An outfit can portray our moods and opinions – so it’s no wonder that our wardrobes are an important part of our lives. I hope I’m not the only one who gets bogged down by the sheer amount of fashion options available. These days, the importance of clothing quality is at the forefront. So, what are the best quality clothing brands?
Quality clothing can be found in all types of shops. What is important to consider when looking for quality clothes is the materials used as well as the company’s practices – including ethical and environmental standards. Some companies that fall into this category include Patagonia, ABLE, and Eileen Fisher.
In this article, we will go over 21 of the best quality brands on the market and why you should buy your clothes from them. We will also cover what constitutes a high-quality item and provide some tips for shopping for quality clothes.
What Makes Clothes High-Quality?
Fast fashion is not only a buzzword that has infiltrated our vocabulary. It’s an entire industry that has broken into our closets. The appeal behind fast fashion is the cheap price tag – unfortunately, though, the cheap price tag gives way to equally cheap products. It’s easy to fall victim to the fast fashion industry – wanting the hottest item when each new season rolls around is natural. Sadly, it’s not always attainable.
Enter fast fashion. Clothes that look great for a great price. Alas, the great price is where the deal ends. These clothes are made super cheaply – even if they look nice right off the rack, chances are after a couple of wears – and definitely a couple of washes – they’re not gonna look so hot. Yes, you’ll end up spending less money per item. In the long run – with the amount of regular replacing – you’re probably going to end up spending more than you would have to buy something of quality in the first place.
There are several factors that can contribute to clothing being high quality – all of which should be investigated when shopping for quality clothes. One of the first places to look is the material. High-quality items that are made well and meant to last, more often than not, will be made from natural fibers.
Cotton, linen, wool and silk are all great examples of natural materials that can be used to make quality clothing. These materials generally take a bit more work to source and turn into textiles and are going to stand up to the test of time much better than synthetics. So, the material alone is a great indicator of quality.
Sometimes you can just feel it. The garment will feel nice and thick, and it will be obvious that care was taken in creating the item. Some other signs that an item is of high quality is the attention to detail. Take a look at the stitching – it should be even and tight, but not so tight that there is puckering where there shouldn’t be.
There should be no gaps or missed stitches; it should be free from imperfections. Facing around collars and sleeve cuffs is a sign that a garment was made with care – as are items with linings. In cheaply made clothes, it is less likely that the time will have been taken to include these details.
Details that reinforce the durability – and therefore life – of an item. Extra buttons or thread being sewn into the seam of a garment can also indicate that you’re looking at a high-quality piece.
Are More Expensive Clothes Better Quality?
Price alone is not an indicator of high-quality clothing – but it can indeed be a sign of a garment that was made with care. The materials and time put into making something that is going to last tend to cost more – and the price tag is going to reflect this. Unfortunately, not every expensive item at the mall is a worthwhile investment.
Trendy labels and items can have high inflation due to their demand – without actually being quality items. This is why it’s important to follow the guidelines above, which will help ensure you’ll be spending your money wisely.
21 Best Quality Clothing Brands
The sheer volume of options available can be overwhelming! We live in an age where everything we want – and don’t know what we want – is available at our fingertips. This is one of the reasons it’s important to be selective about your purchases – and the reason I have curated this list. Below you will find details on 21 brands that you can feel good about putting in your closet. Items that are versatile will last and that won’t leave a huge imprint on our planet.
ABLE has a mission to empower and support women through the fashion industry with thoughtfully designed, high-quality pieces to reflect who you truly are. They pride themselves in high-quality products – many of which are handmade. These timeless pieces are made to last, pieces you will be glad to invest in.
While doing so, you’ll be investing in women around the globe as well. ABLE is dedicated to empowering women throughout their entire supply chain, as well as being dedicated to continually decreasing their impact on the environment.
At Cuyana their aim is to help simplify your life with a smaller, better wardrobe – everything in their collection is made sustainably and is designed to last. Cuyana designs pieces for longevity – they are comfortable and meant to be worn every day. Cuyana’s responsible practices make this brand even more desirable – with 99% of its assortment being made from sustainably-certified materials.
Boden is a UK-based brand that focuses on stylish everyday wear for the whole family. Boden takes pride in their designs – with hand-drawn prints – as well as their quality – clear attention to detail in every aspect of their work. Boden utilizes as many recycled materials and aims to produce clothing that will last for generations – in both fashion and durability aspects.
