High quality but affordable basics-where to buy?

Katrine

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I love buying tank tops at H&M! About a year ago, they were on sale for $2.90 each and I bought...about 15 of them:p. They've held up really well. Unfortunately, I usually hate the rest of their clothes.
Same. I don't really want to wear H&M pieces which are too obvious "H&M-ish", with some kind of stupid print or what not :p
 

lamb's breath

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I don't have a brand to recommend but I do have advice when it comes to denim ~ whether they are Levi's or something cheap and nasty, buy 'denim' not anything 'stretch denim'. I have some no brand jeans from when I was 16 that are denim and still wearable but anything I ever bought that was stretch just loses its shape and looks baggy, even my more expensive Levi's. Plus if you gain weight, denim feels tight straight away whereas you never know when it's stretchy ;).

Also, at one point I was obsessed with the idea of a capsule wardrobe and so I had a list of items I needed to buy and a colour palette to stick to ~ I ended up with a really boring wardrobe. Today, if I see something and I love it, I buy it ~ it doesn't matter if I have no idea what occasion it's for or that I can't afford it (ask about layby!). Slowly my wardrobe is becoming more fun and colourful and experimental and me, and somehow I have less stuff using this approach.
 
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bougainvilleas

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I don't have a brand to recommend but I do have advice when it comes to denim ~ whether they are Levi's or something cheap and nasty, buy 'denim' not anything 'stretch denim'. I have some no brand jeans from when I was 16 that are denim and still wearable but anything I ever bought that was stretch just loses its shape and looks baggy, even my more expensive Levi's. Plus if you gain weight, denim feels tight straight away whereas you never know when it's stretchy ;).

Also, at one point I was obsessed with the idea of a capsule wardrobe and so I had a list of items I needed to buy and a colour palette to stick to ~ I ended up with a really boring wardrobe. Today, if I see something and I love it, I buy it ~ it doesn't matter if I have no idea what occasion it's for or that I can't afford it (ask about layby!). Slowly my wardrobe is becoming more fun and colourful and experimental and me, and somehow I have less stuff using this approach.
Yes! Agree! Capsule wardrobes are wonderful in theory but can be limiting if you'd rather be a bit more creative with your shopping. Instead of basic 'items' that work well together, I now just make sure I always have a good stock of basic 'colors' in my wardrobe so that I'm never stuck without a few default outfits.
 

marieebo

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Zara, H&M, Brandy, Pull&Bear, Stradivarius. They're all fast fashion brands but they do nice basics, just go to the store yourself and don't order online. Some fabrics are different than others, for example, Zara & H&M: some pieces seems made of paper/really cheap quality, meanwhile others are actually soft and look pretty good! So just go there and touch the fabric yourself.
 
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Definitely TJ Maxx or Marshalls. They have really cute clothes and sometimes name brands. Such as hollister, Abercrombie, Free People, American Eagle, North Face, Anthropology and others but I just forgot. They also have a huge selection of workout clothes, and lots of it is Nike and under armour.
 
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Rachelp

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zara, hm or mango are best for really cheap. But the absolute best basic piece I have is a long sleeve mock neck by velvet. It was around 80. It's the price of 3 cheaper knits but is one million times more flattering and will last you a LONG time.
 
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pennytails

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For non-fast fashion, sort of affordable basics, I like The Outnet's Iris & Ink line. You can usually get things on sale and I have several pieces that have stood up really well to my abuse. Need Supply also carries some good basic lines but you might have to sift through some unflattering brooklyn hipster styles first.

Fashion Bunker (BNKR) and Aritzia also occasionally have really nice, simple clothes but quality varies in my experience..
 
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GirlMonkey

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Thrift shopping is my best friend. Obviously it can be very hit or miss, but I've found many designer pieces at very low prices. I get the majority of my plain T-shirts from Brandy Melville. Almost all of my underwear is Hanky Panky, which is $20-$23 for a thong, which some people find stupid but they are the most comfortable things on the entire planet.

Hope this helps!
I second the notion for Hanky Panky panties, I do not prefer to wear thongs however they are functional for certain outfits. I have always felt just as comfortable in these thongs as I do my regular cheeky panties.
Also, you will usually do best in boutique-style thrift stores. Of course, some ratty ones still call themselves "boutique style" or whatever but you can tell the difference through the window. I usually find the best thrift stores in the city/downtown. Surprisingly the best consignment I ever found was also a costume store, the one in my area regularly carries high concentrations of free people, balenciaga, anthropologie, etc..
 
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bisou

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Honestly, it's worth it to spend a tiny bit of extra money for high-quality clothes that will last years.

Levi's, Ralph Lauren, Patagonia, L.L.Bean, Land's End, J.Crew (personal favorite), Banana Republic, Uniqlo & Outlier (NYC) are decently priced and really high quality. They're a bit more expensive than stores like Zara and H&M, but the difference in quality/durability is significant.

For undergarments I recommend Spanx - that shit lasts a lifetime!
 
