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My quest for quality clothing.... at high street prices? Should I just give up now?

(67 Posts)
RainbowBob Mon 14-Oct-13 20:56:12

I have just bought yet another item from H&M which has, after two wears, come apart at the seams. And before you say "oh, poor woman must be deluding herself she is three dress sizes smaller than she actually is" - it's an oversized jumper and wasn't even vaguely tight... so it's just crap quality. End of.

I am fed up with buying large quantities of cheap, poor quality stuff. So ....where on earth do you buy good quality clothes at reasonable prices? I suppose what I am really looking for is good value....

On my wish list is a slouchy jumper/jumper dress (to replace tattered old H&M one), a coat and possibly a day dress. But just your general opinions on where to get some decent quality garments for under £100 (or even £50) would make me eternally grateful.

duckyfuzz Mon 14-Oct-13 20:57:49

uniqlo and gap are my staples for quality at a decent price

ReluctantCamper Mon 14-Oct-13 21:01:02

I mainly buy in charity shops. my star purchase this weekend was a cord Gerard Darel skirt that would have cost over £100 new for £4. I do it for precisely the reason you give, I hate buying badly made clothes that fall apart, but can't really afford my tastes!

Bonsoir Mon 14-Oct-13 21:01:11

Uniqlo, Gap, Zara all have reasonable quality clothes.

noisytoys Mon 14-Oct-13 21:03:17

TK Maxx or I just buy one or 2 items per year and they last and last. I'm normally bored of clothes before they wear out

ceeveebee Mon 14-Oct-13 21:04:06

I only ever buy clothes in sales. Just bought two jaegar day dresses reduced from £199 each to £60 each. Great sales at Banana Republic, House of Fraser, Phase Eight.

LexieSinclair Mon 14-Oct-13 21:05:44

I second TK Maxx.

novelsituation Mon 14-Oct-13 21:05:56

Bought a lovely teal Clements Ribeiro cashmere crew neck in T K Maxx yesterday for £39.99. Colour and quality are excellent. You do have to search amongst some dross though.

tethersend Mon 14-Oct-13 21:06:49

Sales, TK Maxx and Ebay.

Bunbaker Mon 14-Oct-13 21:10:10

"On my wish list is a slouchy jumper/jumper dress"

TK Maxx. I bought this on Saturday. I haven't worn it or washed it yet, but it ticked all the right boxes for me. I will have to hand wash it, but it is 100% merino wool. They have something similar in BHS but it is 100% acrylic. Both TK Maxx and BHS have loads of knitted dresses, and so does Tesco.

Somethingyesterday Mon 14-Oct-13 21:10:29

What you want (though you don't know it yet) is the sales. And more time. Even with the price inflation for a designer name you will generally find that more expensive clothes are made from better fabrics and not so skimpily cut when it comes to seams etc. Spend a few evenings with some magazines and your laptop. Identify some shops that have the sort of thing you like, which you consider out of your price range but which might be afforded if the price was halved. Make notes in whatever way you like. (Evernote is my constant companion) Sign up to the mailing lists. Wait. One morning, while everyone else is asleep, you'll get an email saying that the sale has started. Wait some more. After the first frenzy is over there will still be a decent amount of fabulous stuff at Top Shop prices. Simple.

In the meantime try Cos. I can't vouch for extreme longevity because I wear their things to death within a couple of years.

ThisIsMeNow Mon 14-Oct-13 21:14:57

I'm not sure you can expect to pay h&m prices and have garments last for years and years?
I think it's called disposable fashion these days. Nothing cheap is made to last.

delasi Mon 14-Oct-13 21:15:47

I'm with Reluctant. I like good quality, my bank balance doesn't grin

I like Gap and Uniqlo for basics (especially if they're on sale), I look out for sales on the higher end stuff too and sometimes get some great deals on lovely items, and the rest of the time I go on eBay. Lots of people buy something, wear it once or twice, and then want to recover the cost. I buy a lot of very good quality skirts and dresses, with little use, for around £5-15 on eBay (around £15 is actually my ceiling price for eBay and I find lots of stuff, I would pay more than that for brand new in sales).

uptheanty Mon 14-Oct-13 21:17:46

Esprit, Zara.

