A large step up women's clothing
March 7, 2019 5:04 PM   Subscribe

I have recently worn some nicer women's clothing. It is exceptionally more comfortable than things from Target and Kohls. Please recommend me nice things.

I recently got a will Eileen Fisher sweater from ThredUp. It is sooooo comfortable. Along with my daily ritual clothes, please recommend me beautiful pieces to last awhile. Assume cost is a non issue (because I will buy it on ThredUp for 40 dollars anyway). Comfortable minimal neutral basics are my look. I wear skinny or straight leg jeans with a longer shirt like 9/10 days.
posted by Kalmya to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
Vince has a slightly different minimal neutral basics vibe than Eileen Fisher. It is also is even more stupid expensive than Eileen Fisher. But if you can find it for cheap it generally holds up well.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 5:12 PM on March 7, 2019

ThredUp has tons of Vince, and for more of that look also try Jill Sander, J.Jill, Tahari and Theory. But since you've already found their enormous selection of stuff, you might as well use more of their filters beyond brands. Set your size, price, and clothing type you're looking for, and then set the materials filters to natural like silk, wool, modal, viscose (technically a synthetic but derived from wood pulp, feels great, doesn't wash well), cotton, mohair, and for the double plus ultra of sweaters, alpaca. I got a Nicole Miller baby alpaca sweater from them and it is the softest thing in the world, even more than mohair. Silk and cotton are comfortable for summer clothes and less scratchy and cheap feeling than poly or nylon.
posted by slow graffiti at 6:28 PM on March 7, 2019 [5 favorites]

PS. be prepared to learn new ways of caring for fancier clothes. you cannot just throw (an) alpaca (sweater) in the washing machine.
posted by slow graffiti at 6:29 PM on March 7, 2019 [6 favorites]

You might check out the IG @selltradeslowfashion. Not mine, but I sometimes score the occasional deal on Eileen Fisher and ilk. Also check Poshmark and Depop.
posted by Marinara at 6:55 AM on March 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

Hello, friend! This is one of my favorite topics to nerd out about! :)

I also like nicer clothes in better quality, natural materials. I'm quite late to the game in recently discovering the joys of shopping on Poshmark, and have sine found there are some amazingly great deals to be had there for nice items if you are willing to put in the time, be creative in your searches, and most importantly, be patient and picky. Previously, I mostly shopped for secondhand in person.

If longish shirts and skinny jeans are your jam, may I recommend the brand Equipment? They make very nice silk shirts, that are on the longish side that pair well with skinny pants. Vince, as mentioned above, is another good brand for clothes that have that minimalist but polished aesthetic, often in all natural materials. Equipment shirts go for about $200 new, I don't care to pay more than $30 for the privilege of wearing them.

When searching on Poshmark, I tend to start with a general search of plugging a material into the search bar (i.e. linen, silk, cashmere, alpaca, tencel), then filtering the results by item type (i.e. top or sweater), then by size and select closet (not boutique, but that is my personal preference). I like to select a lettered size range (i.e. "M") rather than a number because, since I am buying online sight-unseen and can't return items, I find that lettered sizes have more leeway in their fit. Unless you are familiar with a brand and know your exact size already.

I often but not always like to double verify by asking for garment measurements just to make sure - you never know if that item in your size has been altered in some way that doesn't fit you! And I like to confirm what the fabric content is - that listing for a "cashmere sweater" may turn out to be 10% cashmere, 40% wool, 50% nylon, which is a very different item from one that is 100% cashmere. Never hurts to ask extra questions politely, and when in doubt, pass on an item. There are so many more suitable items that will work for you, don't get too caught up on having missed out on "the one".

Then, assuming you're using Poshmark, start clicking the heart icon to "like" items, and it will be saved for you to review and come back to later. About 1/3 of the time, the seller will reach out and offer a discounted price on the item! And then, I like to wait, continue browsing, decide if I really like an item and how it compares to similar other items I found on the site. Over time, the seller will drop the price if an item goes unsold. Or, you can reach out to the seller with an offer at a price you feel is reasonable, like when it's in the 10-20% range of what you'd willingly pay. For example, offering $31 for an item listed at $38.

I've purchased about 10 things this way over the past month, average price I paid is about $25. I've bought 100% silk blouses, 100% silk camisoles, a 100% wool Pendleton shirt, a 100% cashmere sweater vest, 100% silk tank tops and shorts, all in good condition. I'm certain each of these items more typically go for at least $100 and up new.

In addition to ones mentioned above, a few other brands to check out that are known for good quality items:

Brooks Brothers
Saks Fifth Avenue
J. Crew (for older cashmere or the "Italian Cashmere")
Aritzia/Wilfred (these are not quite as nice as the others, as they are aimed at women in their early or mid-20s, but the quality is fine)
Amour Vert

Yes to the above about learning how to care for these more fussy fabrics. I am not too precious about mine, mostly I wash wool/cashmere rarely by handwash, and am careful about drying it with a towel and laying to dry, and silk goes in the washer in gentle, sometimes in those delicates bags, and I am not afraid to put them in the dryer for 5 minutes on low. It helps that I purchase my silk shirts for very, very little. :)

My worst nightmare are the silks that run their colors, so I'm usually careful about getting shirts in one solid color, and keeping the darker/brighter colors aware from the lighter colors. Also, you may need to buy slightly nicer detergent that is gentle on the clothing and the environment!

For more info, do a quick search on silk enzymes detergent to learn more. For wools and the like, I wash with gentle shampoo (wool is hair, after all).

If you found this fun, just wait until you get deeper into the world of slow, ethical fashion! :)
posted by Goblin Barbarian at 6:16 PM on March 8, 2019 [6 favorites]

Rag & Bone's Simone pants go with everything, always look sharp (even when you've worn them a bit too many times without washing them), and are soooo comfortable. The fabric originally developed for Olympic-level equestrian riders so it stretches but doesn't wrinkle. They are $$$ but so worth it.

Just a note: only the black and navy blue styles are the amazing special fabric. The patterned Simone pants are nice, but just normal pants.
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 12:10 AM on April 3, 2019

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