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So which clothing brands ARE good quality?

(97 Posts)
wellwisher Sun 25-Sep-11 20:40:58

We have had a couple of threads recently bewailing the decline in quality of many clothing and shoe brands - e.g. M&S, Zara, Hobbs shoes... personally, I am starting to feel that EVERYTHING is Not What It Used To Be.

But I still need clothes.

Style-wise, my favourite high-street shops are Zara and H&M, but their clothes are now such poor quality that they aren't worth buying any more. The fabrics they use are cheap, thin, shiny and generally horrid, and the finishing is rubbish - I'm sick of having to resew loose buttons and wonky seams before I can wear things. I want clothes that are natural fabrics (cotton, not weird synthetic things), and made nicely so that they last well and survive washing (tops that go twisty in the wash are a particular issue for me). I would also like some flat ballet pumps that are made of leather and have proper soles and some sort of structure to them so that they are comfy to wear and support my feet.

Can anyone suggest some brands? I also like the style of Whistles and Reiss, but only shop there at sale time as I don't trust that the quality is superior enough to Zara etc to warrant the high prices... thoughts?

HouseOfBamboo Sun 25-Sep-11 22:14:44

I'd like to know too. DD got given a top from Joules last year which seemed like thick, good quality cotton with proper stitching etc, but a lot of their stuff is too sporty-looking and turned-up collar-ish for me.

LDNmummy Sun 25-Sep-11 22:16:31

I would say Clarks is still best for men's and children's shoes, reiss for coats, and I still think M&S make good quality clothing.

Not sure where to go for the ballet pumps, maybe Kurt Geiger?

MrsMilton Sun 25-Sep-11 22:17:53

Anything I've had for myself or DS from The White Company has always been great quality. It washes well, hangs well and just feels nice. I know it's not on trend as such but good for more basic stuff.

MrsBradleyCooper Sun 25-Sep-11 22:21:21

I find that you can pick up some good qual stuff in H&M but it's hit and miss.
For example their vest tops I find to be excellent.
Kids stuff also is good.
Dare I suggest Boden?gringringrin

I am a Zara/Reiss type person but I too have an issue with quality v price.

dexter73 Sun 25-Sep-11 22:23:39

Uniqlo is great for basics like jeans, knitwear, tops, and is good quality. I think Clarks shoes/boots are good and have never had any problems with their quality.

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Sun 25-Sep-11 22:24:27

Agree re The White Company - I've got a couple of things from them and they have washed really well and still look good after much wear. I find them or Hobbs best for good quality basic t-shirts. Not quite so good but still decent are M&S Limited Collection basic t-shirts.

M&S Autograph stuff is usually decent quality.

For ballet shoes, I'd go with Clarks but Gabor could also be worth a google. I haven't got any of their ballet flats but bought some sandals in the summer after a rec on here and have been v impressed.

chocoroo Sun 25-Sep-11 22:40:14

I really rate Oasis for pretty much everything. I think the quality is great although it can be a little expensive for the more tailored stuff.

For an alternative to H&M I've found Forever 21 to be great. Lot of fast fashion but (so far) better quality than H&M. I'm not convinced on their basics though and have stuck with Oasis and good old Topshop.

I've had some lovely, soft ballet shoes from Dorothy Perkins recently but I find their "winter" versions too hard.

MrsBradleyCooper Sun 25-Sep-11 22:47:47

Not tried them myself but I've heard that French sole and pretty ballerinas are good for ballet flats

higgle Sun 25-Sep-11 23:09:31

Brora - knitwear and clothing is excellent quality. I'll second Gabor boots - I've had some very plain long black boots since 2000 and they still look OK ( and have never had to be repaired) Ecco - if you can find a style you like - good boots and casual shoes - trainery things still going strong after 8 years. Howies stuff is good quality too. Other makes I trust are Coast and Whitestuff. Sainsburys Tu clothing is much better made and has nicer fabrics than the other supermarket brands.

