Where to Find Quality Clothing

Many of us are looking to shop less often and place shopping into the proper perspective in our lives. At the same time, we’re also aiming to find quality items that will stand the test of time.   In the comments section of one of my previous posts, some readers shared resources for where they find quality clothing and asked me to share my insights on the topic.   I thought that would be a great topic for a post.  As I’ve often said, I get some of my best post ideas from readers!

focus on quality

In today’s post, I list some of my favorite locations for finding quality clothing, as well as some additional resources provided by readers.   You may also wish to check out the guest post written by frequent commenter Dottie last year, “How to Tell if a Garment is Well-Made.”  This article provides a wealth of information to help you determine if clothing pieces will last before you buy them, so I encourage you to check it out if you haven’t already seen it.

Some Information and Caveats About the List Below

The information below is arranged by wardrobe category.  In contrast to most of my posts, I’m actually linking to various retailers and brands in this post.   I am definitely not encouraging anyone to overshop, but I also know how very hard it can be to find clothes (and accessories) that will stand the test of time – and it’s becoming increasingly difficult.

Please note that the included links are not affiliate links.  I will not make any commission if you click on any of the links below; I just want to help provide some guidance to help you shop more wisely.  If you want to help support this site, you can either purchase my books or any of the items included on my Resources Page (which is going to be enhanced soon).

Many of the links are to the US-based sites, but I know I have many readers in other countries, too.  I would be happy to include separate sections for my UK, Canada, and Australia-based readers, as well any other countries for which information is contributed.  Feel free to share international resources in the comments section as desired.

There are some comments and caveats mentioned for the items listed below and you may not agree with all of the recommendations.   That’s okay.  There will never be 100% consensus with anything, but it’s always nice to have something to go on.

This list is just a starting point.  You will notice some missing categories (e.g. plus-size options) and some sparsely populated categories (e.g. purses and jewelry). What I’d really like is for you to add your feedback to the mix in the comments section of this post so that this can be as comprehensive a resource as possible. The more information, the better, so please share away!

T-Shirts and Tanks:

  • Eileen Fisher – Often made in the USA from sustainable materials. I don’t have any tees or tanks from this brand yet, but I hope to get some soon.  I have a dress and a skirt from Eileen Fisher and I have been very happy with both pieces so far.
  • Land’s EndThese tees have a nice thick weight and wash well. They are available at a low price point online and in Sear’s stores.   I bought a few Land’s End tees late last year and have been happy with them.   I have washed them multiple times and they have held up well, but time will tell how well they will last.
  • Eddie BauerI have bought my t-shirts from this retailer for many years and was always impressed with how well they lasted. The quality has declined somewhat in recent years, but I still feel that they are superior to what I’ve found at many other retailers.  The weight of the t-shirts is fairly thick, which is hard to find these days.   But I’ve noticed that the tops stretch out more easily than they used to.
  • The GapI’ve had good luck with their “Favorite Fit” tees. I’ve only purchased the long-sleeved option, but that style is also available in short-sleeved options.   Offered in crew-neck and V-neck styles at very reasonable price points.
  • Nordstrom Caslon BrandA lot of my tops are from this brand and I’ve been fairly happy with them. The quality has been a bit more hit-and-miss recently, but I still have decent luck with my Caslon tops.
  • Nordstrom Halogen BrandMy feedback about this brand is much the same as for Caslon. I don’t have as many Halogen pieces, but they are a brand I often buy and am satisfied with.
  • Chico’s I haven’t shopped at this store in a long time, but many of the tank tops I’ve had for years are from Chico’s and they have lasted very well. I’m not sure if their quality is still at the same level, but it’s worth a try.

Tops – General:

  • Vince Camuto – I have a few tops from this brand and have been very happy with them. I purchased mine at Nordstrom, but they are available at other stores and through their website (to which I have linked).
  • Eddie Bauer – If you like waffle-style tops, this is a good place to buy them.  I have purchased my casual tops from Eddie Bauer for years and have been impressed with the quality. That said, I’ve started to notice a decline in their quality recently in terms of the thickness and durability of the material.  I would still buy tops from Eddie Bauer, though.

Cashmere and Other Types of Sweaters:

  • Isaac Mizrahi – One reader mentioned that she purchased a few cashmere sweaters from Isaac Mizrahi via QVC. She mentioned that the quality is better than that of sweaters you’d find in department stores at the same price points.
  • Everlane – Per several readers, this brand offers good quality cashmere at reasonable prices. They also sell chunky wool sweaters that have earned favorable reviews. They are very transparent about their manufacturing practices and have excellent customer service.
  • Men’s Cashmere – Several readers recommended shopping in men’s departments for cashmere sweaters. Men’s sweaters are often made from thicker fabric and are of much higher quality than women’s cashmere, as men buy infrequently and expect their clothes to last.   This is an especially good option for women who like a boxier fit or who have more of a “boyish” shape.
  • Macy’s Charter Club – A reader touted the low prices for this brand (often on sale) and the fact that the sweaters last well.

