Not materialism…..I’m talking the actual MATERIAL of your clothing. Comes in all kinds and they all wear differently! Want a quick style tip on how to choose between them? You are in the right place!
The one thing that online shopping eliminates, is actually feeling the fabric. We would all love it if everything could feel like our fave PJ’ right?! Great news…some daytime wear can, and then some just shouldn’t. Me, I’m the touchy feely gal, who likes to run my hand across anything that catches my eye in the store, and even some that don’t. The feel of the material is a major factor for me. This would likely also be true for anyone with sensitive skin or skin issues of any kind, so hopefully these next few tips are helpful!
A good rule of thumb….natural fibers or natural and synthetic blends are great. They wear the best over time, they are organically made, are typically very soft and comfortable, and can be manufactured to be very plush or structured to hold a shape. Here are some examples of natural materials that you can look for:
Pre-shrunk preferably for almost anything. Cotton is the material for our jeans, our t-shirts, dresses, socks, underwear, sweaters, knits, thermal tops, the list truly goes on….check it out HERE. Side Note: when ever material is distressed, it weakens the fibers, so it may not last forever. If you realize that your fave T is your go to piece for wearing on it’s own AND layering, grab one as backup. After multiple laundry cycles, it can start to get more slouch and more sheer (yikes!) as the fibers breakdown (see more on this below).
I find Pima Cotton to be the softest; but it can be a higher price point. Also beware of Cotton / Polyester blends…if it’s 50/50 or 55/45. I have found that laundering it over and over (which is likely since this blend has such nice slouch to it, you’ll want to wear it all the time), thins out the material significantly. And that is exactly what happened with my “But First Coffee” tank below, so it has been take OUT of rotation.
Who doesn’t love the feel of silk on their body?! The dress below was a splurge; but I feel pretty great in it! No wonder lingerie, bridal wear, evening gowns, corporate wear, flowy dresses, etc, etc is made out of it! This can be a pricey fabric for sure; but you will rarely be disappointed with how well silk holds up, always looks upscale, and brings a beautiful sheen to the garment. I also find silk to be a great fabric to use for layering because it can be very warm or quite cool when there is a breeze.
I couldn’t afford silk clothing when I started out honing my personal style, so I used a silk scarf around my neck, or a longer version for a belt, and graduated up to blouses and tops when I could start to afford them! But I had to make sure I could pay the dry cleaning bill too! Good fabrics require good care.
This is just as good as it gets. I never had anything cashmere before I bought a grey button up cardigan at Kohl’s (see pic below!), 7 years ago on Black Friday. It was $32.99 regular $125. SCORE!! I still have it today, it looks amazing, it is a SUPER WARM fabric and very much works in my fall and winter wardrobe. This fabric is dry clean only so don’t try to launder it yourself…prepare for massive shrinkage if you do. Cashmere is used mostly in sweaters, cardigans, trenchcoats, and many more; but a great way to introduce this fabric into your, or your hubby’s wardrobe, is to splurge on a pair of cashmere socks. Your feet will thank you, and when you realize you love it, you can add it to your Wish List of things to purchase and keep an eye out for!
Cashmere is pricey so many manufacturers try to bring that down by doing a blend with wool, which is a great way to work our way up to it! My fabulous Trenchcoat is a cashmere and wool blend, it’s going on 14 years and still looks FAB.
This is a very strong, durable, holds its shape and very warm fabric. It’s often blended with cashmere in outerwear to offer that super soft fabric some structure. Every woman who wears dress pants to the office should own one or more pair of fabulous wool pants. And even if you don’t work outside the home, a great pair of grey wool pants will be perfect for any occasion you need to attend Fall through late Winter. And while it is on most outerwear, once it starts to absorb moisture (which is not right away!) it will need time to dry out.
For everyday wear, Merino wool is the softest and least itchy.
LONG STORY SHORT
We’ll start with that, and in a future post I will talk a bit more about the synthetic or man made fabrics that are very common in stores. I think the bottom line is while we may pay more for the natural fibers I listed above, these are also the materials we should be looking for when we want to finally invest in a particular piece. One we want to have around for a while and look good every darn time we put it on. Buy classics in these fabrics, not as many trends.
Once I realized that all my “good stuff” was made from natural materials, I guess I wasn’t surprised that it really does show that God gave us all the things we need of this Earth, and the smarts to use them to their fullest potential….from what we eat to what we wear…organic is the best choice!
I hope this article gave you some food for thought when you are out shopping! Never checked the tag to see what something is made of? Give it a try, might help you pick the perfect material for you AND your budget. Be sure to subscribe to never miss a post, and if you know someone who might like this one, or others posted on the blog, feel free to share!