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

(61 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.

RainbowBob Mon 14-Oct-13 23:10:44

What have I been thinking all these years.... Just looked on the Atterley Road website, and cannot believe I have been missing all these gems at knockdown prices.

HoF looking good too from the quick scan.

Plan for the rest of the week is to buy lots of mags (thank you wonderful something) and then trip to TK Maxx for a rummage.

You lot are just too brilliant. Thank you.

SpookyRestingFace Tue 15-Oct-13 01:06:15

Seconding TK Maxx - and don't forget they are also online, so no rummaging grin. I have recently bought three lambswool jumpers for £24.99 each, thick and warm and lovely. High-street equivalents are twice the price and made of acrylic and/or polyester.

Ebay is still good for a bargain if you're canny. I got a lovely full-length wool / cashmere coat this week for £15. Looks unworn.

I also suffer from taste / budget discrepancy blush but there are ways around it!

awaywego1 Tue 15-Oct-13 13:29:18

Another vote for charity shops-unless you are looking for something very specific. Go somewhere with a row of them-and have a good hunt! You can try the stuff on and get amazing bargains-in the last month I've got a phase eight dress, a French connection skirt and a silk/lambswool mix jumper or under 15 quid in total.

UsedToBeNDP Tue 15-Oct-13 14:28:40

Brora has a fair few nice bits of cashmere in the Archive section of their website, quite a few at 50% off.

If budget is a bit tighter, Edinburgh Woollen Mill (I know, but bear with me) has a load of bargain cashmere on their website at the moment. It's not Brora quality obviously, but it is cosy and soft and amounts to about 1/4 of the price of full price basic Brora cashmere jumper. Classic colours in the sale too, not just the weird colours and odd sizes as you that you so often find.

UsedToBeNDP Tue 15-Oct-13 14:30:54

Also places like the Outnet online have designer bargains. Often it's fashiony crap, but I have had some nice bits and bobs from there.

Oh and the Matches and Flannels sales sections on their respective websites are often quite good for decent quality at a fraction of RRP.

Sthingmustbescaringthemaway Tue 15-Oct-13 14:35:23


UsedToBe Don't mid-range high street prices make youthlangry?

UsedToBeNDP Tue 15-Oct-13 14:40:54

I can't believe the prices some places charge for acrylic and polyester [shudder]

UsedToBeNDP Tue 15-Oct-13 14:42:39

don't get me wrong, those fabrics have their place, but fgs, it's daylight robbery to charge those prices for them. That frustrates me.

happyyonisleepyyoni Tue 15-Oct-13 14:45:17

I've just bought a lovely Kaliko dress in HoF sale for £40 down from £100. Beauty of online shopping is u can sort by price, and there is much more stock available.

UsedToBeNDP Tue 15-Oct-13 14:45:33

[glares] at the likes of Karen bloody Millen. £100+ for a 100% polyester top.

[cries with laughter]

UsedToBeNDP Tue 15-Oct-13 14:48:28

Toast makes me look like a bag lady


Sthingmustbescaringthemaway Tue 15-Oct-13 14:58:45

Yup. Karen Millen is a bit bad. And not in a good way. Astonishing prices.

You're buying the Toast in the wrong size. But frankly, if your're hanging out on the Matches and Flannels sites you're never going to be happy in Toast - except perhaps on country weekends.....

UsedToBeNDP Tue 15-Oct-13 20:49:37

Toast is all so flappy and earnest. I need tailored stuff anything boho or unstructured looks a mess on me. I look like a scarecrow in it.

UsedToBeNDP Tue 15-Oct-13 20:53:09

I am <smirking> at "country weekends", I'm not a Zone1 Londoner swanning about in McQueen wink

PottyLotty Tue 15-Oct-13 21:01:06 grin you cant beat them for price and their choice of products is fantastic.

I have a few cashmere jumpers and lambswool jumpers all were priced under £50 each and on occasions they do 2 items for under £50 too.

They are machine washable (yes, even the cashmere is machine wasable) and after having them for over 3 years in some cases they still look new. The colour choices are fab, I really cant rate them highly enough.

Talkinpeace Tue 15-Oct-13 21:01:34

Charity shops - pick your town right and there are real bargains to be had.
Jasper Conran jeans that had never been worn (quality control sticker still in leg) for £2.50 was one of my best. Or the Jaeger skirt for £4 was quite nice.

