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How to recognize poor vs. good quality in clothes (in 5 points) | Justine Leconte

October 23, 2019


Hi everyone! It’s Justine. How to recognize good and bad quality when you’re shopping for clothes? There are some elements that are easy to check before you purchase the garment and you don’t have to be a fashion designer to be able to spot at least the signs of poor quality. In today’s video I’d like to tackle cut and fit. Colors and dyeing. Prints, appliques and jacquards. Fabric quality and fiber quality. And then the sewing. And we’re going to look inside garments so you can see what’s good and what’s bad. I will show you complete examples so that you can see what’s good and what’s not good compared. Fun fact, I own all the garment’s you’re going to see. I actually paid money to get them. It was before I became a designer, I didn’t know any better. Most of the garments you’re going to see I would never buy again but now that they’re here, let’s use them for science. Good fit and good cut. There are two signs of poor quality you should literally run away from. The first one is poor fit. Look at this nice and colorful sweater. One question though: where is the space for the breasts? It is a boxy cut. It is not body, okay. But I’m still missing breathing space at the bust level here. And the fabric is woven, not knitted so it’s not stretching at all as I move. This garment would be good if it was either even more boxy, or if I had at least bust darts, to give the fabric the shape of the bust, like on a woman’s shirt. Right now this construction is just not working. And the second thing is the cutting. When manufacturers don’t care in which direction they cut the fabric, you get side seams that twist. That’s something really everyone notices. It’s super annoying and there’s nothing you can do against it. When you take a roll of fabric, it has a direction: vertically. All your pattern pieces must be aligned vertically with the fabric. But then typically fast fashion brands will say: “Oh, look! There’s still space to get one sleeve here!” It’s not aligning with the fabric, but who cares! So they optimize the fabric consumption and in the end, you end up with pieces cut in all fabric directions, that’s why your seams twist more and move with every wash. Colors and dyeing. You want a colorful, vibrant piece to remain vibrant over time, right? But when you buy a piece too cheap, you will see the colors fade out very quickly with washes. Always look at these two spaghetti strap tops. This one used to be black. To give you a benchmark, this is black. Hehehee And this other one used to be pink. Now it just looks like a white top that has been washed with a pink dress, which lost its color. Too cheap is just too cheap sometimes. Remember my sweater? The care instructions say: not washable, so they probably tested it and found out that the blue or the pink bleeds onto the cream color when you wash it. So they said, let’s just say: don’t wash it at all! But like how is that supposed to work for me as a consumer? Same issue with prints and appliques. This one here was once a vibrant, acid green print with rubber on top. It looked pretty cool actually. Now the rubber effect is almost gone. The T-shirt just looks stiff and old. And the green is low-quality too, so now this is fading out as well. This here is a knitting mistake in the fabric, which I didn’t see when I bought it. And the hole just kept growing. So if you’re standing in the shop and you have the choice between two T-shirts. Same price. One is a solid plain color, the other one has a print on top. Always go for the solid color because you can be sure that on the printed version, they cut costs somewhere else to compensate for the margin loss and you’ll end up with thinner fabric or with twisting seams. You just don’t know it yet. Go for the plain one. One question I often get: Why are jacquards more expensive than prints? Because in jacquard, the motif is woven or knitted into the fabric. The yarns themselves are of different colors. While for print, you take a finished fabric and you just apply a layer of colors on top of it. It is by definition less durable than jacquard. Fabrics and fibers. If the fabric is too loosely knitted or woven together, you can notice that with your finger. You take the fabric and you try to push, back and forth – the little loops or the little weaving. If you can do that with your fingers, not so good! it’s too loose! A tight knit will be more dense, it will be heavier. It will fall nicely, will fall better. When you buy clothes online, by the way and you can’t touch the fabric, look at the way