MrsMilton Sun 25-Sep-11 23:13:38

Gabor boots are very hard to beat for quality and comfort... if not exactly the height of fashion.

brighthair Mon 26-Sep-11 00:35:28

Joules stuff really lasts. I wear it all day for yard stuff and riding, it gets stained/muddy/horse snot on it and washes brilliantly. Now have 48 joules tops so that says it all blushgrin

TwoIfBySea Mon 26-Sep-11 00:44:55

Curious enough to add - is there anywhere that sells clothes made here? Or in Europe? It is always China and places where I feel a twinge of guilt at what the workers go through. It should be that high prices don't just mean greater profit for the company.

orientaltation Mon 26-Sep-11 01:27:13 I know for sure that this designers clothing is all made in the uk. I have had a couple of things made by her and they have been great quality/wash well etc.

talkingnonsense Mon 26-Sep-11 09:22:17

I don't recommend White stuff- the vests I had this year have not worn well, and were not cheap. Brora good if in sale.

SueNarmy Mon 26-Sep-11 09:23:31


zara is CHEAP
that is why teh quality is poor

oyu lot is OLD LADEEZ

trixymalixy Mon 26-Sep-11 09:24:55

French connection.

corygal Mon 26-Sep-11 12:57:50

M&S cashmere is good, but the electro-nylon linings in everything else of theirs put me right off. Tho I expect the linings would survive a nuclear war, so if it's durable you're after...

The key question with quality is really price/quality ratio, or we'd all be wearing Chanel jackets (which, incidentally, you can sling in the washing machine.) So I'm rating Gap, Cos, River Island and Uniqlo.

I'm not rating Jigsaw or Top Shop much, which is tragic as they both do good designs and are miles more expensive than one thinks.

minxofmancunia Mon 26-Sep-11 13:15:57

H&M vests are by far the best, they're long and have a good lycra content which means they keep their shape really well. However I bought an H&M jumpsuit for summer and it was shocking quality, baggy knees and bum almost immediately looked like a babygro! Had tp throw in the end.

Topshop, clothes loose shape after one wash, Gap awful quality, tops shrink up and jeans/trousers get baggy arse on them after an hour. I think quality thses days is a struggle, whistles still good. But not sure about other high end brands, bought summer trousers in LK Bennett sale and rubbish again! Just glad they were in the sale.

Will be watching with interest..

Cartoonjane Mon 26-Sep-11 14:32:43

I have heard some people say they don't agree, but I find Jigsaw clothes to be good quality. I have had quite a bit from there over the years, the fabrics are usually lovely and the clothes wash and last really well. They are expensive though and the styles are hit and miss.

FrancesFarmer Mon 26-Sep-11 14:39:11

I find the following good: Whistles, Oasis, French Connection, Pure Collection, Toast, APC, Cos, Bloch, Kurt Geiger.

Topshop is good for jeans but the rest of their stuff is shabby and over-priced.

higgle Mon 26-Sep-11 15:13:04

Yes, Toast things last forever - though you do get a bit bored with them. Have had good experiences with Jigsaw and Whistles too. The brands seem to have reacted in different ways to the increased price of raw materials etc. Some have dumbed down - Next being the best example of really cutting quality to remain competitive on price. Jigsaw and Toast seem to have just put up the prices, so I have to decide if cutting the number of items I buy is the answer. Boden is very mixed. I've had three very good quality items this season (velvet casual dress, autumn maxi dress, cashmere cropped cardigan) but the summer stuff was rubbish. Johnnie can never decide if he wants to have his cake or eat it - puts up the prices all round and then cuts the quality of some items before chickening out with heavy price cuts on special offers, most confusing.

AlpinePony Mon 26-Sep-11 15:19:19

Another Joules fan here - I've yet to have anything shoddy from there and I'm sad when my son grows out of his stuff.

Oilily if the purse will stretch. And it'd need to be stretchy. But good old-fashioned quality fabrics, you know, heavy thick cord and velvet, perfect stitching, washes well.

emsyj Mon 26-Sep-11 17:05:02

Joules ballet pumps are leather and have proper soles on - also they usually have a good sale at the end of the season and you can get them for £20 instead of £70. I have two pairs and wear them constantly.

The Joules clothing is quite nice too - DD has a few Joules things and they are hardwearing. I don't have any myself. DH has a few polo tops which have washed well.

KMidd Mon 26-Sep-11 17:14:47

LK Bennett for ballet pumps- some great reductions on their ebay outlet.
Great Plains - Lovely quality.
Hobbs NW3 - Quality but fashionable too, Hobbs have a permanent outlet on their website with great reductions.

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