Casual Jackets / Outerwear:

  • Patagonia – I bought a casual jacket from this brand last year and have worn it multiple times. I’ve been impressed with the quality and durability and would definitely recommend it.  Patagonia is known for their ethics and sustainability, as well as their quality clothing.  My husband also has a Patagonia jacket that he’s worn into the ground for the past two years, and it still looks great!
  • Eddie Bauer – While the quality of Eddie Bauer’s tops may be declining, I haven’t noticed that with their jackets. I am still impressed with how well they are made and how durable they are.  I have several casual jackets from Eddie Bauer that I wear on my regular walks and have found them to stand the test of time very well.

Blazers, Moto Jackets, and Similar:

  • Nordstrom Caslon BrandThis brand is great for knit blazers and moto jackets. I’ve had some of mine for at least a few years and I’ve been very happy with them.   There isn’t a large selection right now, but I suspect that in a month or so, there will be more on offer.
  • Nordstrom Halogen Brand – Usually a bit more upscale than Caslon, but the price points are still good. The black moto jacket I bought last year is from Halogen and I think the quality is excellent.

Cardigans:

  • Nordstrom Bobeau Brand – I believe this is a Nordstrom house brand. If you like drape-style cardigans, this is a good brand to check out.   The price points are reasonable and the quality is usually quite good.  I have a few pieces from this brand that I’ve been pleased with.
  • Nordstrom (general) – There are currently over 300 cardigan options available from Nordstrom in all different colors and styles. I can’t vouch for the quality of all of the linked styles, but I’ve generally been satisfied with the cardigans I’ve purchased at Nordstrom. The brand that I like a lot (other than Bobeau, above) is called Kische, but don’t see any options for that brand listed currently.
  • The Limited – I used to shop this brand a lot in my 20’s and 30’s. A store opened in my local mall last year and I purchased a cobalt cardigan that I’ve been quite happy with.   Their quality seems to be pretty good overall, so it might be worth checking out.

Pants / Jeans:

  • Lucky Brand – My recent jean purchases (in the past year) have been from Lucky Brand. My jeans are too new to attest to their longevity, but my husband buys all of his jeans from Lucky and held up well over the years.  They have many different styles and washes, as well as multiple lengths available.
  • Eddie Bauer (pants | jeans) – I have bought quite a few pairs of pants and jeans from Eddie Bauer and have been impressed with the quality. While they have traditionally been geared more toward casual and sporty wear, they have branched out in recent years and now offer some dressier and work-appropriate clothing, too.  If you are looking for pants in styles other than the current cutting-edge trends, Eddie Bauer is a good place to look, as they have a broad range of selections.
  • Gap (pants | jeans) – I haven’t purchased much at The Gap recently, so I can’t attest to their recent quality, but the pants and jeans I’ve bought from them in the past have held up well. They also offer three or four lengths in most of their styles, so Gap is a good retailer to shop if you need either very short or long inseams.
  • Not Your Daughter’s Jeans – I have only purchased one pair of jeans from this brand and it’s held up quite well (still in my closet from 2007!). A reader recently mentioned that she was impressed with this brand, too.   The reason I haven’t gone back to this brand is that they tend to have a very high rise and that is not my preference. But their jeans include lots of tummy control for those who need it, which is a big reason they are so popular with the over 40 crowd.  I linked to the brand site, but Nordstrom also offers a large selection online and in their Point of View department.

Dresses and Skirts:

  • Nordstrom (dresses | skirts) –  The dresses and skirts I’ve bought over the past two years have mostly been from Nordstrom and are primarily maxi length styles.  Their longevity is not yet proven, but I have been happy with the quality thus far.   Brands that I like at Nordstrom include Bobeau, Max & Mia, and Eliza J.
  • Eileen Fisher (dresses | skirts) – About two years ago, I purchased a skirt and a dress from Eileen Fisher. I had heard good things about this brand previously and have been pleased with my two Eileen Fisher items.   As mentioned above, Eileen Fisher clothing is often made in the USA and from sustainable materials.

