Friday, December 6, 2013

Fabric Shopping

Lately, I've been doing something different when I shop in clothing stores...

What do you look at when deciding to buy something? I used to just look at the price tag after finding something I liked, but lately I've been adding in another step -- looking at the fabric tag too.

My mother taught me to feel the fabric before even bothering to look at an item of clothing, so when I'm in a shop, I tend to absentmindedly brush my hands against the racks of clothing as I walk by, and once in a while something will feel so nice that I stop and turn around to look at it.

Shopping with one's hands is a smart way to go, but realistically, most people shop with their eyes. And sometimes the item is so appealing to look at, and the price is so good, that one may forget to pay attention to the way the fabric feels. That's when checking the fabric tag comes in handy -- if one takes a quick peek at it, she may find that it's a dry clean only item, or that there are no natural fibers in the fabric. Either of these might be a deal-breaker for me, because I don't want to worry about bringing a garment to the dry cleaners, or take the chance that the man-made fabric will look old quickly. Other issues that arise with man-made fabrics are that they are often not as warm as natural fibers in sweaters, and also do not breathe, making them too warm in linings. Toss in the cost to dry clean, and it's a solid choice to find items I know I'll reach for again and again, instead of having a closet full of items I can wear only when the weather is not too hot and not too cold.

There are obvious exceptions, of course. For a special item, I'll probably dry clean it anyway, and for some clothing, such as athletic wear or a dress that's supposed to be stretchy, I'm less inclined to worry about the natural fibers. And of course, there are also times when I fall in love with the fit and refuse to care about the fabric. But overall, I've noticed that checking the fabric tag has caused me to put items back on the shelf.

It's an easy way to make oneself pause and consider the ways she will wear the item, instead of making an impulse buy.


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