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How to Recognize Quality Apparel When Thrifting

When it comes to dressing up, there’s a lot that goes into putting together a good outfit: colors, fit, accessories. But for many women, budget is also a big consideration. After all, we don’t have all the money in the world, do we? 

But does that mean compromising on the quality and sustainability of our clothing, as well? No one wants that, and we shouldn’t have to compromise, for obvious reasons. So what can we do?

One solution could be to invest in a capsule wardrobe with limited pieces which are high in quality and can be worn for years.

 Here’s your guide to spotting and buying good quality shoes, clothes and handbags while thrifting or shopping:


The most important factor in a piece of footwear is the material it’s made of and how ethically it has been sourced (Cruelty-free). The materials an item is made of often determine how long it can last. 

When it comes to heels, the heel placement should be in the back of the middle part of the foot. The hair and thread need to be compact, the inner lining should be tightly stitched and neither edge paint nor glue should spill over. 

This goes without saying, but never buy shoes without trying them on first. Especially with socks and press them on their side to gauge the level of comfort and flexibility the footwear offers. In fact, walk around in them for a couple of minutes. That way you’ll know that you won’t trip the moment you stand. 


Before you do anything else, see how the clothing falls. High quality garments fall in a linear or structured manner. But if it’s stretchy or shapeless, it’s probably of poor quality. While you’re at it, take a look at the labels and instructions for maintenance. That should give you a good idea of the quality. If you have to choose between print and jacquards, go with jacquards because they’re much more durable and of better quality.

Now we come to the nitty-gritty. Thread should be flat but not bulky. All seams should be in a straight line and either hidden or covered in organza. Pockets should be stitched to the underside. No loose fabric should be hanging around. Bust darts are also a must in any high-quality top/shirt, especially tight ones.


Now that your clothes and shoes are high caliber, it’s time to make sure that a cheap bag doesn’t downgrade your look. 

The quality of the bag may vary depending on its size and shape, however stiffer handbags should always have what I like to call ‘Little Feet’, lol. But you know what I mean…those little button thingies that help the bag stand on its own. 

Similar to clothes and shoes, the seam linings need to be linearly stitched and hidden. But a bag’s quality is mainly determined through its hardware (the zipper and other embellishments), outer piping and inner band edges of the zippers (they should be folded or hidden). Runny edge paint, unstructured pockets and flimsy side coverings are big red flags, too.   

The fact that you don’t have all the money in the world shouldn’t stop you from dressing well and looking like a Fashionista! And if you use these tips, you’ll never have to settle. 


Essential Pieces For Your Winter Wardrobe

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