Does Brand Name Mean Quality?

» Posted by on Apr 4, 2012 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

Someone recently asked me, “Is name brand clothing better than non brand clothing?”

Not necessarily.  Name brand clothing offers recognition, familiarity and sometimes visibility.  Some name brands are known for their quality:  Theory, Thomas Pink, Vince, St. John, Hugo Boss – to name a few.

That said, there are also labels that are of good quality that are not brand name.  What some people don’t realize is that a lot of generic or “private label” clothing is made from the same manufacturer as brand names.  The generic brand is less recognizable of course, and is less expensive than designer labels, but in the end it’s roughly the same product and quality.

Interestingly enough, while I was doing research on 60’s fashion, I came upon this: A 1962 New York fashion show with an original Lanvin dress….and a 100% copy of the exact same dress.  The knock-off was made of the same fabrics and trims, and was based on the same pattern.  Back then, American department stores would send buyers to Paris to buy originals to bring back and replicate the designer duds.  Crazy thing?  This was legal!

To wrap it up, rather than looking to a brand name to indicate the quality of a garment, you want to look at the details such as: construction, stitching, interfacing, lining, durability and how the fabric stands up to the quality test.  Does it pill, stretch out, or fade?  This is a far better test of quality than checking the back pocket for the label.

….So is your closet full of brand names, private labels, or generics?  Mine’s a happy mix, but I’m more loyal to quality pieces in general than I am to any one label!


From The “Inside-Out”, Kim

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Kim Crumpler is Founder of Uniquely Savvy, Inc and is an 11 year veteran Personal Style & Branding Coach, Personal Shopper, Author, and Speaker. An expert, Kim delivers results and is passionate about helping men & women BE comfortable and confident in their own skin, look and feel amazing, and attract more of who and what they want in life! Kim invites you to: Join the conversation on Uniquely Savvy’s facebook business page, call her for a phone consultation to determine how you will best benefit from her expertise, or book her to speak at your upcoming event. Available for keynotes, workshops, seminars, and girlfriend parties, the programs your audience will love range from personal style, to professional image and branding. Additionally, Kim co-authored, “Incredible Life: Top Experts Reveal How to Create Yours”, and speaks to a variety of audiences on personal empowerment – bringing inspirational messages of hope and sharing practical tips and tools learned on her inside-out, “From Fear to Freedom” journey. Contact Kim @ 425.503.9885 or learn more at






  1. Kim,
    Seems like the unspoken portion of the question is “When looking at things on the rack, would you trust a brand name more than an unknown?”. Construction might be evident(if you know what to look for), but stretching, fading, pilling, etc. might require you know some history of the brand. Always found brands like Polo to be a step above and tend to trust some of them more than others. Thoughts?

  2. Good question Eric.

    No, I wouldn’t blindly trust a brand name more to an unkown. The brand name simply offers me a basis to start. I have had enough experience with big brand names whereby I simply “trusted the brand” without doing enough due diligence and incredulously paid for it in the end. That said, unkown labels can be just as trustworthy, but becasuse you are unfamiliar with the product and might not know how to verify the elements that equate to it being a quality piece (construction, fabrics, etc), your mind will likely experience doubt vs. trust.

    Trust is built by: Knowledge, experience, and consistency. The goal is to expand your knowledge. This can be achieved by reading, watching videos, or….you got it, enlisting the services of a style expert to equip you with the knowledge you need to make educated decisions that will best serve you. Stretching, fading, and pilling all have to do with fiber content, versus anything to do with a “brand”.

    Tip: ALWAYS check the fiber content. Rayon and viscose, for example always pill whether it’s Polo, Boss, Canali, or generic. Just by the rubbing of your seatbelt over a shirt with that content will make your brand new garment ball up. Re “polo” shirts for instance, if they are 100% cotton, you will likely experience fading and the turning up of collars over time.

    In general, Polo, by Ralph Lauren is a quality. In 12 years of consulting an wardrobing, I have yet to purge him out of closets due to poor quality! That said, when looking at Lauren, I still look at each piece with construction and fiber content in mind…..Each piece of every brand should be evaluated, as at a minimum fabrics are constantly changing and evolving.

    Helpful? – Kim

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