Slow Fashion: Investment Buying and Quality


Thoughts From the Studio

Make it Last: The Wisdom of Investment Buying and the Value of Quality Clothing


Hello there, and welcome to the Charlottesville Dress Company Blog!  Our talented team at the C’ville Dress Co. is dedicated to helping our clients build fabulous, functional wardrobes that will make getting out the door and feeling pulled together so much easier!


make your wardrobe last!



Building a functional wardrobe...

is based on curating a balance of investment pieces with fun, whimsical pieces that speak to you and your personal style.  In a world where fast fashion, impulse buying and throwaway items are pervasive, we collaborate with our clients to offer timeless, high quality pieces that flatter their figures and will stand the test of time.  We adapt our designs to reflect each clients’ personal style and emphasize their best features.  Using high quality fabrics and finishes, we expertly tailor each piece to create the perfect garment.

Style experts agree that investment dressing saves time and money.  Instead of buying poorly-made items which fall apart after one season, investment pieces of high quality will be more expensive, but will become the pieces you reach for time and again and enjoy for years. 

This is where the value of cost per wear (CPW) comes in.





Yes, you will pay more for an investment piece, but when you divide the cost of the investment piece by the number of times the piece will be worn, it will offer you more value than the cheaper, poorly made piece.  And besides, beautifully made investment pieces that fit and flatter will have you looking and feeling fabulous!

So, let’s review the key features of investment pieces:



How often have you bought something made from synthetic fabric only to have it pill after only a few wears?  Natural fibers like cotton, hemp (yes, we have hemp!), silk, wool, linen, and cashmere will not only look and feel great but will last so much longer than those uncomfortable synthetics.

At C'ville Dress Co., we are constantly sourcing the best fabrics for our clients.  Recent buying expeditions to New York and Paris, have brought us the most incredible cottons, printed silks and designer wools.





We bring them to you in limited quantities so that what your order may not be replicated any where else.


Strong Stitching

A key indication of garment quality is the stitching.  Turn the garment inside out and check for the quality of stitching before making a purchase; inspect the stitching of the garment for tight seams and a high number of stitches per inch.  Any snags, crooked lines or missed stitches point to low quality.

We tested our stitching against a water-proofing process similar to that used by Barbour for making water-resistant coats. Our seams were so tight, water couldn’t get through!


The Cut

Low-end, mass-producing brands cut corners wherever possible. This means using as little fabric as possible.  This results in garments that don’t drape or fit well.  At C'ville Dress Co, our custom-made pieces will fit and flatter our clients perfectly – no cookie cutter pieces!

It’s always a good idea to take an off-the-rack item for custom alteration, but why not create a garment that is fitted to your unique body shape?


Fabric Patterns That Match Up

One sign of poor quality that is easy to spot is patterns that don’t match up at the seams.  While some patterns like polka dots don’t have to be lined up, graphic and detailed patterns should match up at the seams.


Take a look at the seams of any garment you're considering purchasing to see how much effort has gone into matching up patterns. For bold patterns, like plaids and stripes, a poorly-matched seam looks unsightly. It's safe to assume any sloppy match-up is a sign that little care went into the construction of the garment.

Our expert construction team takes the utmost care to not only line up patterns, but to strategically place fabric patterns to flatter our clients' unique figures.

Our expert construction team takes the utmost care to not only line up patterns, but to strategically place fabric patterns to flatter our clients' unique figures.


Finished Seams

Look at the seams of any outfit you're thinking of buying to make sure they lay flat and are free of puckers and other irregularities. Then, flip the piece inside out, and look at how the seams were finished. Unfinished edges are a sign of poor quality.


Zippers, Buttons and Button Holes

Poor quality garments have plastic zippers that are difficult to use.  Look for metal zippers that will stay on track.

Button Holes:
Check for irregular stitching and loose threads.  Are the buttons sewn on well? I’ve had buttons sewn on with so little thread that I re-enforced them myself before wearing the blouse!

Are they good quality or flimsy plastic?  Do they fit snugly into the button holes without being forced, and do they remain in place?





Knowing where and how your clothes are made is the only way to truly ensure their quality. Feeling certain that you've trusted your custom wardrobe to a team that pays attention to detail, construction, and longevity of your garments ensures that your investment is justified. 


We look forward to creating timeless, quality wardrobe staples that you will enjoy for years to come!

Susan Stimart