Office Clothing:

  • White House Black Market – Per feedback from several readers, the office wear from this retailer is generally high quality but occasionally misses the mark. Fabrics usually have some sort of interesting texture, so there is still variety despite the limited color palette.  Prices can be high, but they often have sales and coupons.   Most dresses are lined, but pants usually are not.  One reader swears by their dresses, blouses, skirts, jeans, cardigans, and jackets.
  • Banana Republic – One reader mentioned that this retailer offers good season-less wool items such as pencil skirts and jackets.

Workout Clothing:

  • Gap (GapFit line) – Much of my workout wear is from this brand and I have been happy with it. Sadly, they no longer carry my favorite pant fit, so I’m going to have to find a good alternative once my pants wear out.  But I have worn and washed my pants many, many times and they are still holding up well.  The tops also seem to be more durable than other workout tops I’ve worn in the past.
  • Athleta – This brand offers a wide range of stylish, comfortable, and good quality athletic and casual wear. I don’t have many pieces myself, but plan to look to Athleta for future purchases in this category, as they seem to be a step above what I’ve worn previously.  They are also more expensive, but sometimes we get what we pay for.
  • Eddie Bauer (tops | pants) – For years, I purchased all of my workout tops from Eddie Bauer (I leaned toward their “favorite fit” V-neck tees). I still buy those tees, but I feel that the quality is not as high as it used to be.  However, they have recently launched a new line of workout wear called Motion and I purchased two of the tees (this style).  I can’t speak to the longevity as of yet, but I am impressed with the fit and the quick-dry fabric.  They also have pants in this new line, but I haven’t tried them. I do like their “Girl on the Go” pants, although I prefer the fit from two years ago to the current version (the current version is a better fit for those with more of a straight figure).
  • Old Navy – Two years ago, I purchased two pairs of pants from their active wear category. I have been very happy with these pants and they have lasted through many wearings and washings. I definitely got my money’s worth and would surely replace them if the style were still available.  Most of their current styles are very fitted (or have fold-over waistlines, which I don’t like) and I prefer a more relaxed workout pant, but I included this brand on the list as I was impressed with the value for the price.

Bras:

  • Natori (Nordstrom) – This is the brand of bra I’ve been wearing in recent years and I’m very happy with it. I’m sure Natori is available in other places, but I buy my bras from Nordstrom.  The styles I like are the Feathers Underwire Contour (apparently a Nordstrom best-seller) and the “Hidden Glamour” Contour Underwire.
  • Gap Body – In addition to the Natori bras mentioned above, I also wear the Gap Body t-shirt bras. These bras are reasonably priced and have held up well over the past two years.  There are multiple styles and colors available. There aren’t as many size options as for the Natori bras, but the value for the price is good in my opinion.

Petite Options:

  • Eileen Fisher – Guest poster Terra swears by Eileen Fisher for smart casual wear for her size 2 petite frame. Many of their clothes run large, however, so it’s often a good idea to size down.  Sometimes very small, petite women like Terra can be sized out of some styles, but if you can find clothes in this brand that fit you well, you will be impressed with the quality.
  • Boy’s Departments – Several readers have mentioned boy’s departments as an excellent place to find classic polo shirts, button-down shirts and similar styles for small, petite women. The boys’ version of some items are often higher quality and less expensive than women’s options.

Tall Options:

  • Lucky Brand – I mentioned this brand above as my go-to jeans choice. That’s because they offer long (34”) and extra-long (36”) lengths in many of their styles.
  • Eddie Bauer – This retailer also offers tall (usually 36” inseam) for many of their pants and jeans options. They also offer tall versions of many of their top and outerwear styles.
  • Gap – Another good resource for tall clothing. Gap offers a wide range of options for tall women in pants, tops, dresses, skirts, shorts, and outerwear.
  • LOFT – One tall reader mentioned that she really likes Loft’s pants options, particularly their tall curvy jeans.

Shoes:

