Where to buy good quality (but not necessarily designer) clothes??

(32 Posts)
Luckystar1 Tue 01-Nov-16 07:44:10

I'm a child of the disposable clothes era. As a child, my clothes were mostly bought from nice little independent clothes shops, but the boom in high street disposable crap happened just as I was starting to buy my own clothes so I've never really known where to buy nice, good quality clothing. In fact, it seems impossible, as everywhere I look it's just high street chains or, very expensive designer clothes that I fear I'm only paying for the label.

I've decided to try and get myself a very basic capsule wardrobe of simple, well made, good quality clothes (nice jumpers, tops, jeans, tee shirts) but I'm completely at a loss as to where to actually get these things!!

My wardrobe is full of rubbish that I'm eager to get rid of, but I've got nothing to replace it with!

I have 2 very young children (12 weeks and just turned 2) so unfortunately, actual shopping time is limited, but I'd like to spend some money giving myself what I ultimately hope will be an easier life by having fewer clothes to care for and choose from!

Thank you.

SquirmOfEels Tue 01-Nov-16 07:49:11

What is your likely budget? That'll make quite a difference to what sort of knitwear to recommend.

Jeans - try Levi

T-shirts I think you'll have to continue to see as disposable - they rarely last more than 4 or so years. I've been wearing Uniqlo recently and they have been very good but still inexpensive.

microsnake Tue 01-Nov-16 07:50:30

i buy lots on french connection (sale sections!)

microsnake Tue 01-Nov-16 07:51:01

also Uniqlo stuff lasts ages and isn't too £££

Luckystar1 Tue 01-Nov-16 07:55:22

Budget wise, I'm probably willing to spend £100-ish on something that will last. Or slightly more if it will really last!!

I'll look at Uniqlo, as I've heard good things.

Is French Connection good? I must admit I'd just lumped it in with the other high street shops I'm trying to avoid!!!

Badders123 Tue 01-Nov-16 08:03:44

Hobbs

Badders123 Tue 01-Nov-16 08:04:10

(I buy mine on e bay!)

Inthenick Tue 01-Nov-16 08:15:44

Reiss and Karen Millen. Are they designer or high street at this stage?

Ineedmorelemonpledge Tue 01-Nov-16 08:19:46

I find Mint Velvet pretty good quality.

I've had a few tips of theirs for 4 years and they look classic and in good nick!

niceupthedance Tue 01-Nov-16 08:31:58

How about Sézane? French label. Or all saints is good for knitwear.

teta Tue 01-Nov-16 09:04:35

T shirts - j crew scoop neck.( online with code)
Jeans. - M&S relaxed skinnies/slim.
Tk Maxx - Cashmere ,ponchos &Wraps.
Coat - Jaeger outlet online .
Scarves - cashmere, Tk's again.
Leather bags - last seasons slouchy Boden.
Boots - M&S wide-fit bikers and fringed suede boots ( brilliant this year).

The above are all my choices as I live in the country a long way from a Uniqlo.I haunt the Tk Maxx website and have a Sparks card so frequently get 20% off M&S.Jaeger outlet items can be ordered and tried on at a jaeger shop and then returned if unsatisfactory.I don't think Mint Velvet or French Connection are very good quality but my 17 year old dd has a French Connection coat she bought from Tk Maxx that she loves.
I am probably a very different age demographic from you though.

SplinteryBottom Tue 01-Nov-16 09:17:39

Agree that Mint Velvet is mixed quality, but their trousers have been excellent for me. Have now got a few Boden bits in spite of myself too which seem to be holding up well.
Really don't rate French Connection for quality, but the occasional piece for evening or smart wear they do have some nice stuff. Ditto Whistles.

Would love a Jaeger coat and keep haunting the outlet site but haven't committed yet!

Some bits of hush are good quality, some not, you just seem to have to order and see.

Gap not bad for jumpers.

mistletoe1 Tue 01-Nov-16 09:19:36

Most of my clothes are from Cos. They get slated on here but I don't own a single tent dress! I find they're generally long lasting and a good price. It helps to go into a shop to try stuff on as I often size down.

Second the recommendation for Levi's jeans and People Tree. People Tree have good sales.

I've got the odd piece from all saints but I think they're really overpriced so I'd only buy on sale.

