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Next step up from H&M, Uniqlo, Club Monaco, Gap, etc.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
If there was already a thread like this I couldn't find it. Hopefully it's relevant to others (and if it is I'll post the useful information back in the main post).

Most of my clothes are from these mall brand stores (H&M, Club Monaco, Gap, etc.) because I'm used to the sizing and they're cheap. I want to invest in some higher quality pieces but I'm having trouble figuring out where to look for better stuff with similar sizing/cuts. I wear an XS/28 at these stores, though these sometimes fit a bit wide/short on me.

What brands/retalers should I be looking at the next tier up from these stores?
post #2 of 8
Denim is a whole other different beast, but pretty much any brand that has a 10+ page thread (except Uniqlo, J Crew, LEC, and LL Bean Signature) is in that high quality and somewhat affordable range of clothing.

Most of this stuff is pretty hard to access in a store unless you live in a big city or something. If you have a big Ralph Lauren store, RRL, RLBL, RLPL are all nicer quality clothing.
post #3 of 8
yeah, I hear ya on this one... my suggestion is to start getting into the type of labels that some of the SW&D guys are into, ie smaller more niche designers. so start trying to find small local boutiques that carry locally made or niche designer labels. What you'll find is stuff that's like the Club/H&M, so it's somewhat fashionable, but instead mostly pretty timeless, and the designs, cuts, and construction will be better for sure. The designs tend to be minimalist, so they're good solid basics but often have just a couple of interesting details. The prices will certainly be much higher, but the price to quality ratio is much higher then the 'real' version of what H&M/Zara/etc are knocking off, which is the Diors, Pradas, etc.
post #4 of 8
I highly recommend checking out some of the affiliates. Epaulet, Blue Owl Workshop, Wolf v. Goat, Self Edge (if you want denim), 4 Horsemen, &c. They carry brands - including house brands - that are a definite step up from the standard mall-brand stuff.
post #5 of 8
As far as a step up for retail, walk-in brick and mortar you can look at Nordstroms, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Barney's CO-OP. But note that the stock at places like Nordstroms is drastically different depending on the area, in less affluent places Nordstroms is almost like Macy's. Although if you live in a small town then YMMV with these and you'll have to look online. If you live in a major urban center then you should be able to find a slew of options beyond these.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Living in London, Ontario so the choices are pretty slim right now. I have a bit of success when I go to Toronto but I still find everything's designed for someone a bit bigger than I am. Thanks for the tips guys, I'm making my way through the affiliate stores now.

@Master-Classter: Any recommendations for shops in Toronto?
Edited by tomorrowstars - 9/11/11 at 7:52am
post #7 of 8
Toronto: Uncle Otis, TNT, Holts, Nomad will get you started.
post #8 of 8
depending on aesthetic... but yeah, +1 to above.

For minimalist meets americana - try Uncle Otis (yorkville), Queen St = Nomad, Oliver Spencer, Klaxon Howl, then distilllery district = Lileo, etc
for more edgy stuff - Yorkville = UPC, TNT Blu (hazleton lanes), etc and then also on Queen = Delphic, Syndey's, and look for random boutiques like that.

check the SF retail map...
Edited by Master-Classter - 9/11/11 at 9:55am
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