- Asking for advice on what to wear in certain situations.
- Questions about finding quality clothes at affordable prices.
I regularly try and write about the first but have not ventured too much into the second. Time to change that!
The question of affordable quality came up in an enjoyable discussion I had with the Grey Fox (when we met for the first time recently in London). We agreed that neither of us are fashion experts - we have no training in the industry - we simply write about the style we think is appropriate for us in our middle age, and then share those thoughts in our blogs. But, we do share an interest in quality. I am pleased to see Grey Fox is as concerned as I am to keep clothing/style within reasonable budgets, because dressing well and taking a pride in our appearance should not be the result of spending vast amounts of money.
I am now at the beginning of a journey to better understand quality in clothing. I want to be able to make purchases of shoes, jackets, trousers etc sufficiently informed about value for money and whether the product is designed to last.
Because of the way my brain works I am following a slightly different route to understand quality - I am going to de-construct items of clothing to see how they are made, and where possible compare them against similar products. Knowing this is going to be a major ongoing project I am starting with a fairly simple yet essential item of clothing - trousers.
There are three areas in trousers which I find can improve the look of them - the length of the leg, the waist, the seat. So here I start - the length! Nothing frustrates me more than poorly fitting trousers, especially in the leg. I have written before (here) about correct length of the leg and how even a few centimetres can make a real difference to the finished polished look.
I compared two pairs of trousers from my wardrobe to compare the hems/length. The first is a pair from Tommy Hilfiger. They were altered for me by a local tailor who did a good job of ensuring the rear of the trouser hem is slightly longer than the front (so they 'sit' properly on the front of the shoe), but a poor job of getting the overall length correct.
|Notice the slight angle in the hem|
|Poorly fitting trouser length|
|Inside the hem of the Tommy Hilfiger|
|Inside the rear hem of my hand made trousers|
Lesson learnt: Quality can often be in the small details. Does it cost more to achieve the better hem? Is it difficult to achieve? How difficult is it to alter the length of a pair of trousers?
I am now attempting a re-construction of my Hilfiger trousers and will let you know how that goes soon!