the fabric and the weight falls on the model on the picture and then you’ll know. Then quickly about the fibers fabric is made of. You have natural fibers and synthetic ones. Among the natural fibers, the classic four are silk, cotton, linen from flax, and wool. Then come modal, viscose, tencel – they are also of natural origin, but they have better characteristics, they’re more modern. Like they are more breathable. They are lighter on the skin. They don’t shrink when you wash them, etc. I write the name of the fibers down below in the description box, so you guys can look them up if you want to. And then there are the synthetic fibers. Stay away from acetates, it’s also made of petrol, it’s as breathable as plastic, hehehe, super-sweaty! And then you have the other ones, like polyester, acrylic, rayon, etc. There are quite a few ones. They are chemically made, but chemical fibers are much more stable than natural fibres and that’s something people don’t always know. A garment that’s completely made in synthetic fibers, is not always the nicest feeling on the skin, let’s be honest. But the problem is that 100% cotton is not a guarantee for high quality anymore either. Because the cotton production worldwide, just to take the example of cotton, has been so fast fashion optimized, that now you can find really cheap quality cotton and if you have a T-shirt in that fabric, it’s going to shrink by one size the first time you wash it! So sometimes, nowadays, a mix of natural and synthetic fibers is not a bad choice at all. In fact I like to work with mixes, especially for thicker fabrics. You see that in my collection. Because you have the stability and the breathability and the nice properties of the synthetic evolved fibers, and the nice feeling of the natural ones. I like fabric mixes. Sewing, stitching, threads, etc. Now let’s look into garments for real. First the hem. Here on this piece, the machine wasn’t even set up correctly. The thread is not lying flat on the fabric, you see how bulky and 3D it is. That’s not good! A good hem looks like this. That’s correct thread tension. It’s lying flat. On the inside, the stitching also looks clean and tidy. Even better, you can cover the seam at the hem with an extra fabric detail, like here. Or what I did in my collection, is that I covered the side seams completely with an organza. It will stay in place forever and it will not itch on your skin. Then let’s look inside. On this skirt, they opened the side seams. That’s great, because it’s a thick stiff woven fabric. So this way it’s not too bulky. It keeps everything flat, it’s easy to iron, that’s good. But on the pocket they didn’t do a great job. It’s messy really. On high quality pants the pocket seams are hidden, like here. All around, you don’t see a seam anymore. On this skirt here, there is something fancy. They made the hem stitch line invisible, but inside, they left the edge completely visible, instead of folding it inwards a second time. So they basically spared one centimetre of fabric. That’s cheap! Then they attach the hem with the invisible 5 millimeter stitch, but it’s not tight enough. 5 millimeter is actually just a temporary stitching. So what happens when you move in this skirt, this year the hem comes undone. And since we were talking about fabric, the outside here is wool, polyester, 5% others. What the hell is others? And the inside lining which touches your skin in the end, is hundred percent polyester, not so good. Last one. This one has a full lining. The darts of the outside fabrics are also on the inside fabric, so you can actually move in these garments, that’s excellent! You also have a bit of extra fabric at the hem, extra lining fabric, that’s for comfort. That’s also good for movement, great! The outside fabric is polyester, that’s cheap, but the inside, next to your skin, is viscose. Better this way, than the other way around. At least you have a nice fabric touching your skin. So next time you go shopping, you know what to look at, what to look for and if you see those signs of poor quality, then definitely the garments are not worth your money. They’re not going to last that long. I hope you found this video useful, helpful. I hope in answering your question about poor versus good quality. If it did, give the video a thumb up! Thank you so much! Also, thank you for 50,000 subscribers. It’s already more by now. It’s growing so fast, it’s incredible! Let me know in the comments below, if you have questions about poor versus good quality, or if you have tips to share on how you shop clothing. I see you Sunday and Monday again and here two videos for you to watch until then! Take care! Bye-bye!

