The best women’s clothing stores in the world: the Fashionista ranking
While we frequently (and enthusiastically) share our editor’s picks, fashion week essentials, and wishlist-worthy items, we rarely dive deep into our regular shopping habits and which stores we turn for our own wardrobes. Well, that’s about to change: Team Fashionista has ranked the world’s best women’s clothing stores to bring you the crème de la crème when it comes to well-made, well-designed clothes at affordable prices.
Here’s how we came up with our top picks: Women’s clothing should be on offer (obviously), and we took into account the overall desirability, construction of the clothing, price (in terms of quality) and affordability. to a large audience. Discounts, department stores and retail stores were not included.
Read on for our ranking of Fashionista’s 10 favorite women’s clothing stores below. Did we miss one you like? Let us know in the “Comments” section.
The story: A member of the H&M group since 2007, Cos stands for Collection of Style and offers a very neat collection of classic pieces.
Advantages: Subtle but timeless pieces, from tailored pants and coats to exquisite knits and simple dresses, as well as quality shoes at an affordable price.
The inconvenients : Although Cos has grown all over the world, storefronts in the United States are still scarce. Sizing can also be a bit tricky here – especially for petite ones – but since the styles are so minimal, a trip to the tailor is an easy fix.
9. Urban outfitters
The story: Urban Outfitters was launched in 1970 in Philadelphia, directly across from the University of Pennsylvania. Since then, the retailer has successfully tapped into the student lifestyle and shopping needs of this demographic, offering everything from cool clothing, housewares and gifts to emerging beauty brands. Some places have even expanded with a cafe or restaurant.
Advantages: We can always count on in-house collections to offer quality and affordable must-haves. Lately, Urban has harnessed the nostalgia trend through return collaborations with Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Fila, Juicy Couture and more.
The inconvenients : If you are a postgraduate student, Urban’s offerings can sometimes seem a bit too young. Plus, the retailer has had its fair share of designer fakes and legal traps.
The story: Short for Hennes & Mauritz, H&M has been around for over seven decades, but it wasn’t until 2000 – when its first American store opened in New York – that the Swedish retailer established itself as a must-have, one-stop-shop retailer. H & M’s coveted designer collaborations are unbeatable: Past partnerships have included Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Alber Elbaz for Lanvin, Alexander Wang, Comme des Garçons and Balmain.
Advantages: Seriously, this fast-paced fashion store has it all: Athleisure, denim, basics and on-trend styles, plus tons of shoes, jewelry, accessories, and beauty supplies. You can find a lint roller at this store if you try. I certainly have.
The inconvenients : While the prices at this store are good for the wallet, you have to dig a little deeper to find a great coin that is worth buying. There is also the looming problem of the company’s questionable ethics with respect to its factory conditions and manufacturing practices, which have been studied and well documented over the years.
The story: A staple of UK retail since the early years, Sir Philip Green’s retailer has seen runaway success, thanks to Topshop’s trendy collections and celebrity collaborations with Kate Moss, Beyoncé, Kendall and Kylie Jenner.
Advantages: Chances are, you’ll always find something you like from Topshop’s huge selection, and strong team of campaign stars – Gigi Hadid, Taylor Hill, Lottie Moss, and more. – surely helps you. Highlights include party dresses galore, always cutting edge shoes and jewelry, a solid denim collection, and plus size, small and plus size versions of most offerings.
The inconvenients : Exchange rates and shipping costs cause prices in the US to be higher than in the UK. Sometimes the pieces can feel a bit too much trend – or as an obvious imitation – which makes us wary of certain potential purchases.
6. & Other stories
The story: One of the newer brands of the H&M group, & Other Stories was founded in 2013 with design studios in Stockholm, Paris and Los Angeles. Rodarte aside, we love how the brand taps into low-key industry insiders and lesser-known labels for collaborations.
Advantages: If you are looking for beautiful pieces that have a shelf life of more than one season, this is the place. Don’t miss the beauty section either: & Other Stories was originally a beauty concept before expanding into ready-to-wear and accessories.
The inconvenients : Prices can be high and sales are scarce at this retailer. The locations are also still limited: in November 2016, there were only 45 stores in the world.
5. J. Crew
The story: J.Crew was launched in 1983 as a shopping catalog and has since grown into one of America’s best-known retailers.
Advantages: The brand knows how to make good clothes – and how to style them well. We’re big fans of her Fashion Week presentations, lookbooks and catalogs, which give us plenty of inspiration for our everyday looks.
The inconvenients : There is a very specific aesthetic that comes from J.Crew – a preppy mashup that’s more fun than polished – but it’s what the brand does best. Customers have expressed their alleged drop in quality, sharing their reviews via the hashtag #ReviveJCrew.
The story: Japanese retailer Uniqlo is known for its no-frills basics, often anchored in function or enhancing the wearer’s daily needs. (Think HeatTech leggings, ultralight down jackets, and Airism, its line of breathable clothing.)
Advantages: Affordable prices for great quality. Their collaborations also keep improving, from Jil Sander, Carine Roitfeld and Muslim designer Hana Tajima to Christophe Lemaire’s U Uniqlo range to JW Anderson’s long-awaited LifeWear collection.
The inconvenients : Stores are usually large in size, and with such minimal designs – available in a handful of colors – it can be overwhelming. Uniqlo’s U.S. locations are still limited to major cities (and around them), but it has ambitious plans to expand into the U.S. and increase brand awareness.
The story: Founded in 1975, the Spanish retailer has grown around the world and continues to surpass itself to become one of the fastest design-to-delivery brands in the world.
Advantages: If you ask a fashion person what their outfit is, there’s a good chance an item is from Zara. (Even Kate Middleton shopped here!) Her ecommerce site and app are efficient, user-friendly, and addicting all at once. When this retailer has a mid-season sale, you don’t want to miss it.
The inconvenients : So – almost too much a lot – designer knockoffs. In addition, it has been criticized for unfair and inhumane labor practices in its factories a significant number of times over the years, as well as lawsuits against former employees for racial and religious discrimination.
The story: Founded in 2010, Everlane is a San Francisco-based company that follows a business model of cutting out retail middlemen, running its own factories, and avoiding sky-high price markups, while being transparent with its customers on costs and production.
Advantages: High quality clothing and accessories at unbeatable prices. We always can’t wait to see what the brand will release next.
The inconvenients : Everlane’s business takes place primarily online, so there are only two physical locations in San Francisco and New York, as well as an occasional pop-up store.
The story: J.Crew’s little sister, Madewell was founded in 2006 and continues to experience resounding success over the years.
Advantages: Ever wanted to dress like an effortless cool tomboy who is definitely friends with Alexa Chung? Buy here.
The inconvenients : Madewell’s physical presence is still small compared to J.Crew, but partnerships with Nordstrom and Net-a-Porter, as well as international shipping, have made the brand much more accessible to buyers around the world.
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