Fast-fashion brands have democratized trends and allow us to have, right away, every item we see and imagine. They also come at very seductive prices. However, their speedy supply chains that let us see an item on the runway and have a similar one in our wardrobes in a matter of days, often mean synthetic fabrics, undone threads, and seams that are easy to snag.
But in a culture based on fleeting trends, why should we be investing in higher-quality items? And what are higher quality items anyway?
Even if the concept of quality is mostly subjective, we can consider high-quality pieces those that are functional, fit properly, and last more than a season or two: a combination of good construction and quality fabrics. Their production takes longer, they’re often made of natural fibers, have impeccable detailing, and for all of this, they’re usually pricier items than any fastfashion piece. Here’s why you should start investing in them.
They’re more cost-effective
Good craftsmanship is not cheap. But instead of seeing just the price tag, we should consider not only the cost of the item but the cost per wear, taking also into account how many times you’ll wear the garment.
That is simply dividing the price you pay for an item by the number of times you’ll wear it. If the piece is more expensive but better made and of higher quality, it will last longer in your wardrobe through multiple wears. A great example of saving money in the long run.
They fit better
Unlike fast-fashion items, produced in mass in speedy processes, higher quality items take longer to produce and it’s not hard to tell. They feel better on, the fabrics and the silhouettes are more flattering to the body, and they’re much more comfortable when compared to their cheaper counterparts.
They’re often made of natural fabrics like cotton, silk, or wool, are designed to be soft and breathable, and every detail is taken care of: zipper, seams, buttons, cords… They drape and fold nicely, are sewn to last, and resist many washes and wears.
They boost your confidence
The idea of getting a confidence boost when wearing your nicest clothes isn’t just a marketing tactic. It’s undeniable that when we look our best we also feel our best, and many studies have also shown that by just changing our clothes, we perform better at work and we can immediately boost our mood.
They’re a better choice for the environment
The rate at which we’re currently producing and consuming apparel is not sustainable for the environment. The fashion industry is one of the most wasteful and resource-intensive industries, and the never-ending trend cycles and cheap production have a strong environmental impact.
With the increased concern towards the planet, more companies are starting to reevaluate their impact and starting to produce more mindfully, often with higher quality materials and processes.
Slowing down and investing in fewer but better items is also a more sustainable choice: garments will stay longer in your wardrobe standing the test of time throughout multiple wears. And with this, hopefully, we’ll be able to avoid more overproduction.
They hold resale value
Not only because of their lasting qualities but because of the brands that produce them, higher quality items also hold resale value. Maybe you have a stack of pieces you’re no longer wearing or you’ve heard of Depop and want to try it for yourself. Whatever the reasons, if you decide to let go of any of these pieces, they’ll still be “sellable” in the resale market.
Higher quality pieces often come from brands that are more valued in the secondhand industry and can be sold for a higher price. A Zara t-shirt and a Marc Jacobs t-shirt will not sell for the same price, even if they’re both in perfect condition and have a similar silhouette and fabric.
It’s easy to fall for fast-fashion pieces: they’re popular, accessible, and affordable. Unfortunately, their poor quality, as well as the unsustainable and unethical practices behind them, are not reflected in the price tag and often translate into one-hit-wonder pieces that last just a few wears.
We shouldn’t only be looking at the price tag when getting new pieces: they’re just one of the many things to take into account. The way they fit, how they make us feel, the impact they have on the environment and how many times we’ll be wearing them also come into play. If we’re able to, we should try to invest in higher-quality clothes that aren’t only a better choice for our wardrobes but also for the planet. They will always last longer and age well.