Where can I find high quality, comfortable yet stylish clothing online?
July 13, 2016 12:40 AM   Subscribe

I'm basically looking for the opposite of Forever 21 cheapy disposable stuff. I don't want designer fashion (and especially don't want their astronomical prices!), but I'd like clothes that I can wear to work or more casual shirts and dresses I could wear on the weekend. I used to shop at Ann Taylor and Banana Republic, and I still do on occasion, but I'm wondering if there are clothes that are higher quality that don't cost too much more. For example, Hanna Andersson's women's clothing intrigues me, especially the dresses in pima cotton.
posted by lirael2008 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (21 answers total) 112 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Uniqlo seems to have the best quality of clothing:price ratio of any high street chain. I especially like their flannel shirts and leggings trousers. They won't last forever but definitely not one-season/year-only buys.
posted by mymbleth at 12:50 AM on July 13, 2016 [6 favorites]

Another vote for Uniqlo, also can recommend Muji.
posted by frantumaglia at 12:52 AM on July 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: This list on ethical fashion brands is from the fashion blog Into Mind. While well-made and ethical are overlapping concerns and not synonymous, I've found good luck so far in purchases from sustainable / ethical brands like Everlane. She also provides a cheat sheet on how to assess the quality of garments.
posted by spamandkimchi at 12:56 AM on July 13, 2016 [7 favorites]

Land's End has pretty good quality. Canvas is their higher-end line.
posted by neushoorn at 12:57 AM on July 13, 2016 [5 favorites]

I find that H&M's Label of Graded Goods garments seem to last a long time. I finally just threw out a dress I bought there seven years ago, and only because I outgrew it, it was still in great condition.
posted by stoneandstar at 1:00 AM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

If I was in the States my entire wardrobe would be Everlane. I have a couple of silk blouses and a cashmere cardigan from them that I adore, but the international shipping is fiddly and prohibitive.

If you're in the UK, I have a few bits and pieces from Finery that I really like, but their styling is a little odd to my liking.

I'll also often pop into Kit and Ace to fondle their machine washable silks, but I've yet to pull the trigger on any garments - their sales look to be really good.

Other brands that I like and shop regularly are & Other Stories (great shoes, knits and jersey tops, and their dresses are gorgeous) and Cos (for tailoring, coats and blouses).
posted by nerdfish at 1:47 AM on July 13, 2016 [5 favorites]

Best answer: (I have loads of Lands' End Canvas and am under the impression that it is their 'young and hip' line -- the Canvas stuff goes down to a size 0 and some XXS; regular LE only goes down to a 4, occasional 2, & XS -- there's a fit difference and a stylistic difference but not a quality ditto)

The absolute best way, in my view, to get non-crappy clothing in 2016 without spending $300 to support two guys trying to make artisanal unisex corduroy trousers on a little island somewhere, is to go on some serious thrift store/eBay/Etsy hunts. Find the 90s-and-earlier stuff -- the thick cottons -- the non-pilling wool (yes, wool! not acrylic! not a shoddy blend!) -- the linen so sturdy it wrinkles totally differently from the contemporary stuff -- the lovely silk dresses -- etc, etc.

Find it in colours you like. Buy it -- for next to nothing, because it is horribly out of date and even the Value Village pricer has figured that out and not expected anybody to want a mid-calf-length dress with dolman sleeves and huge shoulder pads even if it is a fabulous shade of cobalt and a lovely thick silk. Find a good seamstress. Have her cut your finds down to (1) your size, (2) 2016 styling. Even with relatively extensive alterations you will still come out way ahead of store prices, and you get a custom fit.

And, don't overlook vintage clothing that still looks good now with no alterations. Even what we viewed as cheap twenty years ago now feels pretty luxurious compared to a lot of modern mall junk. Look for old preppy/stodgy brands that made relatively timeless stuff: Bean, Lands' End, even the Gap used to churn out first-rate basics, Sisley, Jaeger, Liberty of London, Pringle...

+1 on the H&M "L.O.G.G." -- so much of their stuff is disposable but the "L.O.G.G." is not -- and, as for Hanna Andersson, I can at least confirm that their kids' stuff is indestructible, thick, non-pilling, etc. /r/femalefashionadvice on Reddit can be helpful for finding less-than-well-known shops. Also, for weekend stuff, Roots is very reliable -- very thick soft fabrics.
posted by kmennie at 2:22 AM on July 13, 2016 [5 favorites]

Best answer: I've had really good luck with outdoor brands, some of whom make some clothing that will comfortably pass in a business-casual environment (esp if it leans toward crunchy - non profits, libraries, some govt sectors). It lasts *forever* - start with sales at REI. Patagonia, Prana, Horny Toad... but even the random hiking cargo pants I got five years ago and spent a season farming in are...fine.