  • Clark’s – I have quite a few pairs of shoes from Clarks, particularly sandals and boots. Some of these shoes have been in my closet for years and have stood up to many wearings.  Clarks has many different styles and I have found their shoes to be comfortable on my fussy feet.
  • Ecco – Another brand I really like is the Danish brand, Ecco. I have boots, sandals, and walking shoes from this brand and have been happy with them.   They are a great choice for staple shoes in basic styles.
  • Naot – A comfort brand made in Israel. I only have one pair of Naot shoes, but they have been in my closet for several years and have held up very well.  My mom also has a few pairs of Naots and is very pleased with them.
  • Attilio Giusti Leombroni (AGL) – This brand is known for their cap-toe ballet flats that are a Nordstrom best-seller. After years of coveting these shoes, I finally brought a pair into my closet a little over a year ago. I’ve been impressed with the quality, comfort, and style of these shoes. They are definitely pricey, but I feel they are worth it.
  • Sofft – I currently only have one pair of Sofft shoes, but I have worn this brand quite a bit over the years and would recommend it. They are known for being a comfort brand, but they also offer a lot of stylish options in varying heel heights and colors.
  • Ziera – I have two pairs of Ziera shoes (black caged sandals, metallic flats). Both are relatively new, so I can’t yet attest to their longevity. But I can say that these shoes are comfortable upon their first wearing and appear to be of superior quality.  Ziera is made in New Zealand, so they may be plentiful in both that country and in Australia.  I haven’t seen this brand much yet in the US, but they are available online.
  • Van Eli – One reader swears by this brand for flats with arch support (she has “fussy feet” like me).
  • Geoxx – The same reader who recommended Van Eli also touted the virtues of Geoxx flats with arch support.
  • Sam Edelman – This brand was mentioned as being a good option for boots, but they also offer lots of great styles of ballet flats and sandals.
  • Men’s Shoes – A great option for women who are looking for classic shoe styles like oxfords, brogues, boat shoes, and loafers. Most women generally wear a full size smaller in men’s shoes than their usual women’s size (e.g. a woman who wears a size 9 would take a men’s size 8).

Handbags / Purses:

  • Brighton – Many of my purses are from Brighton and I’ve been very impressed with the quality. They also offer a refurbishing service for all bags purchased in their stores. Once a year, you can bring in your bag to have it cleaned free of charge. I’ve used this service a few times and have been pleased to have a like-new bag returned to me!
  • Coach – I haven’t purchased Coach bags recently, but they used to be a go-to brand for me and I know many other women swear by them. I will likely look to this brand again for my next handbag, as I want to vary things up a bit from the Brighton bags.

Accessories / Jewelry:

  • Brighton – I also like Brighton’s jewelry and have mostly been impressed with their quality. I say “mostly” because I did have an issue with one bracelet (I lost it when the fastener came undone), but for the most part, I’ve been happy with the jewelry pieces I’ve purchased at Brighton. This brand is a good option for those who love silver and two-toned metallic jewelry.   They also offer great belts, sunglasses (I have a pair and love them), wallets, key fobs, and eyeglass holders.
  • Men’s Departments – Several readers mentioned men’s departments as being a great option for scarves (including cashmere), hats, gloves, belts, etc. The offerings are often of much higher quality than the women’s equivalents.  As one example, a reader wrote that the thickness of the cashmere scarves and gloves she purchased in a men’s department was twice that of the comparable women’s options (and the prices were lower, too).

Miscellaneous Recommendations:

  • Linda’s Stuff – An eBay seller that offers quality clothing options, free shipping, and returns. One reader swears by this option.
  • The Real Real – Online designer consignment (designer clothing at much lower prices)

Thank you for reading! If you liked this post, please share it with your friends and subscribe for free updates by email.

I also invite you to join the End Closet Chaos private Facebook group, where you can interact with others about the topics discussed here.

Comments

  1. Great post and one I have had to learn about the hard way. Some additions:

    Good quality:
    L.L. Bean
    Rampage heels (at least 5+ years ago they were, not too sure about now)
    Alberto Fermani shoes/dress boots (a little pricey, I buy on clearance)
    Leather purses: Etsy sellers. Handmade is awesome. (I like adeleshop)
    If you’re into the minimalist shoe thing: Vivobarefoot. These things are UNSCRATCHABLE
    Vince sweaters – again, on the pricier side but the yarn is high quality.
    Rugged Boots: select styles of Frye (the engineer boots are still made in USA), select styles of Doc Martens (the ones that are made in the UK), Asolo hiking boots, and Superfeet insoles
    Basic lounge (sweatshirts, leggings, yoga pants): Champion, Hanes, Danskin

    Hit or Miss:
    J Crew. Tissue tees dissolve just by looking at them but I am very happy with my sweatshirt and scarf.
    Madewell. in general good quality but I think it is a bit overpriced for what it is.

    Avoid:
    H&M. (Used to love them, have gone down hill fast)
    Dr Scholls ballet flats. Fall apart very fast 🙁 This is the first pair of shoes that I actually put a hole in the sole.

    P.S. New York & Co also have tall pants

    • American in London says:

      I will second L.L.Bean, not only is the quality good to begin with the customer service is amazing. I’ve had the same pair of boots for 5 years and have worn them almost daily in winter. One of the buckles needed repair and L.L.Bean reimbursed me $25 for the work since I could no longer return the item (it had been discontinued). The have a 100% satisfaction with no time limit. My husband wore shirts once a week, and the collar started to fray. I brought it into the store – they found the purchase and returned it at full cost for a similar new shirt.

