Today I did a pile of ironing. I had silks, cottons, linens, cotton-linen blends, and a viscose top. From various makers, from Zara to Ann Taylor and J. Crew to Equipment.

And wow. If ever there was a lesson on why I prefer wearing some of my tops to others, here it was. In all fabrications.

The silk of the Equipment shirt has a beautiful weight and drape; the silk front Zara shirts and the light silk Banana Republic top from last year are so light that they barely hang properly. The Zara ones are saved by being mixed-media. But they will not last more than a short season or two at most. The Equipment shirt will be in my closet for years if I care for it. And I will probably cry when I have to donate it.

(Of course, the price tags reflect this difference).

Two cotton linen shirts offered another good example. Same fabrication blend (65% linen, 35% cotton). But one (from Banana Republic) has a sort of rough crispness to it. Getting the wrinkles out was difficult, and even freshly ironed it feels a bit scratchy. The other (from J. Crew) was soft, easy to iron, and it drapes well.

Nicest of all was the beautiful Thomas Mason tux shirt from J. Crew. Ironing is a breeze because the fabric is just such a lovely quality.

Are you moved by the quality of some of your pieces? Do you reach for them more often? Are there items of clothing where higher quality matters more to you? Can you sacrifice quality more easily on others?