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.
Thank you for posting this so quickly. I do believe in buying”better” & buying less. However, at this point in time my clothing budget is much less than in the past. I appreciate your take on wearing it like we mean it.
I would add there is a lot of distance between COS/Mango and theRow. Theory comes to mind. Not cutting edge fashion maybe, but certainly great basics. Thank you for your suggestions here.
Sally, I totally agree about Theory. Great basics and love the feel of their fabrics. Vince could fall in there as well, plus they send out gift cards from time to time.
What I really miss is J. Crew from years ago in its Jenna Lyons days, especially their Collection line. Such great quality. Thank you for suggestions, Jennifer!
I really miss old J Crew.
Thank you for this post, Jennifer! “Better” is indeed subjective.
Robyn Coe says
Thank you, Jennifer! I appreciate your eagle eye finding excellent design at a reasonable price point, while focusing on sustainability in creation, comfort and longevity. That’s the fun of the hunt, don’t you think? xx
Elizabeth Velasquez says
CLOSED has some very nice trousers. Their Mawson pant is very reminiscent of The Row’s pleated, wide legged trousers but at a fraction of the price
Check out quality consignment stores. I’m in Seattle and the best one in this region offers items from Chanel, The Row, Marni, Celine, Chloe, Brunello Cucinelli, I could go on… There’s also Vestiaire Collective, which, akin to this local consignment store, vets items before offering them. Friends have successfully purchased items from that site, but I still like to touch and eyeball things before I buy, even if there’s a simple procedure for returns.