Berny Martin talks about quality

09.05.14

My grandmother taught me to focus on quality over quantity in all aspects of life. She was a wise woman, and taught me a lot about truly living my life, which is why I named my clothing line after her.
Naturally, I carry what she taught me into all that I do at CATOU. Quality in clothing is something I take seriously. And you should, too, as you work toward build an enduring wardrobe.
So how do you determine quality in clothing?
It’s much more than looking at brand names and price. Long-term durability should be a significant factor when considering which clothing to buy, and which items to pass up. However, that isn’t always immediately apparent to the untrained eye, and price alone can be deceiving.
I always check clothing fiber content labels first, whether I’m buying fabric to make my CATOU line, or buying pieces off the rack. Cheap synthetics generally show wear after a few washings. Sweaters that are over 50 percent acrylic never hold up as well as cotton, wool and cashmere blends. However, certain synthetics, particularly when mixed with natural fibers, can help items to retain shape (for instance a little Lycra for stretch).
Consider the feel of an item before you buy. How a fabric feels next to your skin determines how often you will wear it. If it feels itchy, you’re less likely to wear it, raising its “cost per wear” significantly.
Care is important, too. Natural fibers wear even better with hand washing, and require fewer expensive trips to the dry cleaner. I avoid dryers as much as possible – they really age fabrics.
Normal wear and tear is inevitable, of course, even with the best fabrics. As your closet will bear out, some pieces age more gracefully than others. The more you know about fabrics, however, the more gracefully your wardrobe will age. And we all want to get the most longevity out of the quality pieces in our wardrobes.
If you have a question about quality or fabrics, send me a Tweet or message me through FaceBook. I’m happy to answer your questions, and I enjoy the process of introducing new clients to a whole new experience of custom tailored wear.”
~ Berny
Berny Martin is the designer of CATOU, a line of professional fashion wear. Edgy and elegant, flirty and sophisticated, CATOU clothing makes a statement. Select your look for the season here.