Use zoom-in tools to check the seams
High-quality garments will line up at the seam but spotting this online can be tricky if the shirt isn’t patterned. A nice workaround for this is finding a patterned garment from the same brand and using that as a benchmark. Once you’ve found your benchmark what you want to do is use the site’s zoom function to see how each piece – sleeves to body, for instance – has been sewn together. A disjointed pattern at the seam is a good sign of poor craftsmanship. What this tells consumers is that the manufacturer was more concerned with cutting costs, in this case, by cutting materials at odd angles in order to squeeze more usable pieces out of a bolt of fabric. If they’re willing to take shortcuts that are blatantly visible, imagine the quality of construction in areas shoppers can’t see.
Check the details
Look for indicators of good quality by checking the noted ply and thread-count. Higher thread-counts are usually a good sign of a higher-quality garment. Generally, thread-counts are measured as 40s, 80s, 100s, 120s and so on up to 200s. These numbers correspond to the size and number of yarns per square inch of fabric. So, let’s say you’re looking at a dress shirt that boasts 100s thread-count, is that good? Well, that depends on the ply. Plying describes the action of twisting yarns together to make one thread. Single ply is a single twisted thread, two-ply is two strands of yarn twisted to become a single thread, and three-ply twists three yarns together to make the thread. More ply usually means more durability and softer hand feel.
Ok, now that we know what ply is, is the 100s shirt any good? It can be. A 100s thread-count in conjunction with single ply thread would make a serviceable mild weather shirt. The thread count indicates a solid number of threads per square inch, but the single ply lets you know the shirt will still be lightweight and breathable. Bump the ply up to two and that same shirt becomes an above average rendition. A standard men’s t-shirt is usually around 50s single ply, so use this as a frame of reference when doing your research and checking out a garments’ quality online. Find a bit more information on thread-count and ply here.
Once you’ve received the garment there are a few checks you can do right away to know whether the piece goes back to the retailer or finds a new home in your wardrobe. These steps are --
Measure the stitching: You want, at minimum, is 14 stitches per inch. This means that the seams will be stronger and less likely to separate over time.
Inspect the finish: Turn the dress shirt – or whatever garment type – inside out and look for any loose threads and check the hem for bumps or bunching. If the hem is covered completely, you’ve likely got a quality garment.
Gauge the buttons: A good button is a tightly sewn on button. Be on the look out for buttons that shift or lift off of the fabric too easily. The ideal button stitching should make an X through the 4 buttonholes.
At Original Stitch we offer a fully customizable collection of premium quality dress shirts, blazers, and pants. Use them to create a wardrobe that is completely unique to YOU. Our high-quality yarns are hand-selected from – and tailored in – Japan to be extra resistant to wear and tear while maintaining a softer feel than their off-the-rack counterparts.