Saturday, May 26, 2012

Own Your Style Decalogue 7. Know that Fabric Matters

The Importance of Fabric

Three maxims
  1. Always think about bulk and volume of fabric in relation to your own body.
  2. Always go for good quality or, at least, the best quality you can afford.
  3. Always choose fabrics that you have the time and the money to care for.

1. Fabric is key to your Fit, Silhouette, and Proportions. Why?

The difference in bulk and volume. First, think about the same A-line skirt in a floaty silk versus a bouclé wool, and then again about the same skirt in a shiny satin or a matte mid weight jersey. The difference in the bulk and volume among these four pieces should be evident, so always think about bulk and volume of fabric in relation to your own body.
Your height and size determine what fabrics you can pull off. Clingy or shiny materials only work on the slimmest, most of us need fabrics with some substance not to show everything. Taller people can wear heavier fabrics without being overwhelmed.

2. Fabric affects your pocket

Bad quality fabric, in the end, really is more expensive, both in terms of time and money, as you have to keep going back for replacements of the very same thing. In conclusion, go always for good quality or, at least, the best quality you can afford.
A word about quality out there. Let's face it, quality is plummeting everywhere. It seems that brands do not think they have to offer the same quality they used to, so they are selecting worse fabrics every year that passes. And believe me, the people making those decisions know what they are doing, and they do it because they know most consumers do not even check the composition label before buying something and because the importance of trends makes most garments bought one season, over by the next. Not unsurprisingly, the keep on charging the same prices...
So... why bother? Well, apart from the ecological implications of buying and throwing away stuff in an endless circle, there are time implications too. I don't know you, but I don't want to go every season looking for all my basics and buy them again. Everybody should have a wardrobe full of basics that should be considered as investments, to which cheaper (and easy to find) items can be added. More on wardrobe building in the future.

3. Fabric affects your lifestyle

No matter how adequate a fabric is for your, or how good the quality is, if it is dry clean only (but don't believe all labels, dry cleaning is not always necessary), consider that when buying a garment. Dry cleaning is expensive, most of the time not ecological, and ages garments disproportionally. Consider also the time you will need to spend ironing and if you have it.


  1. Hi Caroline! I love your posts on how to own our style! They're so helpful. I was wondering if you planned on posting the rest of the decalogue in the near future?

    1. Thanks, Elaine, you're very kind! Actually, they are written, but the perfectionist in me keeps on finding things I should do first or better ways of organizing the information in the blog... Now you've told me, I'll try in the near future, OK? I'm very happy to be helpful, and to be appreciated into the bargain.

  2. Okay, thanks. I'll be watching out for them!