Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How do you spot quality?

So I was talking to my mom the other night about my experience finding deals lately, and took the opportunity to ask her how I came about the ability to walk into a place and beeline straight to the expensive stuff. Growing up, we didn't have a lot of money, and most of our clothes were second-hand. I HATED this...I think what turned it around for me was when I was living in Seattle.  When the boys were little, I had a desk job where we had to be nicely dressed, and out of desperation, I went into a second-hand store in an upscale neighborhood and found the most amazing clothes...no one in my office knew how little money I had to spend on clothes, but no one could tell!  I didn't really know anything about brands or lables at that time, but Mom always had such a fabulous sense of style  and, just as I tried to be the same kind of parent to my kids as she had been to me, I also tried to dress like I had seen her dress, but in clothes more to my personal taste.
Mom said that she didn't really show me how to spot quality, so I'm still not sure how that happened, and I'm not sure if I can explain it to someone else! But try going into your favorite retail shop and browsing through some sweaters. Go to your first choice, the one that 'jumps' out at you. Maybe the sweater is heavier, or the color is brighter...make a mental note of what struck you about it and why you chose it. Then look at the price tag. Look at the price tags of the garments hanging directly to either side of the item you chose. Which one cost more? Was the one you chose a name brand you recognize over the two on either side? Start to pay attention to why you're drawn to one item over another. If you find that you're consistently drawn to the less expensive or lower quality, find one of higher quality (cost is an easy guide) and compare them, and really notice the differences. This will help you leave with the best they have to offer the next time you venture into the used-clothing store. Happy shopping!