Fast fashion. Sadly, it probably isn’t going away anytime soon. Most clothing today is made quickly and cheaply, causing us to throw out tons of clothing each and every year. We purchase clothing only for it to lose its shape the first time we wash it. And our clothes seem to wear out at an astonishing rate. How do we even find high-quality clothing anymore?
I was astonished to find out that 65 pounds of clothing are thrown away by the average family every year. And, the average person buys 60% more clothing items and keeps them for half as long as they did just a little over a decade ago. Not only that, but women tend to wear a piece of clothing only 7 times before deciding they are done with it!
I think it’s safe to say that fast fashion is taking a serious toll on our homes, our money, our self-worth, and our planet. It’s time that we make the change towards slower fashion and high-quality clothing.
For me, I especially want to make this change so that I can have a capsule wardrobe that lasts longer. A capsule wardrobe is small and intentional, and part of that intentionality is choosing quality pieces that will stand the test of time. I want to create a capsule wardrobe that’s versatile, timeless, classic, and high-quality!
If you want to build a smaller, intentional capsule wardrobe, make sure you get my free capsule wardrobe e-book when you subscribe to my email list. I walk you through decluttering and shopping your closet and what to shop for to complete your capsule.
The Benefits of High-Quality Clothing
The benefits of high-quality clothing seem obvious, but people still seem to choose cheap over quality time and time again. People tend to look for a deal and call that value. But really, value is a combination of cost and quality.
Here are just some of the benefits of buying high-quality clothing:
- lasts longer (and may save you money in the long run!)
- holds its shape better (won’t lose it’s shape when you wear or wash it)
- fits better (tends to lay better and look better on your body)
- feels better (made with great fabrics!)
How Do I Know If a Piece of Clothing is High-Quality?
High-quality clothing can be found by doing a little bit of inspection before buying.
First, inspect the fabric. Look for fabrics that feel good on your skin, are comfortable and breathable, are thick enough that you can’t see objects through them, and don’t have inconsistencies. Make sure to give a garment a firm tug to make sure that the fabric bounces back to its original shape. Remember that bright colors and patterns immediately cheapen a garment.
Second, check out the seams. To do this, turn the garment inside out. Look for sturdy thread and stitches that are reinforced. Make sure the seams are consistent and neat, are completely flat, and don’t have loose threads. Pull the fabric apart on each side of the seam to make sure it doesn’t pull apart.
Third, inspect any buttons or zippers. Make sure buttons are easy to fasten and unfasten, are spaced out evenly, and are secured with several threads. Make sure that any buttonholes are nicely stitched. For any zippers, make sure they go up and down smoothly and lie flat against your body.
Where to Shop for High-Quality Clothing
There are many stores known for having high-quality clothing. I’ve collected a list of stores that tend to have high-quality pieces, but remember, you will still want to inspect clothing for quality before making a purchase whenever possible.
High-Quality Clothing Stores
Here are some stores that I personally shop at, as well as some that were recommended to me:
Nordstrom Rack is great for buying higher-quality clothing at bargain prices!
The jeans I have bought from Express fit well and last longer. My black pants don’t fade, and my knees don’t wear out quickly.
Aerie is great for higher-quality undergarments, pajamas, and loungewear.
Jane offers cute, on-trend clothing that’s higher-quality and super affordable!
For a step-up in quality (and price), try ModCloth. I love their unique vintage style!
LOFT is the store of choice for many women seeking higher-quality garments. This store is great for classic pieces and feminine prints.
Known for their well-made jeans, Madewell also sells clothing, shoes, accessories, and more!
With prices that vary from $20-$300, Nordstrom is a step up from its counterpart, Nordstrom Rack. You can score some great deals on high-quality pieces for your wardrobe!
Grana offers amazing fabrics that are sure to please your skin and lie nicely on your body. Check out Grana if you love a more classic style.
Athleta is great for high-quality athletic and loungewear, offering other clothing for your active everyday life as well.
Owned by Gap Inc., Banana Republic takes its classic clothing up a notch in the quality department.
Universal Standard is new to me, but I love that they offer high-quality clothing for all body types. They even sell kits (think pre-made capsule wardrobes!) for essentials, activewear, workwear, and loungewear.
TOMS is known for its canvas flats that give back. If that’s not your style, don’t dismiss them just yet! They offer many different styles of footwear and accessories. Their shoes (including heels!) are known for being extremely comfortable and well made.
