Can one build an entire wardrobe around a single brand of shoes?
May 16, 2018 6:41 AM   Subscribe

Can one build an entire wardrobe around a single brand of shoes?

I have stumbled on a brand of shoes that I adore which encompasses how I would style myself all the time if I had my druthers and lots of disposable cash. It's this:

The Office of Angela Scott

I'd build an entire wardrobe around all of these different styes, feminine and masculine alike.

I am verrrrrrry lazy when it comes to dressing myself but would like a smarter, more put-together presentation, now that my kid is older and I'm back in the swing of my professional life.

I'm female, 40's, feminine-androgynous, but dislike overly feminine styles of clothing.

I've lived in jeans and t-shirts and the occasional j crew skirt and slouchy top and flip flops for years. I love and live in doc martens boots, and have since I was 15. I love a good trench coat. I like high-waisted, hooded, lightweight jackets.

Things I like in clothes:

- Ease. I dislike feeling bound by my clothing, particularly at the waist and upper arms.

- Simplicity. I like to wear black. I look good in bold, primary colors with good color saturation. I don't wear patterns except the occasional stripe. I'm always interested in an interesting cut, asymmetry, little subtle details. I don't have cleavage really but I do like v-necks.

- Durability. I've tried brands like Everlane but, though nice at first, they don't last.

- Edge. I appreciate the structure of Banana Republic, J Crew, and Duluth Trading but I want something with more edge.

My body:

I'm 5'2". Size 8/10. Short legs, round thighs, large upper arms from my agrarian, peasant genes, and also swimming. Slim waist but some lingering baby belly. Small bust.

The butch clothing I've looked at is a bit too masculine for how I feel, and the androgynous brands I've investigated don't interest me though I appreciate their minimalism and ease.

So, assuming that I'd like to look as fresh and put together as an Angela Scott shopper but at a lower price point, where should I be looking?
posted by TryTheTilapia to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
My partner has similar tastes (and is similarly sized) and spends a lot of time on ModCloth. She has an obsession with Fluevog shoes (which seem similar to me, but may be the same price point as the Angela Scott) and is often trying to do the same, find matching outfits for the shoes. I know this may be an obvious answer considering ModCloth's popularity, but she's found a range of things there that really fit her unique style.

(Also, thank you for pointing me to Angela Scott as she will likely go bananas for these shoes.)
posted by obtuser at 7:41 AM on May 16, 2018 [3 favorites]

I would describe my style as being similar to yours, and I have had some luck at ASOS.

A lot of it is way too young for me (38) but I've found some really good pieces there, too.
posted by Medieval Maven at 8:46 AM on May 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

This is just more shoes, but I recently discovered Shoe Embassy, which hit some of the same buttons for me. I am in a similar boat and end up wearing a lot of j crew and everlane, supplemented with vintage shirts, sweaters, and dresses.
posted by dizziest at 8:56 AM on May 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

I think Modcloth and ASOS are made to last about 6 months. Neither are particularly well made. If you want sleek, well-fitting clothes made from good fabrics, you might want to check out Gorsuch (very pricey but the sales are good) , Ann Mashburn (may be too conservative for you) or COS.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:47 AM on May 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

You're looking for the holy grail of style + durability + affordability. "Edge" is a matter of taste and cut, which comes from the mind of expensive designers. Durability comes from good quality sewing practices and materials, which are both expensive. Affordability -- well, you can see that satisfying the prior two points is expensive.

You actually CAN find stylish, well-made clothes from almost any brand. But it's maybe 1-2 pieces per season in their collection, and you have to do a lot of shopping to find them.

So: no, your ideal doesn't exist because consistent aesthetic style and consistent quality is too expensive for a brand to maintain at most middle-class "affordable" price points. You'll have to make a trade-off between convenience/time-investment and affordability. And figuring out the quality/durability of a given piece of clothing is something of an art, learned from experience (although research can help speed up the process).

As for specific brands, have you looked at AllSaints? They're more expensive than J.Crew and still not *consistent* in quality, but edginess is definitely there and you can pick/choose for quality during sales.
posted by serelliya at 10:21 AM on May 16, 2018 [6 favorites]

I second AllSaints and COS from other posters. Other options like Tibi, A.P.C., and even Uniqlo may be worth looking into.

All that said, I agree with serelliya's sentiment that you won't find a singular brand that covers all the bases you want. However, consignment stores/websites are a means through which I have found high quality pieces that last for a fraction of the original cost.

I've purchased some great secondhand pieces from websites like Poshmark, ASOS Marketplace, and even Instagram pages like @noihsaf.bazaar. Obviously, it takes longer to build a wardrobe this way, but it's a good way to get high quality for less.
posted by singinginmychains at 10:39 AM on May 16, 2018 [3 favorites]

Thank you for all the ideas. I had a feeling this would be a unicorn search but I'm okay with that; my goal is to compile a wardrobe rather than a stack of clothes I wear to death until I'm sick of everything, such that I run to the nearest Century 21 or Target or Gap and buy a stack of clothes that are just another run at the same result.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 10:54 AM on May 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

Equipment button down shirts!
posted by rmless at 8:40 PM on May 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

This was recommended to me on Facebook, as well.

Edited to add: They sell a starter kit of 8 pieces for $590, and they will replace all your items if your size changes.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 7:26 AM on May 17, 2018

Chiming in to say I began the actual doing of this project by ordering a dress from Universal Standard. It cost a hundred and twenty bucks, is made of a good quality, light weight stretch cotton that has some structure to it. It's cut exactly the way I was envisioning and I LOVE IT.

Highly recommend. Also it's fun to be a size 10/12 and referred to as XS.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 10:49 AM on June 21, 2018

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