With a focus on premium denim and staples with an edge – DSTLD believes strongly in quality over quantity. Their motivation is based on the idea of creating an ideal core wardrobe – one that is versatile will last, and will make you feel great wearing it. DSTLD is committed to using premium fabrics and manufacturing with integrity and sustainable practices.
5. EILEEN FISHER
EILEEN FISHER is an industry leader when it comes to sustainable fashion. A Certified B-Corp and Fair Trade Certified brand – EILEEN FISHER aims to help you simplify your wardrobe while multiplying your options with their casual and elegant clothes.
The goal at EILEEN FISHER is to create clothes that are circular by design – creating items that are regenerative and/or recycled. You could easily create an entire wardrobe with their staple and statement pieces, and rest assured that these quality goods are also good for the planet.
Modern clothes for modern women – Everlane is committed to exceptional quality, ethical factories, and radical transparency. At Everlane, their factories are chosen based on diligent research and standards; their clothes – rather than being trendy and fleeting – are designed to last. This is why they pride themselves in using high-quality materials that will produce timeless clothing that can be worn for years.
7. Fair Indigo
Fair Indigo has built a brand of clothing that is timeless, impeccable quality, and sustainably made. They offer premium quality organic cotton clothing that is sustainable not only for the planet but for the people who make them as well.
Besides being committed to the vision of buying better quality, less often – fair indigo has created a non-profit organization dedicated to improving education conditions for children in the Peruvian communities where their organic cotton is grown.
8. For Days
For Days clothing is the future of fashion. The goal at For Days is to end the cycle of waste in the apparel industry with 100% recyclable clothing that never ends up in a landfill. They offer several collections of hip and classic pieces while promoting circular fashion with their Take Back Bags.
Order a Take Back Bag to fill with all your unwanted clothes, send it back, and earn the amount spent in credit toward new gear! The clothes they receive will be recycled into new yarn to be made into material for future goods.
9. Frank & Oak
Frank & Oak’s mission is to inspire a better way of living through consciously created products that are meant to last through time. This brand strives to help shape a cleaner, healthier, more mindful world by combining its innovation with eco-friendly processes. F
rank & Oak is a Certified B-Corp, 78% of their products are produced with sustainable materials, and they make it a point to focus on eco-friendly packaging. With all of their conscious efforts – the classy, seasonal wardrobe offerings seem like an added bonus.
10. Girlfriend Collective
It’s always good to have a go-to activewear brand – Girlfriend Collective should be yours. The Girlfriend Collective believes in ethical manufacturing and is committed to reducing waste – all while promoting a life of health and wellness for all women.
The clothes from Girlfriend Collective are made using recycled materials such as water bottles, fishing nets, fabric scraps, and other waste. Their packaging is also made from 100% recycled materials and is recyclable. The girlfriend Collective is committed to brand transparency – extensive literature on production processes and materials can be found on their website.
Kotn strives to make collections of timeless garments that honor the people and places where they’re made. Kotn is a Certified B-Corporation, uses BCI-certified organic cotton, and is dedicated to using safe and fair trade labor practices throughout their company.
Plastic-free packaging, non-toxic dyes, and the fact that they give back to Egyptian communities are all added bonuses. Kotn advertises fashionable and versatile clothes for men and women in an array of beautiful neutral tones. If you’re searching for high-quality items for the home – they have that too!
This L.A.-based brand gives you a lot to love – starting with its name. La Causa is Spanish for “The Cause,” which symbolizes their dedication to ethics and sustainability. But it is also an homage to their location – Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. – LA-CA-USA. LACAUSA offers an array of styles in organic and recycled materials and is committed to low-waste production and ethical manufacturing practices.
13. MATE The Label
MATE The Label touts organic essentials – promoting clean clothes “from seed to skin.” The comfy basics from MATE The Label are proudly produced in the U.S.A. from materials that are free of pesticides, microplastics, carcinogens, formaldehyde, and endocrine disruptors. This eco-conscious company is climate neutral certified and gives back 1% for the planet – making everything about them feel good.
Outerknown is known for its classic, casual, everyday pieces that can be worn across seasons for generations. A brand that is committed to the environment as well as supporting fair labor, Outerknown continues to improve livelihoods and advance workers’ rights.
