When you’re shopping for clothes you want to keep two things in mind – the price and the quality. We have all been guilty of getting pulled in by a cheap deal, only for the clothing to be destroyed after one cycle in the washing machine. Lately, it seems as if we are all becoming more aware of our carbon footprint and as sustainable fashion is "on trend", we are more mindful of how quickly we go through our clothing.
Ideally, you want to invest in your clothes by choosing high-quality options that aren’t going to set you back hundreds and hundreds of dollars! I mentioned this in this post already, but I'll say it again- price isn’t always an indication of quality, and more often than not, you’re paying a premium for the brand name and not the material! Here I’m rounding up some top stores on where to buy high-quality clothes that aren’t crazy expensive.
Where to Buy High-Quality Clothes (That Aren’t Crazy Expensive)
Madewell is a brand that made a name for itself because they don't focus on fashion trends and instead, long term quality pieces while still being more affordable than most "high end" places. They specialize in creating basics that are designed to last so that you can get the most versatility out of your clothes! Their jeans and leather pieces are the most popular.
Madewell is the sister company of J.Crew, a store that was once beloved for its high-quality pieces before their collections began to become repetitive, and they lost their demographic. While J.Crew’s fortunes have dropped, Madewell is gaining a loyal customer base thanks to their ethical fashion and form-fitting denim jeans that sit comfortably around the $100 price point!
Everlane is talked about a lot. If you open your Instagram feed, you’ll be sure to find someone wearing a piece from here! What makes this brand unique is its promise of radical transparency. In the age of fast fashion, this is a breath of fresh air. Each of their garments is ethically made and designed to last, as the brand works to build a transparent and environmentally responsible supply chain. If you're into digging more about a company, their website gives you an in-depth view of each of the fabrics that they use, including organic cotton and recycled materials. Wow!
Sustainable fashion has a focus on quality over quantity, to give you garments that will last for years to reduce waste and if you're looking to be more sustainable with your wardrobe, Everlane should be one of your first stops because they are pretty affordable (sweaters for under $100) and they frequently have sales!
Italic is a little different than most places on this list, but it's worth talking about. Instead of being a brick and mortar store, it's an online membership that allows you to shop insanely high-quality items at such an affordable price. Do you love Chanel flats but don't have thousands to spend? You can get flats identical to Chanel that are made at the same factory, but for a fraction of the cost. Just take the brand name out of it!
For years, Uniqlo was fashion’s best-kept secret. The Japanese store has recently come to the West, offering you the ability to buy some of the most luxurious materials at a reasonable price point.
Uniqlo focuses on providing you with the basics that you need – everything from well-fitting underwear to winter coats. The brand offers 100% cashmere garments and is one of the most affordable ways to pick up the fabric and introduce them into your winter wardrobe. While a cashmere scarf would cost you hundreds of dollars from a brand like Burberry, you can pick one up from Uniqlo for less than $50 full price!
5. Free People
Free People is the home of modern bohemian fashion and boho chic. If this sounds like your style, then Free People is the fashion brand for you! Free People offers everything you need from intimates to activewear and accessories.
The brand is infamous for its high-quality midi dresses, which serve as the perfect investment piece if you’re someone who prefers dresses over jeans and a t-shirt. Some of their dresses can be pretty expensive, but check out their sale section. You can always find Free People at Nordstrom Rack if you want to pick up a bargain too!
Reformation is another modern fashion brand with a focus on sustainability, with a target to be climate positive by 2025. Their sustainability drive is clear in every aspect of their business, and their tag line is playfully “being naked is the #1 most sustainable option. We’re #2”. If you want to buy high-quality garments, then you might want to consider buying fast fashion less and sustainable fashion more. Not only are you helping the environment and promoting ethical fashion, but your garments will also stay in your wardrobe for years.
This brand is one that personifies the “quality over quantity” mentality. Compared to some of the other brands, Reformation has trendier pieces and offers something for everyone – from the girl who loves her basics to the girl who loves her flirty pieces. They are one of the more expensive options on this list, however, but if you check out their sales you can usually find something for $100 or less!
If you want classic fashion that will stand the test of time, then LL. Bean is the brand for you. LL. Bean is a brand that focuses on clothes that can take you on adventure outdoor. Founded in 1912, their products are still made in the USA today. You can purchase everything from classic tartan pajamas to hiking boots.
If you live in a colder climate or want to embrace the Danish mentality of Hygge, then LL. Bean is a brand that can offer you high-quality outdoor/adventure/active clothing without an extravagant price tag.
8. Frank & Oak
Frank & Oak is a fashion brand that has quality at its heart. It is a sustainable fashion brand like others on this list and has an eco-conscious mentality that drives them to use recycled and organic materials. Frank & Oak pieces are designed in Canada and ‘made for good living’. The brand’s mission is to create timeless essentials while being sustainable.
If you want to purchase sustainable denim that is made to last, then Frank & Oak is the perfect choice for you. Their most popular styles in denim selection are all available for under $100!
If you want a size-inclusive brand that offers high-quality basic pieces, then meet Universal Standards. They market themselves as "The World’s Most Inclusive Fashion Brand".
This brand was born out of a need to create stylish clothing for plus-size women because the size on your jeans is only a number. Universal Standards is the perfect place to shop if you’re in the market for building a minimalistic capsule wardrobe with a few high-quality pieces! Their coats are pretty pricey, but you can find sweaters and basics for under $100. They offer everything from loungewear to winter jackets, with a focus on utility fabrics that are designed to last.
Aritzia started out as a Canadian boutique but now there are retail stores in the US as well. Plus, you can always shop online! Their focus is "everyday luxury" and quality products that you'll wear way more than once. They're also working on their sustainability program and tackling environmental issues.
There's something for everyone here- from streetstyle athleisure to timeless basics. Some clothing items may be well over $300, but there are plenty of options for $150 or less, plus, they have a sale section too.
I'm saving one of my favorite options for where to buy high-quality clothes last. The answer? Thrift! It takes more work, but you can find great high-end brands at an insanely low price. Check out the posts below on my favorite finds + tips!
where to buy high-quality clothes