There is a simple answer that requires another question — How many times will you wear or use the item? Divide the number of times you’ll use the item into the cost. Your cost per use determines whether it is a good deal or not. Evaluate whether your purchase fits your needs, provides durability, and has low maintenance costs.
Know what you like. If you are shopping for apparel, check your closet first. What pieces do you wear the most often? Identify their characteristics. Are they solid colors or small prints, bright or neutral? Pants? Tops? Dresses? Blue jeans? What style are they? Loose? Fitted? Let those characteristics guide you when you go shopping for garments. The pieces you use the most need to be the highest quality you can afford so they can hold up.
Check the stitching size in the seams. Large stitches save construction time and provide more profit for the manufacturer for a lower price, but do not wear as well, reducing the number of times you can wear the garment. The seam edges should be finished to avoid raveling or separating. Fabric should have a high abrasion factor. If your handbag rubbing on the garment makes the fibers ball, you won’t wear it often before it looks worn. Many garments look great on the hanger, but once they are worn, they bag and sag. Quality fabric increases the number of times something can be worn. Does the manufacturer stand behind its products?
Evaluate the maintenance requirements. Does the garment require dry cleaning or can it be washed? Does it require pressing? Additional maintenance costs increase the cost per wearing.
After you determine how many times you will wear a garment by itself or by mixing and matching, you can determine how good a deal it is.
Nancy Pride owns Morgan Fitzgerald’s and Merle Norman located at 3800 S. Texas Avenue, one mile north of UniversityDrive.99 268 0608 www.fitzyou.com.