A Fashion PSA: Shopping Quality Clothes Pt 2 - REFRAIN + RETRAIN the BRAIN
It doesn’t matter where in life you are; quality clothes are necessary. Unfortunately, most of us don’t accept or practice this until we’ve spent many years and an unbelievable amount of money replacing crap clothes. We have all done it … and some are still doing it. *wink, wink*
In part two we are going to look at what quality pieces you should incorporate into your wardrobe first and where to find them. Time to put what you learned in part one to the test! Remember, the price tag or brand name does not always mean ‘quality’. If you are already one step ahead of the class and already own the quality wardrobe staples you can move on to the next step. Elevating those staple pieces to make a statement. I promise that all of my finds will be a better investment than BitCoin. *big smile*
the White Tee
Nothing, absolutely nothing, is a magnet for food like a white tee. Despite that, it is one of my favorite pieces in my closet. A quality white tee isn’t just any shirt. It can work with any outfit. For proof google Calista Flockhart circa 1990s on the red carpet in a Gap tee and ball skirt! I enjoy thinking of it like Green Eggs and Ham...
*sing it with me*
I love it with my vintage Levi’s from Etsy.
I love it with my pencil skirt.
I love it when I wash, wear, and do it again.
No, not all white tee shirts are equal. When choosing one make sure to look for one made of soft fabric that is thick enough to withstand a lifetime of washes. Remember, length matters. So buy one to wear your standard way; either tucked or untucked. The last and most important details are fit and construction. The back neck and shoulders should be reinforced and hold shape when worn and overall be comfortable and not skin tight. No, you are not looking for a unicorn but the perfect white tee.
I highly recommend you check out the Buck Mason Crew made from 100% Pima cotton which is affordable at $45. Or up your game with a stylishly knotted one. Then go for a statement tee with ruffles by the Aesthetik.
the Perfect Pair of Jeans
We are not all built to fit ‘one-size fits all’. The perfect fit and silhouette is as personal as contraception. Yeah … I went there because it is true! A good pair of jeans can not only accentuate the good stuff but camouflage our perceived flaws. Don’t settle for anything less than the ‘perfect’ pair of jeans! Just make sure they are quality because denim trends move slowly and only change every decade.
This is one garment category where the question of “who are these made for” always matters. Athletic thick thighs or slim with a thigh gap? Pre-op or post-op Brazilian butt lift? Hips that channel Kim Kardashian (curvy) or Simone Biles (square)? Beware of the brands that promise a great fit for ALL body types because that is impossible. Do not compromise on fit and try to shop brands that go by waist size; or a number size but never letter sizing!
Besides the fit, other important things to look for are the weight and feel of the denim. The additional reinforcement of the crotch and inner thigh seams. Most important of all what is the brand’s track record on laundering shrinkage and if / how much / how long does the color crock. That last bit refers to the unwanted transfer of dye. You know, it’s that blue stain you left on your couch! A few labels that you can count on for quality denim are Paige, Mother, 7 for All Mankind, and Levi’s to name a few.
the Iconic Denim Jacket
I have owned way too many denim jackets over the years because I sacrificed quality. I would buy one, wear it one season, and when it began to disintegrate I would donate it.... rinse, wash, and repeat. Until I stumbled across an awesome vintage jacket at a thrift store. Despite being oversized, the quality was phenomenal, the patches from the previous owner were the highlight and it quickly became a staple in my closet.
When discussing quality denim jackets we have to start with the coveted and iconic Gap denim jacket! In all of its iterations, crop, oversized, stretch, non-stretch, boyfriend cut, whatever. And if you are lucky enough to find a vintage one at the local thrift, you’ve hit influencer gold!
Shopping for a quality denim jacket will be similar to shopping for a pair of jeans. You will want to look at the fabric etc. However, you will need to go a step further and check for quality topstitching (straight lines and small stitch length) and the placement of rivets in areas that tend to wear out fast. Overall, remember that the details matter!
the White Button-Down Shirt
A white button-up shirt is another must-have shirt for every closet. It is the ultimate crossover piece and can easily be personalized. Depending on how you accessorize; it can practically be paired with any garment under the sun. Yes, even joggers!
Check out the classic button-down from AYR or upgrade to a stylish staple with the multifunctional Daria Drawstring Puffed Collared Shirt Dress by the Aesthetik by Stacy Williams. It has clever detailing with the double puff drawstring sleeve and a high-low hem that allows you to wear it as a dress, a shirt, or layered, and it will always be on trend! Want to take it a step further and make a statement? Slip into the Tory Burch version with an asymmetrical gathered button placket and cropped silhouette.
the Anytime Anywhere Blazer
You say blazer, I see 1980’s Melanie Griffith in ‘Working Girl’. Think boss babe vibes. Feel free to pause here and add this title to your Netflix watchlist. (You can thank me later) It’s time to ‘adult’ or at least pretend to. It’s time to upgrade that denim jacket for a blazer!
The details to look for are fairly straightforward. The jacket should retain its structure when not worn. Yes, you heard me right. That is a sign of quality tailoring. Any buttons on the jacket should have “backing buttons”. These are smaller buttons on the inside that offer support and lessens stress on the fabric. The best jackets are fully lined with fabric that is slick and doesn’t stick to your clothes.
There are a ton of blazers out there and the J Crew “Regent” blazer is a classic and one of my favorites. It has a palatable price point, made of quality wool flannel, and great details. Collar popped up for a stylishly casual feel or down for a distinguished gentlemanly nod. The Aesthetik’s Octavia Blazer delivers on all those important ‘what to look for’ points plus more. One of them being true style. Cut in stretch organic wool; it is hand-tailored, fully lined, and fulfills your need for bling with the ombre sequin sleeves.
For many, a love of fashion is thought of as merely superficial and a necessary evil to cover your private bits and pieces. Surprise! Fashion is the silent storyteller of who a person is and often how you feel about yourself. It is the first thing someone sees when you enter a room. So make sure you invest in a good billboard. Remember, you are worth the time and effort, and don’t ever forget it! Fashion is self-care and there is nothing sexier than someone who believes in and invests in themselves!
Stacy F. is married to her high school sweetheart and they are the 4th generation to operate their family ranch. Going back to college in her 30s, she was a student of Stacy Williams and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design. She and her husband recently opened Halbert Heritage, a fashion company that uses sustainable wool from their Texas ranch.