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61 Comments

  • Reply Justine Leconte officiel April 19, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Hi there! Now that you saw my failed purchases from the past (sigh), what are yours?? 🙂

  • Reply Татьяна Субботина August 21, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    Thank you! Very useful!

  • Reply Sylvia Polaris August 22, 2019 at 4:25 am

    I know why I buy real vintage clothes.

  • Reply lornaduwn August 24, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    When checking out the stitching on a garment, be sure to actually check the exact garment you are buying. Do not assume that if you try it on and have to go up a size that the garment will be made the same. I used to do payroll in a piecework garment factory and it got to the point that they had to put locks on the stitch adjusters because the stitchers were changing the setting to less stitches per inch than specified in order to make the stitching go faster. Also, make sure to check all seams as many different machine operators will work on one garment. If you check a few garments and you find discrepancies in all of them, don't buy it. The shortcuts may be taking place in areas that are hard to see.

  • Reply Charlotte August 25, 2019 at 12:40 am

    Super vidéo, je connaissais déjà ces tips mais je regarde pour le plaisir ! J'aime bien ton petit "French accent" !

  • Reply Minty Rose August 25, 2019 at 11:37 am

    I Wish I knew these sooner.

  • Reply mila lunatu August 25, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Like Donna from Twin peaks?

  • Reply YazmanianDevil August 25, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    Ohhhh myyyy God! I thought my clothes were "seam-twisting" from the washing machine! Now I know why some tops did that!!!!!!!?

  • Reply Chelsea Tacker August 26, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    I find a lot of slacks and coats with sewn up pockets that you have to rip open, and they do pop open fairly easily. I was told that is a sign of good quality. Is this true??!

    I’m only halfway through the video when typing this up, so I do apologize if you mentioned this!

  • Reply Вера Костик August 27, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    Спасибо за русские субтитры ??

  • Reply 3Dsadness™ August 29, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    Very cool

  • Reply Andrea Lopez Vizhñay August 30, 2019 at 5:00 am

    This is the content I want to see!!!! ? loved it

  • Reply Pnina Ben Ami August 31, 2019 at 7:59 am

    How do you make the call about internet clothes like Amazon or ebay ?

  • Reply Lila Zeep Natuurlijk August 31, 2019 at 10:13 am

    I do find it very useful thanks

  • Reply Mubbasher Niaz August 31, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    50k subs at the time of this video and now at over 600k wow, that’s amazing

  • Reply Rosa H September 4, 2019 at 11:27 am

    What do you think about that mixed fabrics are not recyclable for reuse?

  • Reply tuanonnasibuca September 4, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    1:34 another reason why t-shirts twist after a while is because the yarn used to make the fabric is not twisted tight enough.
    I learnt it in a fabric factory here in Italy (they make fabrics for Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Ferragamo etc so I believe them!)

  • Reply Lidda September 4, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    If you have to follow a guide to find out if it's low quality, then it doesn't matter.

  • Reply Первый ретракторный September 4, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    Я в 14 лет, в 1985-ом году окончил курсы кройки и шитья – меня невозможно наебать уже с тех времён, да и годы тренировок в секонд-хендах 90-х научили безошибочно по фактуре или цвету выцеплять стоящий шмот из кучи одноразового говна. И мне даже не пришлось становиться дизайнером )

  • Reply Rebecca Duncan September 4, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    I find Twisted seams all the time.

  • Reply TJG September 4, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    I like when t-shirt twists cause then they're look better on body, i mean they adhere better, hope you know what i mean, sometimes trousers are sewed that way on legs specially

  • Reply T T September 5, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    But fabric mixes are Really bad for the environment because you can't recycle them, because they can't be seperated

  • Reply mxm svlv September 5, 2019 at 8:15 pm

    Thank you for the video! Hello from Russia ❤️

  • Reply John Viteri September 6, 2019 at 12:46 am

    how to recognize a very good Jean? without considering the brand…

  • Reply Kristie Ray September 6, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    Thank you so much miss?

  • Reply madziakowo September 6, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    Nie ma polskich napisów 🙁

  • Reply Undskyld Mig September 6, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    Тебе тепло, сухо, комфортно – значит вещь качественная

  • Reply Claudia Viola September 6, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    Grazie ,molto istruttivo ma soprattutto perché è tradotto in italiano!

  • Reply Johaina BEN September 6, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    discover your channel I love ittttt

  • Reply Camila de Melo Paganelli September 7, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    Omg! Thank you so much for this video! As I got older I learned from my mistakes as well, but I have never seen such a pratical content as yours with so many tips!

  • Reply Julia Vovk September 7, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    Отличное видео и спасибо за русские субтитры)))

  • Reply Ольга Плотникова September 7, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    Thank you for this tips)) I’ll use it the next shopping! And already check all my clothes.