      Their outerwear, shoes and basics are always high quality, and if you have a problem they will replace the item, no issue.

  2. Oh, and for bras if you are outside of the “normal range” or have never been properly sized (PLEASE DO, your girls will thank you), check out the following high quality brands:
    Panache
    Felina
    Chantelle
    Curvy Kate
    Fantasie

    • I also want to add Primadonna to that quality bra list.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Thank you SO MUCH for adding this additional bra feedback! I know it can be very difficult to find good bras in larger sizes. It’s hard enough for ME to find good bras and I’m in what could be considered the “normal range.” I will be sure to add the brands mentioned above to the permanent list.

  3. For shoes, I really like Born (but NOT their “little sister” brand, B.O.C. — disappointing quality in the latter case).
    Also La Canadienne for boots — pricey but well worth it in my experience so far.
    I have a pair of ballet flats from Aerosoles that are not the sleekest version of ballet flats on the planet, but are very comfortable and are holding up well.

    For jewelry, go vintage! I have rarely been disappointed with my vintage jewelry purchases from Ebay and (especially) Etsy. It’s possible to get sterling silver, semiprecious stones, etc. for prices much lower than retail. And, I am a bit of a snob about this I admit, but a lot of current costume jewelry just looks and feels cheap to me — whereas vintage stuff often has a real weight and substance to it. My one piece of advice is to pay very close attention to measurements as it is often hard to judge the scale of a piece of jewelry from an online photo. Compare carefully to a piece you already own, or make a paper “mockup” you can hold up to your ear/neckline/etc. Measure twice, buy once! 🙂

    • Thanks for the rec! I have my eye on two pairs of flats from Born, as they have gotten really good reviews from a “comfort flat” standpoint.

  4. I hadn’t planned to comment because figuring out which brands lasts and which ones do not these days is an ongoing process of discovery for me. But since you mention it, I’ll chime in. I’m five foot two, 105 lbs and I wear a size 2 top and I’m between a 0-2 in pants. Yet I’m long-legged with a short waist, and finding clothing to fit is a challenge! Five years ago it was easy to find good quality petite size clothing, and I believe this is why I over-shopped back then. Finding pants and tops that fit me properly now is very difficult. For tops, the “Eileen Fisher Cap sleeve silk Tee” is ideal for me. I wear a small petite. This Tee goes with everything and layers well under a jacket or sweater. It washes well on delicate, cold water, hang to dry. For travel it is a dream come true, light weight and does not wrinkle. I have five EF tops, and they are expensive—I wait and purchase on sale. I also have one EF dress and one jacket in a size 2 and the fit like it was designed for me. EF pants however, do not fit me at all; too wide and too short. I currently have a very small wardrobe of “nice” clothing. But I love what I have.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks so much for adding this additional feedback on Eileen Fisher petites, Terra. I’m sure it will be very helpful to the other readers out there who are in your size range. While I’m not a petite, I do appreciate the recommendation for the Eileen Fisher cap sleeve silk tee and I’m going to be on the lookout for those as I round out my spring/summer wardrobe. It seems like it could be a very good option for me. The EF pants don’t fit me, either. They are all too short for my “giraffe legs.” Maybe one day she will decide to offer talls and will round out the petite range with some additional styles.

  5. Great resources, Debbie!!! I buy a lot of odds and ends in the men’s dept. (or wear my father’s vintage stuff). Not every thing works (the boxy sweaters can be belted of tucked in) but the quality is better than comparable in women’s clothing.

    Brooks Brothers also has quality clothing, and I also like Anne Klein and Jones New York for classic tailored shirts, pants and skirts. I have several pairs of Ann Klein shoes that have stood up well — they are over 10 years old and still look good with a frequent polishing. I am also a fan of Merrell Siren Sport sneakers which I buy on E-Bay. The last is based on a women’s foot — a rare thing in sneaker-land. And I have some Joan and David and Stuart Weitzman shoes that are rather old but look almost brand new. There are a number of “discount” on-line sites for a lot of the shoes mentioned here and in your post. But be wary of shipping costs; I got badly burned when I had to pay the retailer’s inflated “shipping rates” for a dress that you and I and all your readers could have gotten into — a real tent! I managed to get some of the costs refunded but not all, so now I am super picky about on-line shopping. Free 2-way shipping only!! I have occasionally found a great buy at Costco! I have a lovely cashmere turtleneck sweater (of some vintage now) that I got for a song. To buy a comparable today would cost about $200 — if you could even find as thick a cashmere.

    I’m hanging onto my stuff as long as I can because I dread having to find a comparable item at a reasonable price.

