Quality 'matters' in every aspect of, people, education, garbage bags (ever have one spontaneously break?)...Garments are clearly no exception. The construction and fabrication being the key points. I spoke with Katie O'Brien, Plum's buyer and co-owner, about what she looks for when buying.  I figured who would know better, she's been buying for over 30 years. Here are a few tips from someone who has probably purchased 30,000 shirts in her lifetime. (She must have a very big closet).

  • look for no loose threads
  • more stitching per inch and even stitching
  • sometimes 'spare' buttons are included
  • don't be fooled by natural fibers, some very fine quality fabrics are synthetics that keep their newness much longer
  • check zippers, make sure they work, stitched straight and no puckers
  • how a fabric actually 'feels' (or 'hand') against your skin
  • not off grain (otherwise garment seams can twist).

None are hard and fast rules, merely things to think about and check. And don't forget to look at the inside of the garment (how it's finished, if there's lining), even though no one but you may see it.


This is an absolutely divine shirt. Who doesn't love anything Italian (shoes, cars, men). Most of these shirts that mimic men's style are very straight cut, however this one has some shape.  Long (tunic length),features a sleeve tab, irregular stripes and one breast pocket...a gorgeous flowy feel. Wonderful with leggings, a belt, a scarf and ankle boots. A fantastic cut and really nice weight. Many reasons why it's been so popular.

M striped tunic shirt (navy) $69


Another construction feature to look for is extra top and reinforcement stitching. There is no shortage of both with Point Zero's cropped twill pant. Plenty of extra details, such as pockets and an extra button should one come loose.

Point Zero cropped twill pant (4 colours) $59


A regular in Plum's inventory is the Kersh cardigan. Variety of colours, universally appealing cuts and fabrications, quality and price make this a popular choice. Kersh regularly includes not only a spare button but also extra threads for mending.

Kersh crew neck long sleeve cardigan (6 colours) $55


This is a beautifully constructed little dress. Another clue about construction is details; not so much 'multiple' details but key or unique features, such as the contrasting collar, front placket covering buttons and pleats as well, beautifully fluid fabric; all make for a knock out little dress.

Sleeveless dress with collar (black or navy) $139

Sometimes we don't think about quality and good construction until something goes wrong. Good to know what to look for in advance otherwise adopting the ability to restore and repair things becomes very important. Although sewing a button back on is far easier than rebuilding a relationship.

Yours in Fashion passion...

Suzanne M.

'The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory' ~Gucci  ... read the full post and reader comments

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what's in a name



Help Plum choose a label name for it's line of blouses and you could win $ 150 Plum Gift Certificate.

Follow this link for details on how to win.

What a great contest! Like naming a baby only without the 20+ years of worry! So much simpler. Too late for me, I've already signed up for the tot parade. However, yet another thing Plum does exceptionally well is blouses. Much like the Simone dress line, Plum has decided to put a name on it! (not a ring, that's Beyoncé). However, just as impactful. When receiving a compliment, you can proudly say 'well it's a.......' (fill in the blank)! (Like, everyone should know of this label-wink wink!).

Here are some examples of Plum's blouse designs to get your creative juices flowing:


This is so sweet. Lovely, lightweight, with reverse print collar, pocket, cuff and button front. Wear it opened with a tank or cami or buttoned up (as shown) and add a necklace of a contrasting alternate color (red perhaps), or to that end, perhaps, just a really bright red lip color. Yours to play with as black and white typically can tend to go with any other color of choice. Be still my heart!

Plum Hearts blouse $ 79 (comes also in black with white hearts).


If uncomplicated is your thing, this is for you. Something undeniably appealing about a basic white shirt. Lovely and long so, if you 'do' wish to add an accessory (such as a belt), it really lends itself to taking this on. Pretty much everyone can pull off this look (basic shirt and jeans as above). Also comes in a stunning red shade.

Plum long white rayon shirt $ 79 (white or red)


Plaid has come charging back in style! No longer just for your old Uncle Angus. This delightful blue sheer plaid has so much personality, you need not really say a word. It's just so much fun. A bright necklace at the collar can add some funk; or knot it at the waist and wear it with a maxi skirt and a jean jacket and (my fav) Doc marten's to balance out the playfulness of the plaid. So many ways to be creative with this. (Note that this print also comes in a wonderful, wrap front style).

Plum plaid blouse $ 79 (also in red plaid)


Perhaps a feminine mood? Above, allover primitive, flower print blouse with keyhole, features 3/4 sleeves. This pretty, lightweight fabric, provides for a multitude of ways to layer for the season (or other seasons).

Plum simple flower print blouse $ 75 (also in mocha with black flowers)


I realize this is not a blouse. Just included it to see if you're still paying attention. Thought so!! Wouldn't this great little handbag be a wonderful companion to the hearts blouse?

Patent lips clutch $ 39

Head into a Plum near you to check out more styles.  And remember, all of the blouses noted above, are Plum designed and made in Vancouver.

Yours in Fashion Passion..

Suzanne M.

PS, Don't forget to submit your entry for the contest


   ... read the full post and reader comments

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