Clothing labels help you make better decisions about what pieces work best for the climate or with your skin as some fibers breathe better than others, while some are better against a sensitive skin than others. By learning about the luxury and basic fabrics, you’ll extend the wear of your clothes. So, keep on reading for our ultimate guide to selecting luxury and basic fabrics for you to make smarter decisions about which ensembles to buy and which you’re better off leaving on the shelves.
- 100% Cotton Knit vs. Pima Cotton or Cotton/Modal Blends
A tee made from 100 percent cotton can be easily shopped for under $30, but it can feel dry and wear out after just a few wash and wears. On the other hand, pima cotton is a more refined option than 100 percent cotton as it’s smoother and finer. However, you must get ready to pay over $50. The key is to buy the less expensive 100 percent cotton tee for yoga, workouts and weekends. Or, pay for a pima or cotton modal blend that can pass on your workplace.
- Genuine Leather vs. Vegan or Faux Leather
When genuine leather items are cared for correctly, they can last forever. However, dry cleaning bills for genuine leather pieces can be expensive as you can even pay at least $60 for bags and even more for some all-leather garments. On the other hand, most vegan leather goods are typically machine or hand washable that cost less than genuine. On its downside, it will wear, tear, and fray much sooner than the real one. The key is to opt for genuine leather that’s a smart investment as it will stay in style. Vegan leather is a better choice for leggings, tops, and trendy dresses you’ll probably only wear this year.
- Real Fur vs. Faux Fur
Real fur provides unbelievable warmth and longevity, but its cost is also considerably higher than faux. On the other hand, faux fur looks like the real thing and provides a nice level of warmth. However, its fine hairs are embedded from a base cloth that may actually shed worse than fur skins. The key is to look for faux fur in luxurious version, and you can save money.
- Merino Wool vs. Lamb’s Wool
Merino wool is warm without feeling itchy, heavy, or bulky and it won’t pill and will last for many seasons. However, it’s slightly more expensive than lamb’s wool and should be handled with more care. On the other hand, lamb’s wool provides warmth and is durable, but it tends to be bulky, coarse, and scratchy. So, the key is to invest in all merino wool sweaters, or try a sweater blended with polyester, rayon or nylon if your skin is very sensitive. Just save the regular lamb’s wool for oversized garments that you will layer with your outfit to keep it from contacting your skin.
- Premium Denim vs. Regular Denim
Due to better cotton-fiber production and better dye and finishing techniques, premium denim has better stretch and recovery. However, they carry a high price tag usually between $150 to $250. On the contrary, you can typically score a pair of regular denim for around $50, but it doesn’t keep its shape well as the legs tend to twist so the inseam starts to crawl to the front or back. Also, baggy knees and seats also tend to stretch out and not snap back into shape. So, better opt for premium denim that will last longer and reserve your regular denim for a weekend casual look.
- Silk Charmeuse vs. Polyester
Real silk looks and feels more luxurious than poly, also breathe better than polyester. However, you must handle it with care as silk is more delicate than poly and is prone to snags and stains. On the contrary, polyester is easier to wash, and the price is also much lower than that of real silk, but it can feel hot and sticky. So, if you prefer a more luxurious look, silk is the best choice especially in rich colors that will take you through multiple seasons, while printed blouses in polyester are a better buy because you’re spending less and may tire of that print by next year.
- Cashmere vs. Acrylic
Cashmere is warm yet light, but you do pay a price for luxury, often $200 or more. On the contrary, acrylic is cheap and it feels inferior because it’s rough, making your sweater worn-out after wearing just once. So, invest in cashmere for modern classics like v-neck pullovers, wraps, and cardigans that will not go out of style, and wait for end-of-season sales to stock up. By taking these guidelines, you’ll be able to get more than what you pay for.