    • I agree on trying the men’s department – if you can find something that fits, the quality and value for money is almost always better!

  6. I’ve bought some wonderful handbags at TJ Maxx and Marshalls. Not all branches have the same quality (or maybe the quality stuff goes out the door faster?) but I have a few pegged stores for an occasional inspection. I have many friends who have gotten a fantastic handbag at one or the other of these stores. There are some of the bigger brand names often available and more selection in the next price tier down. I’m pretty fussy about handbags — the hardware has to be “silver”; the bag must zip tightly across the top; it must be roomy but not to big; and it’s a bonus if it can be worn cross-body via an adjustable shoulder strap. Did I mention all leather? That too. I just bought one recently with a gift card — about 75% off the price on the original brand ticket (if you can trust it). I’ve done well with shoes at Maxx too.

  7. So excited to see this post, Debbie! It’s very helpful to have this info all in one place so that we all can benefit from each others experiences.

    I have very fussy feet and almost exclusively wear Naot shoes and sandals, La Canadienne boots, Clark’s Wave Runner sneakers, and sometimes my older Danskos.

    I second Sarah E.’s recommendation for both getting a good bra fitting and also for the bras mentioned. Like Debbie, I love Natori bras. I like buying my bras at Nordstrom as they have a good selection and usually knowledgeable staff. I also can recommend bras from Soma for their support, comfort, and longevity. Also love Soma panties, sleepwear and dresses.

    My absolute favorite jeans are Hudson jeans. For women like me with a flat backside, the pocket flaps on the rear are very flattering. They are expensive but well worth it (for me anyway) if you count cost per wear. I currently have 2 pair and they are all I wear. When I lose more weight and need jeans, Hudson jeans will be what I buy.

    In the summer I like to wear dresses by Tommy Bahama. They are cool, comfortable, and well made. They also wash beautifully. Also recommend the Tommy Bahama sweatshirts, particularly the reversible ones. While all TB products are pricey I feel they are worth it in terms of comfort and cost per wear.

    I second Debbie’s rec of Brighton handbags. I like to buy one and use it for years. I love the Brighton leather crossbody bag I have now and if it was still available I’d buy one as a backup. Great quality.

  8. This is a great list and thanks for compiling it.
    I’m a huge fan of Eddie Bauer, too. I’ve got two pants suits from there that fit very well and are crazy comfortable. I never would have thought that was a place for suits, but I love them!

  9. A UK list here:

    Generally: Sunspel, sometimes Uniqlo (eg down jackets, and the Ines de la Fressange range); John Lewis men’s department (eg own brand tee shirts, scarves)
    Knitwear: John Smedley
    Active wear: Rohan
    Socks: Falke
    Shoes: Natural Shoe Store, Birkenstock, Northern Cobbler, Tracey Neuls,
    Bags: Cambridge satchel company (love the push lock range!)

    Alice

    • I LOVE Cambridge Satchel! I have had 3 bags by them, and while I’ve moved two of them on, my 15in Oxblood satchel is one of my go-to bags! I have my eye on a red push-lock bag, as I am looking for a red purse. I was in London in November and made a special trip to the store. I am shocked I didn’t come home with anything!

      • I got my first one recently, a medium sized black push lock. It’s great! I’m surprised you were not tempted…

    • Debbie Roes says:

      I really appreciate your sharing UK resources, Alice! I will be sure to add them to the permanent list. I know I have quite a few readers in the UK, so it’s very helpful to have some resources for them, too. Plus, you never know who might be traveling to your beautiful part of the world for vacation (I hope to get back there myself sometime soon).

  10. For jackets: I have a North Face 3 in 1, and I wore it almost exclusively this winter. It’s warm without being overly bulky, and was great for my trip to England. North Face (and Columbia) generally make really good outdoor wear.

    For sandals, I love birkenstock and sofft. I have to be super picky about shoes now after having broken my ankle, and both brands are very comfortable for long periods of time and walking.

  11. For tops I like Three Dots (you can get them cheaper at Amazon) or Max Studio (or the store equivalent Studio M, Sophie Max, M.S.S.P.).
    Jeans-Lucky Brand
    Boots-Frye
    Shoes-Born or Clarks
    and for casual cotton dresses I like Soma.

  12. Jennifer says:

    Since no one has weighed in for plus sizes, I will. Granted, my clothes budget involves a lot of thrifting right now, but these are my go-to brands, even second-hand. I define quality as items that have lasted and look good after 5 years in my closet, ymmv.

    Talbots–have thrifted a few skirts from there and always get compliments, seem to be well sewn. Also have regular, petites, and petite plus.

