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What are the best-quality clothes you've found?

(51 Posts)
LavenderHills Fri 06-Oct-17 10:06:30

Inspired by the British brands thread. I notice we all talk about declining quality in popular clothing brands, and how we'd be prepared to pay more for really well-made clothing that lasts.

I want to know, are there brands that you think DO make great quality stuff? Not just British, it can be from anywhere. I've recently vowed to spend more money on fewer items of better quality, and I need some inspiration!

onlyconnect Fri 06-Oct-17 10:57:36

Some of the brands I think are good quality have been criticised by others. But I think Jigsaw is generally good quality. I have many items I’ve been wearing for years. The exception is their knitwear. I’ve bought some lovely looking items but some thicker ones have bobbled badly and some have simply worn out quickly. The polo nick jumpers with silk in that they do every winter last well though.
I also think Hobbs clothing is high quality.

LunaTheCat Fri 06-Oct-17 11:04:58

Toast is lovely but buy in sales. I think Cos is great quality for price with natural fabrics.

Nanasueathome Fri 06-Oct-17 11:06:33

I like Jigsaw and Toast
Also love Oska and Masai

BlueEyedWonder Fri 06-Oct-17 11:15:12

I'm a high street shopper and find if you shop around, you can build a wardrobe of reasonably priced clothes that are reasonable quality.
I like natural fibres so always check labels before buying.
Agree Jigsaw is good quality, as is a lot of Whistles (though be mindful of some of the over priced polyester they trot out)
I also like French Connection
Pure and M&S are good for cashmere.
Boden and GAP do good quality cotton shirts.
GAP are good for denim.

Floisme Fri 06-Oct-17 11:15:26

Most of my good quality clothes are second hand / vintage. I've gone back to my student days and I haunt the dress agencies, the vintage shops, the charity shops and the weigh n' pay sales (but not online because I like to see, feel and sniff first). I've found some cracking stuff, mostly by companies that are long gone. But it's time consuming and if I still had caring responsibilities, I'd struggle to do it.

The best quality modern label I know is Margaret Howell which I can only afford if I get lucky and find it second hand. At first sight it doesn't look that special but what singles it out is that it still looks good at the end of the day. I have trousers of hers that I never need to iron, a linen shirt that never goes saggy... It's £££ and £££ but at least I can see why.

On the high street - and I've said this before so sorry if I'm getting repetitive - the only label where I've bought repeatedly and never been disappointed is Toast.

I'd say Pure Collection and Cos too but I haven't bought enough to know if they're consistently good and it's consistency that's the real issue, I think - any brand can be good occasionally.

Some posters really rate Uniqlo. I think they can be very good but I've also had one or two absolute stinkers.

ontherightpath Fri 06-Oct-17 11:20:26

Max Mara is good, I have a coat that is coming out for it's 5th winter and still looks as good as new. Also have various tops, dresses and trousers/jeans etc that are still great after a few (many) years of regular wear. On a number-of-wears basis, they aren't expensive at all.

I wash most of my clothes on a cool wash, low spin in wash bags with woolite (and dettol laundry cleanser every so often) and I think that keeps them looking new for longer.

Hobbs is good as well.

Lanaorana2 Fri 06-Oct-17 11:38:27

High st honey is Cos. Hopping up a notch, Helmut Lang is bulletproof, as is DVF.

The question for me is that given some fabrics age worse than others, who keeps their wool, linen, silk and cotton looking frrresh year on year. And whose black and coloured clothes don't pale with fright at the mere sight of a washing machine.

Zadig is cracking for cashmere, doesn't bobble, Marni stuff doesn't flinch if you boil it by mistake, and Jaeger do everything beautifully. Jaeger is in TK Maxx a lot these days, go for it.

MrsMarigold Fri 06-Oct-17 11:49:03

I find Hobbs good, Jigsaw has IMO deteriorated recently.

MrsMarigold Fri 06-Oct-17 11:49:03

I find Hobbs good, Jigsaw has IMO deteriorated recently.

iseenodust Fri 06-Oct-17 11:51:34

TKMaxx for silk tops (I machine wash) & merino wool jumpers.
Laura Ashley have had a British Wool partnership for a couple of years that is great quality - I've got a dress and a skirt.
Jaeger for crisp cotton shirts & linen dresses (I only shop in an outlet store !)

MontyPythonsFlyingFuck Fri 06-Oct-17 12:03:57

Jaeger is good quality but stupid prices, so worth waiting for sales and extra discounts - and trawling their outlet pages regularly.

Uniqlo knitwear is mostly fine. I don't like the fabric of their tshirts - too flimsy. East merino knitwear is also good.

Pure Collection is mostly good (cashmere) apart from their single-ply Gassato stuff which bobbles like crazy and goes into holes quite quickly. Sadly, their long Gassato cardigans are incredibly useful so I grit my teeth and buy them, and just resign myself to replacing them regularly (in the sales, obv!).

