Quality control

One of the biggest problems that I have with my current job is that it has made me a very picky shopper.  Stuff that normally would have flown off the racks and into my closet is now being carefully scrutinized and put back for any number of the following reasons (including but not limited to):

  • Poor fabric quality.
  • Poor choice of thread color.
  • Poor construction technique.

This new, obnoxiously quality-conscious attitude has both plusses and minuses.  Plusses, of course, being that I have spent way less money this fall than previous falls.  Minuses being that my fall wardrobe just seems, well sad.

But somehow, through all of my pickiness, I have managed to purchase some new pieces since taking this job.  I have had problems with two of them though.  One, a fabulous black cardigan from Urban.  The other, a fabulous brown/grey cardigan from Zara.  (Yes, I am a nerd and I live in cardigans).

The black cardi was actually purchased last May.  I wore it once, to dinner and a show with Boo and the parentals, and it was on for approximately 6 hours.  The next time I pulled it out of my closet, I saw that it had ripped apart at the collar.  Well that can’t be good.  I brought it back and exchanged it.  All was well with my sweater until I wore it bowling with some friends.  It was an absolute downpour and I was sans umbrella and sopping wet when I got home.  I draped my sweater over a chair to dry and when I grabbed it the next day, it had ripped apart.  In 2 spots.  HOW?!  How is that even possible?  Luckily the rips were right along the seam and being the seamstress that I am, I was able to remedy the problem in a few quick stiches.

Then there’s the Zara cardi.  I just bought this sweet little sweater yestderday.  I tried it on–it fit.  I tried the buttons–they worked.  All was well with the sweater.  Then I brought it home and and I was hanging it in my closet noticed that there was the beginning of what would surely end up as a huge gaping hole.  Since it hadn’t progressed far in the (w)hole process (oh COME ON, you knew I couldn’t let that pun pass me up!) I hadn’t noticed it in the poorly (as they all are) lit dressing room.  It wasn’t until I was home, with my brighter than the sun lamp that I noticed.  So back in the bag it went and I’m heading back to Zara today to have it out with management (but only if they don’t have any more smalls).

The lack of quality control these days makes me cringe.  I work in fashion.  I know what goes in to making these garments.  What I don’t know is why, over and over again, I keep running across malfunctioning clothes.  I don’t know why, when I try on a medium shirt at Gap and it fits I can buy the same shirt 2 weeks later, in the same size but a different color, and it’s suddenly very large on me.  I don’t know why, when I buy a cute little tunic at Macy’s, I can wear it for 3 hours and the next thing I know, the collar is pulling out of the neck binding and it has to be returned.

Some brands try to get around this by saying that the fraying and the fading are all part of the “natural, vintage look” of the garment and that it’s supposed to do that.  And I’m okay with the holes in my jeans getting a little holier.  But I’m not okay with my previously solid shirt looks like a slice of Swiss cheese at the end of the day.

Whatever happened to quality control?


*UPDATE: Back from the return trip.  Not one other small sweater in any other store in NYC.  I’m both crushed and confused.  You guys really sold out that fast?  UGH!*


13 thoughts on “Quality control

  1. Its all about making things as cheaply as possible…QA doesnt exist.

    Are you going to wear the cardigan with your uggs?

  2. Amen, sister! I was just saying this the other day. My new mustard coat from NORDSTROM? The metal Steve Madden logo clip thingy already snapped off the back of the jacket. It is on the inside lining, so it is not a big deal… but I had worn it for probably 3 seconds when I noticed this.

    Nordstrom is not cheap, for crying out loud.

  3. I thought it was just me that had this problem. I just bought 3 pairs of pants at Old Navy. Same style but different colors and they’re in sizes 2, 4, and 6 but they all fit the same.

    WTF is with that????

    And things wear out after a season whether they come from Gap or Target.

    I’m outraged.

  4. Matt: Psh, if it hadn’t had a hole in it, that would have been the plan!

    Mermanda: Oh man, Nordstrom stuff is busting too? We’re screwed!

    Ben: No they really don’t. Another 40 lashes for that. (Ooh, did I take the sweat shop joke too far there?)

    Heather Rose: Well is there is nothing like a well-placed slave labor joke.

    Kristen: Ugh, Old Navy is the WORST! Actually though, some of my Target stuff has lasted the longest. I recommend the Converse One Star line if you’re hitting up Target any time soon ;)

  5. it’s all about the almighty dollar. everything has become about making the most for less and raking in the profit. no one is willing to take the hit of an extra dollar per item to have hte seams reinforced, or to use better fabric… it’s bs. you’re welcome to start my business with me, i guarantee to only use GOOD quality shit. all we need is an investor : )

    … and ps. a friend and i talked forever ago about opening a store that only sold cardigans. i can NEVER find them but i love them so much!

  6. Apollo: I thought that was clever.

    NSJ: Omg, your cardigan store would be my dream store! But if we are opening a store, can we have an entire section for short people?

  7. I’ve noticed the same thing lately! It’s gotten to the point where when one button falls off I figure why not resew the rest of them because they’ll be falling off soon too. Ridiculous!

  8. I remember when The Gap used to have good looking stuff that would last more than one season. Now, like Zara and Urban, apparently this new “eco” fashion means that the clothes biodegrade after one wear.

  9. I’m with you on the whole “quality” issue. I am SO picky with clothes these days that i think that’s partly why I have hardly any!!!
    I refuse to pay good money for stuff you wear once and then after washing once just looks like poo!

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