It is possible I've got some sort of shopping OCD. I mean, I get the oddest looks when, in the clothing aisle, I flip a dress up, spot check the seams, try the zipper, try all the snaps buttons, or clasps, rub the fabric in my hands, and read the tag. A bit much? Nothing makes it to the fitting room or on my body without passing an inspection. Whether it's $2 or $200. The fashion I deserve doesn't just look good- it is good. High quality is tangible at any price point so don't let those short cutting designers trick you into believing otherwise.
Material:If it's man made be weary. Some synthetic fabrics may look nice at first glance. And for some purposes might be ok for what you're doing- paintings, walking the dog, weeding the garden- all activities where natural materials may not be a priority. Think about what you do in your clothes- have to endure a humid walk and stuffy metro ride? A breathable cotton fabric might be a good idea. Need to wash your item frequently? Synthetic materials are not as durable and so tend to rip or tear more often, especially with frequent use.
Seams and zippers:
Seams that are not stitched closed are a major no no. Either the material will fray or rub until they feel like razor blades. If that zipper sticks in the store, it will at home- and probably worse because you' be dressing in a hurry. I'm not entirely sure what to say about the zipper paint chipping- anyone know if this avoidable?
The little things: a sewn crease, thicker fabric, securely attached embellishments, well stitched trim. These are all things that save you time and money when done well.
Phew ok, now that thats out of the way- bring on the summer shopping!