea

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Feb 28, 2006
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Totally agreed. OP, if you are trying to achieve pieces that last 5-10 years by shopping at Zara, I don't think it's going to happen.

I adhere to this mantra of quality over quantity completely, with the added caveat that I refuse (in most cases) to buy something right when it comes out at full price.

Here are a couple of examples from my closet:

Frye motorcycle boots. Not cheap, but I have replaced the soles twice, and they are so comfortable I could walk for miles in them. And they look amazing with almost everything. Couple of hundred, not on sale.

An Alexander McQueen blazer (not the one I just got) that was on sale at NM last call for $800. I think I starved for a week to buy that. But it is one of my best pieces and it's been over 7 years and it still is in fashion and still looks great.

DVF dress. I think I have worn that thing everywhere! The jersey makes it easy to pack and easy to wear. $100-something on sale.

I don't think you have to spend that much money to get quality. Make sure you turn the top (or whatever) inside out and check out the seaming. If you see a lot of loose threads or it looks chaotic on the inside, it's not quality.
Agree! I'd rather have one pair of AGL or Frye boots than a bunch of cheaper versions that do not last. Case in point with my Steve Madden boots. They didn't even last 2 years.

Some of my quality over quantity adventures:

- dropping much of my fall wardrobe budget on the most perfect and fabulous Isabel Marant jacket that perks up anything I wear it with, and thus ignoring sales and "seasonal pieces" at H&M, Banana and GAP in the process

- my Burberry trench is 7 years old and has outlasted countless trendy and poorly made pieces that are now at the Buffalo Exchange

- DVF fur and knit vest. Not cheap but I reach for it again and again and again.

The goal is to have a smaller, edited wardrobe of things you really treasure. Things with perfect fit, gorgeous fabrics, enduring style and things that express who you are. I used to shove stuff into my closet (usually after being sucked into the lure of a sale) only to tire of them really easily and wonder why I bought them. Now, each purchase I make is well thought out and must fulfill a distinct need. When you shop less, you can easily shop better. Fixate yourself on one amazing item at a time. Save, save, save for it.
 

layd3k

O.G.
Jun 1, 2010
1,358
143
Toronto
I think quality vs. quanity is more than just buying a well-made dress and coat that could potentially last you years. (Even though it is true that certain designer items are made better than a cheap coat from H&M.) QUALITY is what the piece of clothing can bring to you. If know you can wear it over and over again in multiple ways, then it is a good investment.

Realistically not all clothing stays fashionable so its always better to buy the basics as high quality and perhaps your accesories. In my opinion I believe that the things people really notice are the shoes, scarves and handbags (and in the winter your coat), thus, they should be high quality and can truly last you for a very very long time. Unlike the latest "it" jacket from Zara or H&M.

Just my opinion on how I try to buy quality vs. quantity..would much rather have a few pants and shirts that I wear super often then a whole closet full of "it" clothes and brighten the whole thing up with an Hermes scarf!
 

iloverien

Member
May 22, 2010
112
0
wow i always though zara was high quality... but i'm only 19. is it doable to save for a isabel marant jacket (i love them)
plus i don't know which are «it» item and which are not.
 
Mar 10, 2007
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USA
wow i always though zara was high quality... but i'm only 19. is it doable to save for a isabel marant jacket (i love them)
plus i don't know which are «it» item and which are not.
"It" items are usually the ones that are trendy and only good for a season.

Have you read Nina Garcia's The One Hundred? That's a good place to get started if you are looking for what to invest in!
 

juneping

couch potato-ing
O.G.
Jun 11, 2007
17,801
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NYC
I think girls your age quality is not that important may be except jeans and a nice pair of shoes. It's good time to experiment what works for you and what not....play with fashion.
An IM jacket would be nice....but I would probably get the etoile line...
 

HauteMama

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O.G.
Sep 22, 2006
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633
BittyMonkey is right in that before you go investing in anything - inexpensive and trendy items, or high-quality investment pieces - you ought to take some time to determine your personal style. The books work well for some people, but not everyone is a fan of trench coats, pencil skirts and white button downs. The important thing is finding YOUR look and then determining the basics you need and then considering how every future purchase fits in with what you already own.

Many young women end up with a closet full of clothes, none of which go together very well, because they are still exploring their personal style. I think experimenting is great, but I'd encourage you to do it inexpensively until you really know what will work for you in the long run. Sometimes that have-to-have item you think is an investment piece at 20 just makes you shake your head at 24, so have some idea of where your style is headed before spending a lot on investment pieces.
 

Tamarind

Member
Sep 7, 2006
2,872
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I think girls your age quality is not that important may be except jeans and a nice pair of shoes. It's good time to experiment what works for you and what not....play with fashion.
An IM jacket would be nice....but I would probably get the etoile line...
I agree -- when you are young, your taste may still change, your lifestyle will go through many more stages. You also can get away with more trendy, less precious things and look cool.
When I was your age (which was a l-o-n-g time ago), I had a mix of many different price points in my wardrobe. But things have really changed, too. There are many more decent clothes and accessories that don't break the bank now.
Pay attention to how things fit. When they fit well, regardless of price, they will look better. For certain items there is no reason to pay top dollar for them, e.g. simple white T shirts. They will suffer from wear and tear and have to be replaced often. For others, it pays to invest. I would pay more for things that I will use a lot.
juneping is right -- jeans and shoes -- get these right and it will be worth it. I would add, a dress that can take you to many situations, like a day to night dress that can be dressed up or down. The more versatile an item is, the more it's worth it to pay more.
 

Mimster

Member
Jul 20, 2009
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I agree -- when you are young, your taste may still change, your lifestyle will go through many more stages. You also can get away with more trendy, less precious things and look cool.
When I was your age (which was a l-o-n-g time ago), I had a mix of many different price points in my wardrobe. But things have really changed, too. There are many more decent clothes and accessories that don't break the bank now.
Pay attention to how things fit. When they fit well, regardless of price, they will look better. For certain items there is no reason to pay top dollar for them, e.g. simple white T shirts. They will suffer from wear and tear and have to be replaced often. For others, it pays to invest. I would pay more for things that I will use a lot.
juneping is right -- jeans and shoes -- get these right and it will be worth it. I would add, a dress that can take you to many situations, like a day to night dress that can be dressed up or down. The more versatile an item is, the more it's worth it to pay more.

:yes:

OP, look for quality in the construction and material of the garment. Look at the seams, the seam allowance, the fit, and the content of the material. Don't go by the name of the brand. I've seen some questionable garments from designers that are extremely overpriced and poorly sewn.