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How to Instantly Spot Quality Goods
By: Katie Elizabeth   |    April 18, 2013   |   0 Comments (0) (0)

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. Thatís certainly an option, but remember, price does not automatically equal quality. Materials and craftsmanship donít 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, youíll 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 itís 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. Itís also wise to steer clear of items that werenít made in western countries. That skirt thatís 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 whatís 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, itís a sign that someoneís trying to dress up a dud.

It doesnít matter if youíre looking at oleochemicals, handbags or contact lens solution. Donít let marketing fool you. Look at what matters: the ingredients or materials. Donít blindly shop for things, but instead make sure youíre 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 doesnít feel sturdy. This is why shopping online can be so difficult and misleading. Just because something looks great doesnít 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. Donít opt out of using it.

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