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What brands/ designers are good value for money?

(44 Posts)
whostimeisitanyway Sat 01-Nov-14 00:00:02

I have been thinking about this and wondering whether it really pays to spend more on clothes, shoes, accessories, etc.

Are the more expensive brands better quality, do they last longer/ look better, etc?

I have clothes from inexpensive brands such as H&M and Uniqlo that were reasonably priced and have lasted v well and more expensive clothes that haven't.

I don't have a designer budget but could invest in the occasional v expensive thing if I cut down on something else.

So, which brands are good value for money, are designer goods necessarily 'better' and are there certain items that it might be worth spending more on and others that it is a waste of money?

peasandlove Sat 01-Nov-14 00:34:23

for me it's cheap tshirts and underwear and expensive jackets and work clothes and jeans. I also only buy leather shoes. I think it's worth spending more on things you love than things you think are 'ok' as you never really wear them that much and they become not good value for money

ZaraW Sat 01-Nov-14 05:47:36

Do you have a friends/family in the US? I just got a friend to order me some J Crew silk shirts in the sale for less than £30 each they last a long time and look great. I always buy denim from Shopbop especially in their sale which is on at the moment. You can buy good quality clothing at more reasonable prices if you are prepared to wait for the sales.

Bearleigh Sat 01-Nov-14 05:58:36

I have found Margaret Howell's quality to be exceptional - her simple Egyptian cotton t shirts are expensive, but look and feel beautiful, and last and last. The rest of her range isn't my style generally, but I have realised that over the years I have had great value out of her t shirts.

Stuart Weitzman shoes are another brand the quality of which is amazing IME. I have their shoes, and shoes by Jimmy Choo, and the SW ones are wearing better and are more comfortable. Their high heels are so well-balanced I can walk a long way in them, which I can't in Russell & Bromley's own make, nor in JC.

Paul Smith, Joseph, and Agnes B are other brands that I have had fantastic value from.

Bearleigh Sat 01-Nov-14 06:00:24

I love Uniqlo too OP! Not just for their basics: one of my favourite things is a Chanel type cardigan that cost £15.00.

Pastperfect Sat 01-Nov-14 06:22:45

I find H&M basics to be exceptionally well wearing. I bought three long line stretch vests about 8 years ago and have worn them literally hundreds of times including through three pregnancies when they were stretched over my bump an sprung back into shape unlike me

I also find Reiss and Hobbs wears very well.

I would now much rather pay £££ and have something last than buy cheap and it fall apart on second wear I'm looking at you Zara

whostimeisitanyway Sat 01-Nov-14 10:11:48

That's all really useful, thanks. I would also rather pay more for better quality and buy less.

zara- sadly I don't have close friends/ family in The States!

Bearleigh- I bought a pair of Stuart Weitzman heels from R&B in the Summer sale and they have been v comfortable so far. I was v pleased with the price I paid too!

Ditto on the H&M basics pastperfect

I will look out for the other designers mentioned if/ when I have a bit more cash!

Agree that the H&M cheapo longline vests are excellent quality and value.

Whistles tube skirts seem expensive compared to the cheapo ones in Tosphop etc but are a zillion times better quality, so worth it.

I tend to buy t-shirts in H&M/Topshop places, then for things I want a longer life from, I wait for sales in places like Whistles, Hobbs and The White Company (though not seen much I like in the latter, lately). I've found Jack Wills stuff (sales only) to be surprisingly good quality too.

StupidFlanders Sat 01-Nov-14 11:08:13

I also buy cheap (and many)T-shirts.

I would spend any amount on a pair of jeans that feel perfect.

I'm conflicted on shoes. I'd pay what it costs for comfortable attractive leather shoes, but no more.

ThisBitchIsResting Sat 01-Nov-14 11:24:11

Another vote for Uniqlo - their knitwear and basics and actually pretty much everything is just great value, well made and classic.

I only ever buy expensive stuff in the sales but have found Me and Em to be very good quality although I wouldn't pay full price.

burnishedsilver Sat 01-Nov-14 11:41:45

Ime there's no one brand that can be relied on. It's a case of trawling through lots of brands to find the few bits and pieces that are good quality and fairly priced. Natural fabrics are getting harder to find in any price bracket.

toptrumps1 Sat 01-Nov-14 12:00:42

I agree that quality can vary within a brand, and price definitely does not equal quality.
I had Acne pistols and clover boots and my cobbler confirmed they are really badly made, when I had to get them resoled and reheeled after just a few wears. He showed me where they had been glued instead of stitched, which you should not expect for a £300 plus pricetag. Yet I have Acne knitwear that still looks as new. I find Toast boots to be exceptional quality though yet the knitwear is terrible and bobbles really quickly.

I wouldn't go near Isabel Marant Etoile again with a barge pole. Terrible polyester mix sweatshirts and a very expensive navy wool coat from last season that has bobbled badly.

Yet my M&S 5 pocket jeggings are on about their third year and I am dreading them falling apart as the new style isn't quite the same cut, but they have lasted so well, I have the indigo denim and black and the colour and fit is good as new. I'd also buy cheap t-shirts from H&M.