RainbowBob Mon 14-Oct-13 21:18:32

Blimey - had not considered almost all of those suggestions! Thank you. I gave up shopping in TK Maxx when DD1 was born as I did not have the time/patience to sift through all the crap to find gems... but I guess it's worth it so I might brave my local store this week.

ceeveebee - I bow to your bargain-finding talent.... do you tend to shop online or in store?

I was wondering what people make of oasis and Mango these days for quality? I used to shop there all the time in the days before DCs came along... are they any good these days?

trixymalixy Mon 14-Oct-13 21:18:35

Tk maxx. I love tk maxx.

RainbowBob Mon 14-Oct-13 21:29:29

Something - you are completely right in every way. I do need to go sales shopping, and I do need to be more patient. I love your plan for note-making, signing up and waiting for the sales to unfold. I normally just see something I like, panic that it will sell out if I don't buy it now, take it home and realise it's tat after a wear and wash.

Thisis you are also right. I have taken a vow never, ever to buy anything else from H&M again....well, maybe some vests. But not proper clothes.

Bunbaker thank you for the link. That is just the sort of thing I am looking for.... would you say it was more tight or loose fitting?

Bunbaker Mon 14-Oct-13 21:29:32

I know what you mean about TK Maxx. In some branches it is a bit like rummaging in a jumble sale, but it is worth it for the odd gem.

Lexiesinclair Mon 14-Oct-13 21:38:48

Great Plains also great for sales. They have some bargain tops and dresses at the mo.

Laska42 Mon 14-Oct-13 21:41:58

I just bought a fab Clements Ribero knitted jumper dress in Tk maxx for £20 and a lightweight down packable jacket (just like uniqlo) for £30 . Also some navy and grey leather flat knee length boots ( a Spanish make)

Tk Maxx is also brilliant for scarves and bags and footwear .. ( yes its a jumble sale (but fun if you have time and can get there on your own) . basic layers t shirts leggings and camis I do go to places like H&M and good old Marks. White stuff do good basics also (though it is more expensive they do seem to last )

Go 2nd hand .. Charity shops!! ebay and 50/50 dress agencies are always worth a look ( we have a couple which half the money goes to the local hospice.. you can often get some fantastic quality designer labels in those if you have one near you..

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Mon 14-Oct-13 21:44:31

I buy just about everything except cheapo basics (Topshop skirts, H&M vests) in the sales - Hobbs, Cos, Whistles are my favourites.

duckyfuzz Mon 14-Oct-13 21:49:24

There are some great bargains to be had at House of Fraser and Atterley road at the moment...

InTheRedCorner Mon 14-Oct-13 21:52:26

My best work dress and trousers were bought in a Coast sale over 2 years ago and still going strong.

I love bunBakers dress, I'm tempted to try and buy it in all the colours for work!

Somethingyesterday Mon 14-Oct-13 21:52:56


1) Forget the High Street (except Toast and The White Company if they're on your High Street and you like their styles. Toast has brilliant sales. Hold your nerve and wait till they're practically giving stuff away.)

2) Buy a stack of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle. Peruse carefully and then look through the list of shop websites at the back of said volumes.

3) Ignore / neglect any Dp/ Dc/ Ddog while you wade diligently through all the sites that have some things you like. These should not be the dull, boring, invisible-making shops too often recommended here. If you don't become an expert on the current stock of Browns, Colette (not sure about their sales but amazing clothes), Net-a-Porter you're not doing it properly.

4) While waiting for the sales go and try on everything in Selfridges or your local-ish equivalent. You need to be sure of your fittings and figure considerations so that you can be confident of buying online.

5) All this time you will be saving money because you're not wasting it on rubbish. smile

6) When the time comes to buy concentrate on what you wear most often. Coat, boots etc. Decent sweaters. You can buy vests (nothing else!) to layer from M& S.

7) Prepare to be amazed at your beautiful new wardrobe.

ceeveebee Mon 14-Oct-13 22:01:51

Mostly online shopping -I get a lot of links from lurking on these stylish and beautiful threads - but you need to be ruthless about returning things otherwise you end up keeping things that you wouldn't if you tried them on in a shop

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