| FABRICS | Check the fabric content. Manmade fabrics such as polyester, spandex, acetate and rayon are usually less expensive than natural fabrics such as cotton, silk, linen or cashmere.
| TRIM | Trims on garments include but are not limited to the following: buttons, ribbon, tassels, beading, printing, appliqués and embroidery. More flair = more money.
| FINISHINGS | Does the fabric of the garment have a special sheen or texture to it? Are the edges raw or finished? A ‘raw’ edge means the edge of the fabric has been sewn by a serger. A serged edge is simply bound by a machine to keep the fabric from unraveling. A ‘finished’ edge means that the edge is folded over and stitched, leaving a smooth clean edge to the garment. A garment with a raw edge will usually be less expensive.
| CARE INSTRUCTIONS | Check the care instructions prior to purchase. The care tag will generally indicate that a garment is to be dry cleaned only, hand washed or machine washd. Keep in mind that delicate fabrics require delicate care. Also, a garment that is “dry clean only” tends to be pricier than something that is machine washable.
To make a garment, the design, color, trim and fit get approved again each step of the way by different people. As one particular style may run for several seasons, the approval process tends to be a tad quicker. However, when new styles come into the line, the design process starts as early as two years prior to delivery. Manufacturing companies run strict deadlines they have to meet for their finished products to reach retailers. As shoppers depend on stores to tell them what the ‘latest’ styles are, the fashion cycle seems to span 20 years. Styles, colors and fabrics that were popular 20 years seen to be all the rage in most of today's retail chains.
Lesson to be learned? EVERYTHING ALWAYS COMES BACK IN STYLE. Keep your clothing organized, clean and in good condition for the next time it comes back in style. If you are a first-timer falling for a fad, keep the garment construction tips above in mind when slapping your credit card down at the counter for the latest and greatest outfit. When a particular trend or fad haunts your closet for a second go-around, you will be prepared to look fabulous yet again with old clothes that look like new.
For more bargain tips, style education and fashion inspiration, please go to www.thedressrecycler.com. “Your Bargain Fashion Superhero!”