For sheer durability, Lands End is hard to beat. I have some pairs of leggings that are at least 4 years old, have had a lot of wear and are still absolutely fine. My mother is still using a handbag I bought from them at least 15 years ago, used a lot and then passed on to her about 10 years ago. It's just a shame so much of their stuff is so hideously frumpy, but their basics are good so I look for them in the sales.

BlairWaldorfLovesShopping Fri 06-Oct-17 12:12:03

Does anyone know if Jaeger came out of administration? I can't see anything on their website.

For good quality - it's so hit and miss on the high street. Some Uniqlo, some H&M (I like their premium quality range). It's hard to say what's good quality right now though, because you need to own something for a long time to know if it's going to last, and in that time the brand may have changed supplier.

Going a bit higher end, I recently did a large Ralph Lauren order and I've been really happy with everything. It's all hand wash only or dry clean though, bit annoying.

Second DVF (esp in the sales) too.

Floisme Fri 06-Oct-17 12:15:05

The last I heard was that the company that owns the Edinburgh Wool Mill was buying out Jaegar. I don't know if that actually happened?

LavenderHills Fri 06-Oct-17 12:16:10

Thanks all; I'm furiously taking notes!

For the most gorgeous cashmere cable knits you ever did see, try a small Australian brand called Banjo & Matilda. Expensive, but worth it. And I'm pretty sure they do free worldwide shipping on orders over about 300AUD, which basically means everything.

WhatsItAllAbout123 Fri 06-Oct-17 12:17:22

I own about a dozen Pringle and Jeager 100% cashmere jumpers that I bought second hand 20 years ago. They are still going strong and all get worn and dry cleaned throughout winter.

I also own various Max Mara items (camel coat, trousers, suits), some Nicole Fahri items (jacket and trousers), Marella trousers, Jigsaw suits and some Ralph Lauren bits too; all these are 10 - 17 years old and get worn and dry cleaned regularly. All items are either as new or in decent condition. I've got a Tommy Hilfiger Oxford shirt that is worn at least twice a month, washed and dried in the drier that I bought in 2001 which I'm very impressed at!

I buy very little disposable / cheap fashion and would rather buy fewer items of quality cuts and fabrics that fit me well. I refuse to buy clothes online as I like to know the quality and fit before I hand over my hard earned money. I buy very little year on year, but my dry cleaning bill is pretty hefty (probably best part of £500 per year)!

thedevilinablackdress Fri 06-Oct-17 12:19:57

Repeating what others have said: Toast, Jigsaw, COS, Masai, Oska, Max Mara...all fairly £££ apart from COS

teta Fri 06-Oct-17 12:32:58

Maxmara,Marella,Jaeger and Whistles Cashmere jumpers.Better quality cashmere than Pure,Wrap,M&S and others.

ZaraW Fri 06-Oct-17 16:43:19

Whatsitallabout why don't you hand wash your cashmere? Much better for the environment and save money?
Another vote for COS, Izzy Lane for knitwear, Acne for boots and J Crew is still pretty good.

PNGirl Fri 06-Oct-17 19:05:44

I find Uniqlo to be quite good. My Topshop Jamies are great too. Some things though you can pay 8 quid or 80 quid for and it will still go wonky and bobbly. I buy very little knitwear due to underarm bobbling. I wear a lot of cotton, denim and jersey type stuff.

CallarMorvern Fri 06-Oct-17 19:34:40

I mainly buy second hand (or TKMaxx), but my best items are Hobbs, older M&S cashmere, Johnsons woolens, Kew ( who have sadly gone now), Lands End T shirts are nice quality, but getting a nice close fit is difficult, J Crew (love their style, but can't afford it) oddly Primark long sleeved Tees, ridiculously cheap, but really keep their shape and are nice for layering. Gant, though not that stylish, but good basic sweaters.

CallarMorvern Fri 06-Oct-17 19:40:43

DD has a Superdry jacket and a zipped hoodie, and whilst I roll my eyes at the whole Japanese pretence, I've got to admit they are very well made, which surprised me. I've borrowed the coat a couple of times and it is so cosy (and they've sorted their bonkers sizing now they can't claim that they are small as they are Japanese 🤣)

Ineedmorelemonpledge Fri 06-Oct-17 19:48:38

Yes to COS also. I have a jersey dress from 2010 still deep black and washes well.

I bought some jersey tops from a Polish company called RISK and they were the softest fabric I've ever seen and hang beautifully.