    Land’s End–scored three similar polo dresses and a few tops that have stood up well over the years.

    NYDJ–my favorite pair of jeans, I scored for $40 at a Ross-type store called Burkes’ Outlet. Still looking for another NYDJ magical unicorn jean. Works great for apple shapes to hide stomach.

    Liz Claiborne–not sure where this brand is sold, but provides some of the softest tops I’ve owned–tees and long sleeve tees.

    eShakti–custom made and ready-to-send options for dresses and skirts. I own one skirt, because they’re spendy, but this company has such beautiful designs, colors, and fabrics, especially if you like vintage or boho styles.

    Catos–I think this may be a Southern U.S. retailer, but they now have a website. Great products for Old Navy-type prices. Many of my clothes bought full-retail are Catos. They mark down things every week in store, also. Many of my tops are going strong five or more years later. Their shoes, jewelry, and lingerie seem more fast fashion.

    Simply Be–English retailer, haven’t tried their clothes, but recently ordered 2 wide calf boots that fit 21 inch calves! Color me thrilled! Not sure about longetivity, but they seem well-made.

    The Liquidation Channel–website and a t.v. channel; ordered their precious or semi-precious stone jewelry and it has lasted, some of their fashion jewelry has come unglued. I LOVE their auctions page, I’ve gotten great semi-precious rings, earrings, and necklaces for $10 or less.

    • Jennifer says:

      Forgot to mention, most of the shops do regular sizes as well. Simply Be may not, not positive.

    • I’ve seen Catos stores in my Midwestern city so maybe this store has expanded its geographic reach. Other stores that offer special sizes are Dots, Avenue, Catherine’s, and Lane Bryant (not sure if this is still a bricks-and-mortar store — haven’t driven by one in a while). Many dept. stores offer special sizes too. There are great on-line resources too.

      Liz Claiborne is sold at J C Penney — misses and women’s sizes.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      I really appreciate you sharing this list of plus-size resources, Jennifer. I will definitely include them on the permanent page I’m going to create on the site.

      Dottie, thanks for adding some additional resources to Jennifer’s list.

  13. I have shifted to a much smaller wardrobe and thrift it as well. I love Eileen Fisher( some of their things don’t fit just right so I have to be extra picky and try every piece on) they wear like iron. So do my NYDJ jeans. They are designed to be comfortable when moving but don’t bag like others do. They are worth the cost. I love my AGL shoes. I have done a 180 in buying less but the highest quality I can afford. I’m saving up for two new items this year and will buy when they go on sale. I have learned to turn my craving for new to a craving for quality. I save up for the “10” and don’t settle for lots of “5’s”. This has been a long slow proccess with many backslides. Thank you for all the post you do. They encourage me.

    • Kathy: You are singing my song. I also try for the best quality I can afford and save up for a big purchase. I’ve found (by a lot of trail and error a few decades ago) that a smaller, carefully chosen and well-fitting wardrobe of quality clothes appropriate for your lifestyle saves money in the long run. This year I have a few tops that need to be replaced, and I worry about trying to replicate the quality of even a few years ago. I will have to look in AGL shoes — thanks for the tip.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      AGL shoes are definitely worth the money. I was wary at first, but my friend had two pairs for years that she swore by and I always loved how they looked with her outfits. So I finally took the plunge and I’ve been very happy with my black AGL ballet flats. I may even get a pair in another color later this year.

  14. Hi Debbie you are still my favorite blog, You are consistently fascinating and thorough I really appreciate you. I don’t want to speak too soon but I seem to have turned a corner and ‘stopped the bleeding’ this last few months. Resisting online sites is my best defense, I don’t miss it if I don’t know it exists. Anyhoo regarding making your favorites last, I wish to recommend https://www.annienymotee.com undershirts for women. They work well under fitted (and white) shirts and sweaters. Pay attention to the bicep measurement recommendation as I am just an 8 and I had to go with a large. I am still looking for a wider neckline design (to suit boat necks) too if anyone has found one. I found this product via Erin Busbee (she has some interesting Youtube videos on closet culling etc).

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Thank you for telling me this is your favorite blog, Shelley. I appreciate your kind words. Congrats on cutting back on your shopping! Just take things one day at a time and forgive yourself and recommit if you have any setbacks. Thanks for the tip on the shirts! I will check out Erin Busbee’s videos, too.

  15. All cotton, not see through, t shirts – Route 66 at Kmart of all places. $8. Soft, durable. I size up for a more modern fit. Also that same brand camisole has non itchy straps. I hate the ‘satin’ material 99% of places use for the trim and straps. These are the same soft cotton/spandex blend as the whole cami, and adjustable, for under $7.

