Buying RTW

Of all the things in the world that I dislike, clothes shopping is near the top of that list. I’ve never had luck with clothes fitting me, the fabrics can be uninspiring, and oftentimes I could just as easily make it instead (even if I don’t). So where did I find myself yesterday? TJ Maxx, clothes shopping.

One thing that really struck me was the sheer number of knit tops compared to woven ones. I don’t know if it’s the ease of selling them as you can size it small, medium, large, or if they are cheaper to produce, but I was looking for lightweight breezy summer tops and there really weren’t that many of those around. The knits are ridiculously thin to the point of unpleasant sheerness and yes, I know, layering t-shirts is supposed to be a thing. It is not a thing that works for me with the summer humidity here in Virginia. I did find some cute sleeveless knit tops made of a rayon/spandex blend that I liked and I found some of the construction details interesting. All of the ones I liked had a cowl drape, so just a turned under facing with the edges serged for the front neckline. The back neckline and armholes were finished with self fabric bindings to the inside with only a single row of topstitching visible from the right side of the garment and then coverstitched bottom hems.


Easy enough finish for a sleeveless knit top, I think


I like the generous size of this facing along with how it is caught in the armhole finish to keep it in place

I also got two poly/lycra knit dresses, both of which are self fabric lined, complete with understitching around the neckline and arms. The lining construction switches around halfway down from seam allowances between the fabric layers to seam allowances against my legs. I’m not sure why it would make sense to sew the side seams in two passes instead of one, but that’s not the weirdest thing about these dresses.


Seriously, WHY? This lining seam makes zero sense to me. Bodice is to the right, left goes to the bottom hem

The wrong side of the fabric faces out. I was so initially uncertain that I compared their fabric against the one printed knit top I picked up that was poly/lycra as well and was the exact same type of knit pattern (an ITY jersey?) and the dresses are definitely not right. I guess that’s why they were at TJ Maxx in the first place? It won’t stop me from wearing them, but I have to wonder if this is a common problem as these items were assembled in two different countries and I know I have to double check for the right side when dealing with solid colored polyester jersey as well.


I can’t decide if this should bother me or not, but at least the manufacturer was consistent with which side they used, even if it was the wrong side.

Trying on a bunch of clothes and rejecting most of them was an enlightening experience, and I appreciated the opportunity to try different looks and colors outside of my comfort zone.  However, I think I prefer making my own clothes as what I’m looking for fit and style wise are not found at the price points I’m willing to shop at.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.