We had a wonderful Style Chat yesterday evening, with some great questions about buying clothes that suit you. Many, many thanks to those who made it! (If you want to submit a style question, you can add it to the AMA list right here!)

The questions fell into two main categories, 1) how to buy clothes online when you have sensitive skin, and 2) how to buy clothes that will get better as they age (rather than falling apart).

How to buy clothes online when you have sensitive skin

When it comes to buying clothes when you’re sensitive to itching, scratching or poking can be tricky, and even trickier to do online (because you can’t feel things). Some tips for this include:

• Doing your research. Look up some of the clothes hanging in your closet that you love, and see if you can find them listed online. Take note of the words used in the description – soft, silky, smooth, flowy, cozy, are some descriptors that often indicate non-itchy garments.

• Analyze the product photos. Can you see where the tags are located? Generally they’re either at the center back neck or waist, or in the left-hand size seam. Where are the closures? Zippers, buttons, snaps can be places of irritation, so take note of where they are located on the garment you’re considering.

• Go with brands you trust. Even if it’s a new-to-you style or type of garment, brands that put high quality finishings or use high quality fabrics in one shirt are less likely to have absolutely trash finishings and fabrics in another. (It does happen, but it’s a bit less of a gamble.)

If you’re trying to get a handle on shopping for clothes with sensitive skin, consider creating a wardrobe inventory. You can use it to track fiber contents, brand preferences and which clothes in your closet irritate your skin. Getting all that information out of your head and onto paper can make connections easier to track. If you’re interested, I walk you through my favorite wardrobe inventorying method in The Wardrobe Inventory Workbook, check it out here.

Buying clothes that will get better as they age

In the second category of questions, how to buy clothes that will get better as they age, my general advice basically comes down to buy natural fibers. Cottons, linens, wools (sheep wool and non-sheep wool-like fibers), flax and hemp fabrics, silks and leathers, etc, generally feel softer and more supple as you wear them over time.

The second piece of this is to look for garments that have high quality closures – zippers, buttons, snaps, grommets, etc, so that the zipper doesn’t break before you get to wear the piece soft. (They’ll also be easier to repair, and most brands don’t bother with high quality closures on cheap fabric.)

And finally the third piece, is to take care of your clothing. No garment is going to get better with age if you don’t take care of it. If you let stains set, they’re much harder to get out. If you let leather dry out, it’ll crack and break. If you let a small hole grow, it gets more and more obvious.

And there it is, that’s the recap of last night’s Style Chat! It was a wonderful conversation with great questions. The next chat will be happening in October (date and time TBA and barring any further 2020 shenanigans).

If you want to be ahead of the game, you can submit your own questions right here!