    • GASP! It appears these are either temporarily no longer available or discontinued. I might have to scour the Kmart shelves for any last ones I can find!

  16. Inhabit NY, Vince – for cashmere/wool
    Equipment/Everlane – for silk shirts
    James Perse – cotton basics
    49 square miles – beautiful soft leather bags
    most of other house clothing/pj’s – Target

  17. I want to add Uniqlo to the list, I have a number of cardigan, t-shirts and tops 5+ years old still I’m regular rotation. Being a Japanese brand the quality is high especially if you stick to natural fibres.

    • I agree about the quality, but a warning to other hourglass ladies, uniqlo can be cut very narrow 🙁

      • Mary Anne says:

        Yes, I use a medium in LL Bean tops but take an extra large in a Uniqlo. However, the only tee I have bought is wonderful. I like their undershirts very much, also, for winter and summer.

    • Paula spruell says:

      I love Uniqlo! Their cashmere is quite nice, especially for the price point. Love their basic t-shirts. The big store in NYC I’d great fun but they have a website too

  18. For Australian readers, the Michelle Bridges activewear workout range at Big W is fantastic. I’ve had workout pants from there that I’ve worn for the last 3 years and am only now seeing the need to replace them.

    Also agree about Ecco shoes for durability and comfort. Also a brand called Arcopedico (Portuguese or Spanish I think) – shoes that are comfortable, durable and can be thrown in the washing machine apparently!

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks for sharing an Australian resource, Cheryl, as well as adding another shoe option to the list. I’m all for shoes that can be machine washed!

  19. This is an impressive list of sources from you and my fellow readers, Debbie. I might mention that Macy’s has 2 fashion-forward in-house brands: Alfani and I.N.C. I have found some basic tanks, pants, and other essentials at good prices in the Alfani line. Two years ago I found an Eileen Fisher long-sleeve navy t-shirt for $20 on the clearance rack. (It was sticking out funny, and was navy blue in a sea of pastels, otherwise I would have sailed past in my “no clearance racks” quick-step march.) I asked about it because this particular Macy’s doesn’t carry EF in the store. It was an on-line return (originally $98) that eventually ended up on clearance. I bought it because it was a classic design, one of my wardrobe building-block colors, and a versatile wardrobe asset. And — I had a 20% off coupon. What a deal at $16 plus tax. And it travels very well.

    I concur on Caslon at Nordy’s. Great brand. My white Caslon tees are still aging gracefully.

  20. Paula spruell says:

    AGL, yes!!! Love the fit of their shoes. Stuart Weitzman too, I have a narrow heel and these are wonderful,always check their sales. My Loft jeans have held up so well, and I wear them to death, they have a decent petite selection online. I scour Nordstrom Rack for AGL shoes, have done very well there, got some loafers in Dallas for about $65! Lululemon is my go to for workout and yoga wear. Their fabric holds up so well…I wear them almost daily. They even hem for free!

  21. Debbie Roes says:

    I want to sincerely thank everyone who has taken the time to add feedback here. With your help, I will be able to build a very comprehensive list that will benefit a large number of people. It has been especially helpful to receive resources for retailers in other countries, as well as for specialty sizes. All of the feedback has been very welcomed and appreciated! I won’t be able to respond to each individual comment, but I just wanted to express my gratitude to all of you.

    If anyone else has additional feedback, keep it coming! I can’t leave comments open indefinitely anymore due to the spammers, but I do keep all threads open for two weeks. Plus, you are always welcome to contact me directly via the “Connect” page. Thanks again to all!

  22. Quality clothing, is so elusive. Even when I find something that works well, that may only last for one season. Designs, materials, anything and everything in fashion changes so often. It’s a constant hunt to find quality items.

  23. Lotus1922 says:

    2nd’ing the boys’ department suggestion. I had given up on ever finding jeans that fit because my pants look best sitting closer to my hips than my waist, but I prefer a higher rise and a wider-than-skinny leg— all of which is impossible to satisfy in women’s sizes, even petites. Thankfully, after a LOT of searching, I finally found that boys’ 14 – 18 Regular size range (depending on the brand) for jeans/ pants fits me as if tailor-made! I have also had great luck with boys’ dept for tops and agree that since male styles don’t change as much as women’s, they are better quality and more comfortable for a lower price point than women’s clothing which is deliberately designed to be disposable since it will be off-trend in a few months.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      I appreciate your sharing this tip, Lotus. Most of us wouldn’t even think to check the boys’ department for clothing, but I think you and the others who shared a similar tip are on to something! I will include your feedback on the permanent page I’m going to create for the site. Thanks!

Comments are closed for this article.