How to Instantly Spot Quality Goods

Silk natural scarf

photo by fair trade designs

A lot of people depend on designer labels and price tags to let them know if something is luxury-quality or not. That’s certainly an option, but remember, price does not automatically equal quality. Materials and craftsmanship don’t lie, however; if you really want luxury and not just the label, there are easy ways to tell if something is worth your hard-earned cash.

There are excellent, mediocre and bad options for almost every single thing you buy. This ranges from clothes to glassware, from toilet paper to perfumes. For those who truly enjoy the finer things in life, you’ll want the best of everything. This means doing your research and knowing what materials are used in the highest quality items.

Go Au Naturale

Natural materials are almost always the most luxurious and will last the longest. This means everything from leathers to 100 percent cotton. However, not all luxury labels use all natural materials (or even partially natural materials). There is absolutely no reason to pay much money for an acrylic sweater, no matter what the label says. If it’s a trendy or wear-once item, skip it, unless you truly love the design.

Instead, look for symmetry in stitching, silk slips in slacks, jackets and skirts and always check the tag for the materials. It’s also wise to steer clear of items that weren’t made in western countries. That skirt that’s made in China or India might look cute at first blush, but it was likely made for only a few dollars, possibly with child labor, and the quality of that kind of outsourcing will show through eventually.

The Pros and Cons of Packaging

Good packaging can make anything look great. However, make sure that what’s inside is just as good as what the marketing department threw together. Sometimes, great packaging is a sign of a label or company that puts attention to detail into everything they do. Other times, it’s a sign that someone’s trying to dress up a dud.

It doesn’t matter if you’re looking at oleochemicals, handbags or contact lens solution. Don’t let marketing fool you. Look at what matters: the ingredients or materials. Don’t blindly shop for things, but instead make sure you’re already armed with information.

Trust Your Hands

For shoes and clothes, your hands can tell you a lot about quality. You know instantly if something feels cheap or just doesn’t feel sturdy. This is why shopping online can be so difficult and misleading. Just because something looks great doesn’t mean it will hold up under closer inspection and touch.

Whenever possible, see an item in person before making a purchase. With clothes, you need to know how the item will feel on your skin, the weight of the fabric and how it moves with your body. The power of touch is immense, especially when it comes to choosing luxury items. Don’t opt out of using it.


Katie Elizabeth

I'm a content coordinator for several different companies. I currently live near the Pennsylvania state capitol and am also attending grad school in a communications program. I especially enjoy learning and writing about careers, technology, music and nonprofits. I also do some arts & entertainment freelance writing for local newspapers and publications. I?m in love with New York City and try to ...(Read More)

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