For shoes I like Jones Bootmaker and Dune.

burnishedsilver Tue 01-Nov-16 09:41:04

I haven't managed to find any brand that I can rely on to be consistently good quality, regardless of price. It's a total pain time wise but the way to find quality pieces seems to be to look absolutely everywhere and judge each piece in its own merits.

Luckystar1 Tue 01-Nov-16 09:50:11

Thank you that's very helpful! We've just got a Mint Velvet in town so I'll have a look.

I must admit I'd completely forgotten about Levi jeans, but i recently got a pair from Topshop which I only half like. I'm sick of spending money on poor quality clothes!!

My biggest issue is that I'm small so struggle with shops where sizing down is necessary (I ended up buying a size 4 in Reiss, and i can assure you I'm no size 4!) but vanity sizing is really difficult! And it only seems to be the cheap shops that fit me (probably due to large amounts of elastane!!)

Ineedmorelemonpledge Tue 01-Nov-16 10:38:51

I agree Cos is great, not sure if they have Massimo Dutti in the U.K.? But also very good.

First brand new collections in Zara, are always better quality than the replenishment a few weeks later, if you are a regular shopper there. wink

Luckystar1 Tue 01-Nov-16 12:52:38

Oh I love Massimo Dutti, I'll see where the nearest is....

Interesting about Zara, do they wait to see what sells and then produce crap versions??

Ineedmorelemonpledge Tue 01-Nov-16 15:20:28

Kind of, the first hit of stock will be locally made and planned in advance of a launch and then a second hit will usually be of a lower quality.

I think you can order Dutti online too!

WhiteHairReally Tue 01-Nov-16 16:59:56

People are saying nice things about Finery. I sent back a trench coat from them. Excellent in many many ways, including quality of fabric but it was following this season's trend in coats. It was unlined, and I , like you OP, am trying to 'go quality'. That's not to say that other things of theirs aren't good.

Luckystar1 Tue 01-Nov-16 19:05:02

Thank you white I'll have a look! I wonder when we all started thinking 'quality'!!

Ps. Thank you whoever mentioned Sezane, amazing!

loveyogalovelife Tue 01-Nov-16 19:15:53

LK Bennett gets my vote for work. Not cheap but quality and cut is excellent. I buy their patent shoes for work, keep them under my desk and only wear them indoors - flat ballet pumps from Clarks get me from home to the car (or tube when we were in London) and into the office. Last for years and always immaculate.

Kabex Tue 01-Nov-16 19:51:54

Interesting to read all the replies. I think it depends on the item of clothing and not the store unfortunately. Jigsaw haven't let me down for tshirts, vests, knitwear - but they do require a bit more care when washing. Workwear/Smart/Occasionwear: Joseph, Hobbs or Karen Millen. Occasionally LK Bennett. Try to buy things in the sale though as they can be overpriced. Hobbs for everyday wear like smart woollen trousers. Zara I avoid like the plague. If I could afford them I'd buy IKKs or Maxmara or 7 for all mankind but sadly they're out of reach at the moment

DianaT1969 Tue 01-Nov-16 20:02:10

I used to do a lot of dressmaking and know my fabric quality. French Connection is poorly sewn, never looks like it was designed as a collection - more like buyers run around Chinese factories snapping up bargains - and I have no idea how it is still in existance.

Try Cos for the same money.

Luckystar1 Tue 01-Nov-16 20:38:34

Cos seems to be getting the thumbs up! I'll definitely have a look (especially on eBay!)

Saurus72 Tue 01-Nov-16 21:29:56

Jaeger and Cos are really fantastic quality. You do need to ideally go to a Cos store to try things on as sizing and fit can be so weird, but if you find something that works, it will be a great addition to your wardrobe. Jaeger is expensive but have great sales and also the outlet website/shops are great, have amazing discounts and again the quality is fantastic. Quite a few frumpy things, but also other things that are really lovely. I ordered this today, with an additional 20% off (code: SAVE20)

www.jaeger.co.uk/cotton-silk-shirt-dress/631004W-00100-6.html?cgid=sale-women

Other shops do have clothes that are great quality, but it can be interspersed with things that are not so great. Jigsaw is good, but I've had a few dresses where the hem has come down - not earth shattering, but annoying when I've paid c.£100+.

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