They also have a vision for the environment – to become fully circular by 2030. Outerknown plans to continue its designs based on regenerative and recycled materials while activating methods to keep items in circulation longer.
Pact’s mission is to build “Earth’s Favorite Clothes.” They have a strong ethical practice – of using sustainable crops, organic farms, and GOTS-certified manufacturing. Not only are their practices Earth conscious – Pact offers soft cotton basics as well as a wide variety of items for women – including maternity wear – men, and kids. Bed and bath options are available as well! They even offer carbon-offset shipping for an even greater contribution to the planet.
One of the very first companies to put the planet first – Patagonia has been a true pioneer for sustainability in the fashion industry. Trailblazing the path by using recycled materials and organically grown textiles while employing ethical and fair trade labor and production processes as well. Their latest commitment to the planet – dedicating all future profits to fight the environmental crisis.
Patagonia prides itself on durable products that are designed to last. They put this to the test by offering a Worn Wear program – in which consumers can sell and purchase previously loved items – increasing the lifecycle of their products.
Quince believes in quality – especially quality that is sustainable. Quince uses premium, quality materials for their clothing – and bedding! To create products that are meant to last. They use organic materials as much as possible, as well as environmentally conscious packaging and ethical business practices. Their factory-direct model also helps cut costs to consumers – their cashmere, silk and alpaca items often cost less than many competitors.
A clothing company that prides itself on being effortlessly trendy, celebrating the female figure, and being a pioneer in sustainable practices. Reformation began and remains in L.A., where they have brought it upon themselves to create a factory with safe, healthy, and fair working conditions for all of their employees. They are committed to using sustainable practices in all parts of the business – from textiles, to packaging, to elements in their brick-and-mortar stores.
Reformation offers on-trend clothes from a company that is currently climate-neutral but which aims to be climate-positive in just a few years. What more could you want from a clothing brand?!
Sézane was born in France – a sign of high fashion right there – out of love for vintage clothes. Today – they follow the belief that clothing should be made to last and that the items we purchase should become the vintage of tomorrow.
Sézane has worked hard to achieve its Certified B-Corp status and choose production methods and materials that will benefit the environment for years to come. Sézane releases a seasonal collection of fashionable ready-to-wear items – of which you’ll be sure to want all of – along with a smaller, highly curated capsule released monthly.
Tentree offers comfy basics and essentials. Another Certified B-Corp is also Climate Neutral Certified and certified fair trade for their ethical manufacturing. In addition to offering cozy sustainable classics made from Tencel, hemp, and organically grown cotton – tentree commits to planting 10 trees for every item sold. This is part of their dedication to helping offset the obscene amount of waste created by the apparel industry each year.
VETTA urges their customers to consider purchasing capsule wardrobes – offering curated combinations of five items that can create over 30 different outfits! This means you have to purchase fewer items and will still have a versatile wardrobe.
These stylish combinations can be worn across a range of occasions – business casual, night out, and daytime looks. Individual items are available as well. VETTA takes pride in its sustainable fashion practices – using organic cotton, Tencel, and deadstock materials, as well as using recycled materials for shipping.
6 Best Quality Clothing Brands with More Affordable Options
It’s true that quality goods can come at a premium price – but it’s usually for a good reason. Spending a bit more upfront will often mean you can save in the long run with pieces that will last years to come. If you want to add some high-quality garments to your wardrobe without the initial investment – check out the six brands below.
1. Alternative Apparel
Alternative Apparel makes it known that instead of leaving a mark, they’re making a positive footprint. This brand offers simple basic items direct to the consumer, as well as for wholesale purchases. Their items are simple and affordable and are made from recycled polyester, cotton grown in the U.S.A. and Tencel modal.
Carhartt is known for making super-durable work and outdoor apparel. Men, women and kids can get pants, overalls, shirts, and outerwear that is meant to be put through the ringer. These high-quality garments are designed to last. If they don’t – Carhartt stands firmly behind its product. With their commitment and repair, Carhartt will fix items that fall short from perfect – if they can’t – they’ll replace them.
3. L.L. Bean
L.L. Bean is a long-standing favorite for quality everyday and outdoor clothes. This brand offers more than enough high-quality options for the whole family. In fact, L.L. Bean is so confident in the quality of their merchandise that if you’re not 100% satisfied, they’ll refund you up to a year after the purchase was made.
