How To Spot Well-Made Clothing

Well made clothing lasts longer, looks better and is better for the planet than cheap, disposable fast fashion. But how do you tell the difference? Check out our tips for how to identify well made clothing. 

Look for natural and quality fabrics 

Well made clothing tends to be made from natural fabrics like cotton, bamboo, linen, wool and rayon. Synthetic fabrics are cheaper and made from fabrics like polyester, nylon and acrylic. Synthetic fabrics can get a bit of a sheen with wear, which makes them look cheap. Natural fabrics tend to withstand regular washing and wearing and retain their shape better. 

synthetic fabric

Natural fabric | Taleeta

Synthetic Fabric

poor quality, not breathable, not environmentally friendly, fast fashion

Natural Fabric 

high quality, moisture wicking and breathable, lasts longer

Inspect the seams 

Well made clothing will have tight seams, with overlocking only on well hidden inseams. Look for bias binding as a sign of quality, well made clothing. This is an ultra-neat seam that looks great and lies flat, without curving out. It means loose necklines on dresses and tops can be worn open with the bias binding inner seam visible. Bias binding improves durability and holds its shape better.   

poor qualty clothing well made clothing - Taleeta

Without Bias Binding: 

Interface hem that curls, making it bulky, uncomfortable and can be visible, tends to fray so reduces the lifespan of the item, tends to stretch with wash and wear.

Finished With Bias Binding:

Sits neat and flat for added comfort, looks great if visible, less likely to fray or damage so your investment lasts longer, won’t stretch with wash and wear.

Check stitching 

All seams should be tight, which makes the clothing less likely to rip, tear or get holes. The more stitches per centimetre, the better the quality of the seam. Hems on sleeves, skirts and dresses should be fully finished. Loose threads are a tell-tale sign of poor stitching. Seams should be straight and parallel, always. If you gently pull at the seams, light shouldn’t be able to get through any holes that appear as you pull. 

poor quality clothing - styling you the label

quality clothing - Taleeta

Bad Stitching

Stitches are too far apart, increasing risk of tears, poor overlocking, interface visible which adds bulk and is often scratchy.

Good Stitching 

Stitches are closer together for better strength, stitches lie flat to the fabric, less use of interfacing for comfort and movement. 

Inspect the cut 

A well made piece of clothing will be cut well. Look for darts and seams that add shape.  It should hang off the body in the right places to sit well for most body shapes. 

badly designed clothing - styling you the label

High quality clothing for mature women - Taleeta

Bad Cut 

Very few seams and cuts, leads to a boxy and unflattering shapes

Good Cut 

Extra darts and seams to add shape and frame the figure. 

bad quality gathering at waist

well made dress gathering - Taleeta

Poor Quality

dress is poorly gathered at the waist seam, adding bulk and making it uncomfortable 

Good Quality

dress is well gathered, with evenly spaced seams and good distribution of fabric

Check buttons and zips 

Quality clothing will have quality finishes like buttons, zips, and drawstring ties. Look for natural buttons, like fabric-covered or made from wood or shell rather than plastic varieties. Well made clothing will feature spare buttons sewn into care labels.


plastic buttons

quality buttons

Plastic Buttons

Natural Buttons

Fabric Strength

Quality fabric doesn’t have to be thick and crunchy but it should be hard-wearing and tear-resistant. Fabrics like linen can be thick and heavy, so look for enzyme-treated linen that is softer and more comfortable. 

Flat seams to reduce itchiness 

Flat seams don’t irritate the skin, so look for seams that lie fat to the fabric and don’t add extra unnecessary bulk. 

Comfortable labels 

The manufacturer of well made clothing will ensure the care labels and brand labels don’t add bulk or itch. Look for small, discreet labels or stamped on labels rather than large or plastic-coated labels.  

itchy label

stamped on label - Desiderate

Itchy Label

Labels that are big and hang out or multiple labels in plastic-coated fabric adds bulk and is itchy.

Quality Label

Stamped on the fabric rather than sewn on OR sewn in the right location to reduce friction

Ready to start shopping our range of well made clothing for Aussie women? 

Check out our gorgeous collection of dresses, tops and pants made to the highest standards of quality, style and comfort. 

Leave a comment