This is part of the Shop Quality Series.
So this is my very fast primer when I look at something that looks somewhat decent from afar.
Not bad right? Faux suede… looks like a cute-ish vegan trench coat:
But then you touch it and realize the fabric is fine, but the stitching for instance, is crap.
The stitching in fast fashion is just one long line of thread stitching. And just one. Not two or three. You can see how it is the MINIMUM amount of stitches to keep something together in a garment, versus properly making sure it is cut well, stitched well to last and not fray.
Then, you see ONE line of thread. This means that you pull this one thread, and the whole garment may just unravel in your hands.
It is cheaper, and less time-consuming for a worker to do ONE long lined stitch (badly done, loose stitching), rather than stitch it on one side, stop, tie it off, switch to another and stitch it there.
See? Minimum amount of effort possible. You can see that grey square right behind that pocket? Well that is the fabric for the item itself and they didn’t bother to colour it because no one will see the inside.
That is another sign of fast fashion’s cheapness — just because you can’t see the lining or the inside, is where all the garbage work is done and thrown.
The pocket is barely hanging on with threads, and the lining doesn’t look well done or impeccably finished. When you take your coat off, do you want to be embarrassed at the lining? No.
Then we come to examining the stitching at the shoulder:
See how the seams don’t line up properly? They cut the fabric then sewed it together askew at the shoulder, right where most people will see the line and shape/drape of the garment on you, AND this is an eyesore. Honestly, you may not notice it on someone, but I notice it.
I also notice it when people don’t hem their pants to the correct lengths, and I see this bunched up excess fabric at the ankle that drives me bonkers.
For the record – try and hem everything at the ankle if it is skinny or straight style. It usually works with all heel heights – flat, wedges, even heels, and looks cool. This is 99% of what I own.
Only with wide-legged pants, bootcut, trouser, could you try for a longer hem because you may want the hem 1″ off the ground for wide-legged pants.
I don’t wear heels with wide-legged pants because I think it looks funny with stilettos unless the hem completely covers my entire foot save for 1″ off the ground, so all of my wide-legged pants are hemmed for me to wear them with sandals or flats.
Anyway, you can see how just the cut and the finish of the edges of this coat is why fast fashion doesn’t look as luxe. You can’t tell from afar, but up close, you can see it, and once you do, you can’t unsee it.
I always look for matching prints, patterns, seams, properly done stitching, no loose threads and care taken with a garment to determine quality, regardless of its brand name or price.
I also check the fabric — is it mostly polyester? A blend of it? Pass.