AnnabelleLecter Fri 06-Oct-17 20:02:18

These are the brands I have bought pretty indestructable clothing from over the last few years.
Superdry
Hobbs
John Smedley
M&S
Topshop
Ted Baker
Primark for leggings only
New Look for jeans and jeggings- but I think they have gone down hill lately

I will shop anywhere but you have to be selective and have a good really look at seams etc .

botemp Fri 06-Oct-17 20:47:07

Low to mid-end the selection is, predictably, limited. I'll second COS (have pieces in near mint condition that are well over ten years old). The Trend (pink label) and Premium (mostly online) and the Studio Collections from H&M. It's a bit hunting for the right fabrics but I have great things from Weekday and the odd gem from Monki. &Other Stories generally good too. Massimo Dutti isn't awful either, Uterque is of similar calibre but they both don't last quite like COS does at the same price point. I've stumbled across the odd piece in Muji.

Filippa K is a bit more mid-high but I have really great things from them too. Similar in price point, Comptoir des Cottoniers for coats and knitwear. I've bought the best ever Merino fine knit sweaters at Le Bon Marche (the high-end department store in Paris) from their own brand for very little money (30 or 40 euros) and they are virtually indestructible and withstand machine washing like no other (advertised as such), only available in their store though.

High end there's more choice though I am wary of things I bought over 10 years ago and if they are still made to the same quality as today, eg. Pringle since its takeover. I had a Gloverall coat as a teen and I'm pretty sure it would still be in great condition today had my father not accidentally dropped it behind the dryer, setting it and the dryer on fire shock. Case in point, the dryer came out with more damage than the coat, still unsalvageable though. I recently looked at a Gloverall coat again and it seems the fabric is now significantly thinner, it may be my teenage memory playing into it but it really weighed a tonne and the new ones don't.

Paul Smith is brilliant both in cut, fabric, and longevity. I have a coat that's lasted for forever and still looks brand new and for whatever reason, random retired couture seamstresses always strike up conversations with me about it because of how it's finished.

Max Mara and all its sister brands (Marella, Sportmax, Marina Rinaldi (Plus sized), Pennyblack, the only one where the quality dips somewhat is the entry level Max & Co but it's more due to fabric choices than manufacturing) are indestructible too IME and remain so to this day. I have several MM coats, one is at least over 15yo and all are still in great condition, lining still intact, no stray buttons, look brand new when returning from the dry cleansers again, etc. They also do the best pencil skirts as far as I'm concerned.

Lemaire does beautiful clothes that will last, and the collection he does for Uniqlo (the U collection) is a good budget alternative, the rest of Uniqlo has never impressed me much, to be honest.

Nicest Cashmere I have is from Prada, picked it up in an outlet for very little. Equally, Armani is very well cut and the quality remains throughout the years. The numerous outlet malls in Italy are definitely worth a detour IMO for these kinds of staple pieces.

Acne, indeed the boots and shoes in general last and last but the clothing is impeccably made too. Wood Wood, By Malene Birger, 2nd Day, and Hope Sthlm. also good. Have had nothing but good experience with Chloe shoes and bags. The See By Chloe diffusion line does great clothing but the shoes are less good IME. Carven all great. Salvatore Ferragamo for shoes and bags. It's not my style but Tod's and CarShoe are a bit underrated these days but quality wise they're excellent.

T by Alexander Wang has lasted me well too. Ditto Helmut Lang. Isabel Marant is one that isn't as good as it was, say 10-15yrs ago. I'd say the same for Marni, though at their core the quality is still good just not what it used to be. A.P.C. and Vanessa Seward also great long lasting pieces. Equipment silk blouses stay beautiful for a lifetime as far as I can tell. Recently discovered Soeur and Loreak Mendian in France and so far they're holding out well.

Some local brands I'm not sure that are as easily available in the UK, CLOSED, Humanoid, Frenken, Anecdote, and Vanilia for the Alpaca sweaters (on the high street level I much prefer Alpaca over Cashmere).

Hanro and Calida for cotton underwear. Schiesser for thermals. Although the sizing on those brands is bonkers, everything is giant sized, you need at least two sizes smaller. Rosemunde have the best vests ever.

Wolford and Fogal for tights. Kunert, Oroblu, and Falke are a good second.

There's probably more that I'm forgetting now. I do think that while it's all well and good to source these things like WhatsItAllAbout123 alluded with her high dry cleaning bill these things only last when you take care of them properly. It means washing things when things are actually dirty (especially wool doesn't get dirty quickly at all, airing them out often is more than enough, denim fanatics only ever stick jeans in the freezer, etc.), per manufacturer instruction with the right detergent (the dry clean only recommendations can be worked around if you're confident). Hardly any of my clothing goes into a dryer and mostly goes on a low spin cycle, everything is hung out on hangers and then usually steamed (if necessary) as that's more gentle on fabric and less hassle too. Wool gets washed by hand or a special cycle then placed on a towel where it's carefully rolled up to take out any excess moisture, then dried flat on a special rack. Most people don't want/have the inclination do go through all that and why washing only when dirty becomes a lot more sensible but that is how things keep their shape and material quality.

Whilst I'm here and if anyone is still bothered to read after that novel, local department store recently started selling Johnstons of Elgin Cashmere (Scottish I believe), any feedback on that as it's a new brand to me but appeared promising?

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