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Golden ice

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@natashafromrussia - I'm a bit obsessed in terms of this, I'll spend hours looking and shopping but want to make sure I'm definitively getting the best bang for my buck. I would say in terms of fast fashion or something quick for a night out, H&M and Charlotte Russe are great options, especially Charlotte Russe (H&M can sometimes be vanity sized depending on what line), their XS is perfect for me in terms of width. Quality is ok, but you can usually find something for under $15, which in that case you're getting more than your money's worth and don't feel like you are getting ripped off if you only get to wear it a few times. On the upside, some of the stuff from there I've had for years.

For anything you want to last, I've found the best thing to do is look at stores like Saks Off Fifth, Nordstrom Rack, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Barney's Warehouse, The Outnet, etc. You can find some great designer pieces for significant discounts. They have physical locations, but you can also buy online, most have free shipping if you spend enough. I just bought $900 python and suede wedge shoes for under $200 from Alexandre Birman, and have gotten Stuart Weitzman boots for just over $200 (they retail for $800), same with some Alice and Olivia real suede leggings, a Joie $300 sweater for $27, a Vince white oversized shirt for $30, etc. You have to spend time looking, but you can get some amazing deals, sometimes over 90% off. You can see the shoes below from Birman:
Screen Shot 2017-07-06 at 11.22.07 AM.png
 
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pterodactyl

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A place that I pick up incredible coats**, is Massimo Dutti's *SALES*. I've purchased 2 incredible long winter/fall coats there for around 100 Euro and in the US for under 150USD. I had to do a double take because I have rarely found such classic and well made clothing in the US for such prices. Also, if you want silk scarves they also have some beautiful varieties as well. Lastly what is in stock during sales can be a hit or miss, but at least 50% of the time I find an unbelievably priced classic purchase.

I find their sizes fairly reasonable as well. For example size 6 and 8 are fairly true to size (maybe slightly roomier than sizing in the past) but definitely not committing full out vanity sizing. (I'm chiming into this b/c if you have broader shoulders and must size up it is annoying when there is no cut for the waist which is often what happens in vanity-potato-sack-sizing these days - Fortunately I haven't found this to be too much of the case for what I've found)

**(inclusive of tall ladies- long sleeves & bodice! Sorry I cannot speak for petite sizes and cuts)

@Golden ice you are never allowed to take a hiatus from SG again haha (J/K) these posts of yours are continually amazing!!!
 
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myprettybod

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Sorry if it's already been mentioned, but I think you can find nice quality and fashionable basics at Reserved, too.
Also, as mentioned, you can pick some nice thins from Stradivarius or H&M, if you don't mind going to the store and really touching the fabrics and trying on everything you like.
In addition, there's a thingy called Zara Basics, where you can find GORGEOUS peaces. I have a Burberry-like trench coat from there and numerous blazers, cardigans and jumpers, with amazing quality and nice fit.
I hope it helped :)
 

Golden ice

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Does anyone have advice on places to look for business professional wear? Like where to find a skirt suit that is good quality? I'm struggling to find this, everything is either too big (vanity sized insanely) or I can't find a matching blazer and skirt. Express has some great quality stuff for the price, however even in taking a look at their site and their full priced clothing, they don't have a matching skirt and top, plus I'd have to get it tailored because their 00 is too big, especially in the arms and hips. I'm looking for navy blue, gray, and beige that I can wear together or mix and match.
 

smallthing

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Does anyone have advice on places to look for business professional wear? Like where to find a skirt suit that is good quality? I'm struggling to find this, everything is either too big (vanity sized insanely) or I can't find a matching blazer and skirt. Express has some great quality stuff for the price, however even in taking a look at their site and their full priced clothing, they don't have a matching skirt and top, plus I'd have to get it tailored because their 00 is too big, especially in the arms and hips. I'm looking for navy blue, gray, and beige that I can wear together or mix and match.
What's your budget? I personally really like RW&Co for business wear - they have great blazers, slacks and skirts that look a million times better than Reitmans and that are easily matched. They do tend to be a bit expensive for that kind of clothing though and some items - not all - can run a bit large.
 

Silent Night

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Does anyone have advice on places to look for business professional wear? Like where to find a skirt suit that is good quality? I'm struggling to find this, everything is either too big (vanity sized insanely) or I can't find a matching blazer and skirt. Express has some great quality stuff for the price, however even in taking a look at their site and their full priced clothing, they don't have a matching skirt and top, plus I'd have to get it tailored because their 00 is too big, especially in the arms and hips. I'm looking for navy blue, gray, and beige that I can wear together or mix and match.
Reiss is a good source for boring conventional, good-quality suits, and it's the only place I've seen that offers a UK size 4 (= US00?). The US prices are higher than the UK equivalent but you could find something in the sale, or else check if international shipping from the UK is cheaper.
 

Golden ice

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Reiss is a good source for boring conventional, good-quality suits, and it's the only place I've seen that offers a UK size 4 (= US00?). The US prices are higher than the UK equivalent but you could find something in the sale, or else check if international shipping from the UK is cheaper.
I have tried Reiss and like you said the pricing is significantly higher in the US. (Anyone looking to buy should buy from a place like Selfridges and ship it).

Unfortunately the sleeves are too short on their clothes for me :(. (And a U.K. 4 is a US 0, but their 0s are probably smaller than some of the US 00s)
 

longlegz

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For some basic things I like to shop in Benetton,they have nice things,but you have to be careful because they usually sell smaller sizes very quickly... :(