April 19, 2024
How to Tell If Clothes Were Made Specifically for a Discount Retailer


Even before the COVID-19 pandemic caused retailers to close across the country, a growing number of consumers were opting to shop online rather than traveling to brick-and-mortar stores. And while this trend has largely continued, according to data from A recent report, Two segments of the retail landscape have seen the return of foot traffic: thrift shops (which have been covered in a previous Lifehacker post) and discount stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Burlington and Ross Dress for Less – which are the focus today.

The advertisements of these discount retailers make it appear as if their merchandise is coming straight from high-end department stores and flagship stores, sold to you at a fraction of their original price. But, as two recent viral TikTok videos point out, the truth is a little murkier — including the fact that the clothes sold in those stores are often made specifically for them.

How do clothes get to discount retailers?

As @itslaurendeleon and @kingkattoo, two TikTok creators who have worked in the fashion industry, explain in recent videos, many — if not most — of the items sold at off-price retailers like TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack brought Didn’t go at all. From full-price stores with unsold merchandise. Instead, that merchandise was deliberately designed to be sold at low prices.

In fact, @kingkattoo, who points out that he is a designer and has worked at companies that sold merchandise to these discount retailers, says that “overstock doesn’t actually exist, because that’s how the fashion industry works.” does not do.” Instead, the holding companies that own American heritage brands like Calvin Klein direct designers to create items to be sold at particular price points. For example, one designer may be asked to design a sweater to be sold for $50 at a department store, while another may be asked to design a $20 sweater to be sold at lower-priced retailers. . From there, @kingkattoo explains, all decisions throughout the process – like fabrics, linings and finishes – are made with that cost in mind.

Hint An item of clothing was made specifically for a discount retailer

Similar to clothing made specifically to be sold at a brand’s outlet stores, there are certain characteristics you can look for that are a good sign that an item is always sure to be sold at a discount:

white-label product tags

In her TikTok video, @itslaurendeleon says that the plain white tag, as in the screenshot below, is a “telltale sign” that a piece of clothing is either a sample, or a “white label product” — meaning That’s “anybody can buy it in bulk capacity and put their own label on it and call it their own.” This also means that the apparel “will not be of the same quality or the same style that you’ll see on the brand’s website,” he notes.

Credit: Screenshot/@itslaurendeleon/TikTok

Availability of sizes and colors

When a particular apparel product is available in all sizes—not just a handful of unpopular sizes that are usually left over—there’s a good chance it was made specifically for a discount retailer, in fashion. Course Leader Giovanni L. Bordon says. Business at London Metropolitan University. Along with the wide range of sizes, Bordone says this type of discount merchandise is also usually available in limited varieties and colors.

manufacturing location

According to Bordone, examining the label to see where the garment was manufactured may provide another clue. In particular, some brands are produced in China, but they make clothes for discount stores in Bangladesh and Vietnam.

manufacturing and sewing

Jay Barton, CEO of men’s sportswear brand ASRV, recommends examining the overall construction and tailoring of the garment. “Products made for bargain stores may have less complex manufacturing features, fewer stitches per inch, or simpler stitch patterns,” he says. (This video explains what types of things to look for if you’re unsure.)

quality of content

Generally speaking, clothes made specifically for off-price stores are made from low-quality fabrics. “Check the fabric,” says Barton. “If it sounds less luxurious, stiffer or thinner than you’d expect from the name, it may have been produced for a cheaper retailer.”

Design and style

According to Bordone, clothing made for discount retailers may have less complex designs with fewer details and embellishments. Similarly, Barton says the apparel design “can be a more straightforward or concise interpretation of the brand’s signature aesthetic.”

Is it worth shopping at discount retailers?

When it comes to shopping, everyone has different preferences, as well as budget and time constraints. In other words, we’re not all looking for the same things.

If your concern is that designer items sold at discount retailers aren’t “the real thing,” @kingkattoo says that’s not the case. They note in their video, “It’s usually made by the same brand, or at least the same holding company, with a lower price tag.”

His real advice to buyers is “If you want [an item of clothing] And whether you think it’s worth your $20, or $50, or $200, spend it—but the price on the label is the price. You’ll basically never be able to keep up with these big brands.”

Source: lifehacker.com

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