If you follow me, you know that I believe in buying better and buying less. I also understand everyone’s definition of better is different. Several readers have pointed out lately that what I’ve posted is more than they want to spend and where are the more affordable options? Point taken.
Where can you find clean, elegant style that doesn’t cause you to max out your credit card, but also doesn’t sacrifice quality in the name of price? My favorite options, and places I also shop, include Mango, COS Stores and The Frankie Shop. While Mango and COS (which is owned by H&M) in some ways could be considered fast fashion, I think they are more in tune with Uniqlo, which is a large company, but one that makes timeless designs that last and are cut from mostly natural materials. COS is definitely the more grown up of the brands and feels like modern-day Jil Sander. Mango requires a sift through, but there are always good options. And, The Frankie Shop tends to veer trendy, but it’s a great place to purchase something a bit outside your comfort zone without feeling super guilty about it. The Frankie Shop also features different young designers so price points vary more, but you are also supporting smaller brands.
Let’s say you wanted pleated pants for fall and don’t want to plunk down $400….these three stores have many options from this to this to this. The hard part with shopping these brands is the really good things sell out super fast, like this dress from COS (maybe they will restock). The good news is because these companies have money, they can spend it on making more eco-conscious materials. Be picky about materials–choose cottons, wools, recycled nylon and other more natural fibers over polyester and the like.
My styling tip for less expensive designs? Wear them like you mean it. Treat them as if they cost all the money in the world. Don’t feel because something costs less, it needs extra doodads worn with it to zush it up–less is more. I have a couple of friends with limited clothing budgets, but you’d never know it, because each item they wear stands out. I’m always asking them “where is this from?” and the answer is someplace like COS or Uniqlo, never The Row. Confidence is everything when it comes to getting dressed.