I got some shirts from Gaia Conceptions about five years ago, wear them all the time, through a pregnancy and now almost 2 years of breastfeeding and they're...fine. No tears, holes, not stretching out even!

I don't know if you're after underwear, but I've been wearing the same 3-4 pairs of Thunderpants twice a week for two years and they're great.

I'll be watching with interest - great question and I really hate shopping.
posted by jrobin276 at 3:02 AM on July 13, 2016 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I have a couple of wardrobe staple- kinds of dresses from Boden that have lasted multiple seasons (though of late, their quality has felt a bit more inconsistent). I adore COS and am mostly thrilled that they are adding locations at such a rapid clip. I have decade+ old pieces from J. Crew that I still wear regularly, but most of the stuff I've bought more recently(from J Crew and Madewell) hasn't aged as well.

I recently bought a Leota dress on the advice of a friend who swears by them. I'll let you know how it holds up.

Everlane has beautiful stuff, but their sizes stop one below mine :(
posted by thivaia at 4:48 AM on July 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

These days I've been buying most of my clothes from COS, Muji, and...Brooks Brothers. Brooks Brothers mainline women's stuff doesn't totally match my lifestyle (but I'm sure the quality is similar), but I've been loving the Red Fleece "youth" line. (I'm 33, I think this is young for a Brooks Brothers customer.) They have good sales - you wind up spending not that much more than you would at J. Crew, but you can feel the difference in quality - better fabrics, better construction.
posted by SoftRain at 5:06 AM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Like Brooks Brothers, both Chico's and J. Jill appear to mainly target mainline (older) women, and Chico's particularly has some glitzy stuff that really turns me off. However, if you look for sales and shop carefully you can find things that work for younger women, and they last well. Also seconding jrobin276 to check the outdoor companies.
posted by gudrun at 5:50 AM on July 13, 2016

Best answer: Eileen Fisher is the "older" version of Everlane. I find it's more work appropriate than Everlane, with regard to dresses and skirts (not so much tops and sweaters).

Nordstrom's house brands (Caslon and Halogen) hit a good mix of price/functionality/longevity.

Icebreaker is indestructible (if you don't get moths!) but it's limited in styling.
posted by crush-onastick at 6:49 AM on July 13, 2016

Consider Fair Indigo. Quality, fair trade clothing in organic materials.
posted by areaperson at 8:02 AM on July 13, 2016

The sale section at Boden is a wonderland for me. In fact, I gotta close that tab before I do something impulsive. I've been extremely pleased with quality of goods (sunglasses, bag, dresses, skirt, shoes) there in the last couple of years.
posted by witchen at 8:24 AM on July 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

Seconding the endorsement of Boden. I have three shift dresses I bought from them in the last few years, and they are comfortable, flattering, work across seasons, and they have pockets.
posted by suelac at 8:40 AM on July 13, 2016

Nthing Eileen Fisher for durability, quality, and timeless styling.
If you're lucky, there's a Green Eileen store near you, they sell used (but clean!) Eileen Fisher clothing at a substantial discount. I've shopped the one in Seattle a few times, and was lucky enough to happen on a sale. Also, if you have any old Eileen that you no longer wear, they'll give you a $5 credit for each piece.
posted by dbmcd at 9:04 AM on July 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

You need to look at Ureshii.

I have a lot of pieces from them, and the quality is stellar, and they are a wonderful company to work with.
posted by bibliogrrl at 9:42 AM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

If you like Ureshii, look at eShakti which also has made to measure options.
posted by foxfirefey at 9:48 AM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Agreeing that Boden is an excellent source of quality at not-outrageous prices. If you get their catalog, you'll always have a coupon code at hand. Two caveats: their blue denim is dyed by a different process than most brands, and they fade quickly; also some of their sweaters are shrinky and pilly, though most of them are amazing. On everything else, best quality I've ever been able to afford. Details are beautiful, pants are lined, fabric feels so nice. Their customers are so loyal that the product reviews are dead-on. You'll know what to grab and what to pass on. One last thing - they give measurements of the garment itself, not just measurements for your body to supposedly be. This is incredibly helpful.
posted by Knowyournuts at 9:16 PM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

A lot of the clothing at Madewell is quite durably made, especially the flannel shirts (softer/thicker than Uniqulo) and jeans (thicker fabric and better cut than most in the $100-ish price range).
posted by asphericalcow at 9:40 PM on July 13, 2016

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