The best knitwear I've found though has to be very randomly from Celtic & Co. I have a cardigan and a couple of the slouch dresses from about four years ago and not a hint of a bobble. AND its British wool. Just a shame the vast majority of their stuff is a bit frumpy! I'd also go for their ugg boots over Ugg Australia, british made and far far superior quality.

chanie44 Sat 01-Nov-14 12:17:35

I like uniqlo too.

I also like gap. I have a few things from there which seem to have lasted well. The sizing can be hit and miss, but there are frequent sales and discounts, so there is always a bargain to be had.

Bearleigh Sat 01-Nov-14 18:20:42

I think Gap increase the prices deliberately to reduce them so people think they're getting bargains... They have so many sales and special offers, that what's makes me suspicious - so I haven't been in for ages, except for their lovely wooly socks around Christmas. They usually have 3 for 2 offers on, and they are gorgeous socks provided you have small feet.

Saurus72 Sat 01-Nov-14 18:26:19

For work, the best quality I have found absolutely hands down is from Jaeger (outlet only of course, often with 70% off), it is just outstanding. Their fabrics are fantastic - if I have worn a skirt all day at work, when I hang it up again at night it looks like I haven't worn it - the fabric springs back and is just so durable. I have many Jaeger pieces in my work wardrobe that I have worn pretty much year round for 4-5 years and they are still in great condition. I bought a navy pencil skirt from the outlet store at Bicester for the crazy price of £13 - reduced from £100. Matalan prices, but fabulous quality.

I also have a number of skirts, sweaters and silk shirts from Whistles, also bought in sales but usually more expensive than my Jaeger bargains. They also stand up really well to very frequent use, as do my pieces from Hobbs. Things from those three shops make up the vast majority of my work wardrobe. I buy a few new things each season, rarely spending more than £150, but that updates and freshens my wardrobe just fine, so I don't have to spend very much.

whostimeisitanyway Sat 01-Nov-14 21:59:42

Thanks again for the comments.

Will be taking a look at Jaegar. Have had a quick peek at Celtic and Co and not sure about the styles but the slippers look fantastic!

babybarrister Sat 01-Nov-14 22:11:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Corygal Sat 01-Nov-14 22:44:49

Nicole Farhi stuff doesn't fall apart, and neither does All Saints. Seconding Jaeger. Buy on Ebay if shop too pricy - I'd never buy any of them full price, either.

I can certify, as a charity shop sorter, that the best budget pieces for lasting a long time are Uniqlo, Gap and Zara. Primark dies very fast, as do Miss Selfridge and BHS. H&M can be good.

arashm Sun 02-Nov-14 11:03:05

Definitely Jaeger and Hobbs are both great for quality and if you can find what you're looking for in the sale then you can save some pennies. Mint velvet is another one.

Don't really rate H&M for basics, they're cheap but tend to lose their shape quite quickly. Uniqlo like a few have mentioned seem to be a better option.

Floisme Sun 02-Nov-14 11:25:53

I bought a dress by Filippa K in TK Maxx a couple of months ago and the quality's great. I haven't seen that brand anywhere else and don't know anything about them other than that they're Scandanavian.

I buy Me & Em in the sales and it wears and washes really well - not a bobble in sight.

I agree about Whistles tube skirts but I don't know about their other stuff as I can't bring myself to pay all that money for polyester.

H&M quality is all over the place, in my experience but it can be great. Same with Uniqlo.

Saurus72 Sun 02-Nov-14 12:19:18

Floisme completely agree re: not paying crazy prices for polyester in Whistles. Their pricing is insane, and is very strange in often charging the same for a silk shirt and a polyester one. While I am happy to pay (sale purchases only) £50-ish for a lovely silk shirt that will last (which is my experience of the ones I have from Whistles), I am definitely not happy to buy a polyester top - sweaty and horrible - at any price, let only £50.

I have a massive issue with all of the polyester that is used currently. Fair enough in cheap shops, but not ok on any level at premium priced high street shops.

RSVP Sun 02-Nov-14 13:37:15

Camper shoes
Probably the only brand I will pay full price for.

Bearleigh Sun 02-Nov-14 15:40:42

I used to think like you Saurus, but I recently bought a high-quality polyester shirt from Jigsaw, the first I had ever bought. It feels like silk when I wear it, looks like high-quality silk, and doesn't need ironing. A silk shirt at that price (£89) would have looked a lot cheaper. So far it is lasting very well, as I would hope.

MiniTheMinx Sun 02-Nov-14 16:00:54

Jaegar, Hobbs, Whistles, jigsaw, Laura Ashley and Calvin Klein.
Have just washed a Calvin Klein silk shirt that I have had for nearly 15 years and it is still perfect. Beautifully made, stupidly expensive but after 15 years it works out far cheaper than buying any number of cheapies.

ThisBitchIsResting Sun 02-Nov-14 19:21:35

Oh yes I agree with Laura Ashley - in the sale of course wink

I am a fan of polyester - doesn't need ironing, washes well. I'm not especially sweaty and avoid the cheap thin stuff - I have lovely drapey tops and dresses made of the stuff. Much rather polyester over viscose.

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