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  1. #1

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    Are You Picky About The Material Used For Clothing?

    Now that I have a bit more disposable income, I have realised that the material used in an item of clothing is very high up my list of things to consider when buying. When I was at uni I really didn't care what things were made out of, the look and price were all that mattered. Now, I find myself turning down any item that is made out of materials such as acrylic. I find that this is particularly true with knitwear, where I am much more likely to buy something if it is made out of high quality 100% wool. Where are materials on your list of priorities when buying? Would you turn down an item you really liked if it wasn't made out of a certain material or are you not too bothered?

  2. #2
    William Colman's Avatar

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    Natural materials are ALWAYS better, better quality, better fit, more longevity. Unless its something I'm not bothered about then I will always take note of what its made of, if I make an investment in something I want it to be the best I can get.

  3. #3
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    Good quality materials and fabrics mean a lot to me when choosing items.

    With knitwear I prefer natural wools/merino/cashmere/alpaca (although if an item is lovely I'm not going to get sniffy about 10% man made fibres - sometimes that 10% helps with stretch and getting a closer fit).

    I like good quality cloth on shirts and am a big fan of thicker Oxford weaves. There's nothing more hideous than a cheap white shirt than you can almost see through.

    Suits have to be wool. There's simply no point in buying cheaper suits unless you like that shiny look you're headed for six months down the line.

    And then it's down to the quality of materials. the quality of leather, for example, can vary so much. The difference between the leather used on a pair of Office branded shoes compared to that of say Grenson and Paul Smith (just two brands I happen to own so know about) is absolutely huge.

    Sadly, you do tend to get what you pay for (unless you hunt down sale items). Quality costs. And for that extra cost you are likely to get something that feels better, wears better, keeps its shape better, and lasts longer.

    I read somewhere that since the economic downturn, whilst sales of clothing took a dive on the whole, sales luxury 'designer' items actually increased as people were looking to buy fewer items but 'invest' in quality.

  4. #4
    rubyblue's Avatar

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    I'm picky with materials when buying expensive clothing. A £300 designer scarf should be pure wool, not 20% polyamide. When buying knitwear, outerwear and leathers I try to search for the best quality. The other items a pay less attention to, but if I were able to afford it, I'd ensure everything I wore was top-notch.

    It's true that you get what you pay for, don't expect great quality for Topman prices. Even when buying "trendy" or exccentric pieces, I go for the best quality I can afford. I like my clothes to keep their shape and look over the years, and cheap clothing often dissapoints you in a few wears.

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    Olly's Avatar

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    Look at motty's new sheepskin. Now there's a man who knows quality fabric.

  6. #6
    Ivan Condor Aasllani's Avatar

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    When it comes to knitwear, I will generally not buy anything with man-made fibres in it, unless it is justified by a low price and does not look cheap and man-made.

    Anything I am spending a good amount of cash on needs to be good material. Jay's point about leather is a good one too, cheap leather and expensive leather are worlds apart. I've got a Lamb Nappa jacket and the feel is just unbelievable.

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    One thing I wonder, having looked my-wardrobe for a few really nice 'investment' knitwear pieces is how some companies can seemingly charge £250 for a piece, when it's made of exactly the same material as another knitwear piece that is £100 less? Are there different qualities of merino wool? Also, how can Ralph Lauren justify charging £300 for a quilted jacket when Barbour quilted jackets are generally around the £120 mark? They both seem to be made of the same material, so it can't be that. I do care about materials like I said in the original post, but I also don't appreciate companies trying to take the piss with their prices.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by merc05 View Post
    One thing I wonder, having looked my-wardrobe for a few really nice 'investment' knitwear pieces is how some companies can seemingly charge £250 for a piece, when it's made of exactly the same material as another knitwear piece that is £100 less? Are there different qualities of merino wool? Also, how can Ralph Lauren justify charging £300 for a quilted jacket when Barbour quilted jackets are generally around the £120 mark? They both seem to be made of the same material, so it can't be that. I do care about materials like I said in the original post, but I also don't appreciate companies trying to take the piss with their prices.
    There are a whole host of reasons why one item made of very similar material might cost more than another.

    The seemingly same material might actually be very different. Take you example of merino: it could be Saxon, Collinsville or Peppin merino, the wool may be broad, medium, fine, superfine or ultra fine all of which may affect quality and price. The overall weight of the garment might be different (a simple rule is heavier = higher quality but not always).

    Then of course there's the construction itself. Some items are simply constructed better than others, with higher density and quality stitching at the seams (serged or double straight seams for example add additional strength). The quality of the lining of a garment (if appropriate) might be of a higher quality.

    There's the cost of construction too. Something made in China is going to have far cheaper labour costs than something constructed in Italy for example (although interestingly anything can be labeled as 'Made in Italy' as long as at least one part of the process has happened there, and sometimes its amazingly little). Those labour costs are going to be passed on.

    And of course there's no escaping branding, the extra cache certain that certain brands carry and therefore the price they can demand. If people will pay £300, then someone will sell it to them.

    I'm not saying the additional price is always justified. Sometimes (perhaps often) it really isn't.

  9. #9

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    I'm certainly more aware of man-made fibres since subscribing to this forum, and tend to agree that higher priced items should certainly have less man-made fibres in them.

    I keep looking at a cardigan in COS which I like, and at £115 it's not expensive, but it having 40% Polyamide really puts me off. I'm not even sure if I'm just being a bit picky now. I even missed buying it at 30% off recently as I just kept thinking about the Polyamide.

    What have you lot turned me into! :P

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulAnderson View Post
    I'm certainly more aware of man-made fibres since subscribing to this forum, and tend to agree that higher priced items should certainly have less man-made fibres in them.

    I keep looking at a cardigan in COS which I like, and at £115 it's not expensive, but it having 40% Polyamide really puts me off. I'm not even sure if I'm just being a bit picky now. I even missed buying it at 30% off recently as I just kept thinking about the Polyamide.

    What have you lot turned me into! :P
    I'll do the same, even if there is a sale on or I really like an item, if it's made out of something I don't like then I'll often think twice about buying it. Having said that, if it's 30% or more off in a sale that is often enough for me to make the purchase if I'm really keen on it. It's when you get really expensive items that still have some man-made fibers in them that I really struggle to justify it, or when an item is fairly expensive but has a whole range of fibers in it. I currently really like the 'lander crew' on All Saints, but I can't justify buying it even with 25% off because it is 40% acrylic and 20% nylon, with the other 40% being alpaca and wool.

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