In the know: made to last

Investing in quality pieces that won't go out of style

Every wardrobe needs essentials like a black turtleneck sweater, wool slacks and leather tote. They never go out of style so it’s worth investing more money and care into these classic pieces. Here are some tips to help you make the right choices when choosing your wardrobe staples:

Essential fabrics:
Picking the best fabrics will help your classics last for years.
• Crepe or gabardine wool—Perfect for suits and pants, they wrinkle minimally and are lightweight enough for year round wear.
• Alpaca or melton wool—Ideal for coats or jackets, their heavier weight provides insulating warmth.
• Cashmere—Great for coats, sweaters or loungewear, it’s a soft luxurious yarn that provides warmth without bulk.
• Merino wool—Perfect for sweaters, it’s more budget-friendly than cashmere and is warm but light and not as itchy as other wools.
• Leather—The best material for shoes, bags and other accessories, it’s durable, holds its shape, breathes and doesn’t crack like vinyl.
• Cotton twill—Great for tailored shirts and pants, it’s easy to care for and breathes to keep you cool.
• Silk—Ideal for blouses and dresses, it’s soft and breathable.
• Lycra—Blended with other fibres to create stretchy, easy-to-move-in clothes. It improves fit, retains shape and resists wrinkles.
• Nylon—Ideal in bags and sport jackets, this synthetic fibre is durable and easy-to-clean.
• Microfibre—Great for durable athletic clothing and lightweight outerwear. It’s one of the few synthetic fibres that breathes well and still insulates.

And don’t forget to look for quality construction. Keep these hints in mind when looking for high quality items:

Quality clothing features:

• Cotton-padded shoulder pads. (more natural looking than foam)
• Flat, pucker-free linings.
• Even seams; aligned buttons and buttonholes; smooth hems; patterns that match along seams; no pulling or stray threads in knits; easy-to-use zippers and closures.

Quality accessories features:

• Securely attached shoe soles, heels and straps.
• Leather goods should be even in colour (including any stitching) and soft to the touch, not hard like vinyl. An overpowering leather smell indicates poorly preserved leather—quality leathers only smell faintly.
• Check the quality of a metal bracelet watch by shaking it slightly, the less rattle, the better the watch. The best watches are made with a sapphire crystal that won’t scratch. For a more budget-conscious option, go with a mineral crystal that’s coated to be scratch-resistant.
• Look for hosiery containing Lycra or Spandex because it resists snags, retains it shape and lasts longer.
• Sunglasses should block 99 per cent to 100 per cent of UV rays. Look for the “UV-400 Protection” label. Untreated lenses are damaging to your eyes—and worse than not wearing sunglasses at all.

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