Another store new to me, Modern Citizen offers high-quality clothing and accessories at fairly affordable prices. Prices of tops range from $50 to over $100.
& Other Stories
& Other Stories offers great prices on basic tops and other high-quality clothing pieces!
Mango is another store with great affordable basics that are high-quality and appeal to all ages.
Known for their shoes, Sam Edelman offers high-quality shoes, handbags, and clothing at luxury prices.
Great for high-quality sweaters, cardigans, and other layering tops. (But they offer more than that!)
Looking for clothing that’s more unique? Then Fashion Bunker is a great store for you to explore!
Sustainable Clothing Stores
I highly recommend that you take the quality one step further and find brands that are more sustainable. This is the direction I want to go in with my capsule wardrobe. The more research I do about fashion and high-quality clothing, the more I feel like this is a no-brainer!
Sustainable clothing brands can be eco-friendly (less impact on the environment), considered slow fashion (clothing that is meant to last longer), and/or ethical (addresses the treatment of garment workers and the effects on the community).
Most of the time, sustainable clothing stores are known for their high-quality clothing as well. That’s because the emphasis is put on clothing lasting longer, staying in style longer, and being made with care.
Pact is known for its soft, comfortable clothing made with organic cotton.
Eco Vibe Apparel
Affordable, ethical fashion is what Eco Vibe Apparel advertises. They consider where and how things are made, who makes them, and what they are made out of to keep their store eco-friendly. Also, they donate 1% of all sales to 1% For The Planet.
Leggings, bras, and tops all made from recycled materials are Girlfriend Collective’s specialty!
Jerico says they are Canadian-made and socially conscious apparel. They believe in fair labor and providing quality products.
Ten Thousand Villages
Check out Ten Thousand Villages for jewelry and accessories. This company is really cool in that it hires makers from developing countries, offering them excellent work conditions and connecting their amazing products to all of us.
Thought is based in the UK and prides itself on using natural fabrics. They minimize their environmental impact in every way possible. Also, they are part of the slow fashion movement, creating clothing that lasts.
At Krochet Kids, you are able to meet the person who made each product. How cool is that?!
Know the Origin
Another store based in the UK, Know The Origin is about fair-trade and organic fashion.
Known for their sweaters, SlumLove Sweater Company provides ethically made and environmentally friendly apparel. They also give back by donating to a non-profit that provides high school scholarships to children living in one of the world’s largest slums.
Sancho’s is an affordable ethical clothing and sustainable lifestyle store based in the UK. They are intentional with their choice in materials, dyes, wages, and quality.
This is another cool store full of eco-friendly and ethically-made fashion clothing, accessories, and jewelry. They believe in fair trade, and they have a lot of fun designs and prints.
Blue Canoe is known for its natural, organic clothing made in the USA.
People Tree offers unique clothing that was made with respect for people and the environment.
At Siizu, you get luxury, quality, and ethical fashion at affordable prices. They only use eco-friendly fabrics, and 10% of their profits go to restoring wildlife habitats.
Fair Trade Winds
Fair Trade Winds is another great store for getting unique apparel and gifts from all around the world.
Threads 4 Thought
Threads 4 Thought is known for eco-friendly fabrics that look and feel great, as well as sustainable styles.
Alternative Apparel is a great store to grab some sustainable basics.
Reformation stands apart by providing a sustainability report each quarter to hold itself accountable.
ABLE is transparent about wages in order to help end generational poverty and provide economic opportunity for women.
Emerson Fry focuses on limited production runs each week in order to provide strong and functional apparel.
Everlane is known for its incredible quality, ethical factories, and radical transparency about the costs to make their clothing.
Encircled offers versatile, minimalist clothing that’s ethically made. They have unique pieces that can be worn many ways, as well as capsule wardrobe kits!
At Symbology, you can find ethically-made boho dresses, tunics, and loungewear handmade by women!
Raven + Lily
You can get awesome jewelry and handbags from Raven + Lily. And I love that they are committed to be carbon neutral, eco-friendly, fair trade, handmade, and woman-made.
Nisolo sells leather shoes and accessories that are handcrafted and ethically made.
Buying high-quality clothing allows you to create a wardrobe that lasts longer, fits better, and feels better. Whether you are wanting timeless pieces for your capsule wardrobe or are building a more sustainable wardrobe, buying quality clothing is the way to go.