4. Land’s End
No frills clothing basics – Land’s End has endless casual, everyday options. With their commitment to sustainability, you’ll find Land’s End using continually less water and more recycled and sustainable materials.
A classic brand originally known for its jeans – Levi’s has been around for decades. And there’s a reason – their high-quality products. Eco-friendly and sustainable practices are at the company’s forefront – with a special focus on climate, consumption, and community. Levi’s makes clothes that are known to stand the test of time – meaning any investment you make can last generations.
Uniqlo is a Japanese-based brand that exists to improve the lives of its customers and their communities. At Uniqlo, they pride themselves in creating quality clothing that lasts and that is produced using practices that prioritize people, the planet, and society. Uniqlo doesn’t offer as many organic options, but they do have a wide variety of quality goods at fair prices.
Best Female Clothing Brands
With so many quality brands to choose from, the best option can be a bit subjective. It may come down to specifically what item/s you’re searching for. Or perhaps the company’s ethical and sustainability efforts are what will ultimately determine your pick.
I can confidently say that the 21 brands listed above will have everything you need to create a fully functional and fashionable wardrobe. The clothes you purchase from them will make you feel good about what you’re wearing, as well as the impact you’ll be making toward the future.
6 High-Quality Clothing Brands for Men
There’s no doubt that women’s fashion choices far exceed that of what’s available to men – but that doesn’t mean guys are left without options. Below you will find six brands that produce high-quality clothing for men that fulfill both the style and sustainability requirements.
With all the same benefits listed above – Everlane also makes it easy for men to create an entire wardrobe. Everlane’s men’s line includes timeless, classic pieces that can comfortably be worn every day.
Simple cotton basics that can create the base for any men’s wardrobe. Fair Indigo’s men’s line is limited. Offering only a handful of items – each piece is made from organically grown cotton, which will make you feel good about putting these staple items in your closet. Sometimes, less can be more.
With classic laid-back coastal vibes – Outerknown has a wide variety of sustainably produced clothing items for men. Comfortable staples – like T-shirts, button-ups, jeans, swimwear, and outerwear are all available. You could easily put together an entire wardrobe from this forward-thinking brand.
For versatile staples, Pact has guys covered. From all the undergarments you’ll need, to basic T-shirts in a variety of styles, to sweaters to wear on slightly dressier occasions. With their use of organic materials, Pact helps ensure that your skin and the planet will be happy.
Quince has everything you need to put together a versatile wardrobe. Super comfy loungewear to puffer coats, leather and blazers. They even offer hats and other accessories. For someone who doesn’t want to have to shop around, Quince is a one-stop wardrobe shop.
Not only will you find everything you need in terms of clothes – Uniqlo also offers shoes, bags and just about any other accessory you can think of.
How to Shop for High-Quality Clothes
Curating a wardrobe can be a lot of work! Especially if you’re working on a budget. We should all aim to shy away from waste-producing apparel in exchange for buying more conscious products. If you don’t have thousands to spend on clothes each season, here are some tips to help you put together a closet full of mindful, high-quality clothes:
Be picky about materials. Try to choose clothes that are made from natural and renewable fibers. Cotton, silk, linen, and wool are all good choices that will far outlive their synthetic counterparts – and are far better for the environment.
Shop sales. There’s nothing better than getting a high-quality item that you know you’ll love for years for less than its original retail cost. You can easily fill a wardrobe with items that will last by shopping sales and off-season items. Remember – try not to buy things just because they’re a deal! This can lead to a closet full of clothes you’ll never wear.
Check out return policies. A company that stands behind its products is always a good sign. If they’re willing to put their money where their mouths are, it’s likely they’re selling quality goods. It also decreases the risk of making a purchase since you can take back items you don’t love.
Shop second-hand. Shopping at vintage shops and thrift stores is a great way to find previously loved, high-quality clothes. Check brand labels and use the tips from above for how to distinguish a quality article of clothing. You could save $100s shopping at second-hand stores and come out with a totally new-to-you wardrobe.
Filling our closets with a variety of garments for each season, an outfit for a special occasion – shopping is fun, there’s no doubt about it! Of course, it can also be expensive. With that said, it’s important to look at the big picture.
Is it really worth it to buy three cheap – and cheaply-made – shirts instead of one quality one? Probably not. When you factor in the benefit to the planet and the people producing them – ditching fast fashion for quality clothes is always a good idea.