Despite our tightening purse strings, the luxury fashion market is thriving exponentially, as many people lean towards quality over quantity.
Attitudes towards shopping have changed and customers are preferring to save and invest in clothing that has a longstanding appeal in quality and design. And so often, it’s the premium brands that cater for these tastes.
However, savvy investments don’t have to equate to opulent fashion houses and parting with hundreds to thousands. There’s a happy medium, where some of my favourite brands exist.
I’ve discovered some independent brands and silent heroes that typically excel at producing good-quality clothing.
Keep reading to discover 12 high-quality mid-priced brands. There’s a range of pricing and lots of sale pieces to accommodate a range of budgets.
British heritage brand Jigsaw had a swift turn in direction in 2019, thanks to its new creative head Jo Sykes, whose vision for the brand manifested, becoming what we know Jigsaw for today.
Having worked with Giorgio Armani and Alberta Ferretti, Jo Sykes is a woman who knows a thing or two about the luxury retail market.
Once associated with work and formalwear, Jigsaw now produces some of the most fashion-forward pieces on the high street, woven amongst its elevated staples.
Its oversized trench coat remains one of the most impressive outerwear pieces I’ve seen on the high street this year.
That excellence extends to its Gauze ruched dress — its delicate smock silhouette is every bit as special as a designer dress but for half the price.
They certainly don’t scrimp on the use of quality fabrications, which is what you need to be mindful of if you’re buying pieces forever. As the owner of a couple of its linen pieces, I can report the quality remains years on.
You may be familiar with Ghost for its crepe dresses and the cult Palm dress, of course. It’s in the wardrobe of every editor I know, including Eliza’s fashion editor Krissy’s.
Ghost is well known for its feminine silhouettes and silken designs that veer on the side of formal but many styles are wearable for day-to-day. Ghost’s archive collection is worth a notable mention.
The range is made up entirely of a LENZING™ ECOVERO™ viscose obtained from renewable wood resources. Earlier this year Ghost debuted an inclusive range spanning UK size 8 – size 20.
If you want to experience its bias cuts for yourself, Ghost is currently offering up to 60% off across its site.
Although COS exists under the subsidiary of the H&M group, there’s a clear differentiation between its brands when it comes to the ethos on apparel.
The main distinction between COS and H&M is the emphasis on premium fabrications, which is reflected in the price point.
COS’ aesthetic reflects the styles best associated with a Scandi panache. With its clean cuts and minimalistic designs, it’s a one-stop shop for perennial staples that last. My wardrobe consists of key basics from COS, including their infamous wide leg tailored trousers, which come up trumps compared to The Frankie Shop’s trousers (and for half the price!)
It may be a grand claim for a shopping editor but Ninety Percent is one of my favourite brands. Aside from its dreamy collections and considered use of planet-friendly textiles, it has philanthropy and community at the heart — with a sizable 90% of its profits shared amongst five charitable causes.
Elliot Atkinson took the reigns as creative director in 2022 and has since veered Ninety Percent in an exciting direction. Although it’s lauded for good quality core basics, you’ll also spot directional pieces inspired by the runway and cyclical trends that have proven timelessness. It’s a brand well worth saving for.
Founded in 2016 by Byron Bay natives Juliette Harkness and Emma Nelson, Deiji Studios seeks to evoke the laid-back lifestyle of Australian inhabitants with minimal no-frills clothing that can be worn with ease. Dreamy, right? Comfort is paramount and the Aussie-based label marries simple styling with the use of ethical fibres.
You may be familiar with its two-piece linen sets, but the collection also includes a wrap style and linen trousers, for those who prefer longer hemlines. As the owner of a Deiji Studios two-piece, I can report that the quality is outstanding (nerdy textile moment incoming) — it’s a thick opaque linen constructed in a way that hangs beautifully.
If you’re thinking about investing, you won’t regret it. It’s become a holiday favourite for good reason.
I invested in the Baserange Shaw dress a few years ago and it remains one of my most worn pieces. As a dress girl, it’s my version of jeans and a tee and I find myself recommending it to everyone
Baserange’s arsenal consists of fluid pieces and heavy-weight fabrications and it’s renowned for wrapped styles and languid silhouettes.
I recently purchased the Ligo dress as a summer alternative to the knitted style. I have no doubt the cost-per-wear factor dwindle if the weather holds up.
Whistles made its mark in 1976 and it’s since become a high-street hero. It’s a storefront you’ll still find on the corner of most shopping streets today.
Whistles has given us many notable fashion moments over the past decade. Who remembers the French slogan sweatshirts of 2014? Or the Bonded Leather Jacket that sold out in a matter of minutes more recently.
Today, it’s known for elevated styles that span from tailored suiting to ‘Whistles wedding’ — a wedding shop featuring (stunning) bridal and wedding guest wear.
Whistles master a partnership like no other. On site, you’ll find Whistles X Hai, a collaboration of sumptuous handbags with silk accessory specialist, Hai. This season I’m bookmarking Whistles’ bandeau co-ord and the newly launched organza puff sleeve dress. It’s perfectly whimsical.
If you’re enamoured with the essence of Gallic women and their knack for chic (yet effortless) dressing, Sézane is the brand to get acquainted with. The indie and now B Corp-certified brand boasts a modest capsule with timeless basics.
The collections aren’t devoid of colour as you’d expect with a capsule brand. Instead, you’ll find jolly prints and colours aplenty.
Sézane is best known for cross-body and basket bags, lightweight knits and muted motifs — the pieces that constitute a French woman’s wardrobe staples. The brand recently joined forces with G.Kero, if you’re looking for artistic prints on quality materials.
House of Dagmar
Founded in 2005, House of Dagmar is a brand specialising in crisp suiting and clean lines, and they’re also big on durable fabrications. There’s an emphasis on tailoring and exaggerated silhouettes.
It is a Scandi brand, after all. If you like the aesthetics of Frankie Shop, The Row, Lou Lou Studios and even Cecilie Bahnsen, you’ll appreciate its minimalist approach.
It’s all in the title with CAES, as its moniker references clothing as an armour, or case. Although, its use of premium textiles and environmentally friendly materials, make it a tad more plush.
CAES advocates for slow fashion. Helen de Kluiver’s approach to the industry is one of functionality and timelessness, which is evident in each piece she designs. The brand have focused on a capsule of products — including perennial staples with a twist.
I can vouch for the quality and designs. The materials are soft to the touch and made to transcend many occasions and seasons. The collection is currently available on Net-A-Porter, with many generously discounted pieces, as they pave way for the latest capsule.
A Day’s March
There’s a current theme with Scandinavian brands — they’re almost always crisp and simple, which makes them sensible investments as they’re bound to never date. A Day’s March is no different.
Here, you’ll find rigid denim, poplin and pyjama-style shirts that can take you from day to night. The materials are of the highest standard too. The brand cleverly avoids price mark-ups, as they keep production small and avoid wholesale. The majority of the pieces are produced in Portugal by a family-run factory.
First, Rixo is a story of friendship. Henriette and Orlagh bonded over their love of vintage styles in 2015 and the idea of Rixo was conceptualised from there. Eight years later, Rixo is a front-running designer known for its vintage lilt, playful designs and hand-drawn prints.
Perhaps most impressive is its commitment to inclusivity, which far surpasses its beautiful designs. Head to the site or its boutiques (a visit to the Kings Road store is a must) for the most joy-inducing try-on.