How will I great the robot overlords if I am not properly attired?
March 18, 2011 10:21 PM   Subscribe

What are some reasonably-priced alternative to women's clothing from Allsaints Spitalfields?

I found an Allsaints store in Seattle last December, and since have been besotted with their style. Were I but remade in their image, my cubicle-bound job would automagically transform into a post-apocalyptic, John Fluevog-shod adventure, right? What are some alternatives that would not require destroying my credit score?
posted by bloggerwench to Shopping (9 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Greet! Argh. Not great.
posted by bloggerwench at 10:23 PM on March 18, 2011

eBay has almost 200 Allsaints items listed and most of them seem to be pretty reasonably priced. Great look, may have to check some out myself!
posted by platinum at 2:26 AM on March 19, 2011

I have no answer for you, but I marked this as a favorite in case any of the alternatives offered do sizes above a US 10. I love this stuff, but it's too small.

There are Etsy sellers such as Plastik Wrap and Subsequent that have the futuristic thing down, but aren't any better for your wallet, I'm afraid.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 9:35 AM on March 19, 2011

I looked at the AllSaints webpage, and from what I saw, it looks a lot like this store Chico's my aunt in California buys her clothes from. I'm sure their prices aren't as expensive because my aunt would never pay that much for clothes.
posted by anniecat at 12:21 PM on March 19, 2011

Best answer: Were I you, I would look at their website and grab pics/print out the outfits/garments I totally dig, not neglecting looks/outfits of opposite gender/age. (Lately I have been heavily contemplating some kids outfits because they seem much better conceptualized for my body type than the adult clothes I've encountered the last ten years.)

Then I'd hotfoot it to Hawthorne or wherever the crazy kids do the second-hand shopping these days. Yard sales. Church bazaars. I'd only concentrate on three things at a time, because I get overload easily, but you may be more epic of a shopper than that. I'd go to the vintage store by the bathrooms at the East End pub, because it is crazy weird fun that it's even there, and that can lead to thrifting majick.

I'd also go through my closet/dresser now, and find everything I own now that can possibly work as a component in one of the outfits I want. (Skinny jeans! Muscle tee!) Separate them, and the goal is for the stylee section to eventually take over and muscle everything else out.

Also, guided by phonepics/printouts, I'd hit the mass-market discount retailers: found in strip malls, big box stores, mall malls, online like amiclubwear and such. The advantage of doing this IRL is, of course, that you can try the fit. Remember, you just need one or two things that you can wear to bits over the next eight months. If it was the perfect cut, save the now-shredded garment and find a tailor/seamstress who can use it as a pattern to make you more durable versions.

Also, simple sewing is my friend, and yours. Tweaks like removing collars from shirts, or adding darts and a belt to an oversize jacket so it cinches just so can greatly enhance the aforementioned thrifting/shopping. T-shirts/kimono shirts are not hard to fashion once you have an idea of what shape works. Entire garments can be made with hand-sewing if you have the time and no access to a machine.

Good luck!
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 12:57 PM on March 19, 2011

I'd love to know the answer to this myself, but one place that's given me a few hints is the style blog Fashion for Nerds -- she wears All Saints regularly, and her overall style seems pretty in tune with theirs, and she always credits what she wears to designer or store.

(When it's an affordable store, it's often Forever 21 -- not my favorite answer, but once in a while they do get something right).
posted by thesmallmachine at 1:28 PM on March 19, 2011

I looked at the AllSaints webpage, and from what I saw, it looks a lot like this store Chico's my aunt in California buys her clothes from.

Um, I'm not sure what planet your robot aunt from California is from, but there's no way that Chico's clothing looks or fits anything like Allsaints. Allsaints - in person - tends to read more industrial, small, raw while Chico's is more like what my suburban aunt in California wears to get a pedicure.

You'd probably also like G-Star clothing, but it's not any better for the wallet. Tons on ebay though.

And, don't hit me but.... Forever 21 has a surprising amount of decent clothes in this vein. You have to plow through the frou-frou bits, but you'll notice that Allsaints pairs some sequined tanks with black leather or a chunky knit. You definitely won't be able to replace an entire Allsaints outfit there, but you'd get a few specific pieces. H&M also has some (low cost and semi-low quality) things like tight military pants, blazers with chain details, etc.
posted by barnone at 1:32 PM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Fellow All Saints aficionado here! I love love love their look, some of their cuts are reminiscent of Viv Westwood (super expensive) and french label The Kooples (same price range as All Saints) but that doesn't help....

All Saints started as menswear only and ventured into womenswear via tailoring, and cut is what you pay most for. No-one in the cheaper end do the same quality of cut, but you don't actually need a whole outfit, I find 1 All Saints style thing mixed with purchases from regular high st stores can still achieve the same look...

The cheaper All Saints stuff such as T shirts, skinny jeans, chunky cardigans are replaceable through topshop/mango/H&M, there's a few that have the same feel, especially if you customize them a bit (dittoing all the Rube R Nekker said above). Urban Outfitters have proved useful a couple of times too. Once you know the 'look' you're aiming for, you can hunt down pieces fairly easily. Necklaces etc can be customised from second-hand finds cobbled together into something a little more steampunk. Topshop and Miss Selfridge (if you have access to them in the US?) have some gathered skirts that are all saints-ish, as do the alternative fashion (but still cheaper than All Saints) brand skunkfunk. Ebay can be good, the problem I find with All Saints stuff is that fit is everything and quite hard to guess from pictures. (Frequently the cut is too avant garde for me to fit into, so my clothes-lust, and wallet damage, is curtailed by reality...this is probably a good thing...)

In terms of buying the real thing, I stalked the website, went in and tried on my fave things when I'm in a city that has an All Saints store, and then bought them in the online-only offers. Over 2 years, I have 5 things from them, which get worn HEAPS, wash well, and help define the rest of my fairly ordinary high street purchases. So when you do feel ready to splurge... it's worth it :)
posted by Skaramoosh at 5:28 PM on March 19, 2011

Response by poster: I am so glad I asked here! Thanks so much for the great answers. As for sewing, I finally admitted to myself that I would never sew and replaced my needles and thread with duct tape and a stapler (and a neighbor who lets me totter over with a bottle of wine, pants to be hemmed, and mismatched shoes that both need to work with the pants, and kindly does my alterations). The idea of a few foundational pieces is particularly useful.
posted by bloggerwench at 9:14 PM on March 19, 2011

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