TK Maxx - can be tiresome, but again pick your shop as they vary massively.

Ebay - but if the pictures and description are not clear walk away

Sthingmustbescaringthemaway Tue 15-Oct-13 21:33:52

Hmmm "Thoughtful scarecrow" is probably the look closest to what I achieve... About as far from "off duty model" as it's possible to be. I adore the things people generally give to scarecrows; frayed Harris tweed jackets, slightly shredded velvet; much prefer rough merino and alpaca to smooth cashmere. I barely look at shoes, other than wellies and mules, unless they've been artfully and expensively aged..... Worst of all while I'm totally, fatally obsessed with individual items of clothing I don't seem to care much about outfits. So I always leave the house looking a bit accidental. Pristine but unplanned. A scarecrow in the field of a very fastidious farmer.

To be honest the labels I recommend here are rarely the one's I actually wear. (Apart from Cos.) Because it's all too haphazard and would never stand up to explanation. But I desperately want other people - even invisible strangers - to be able to enjoy getting dressed as much as I do.

Bunbaker Wed 16-Oct-13 06:38:49

"Jasper Conran jeans that had never been worn (quality control sticker still in leg) for £2.50 was one of my best. Or the Jaeger skirt for £4 was quite nice."

It depends on where you live. We have loads of charity shops in our nearest town, and I go in them regularly. It isn't an affluent area so there are never designer bargains in these shops. You are lucky if you find something from Next.

FamiliesShareGerms Wed 16-Oct-13 06:59:34

I live in an affluent area but have yet to find a real bargain in a charity shop. I buy most of my stuff from TK Maxx (the trick is to go in often as they have a very high stock turnover; get something when you see it (it won't be there next time); have a mental list of things you are looking out for; don't always believe the size labels; don't be afraid to leave empty handed). They have much more in store than online, particularly the red sticker reductions.

Gap, Zara, Uniqlo do good basics. John Lewis does a "proper" sale (I hate those £10 off a £200 dress type reductions).

FreshLeticia Wed 16-Oct-13 07:28:14

Yay! Potty, I rate woolovers too. Wade past the granny styles and there is some fab knitwear in a huge range of colours. I have the merino wrap cardi in 5 colours now and they are machine-washable.
White stuff and wrap do interesting tunics/dresses and have decent sales.

AmberNectarine Wed 16-Oct-13 09:50:34

I love Uniqlo. I'm sitting at my desk in a £19.99 men's XS crew neck merino sweater (they don't do proper crew necks for ladies, just stupid scoop neck imposters).

Agree also with TK Maxx, my lovely Calvin Klein wool/cashmere coat was less than £100, and my beautiful navy Vivienne Westwood skirt was sub £30!

If you're after designer jeans, do the Selfridges sale about 5-7 days after it starts. They will be £30-50 by then.

Bunbaker Wed 16-Oct-13 10:14:10

I wish we had a Uniqlo. I have ordered from them online but I prefer to see and feel clothes and try them on before I buy. I probably wouldn't have bought the Uniqlo tops I have if I had looked at them in a shop.

RainbowBob Wed 16-Oct-13 11:22:13

It is clear I have been living under a rock for the last five years.... or possibly even longer. Had no idea Woolovers, Brora or Outnet existed. And as for Edinburgh Woollen Mill, I thought it was all tartan blankets and shortbread.

As for Sthing you are my new style crush.... loving the sound of Scarecrow Chic. My farmer would, sadly, be more futile than fastidious.

What are Woolovers sizes like? I am tempted by their cashmere/merino long V jumper and wondered if I should size up to get a bit of 'slouchiness'?

Thank you for the suggestion of charity shops.... sadly, I am one of those people who not only lives in a crap area (under said rock) but also has no luck when it comes to bargain-finding. So even when I cross the border to the posh areas to have a charity shop rummage, I always seem to miss the treasures. On the plus side, I have seen a few things (top quality, designer) on eBay that might fit the bill so fingers crossed......

RainbowBob Wed 16-Oct-13 11:24:01

Also, forgot to say, I found a Uniqlo t-shirt in my wardrobe which I worked out I've had for five years....... I've been wearing it constantly for the last half decade and totally forgotten how old it was. It has outlived literally every other item of clothing I have ever owned. So might start going there again for my basics.

easypeeler Wed 16-Oct-13 11:35:13

Edinburgh Woollen Mill is great for cashmere. They wash beautifully.

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