How to Determine Quality in Plus Size Fashion

How to determine Quality in Plus Size Clothing

- and it’s not always about the dollar

Twitter after dark has transformed into a great open discussion about plus size fashion, ideals, gripes, concerns, and questions as it pertains to the plus size community and last night was no exception. On the topic of prices, investing in items, and quality was brought up that had me thinking again, as I have in the past addressed pricing and quality- after a few questions, I thought I would break things down a little bit more.

How to determine Quality in Plus Size Clothing…

In plus size fashion, this ideal of quality, investing, and paying more for clothing seems to be a highly sensitive and hot topic that polarizes some and enlightens others.

You see, the play ground for plus size fashion has gotten bigger, allowing newer entrants at both ends of the fashion scale- both in higher end and luxury down to fast fashion must haves. While we may see more options, we also see different prices, and we also see different levels of QUALITY.

Michael Kors said it best:

There’s a whole new generation of women in their 20’s who think the idea of investing in a piece of clothing is completely foreign. We’ve spent the last decade thinking, It’s Friday at 4pm. I’m going to H+M to buy something to wear tonight and then throw it out at the end of the night and leave it in the restroom. If you said the word “tailoring” to some of these 22 year-olds, they look at you like you’re insane. To put on a suit, to put on something that’s beautifully tailored quite frankly, you just can’t knock off beautiful tailoring.

So how do you determine quality in fashion, especially when you have never been afforded these options before? After being relegated to polyesters, rayons, and pieces that would only last you maybe a year or two (if you are very lucky and careful with your garments), how do you know what quality is? How do you justify paying (investing) a bit more for an item?

You look to these key indicators for Quality. Regardless of the price point, these indicators will help you gauge the WHY an item will cost more (not always- but mostly!)

Lining, finishing, fabrication, zippers (invisible and exposed), natural fabrics, shape, cut, etc = indicators of quality

  • Fabric

    I am a fabric snob. Hands down. My skin is also sensitive to fabrics, so I often lean towards the natural fabrics, which tend to cost more, and for me that is okay. When shopping for clothes, check the type of fabric blend. Natural fabrics last longer, hold its shape better, and hang on your shape nicely.  When patterns are present, they should match across the dress, not just cut across or run against the pattern.

  • The Details

    In reference to the zippers, buttons, clasps, these minute details are often the first visual details that give your garment personality. Zippers should be able to glide up and down your garment smoothly (including the invisible ones). Button holes should be reinforced. Buttons and clasps should also be reinforced and oftentimes, a secondary button comes attached inside the garment- just in case.

  • The Lining

    Lining gives your clothes the ability to graze your curves without showing every nook and cranny. Oftentimes you will see lining in jackets, skirts, and dresses, with half lining in pants. Linings are usually solid and they vary in fabrication. Your lining should not be tight and should have a bit of wiggle room, when done right.

  • Finishing

    As plus size women, we naturally have more curves and the finishing is key. To test its quality, pull the garment taught at the seams to see gauge its tension and relief it will give. Also check to see if you can see through the garment. If you can, be careful, as this will give you an idea of how it will wear on your curves.

    Higher end garments stitching always has a straight seam and is finished (meaning never left without a stitch). Also check for the type of stitching your item has. Stitching prevents your item from unraveling- unless the fabrication of the item prevents this, then it is treated as such. *You usually see this in cottons and it rolls up.* Your seams and hems should also be pressed to lay flat in the proper direction.

What is even better with quality items, should something happen to a garment, unlike fast fashion pieces, you are more apt to be able to fix, exchange, or repair your garment at your place of purchase if defected. More like an insurance policy for your clothes.

I will go into pricing and quality in another post, but in the meantime, please take a peek at  Trapped in our Own Plus Size Stigmas to learn more about the changing field of plus size fashion.

What do you think about what I shared??

Agree or disagree?

Marie Denee
I am the owner of the Curvy Fashionista, sharing the latest trends and designers in plus size fashion, beauty, and accessories to keep you Curvy.Confident.Chic.! I am goofy, silly, playful, and a handful... but it is all in the name of fashion!
Marie Denee
Marie Denee

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Comments

  1. Rubyleonne says

    Great post! I sometimes look at the article of clothing and don’t think about these things. Later on, I’m upset because the garment I spend my money on is worthless after multiple wears or washes. Many women don’t really look at these factors, so it was great for you to point it out.

    rubyleonne.blogspot.com

  2. says

    Great post. I personally can’t afford quality most of the time, but it IS something I look for in special occassions, and on splurges. Maybe one day I can move forward in my wardrobe…

  3. Stillredheaded says

    Completely agree! And price is DEFINITELY not always a factor. I had a black trench coat from Target that fits beautifully, had great fabric and every seam is beautifully finished! I owned it for 10 years and then somehow left it in a hotel room or restaurant mourn its loss to this day. I don’t think I paid more than $50 for this amazing piece.

  4. says

    This is a very good and post, and important for everyone no matter the shape or size. An investment piece will last a very long time, and men will have things altered and tailored while women have a problem because of self-image issues. Marketers and advertisers have some women believing that size is important not fit, and I think we should focus on the latter.

  5. says

    Great post. Sometimes I can get caught up in how “cute” the outfit looks. And I neglect the details that will make it “cute” in the long run. I appreciate this post and it’ll be my go-to guide. Thanks!

  6. says

    This is a great article. When I was a younger I did not feel the need to invest on quality clothing. It has always been cheap but not of good quality. Later on I realized that I’m spending more money buying cheap clothes weekly than getting good items that will last for a while.

  7. says

    Sorry about the last post-
    I mean to say, you are a wonderful writer! I enjoyed this article very much, I am not a plus size girl, but I am not a size 0 either. It is always refreshing to see real women blog about fashion. <3 best of luck to you.

  8. says

    Sorry about the last post-
    I mean to say, you are a wonderful writer! I enjoyed this article very much, I am not a plus size girl, but I am not a size 0 either. It is always refreshing to see real women blog about fashion. <3 best of luck to you.

  9. says

    Wonderful post. I believe these work even for straight size girls. I am an advocate of investment dressing for reasons of self-respect, love of fashion, and the environment. Cost per wear oftem makes the item less expensive in the long run than a disposable garment.

  10. says

    Wonderful post. I believe these work even for straight size girls. I am an advocate of investment dressing for reasons of self-respect, love of fashion, and the environment. Cost per wear oftem makes the item less expensive in the long run than a disposable garment.

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