  • Reply draconiusultamius September 8, 2019 at 3:03 am

    1. Ask my mom

  • Reply Mel Kennedy September 8, 2019 at 9:32 am

    At least the failed garments came in handy for examples !! Thanks for video, very informative and educational for all that don't know what to look for when shopping. Most people look at the item as what they want and not how it is made.

  • Reply Noppadon Wisuttikun September 8, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    thank you for sharing these knowledges ?

  • Reply Arduizur Vargas September 8, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    I like videos of this theme. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

  • Reply Seek Wisdom September 8, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    Awesome information

  • Reply Michael Lubin September 9, 2019 at 12:04 am

    Your technical knowledge and comments about twisting, fiber attributes, quality and many more in this video are completely wrong and are made without any research or understanding. Stop pretending to know about textile and garment manufacturing.

  • Reply Aaron Kasér September 9, 2019 at 10:40 am

    Hey! You pronounce iron as “eyee-on” the English language is a mess lol and I totally get where your coming from as I’m not an English speaker myself 🙂

  • Reply Ирина Иващенко September 9, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    Thank you! ?

  • Reply 400kV power line September 10, 2019 at 11:45 am

    Lagerfeld tee passed this test

  • Reply Germán Rivas September 11, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    Interesting note: Jacquards were the first type of automaton computer that ever existed in the industry in general.

  • Reply Маргарита Худякова September 12, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    Thank you!

  • Reply Mimi Ramone September 14, 2019 at 8:33 am

    How does the garment make you look. For example does it make you look fat and you’re not really fat? Or give you big hips when they’re really narrow? Then hint: it’s cheap. The pair of jeans that makes my ass look good is what I’ll invest in. I don’t care how much they cost , usually the higher end/Quality pieces are more flattering than non. Also undergarments are huge one I will not sacrifice quality on…

  • Reply Bia Bia September 14, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    Gostei 🙂

  • Reply Jenny Sch September 16, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    Hello Justine ! Merci pour cette vidéo ! Just one thing I did not understand : the number 2 "cutting" about the "side twist" can you explain a bit further by any chance ? Cheers xx

    PS : now I really want to look into your collection !!

  • Reply letty rodrz September 17, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    That is why I hand wash my delicate garments

  • Reply Brit Puste September 19, 2019 at 10:46 pm

    Rayon is manufactured but not synthetic…it’s made from wood and cellulose. Really surprised this was on the synthetic list.

  • Reply Le Sa September 22, 2019 at 12:35 am

    I like that you 1) get straight to the point and 2) outline what you’re going to discuss. It makes for a nice viewing experience.

  • Reply Korilian O September 22, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    I don’t mind the polyester lining on the wool skirt, since I’d always wear it with tights anyway. Wool is for winter.

  • Reply Renata Nowak September 24, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    Sometimes when I buy a t shirt the seams are straight but after washing they twist, is there a way to know before buying it ?

  • Reply Ann Brown September 28, 2019 at 5:04 am

    Just a color tip: black is not your color. You surely won the ugly sweater & skirt contest. Happy that acid green T faded. Acid green????

  • Reply Elisabeth Reichstamm October 1, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    I though rayon is viscose or modal and not purely synthetic?

  • Reply UptownFunky1971 October 4, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    I'd like to see you evaluate blazers

  • Reply çağla October 8, 2019 at 5:56 am

    make cushion from first sweater

  • Reply cmkristi October 13, 2019 at 6:48 am

    I knew a lot of theese. But I didn't know rayon was an unatural fabric… Isn't it made out of cellulose?

  • Reply Audrey Budihardja October 16, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    Ah so thats why the side seams are not symmetrical, I always thought that it was my fault, but even when i hand washed them from the very first time carefully, they always end up asymmetrical. Bloody hell!

  • Reply Caren Campbell October 19, 2019 at 6:23 am

    Gracias Justine.
    Thanks you Justine for the information.

  • Reply marialiyubman October 20, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    Sell the first shirt as a throw pillow. ?

  • Reply punstress October 21, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    Wow, so much information in less than 10 minutes! Maybe you can make several videos that explore each topic more in depth? Thank you!

  • Reply Danielle Murstein October 21, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    Immensely helpful, full of information without excessive details–to the point.

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