Finding an affordable destination for closet essentials is never easy. Luckily, H&M has remained a staple brand for minimalist shoppers everywhere. H&M focuses on elegant separates that withstand the wavering trend cycle. Below I have listed 12 stores like H&M that carry this theme of simplicity throughout their collections so you can exude elegance wherever you are!
COS is an abbreviation for “collection of style”. This perfectly introduces this brand’s point of view. The brand is a curated assortment of basics, offering shoppers timeless staples.
Owned by H&M, COS operates independently from this fast-fashion giant. Like many luxury brands, COS releases only two collections every year. One for spring/summer and the other for fall/winter. However, unlike these high-end, luxury brands, COS boasts more accessible prices. Dresses range between $80-$150 and coats fall between $150-$250.
All COS’ styles are understated yet contemporary, with subtle details incorporated throughout. COS is skillful at playing with structure. They turn basic fabrics into well-tailored, sculptured silhouettes. You will find a plethora of blouses, jackets, tops, and dresses. All these reflect this reinvented minimalism. What’s more, is that COS utilizes high-quality, sustainable fabrics. For example, organic cotton and recycled cashmere, ensure comfort with every look.
& Other Stories brings a feminine, airy approach to minimalism. They are also housed under H&M. & Other Stories has ateliers in Stockholm, Paris, and Los Angeles. They incorporate these various cultures into every collection. The brand takes the coolness from Stockholm, the elegance from Paris, and the effortlessness from Los Angeles. They fuse them into a cohesive contemporary woman’s brand.
Threaded throughout these differing styles is an ode to minimalism. & Other Stories is one of the stores like H&M that balances exploration with classicism. This makes it perfect for shoppers who want equal parts curation and timelessness.
& Other Stories allows you to shop by city, curating pieces that reflect that location’s attitudes and styles. In this way, & Other Stories pushes a curated shopping experience that feels more unique than the average fast fashion brand.
Los Angeles Apparel is of the best brands to solely focus on everyday essentials. They offer classic pieces for women, men, and children. Out of this list of stores like H&M, Los Angeles Apparel is the only one that is USA-made. The brand pushes a strong value system by producing everything locally in Los Angeles. They also pay workers fair wages, generating jobs for Americans, and locally sourcing material.
Beyond strong values, Los Angeles Apparel boasts an impressive collection of every basic you can imagine. From tops to socks and underwear! The brand’s prices range from $10-$20 for tops and $30-$60 for bottoms. This makes it an affordable option for high-quality, durable fabrics.
Although the brand boasts a vast collection, it presents minimal options per product category. This encourages shoppers to collect, rather than hoard, items. For example, let’s say you are searching for a basic skirt. The brand presents one for each aesthetic (i.e. sporty, dressy, mini, long). This is rather than producing multiple styles within the same category, as many fast fashion brands tend to do.
Abercrombie & Fitch is no longer the graphic t-shirt and moose icon brand you used to know in middle school. After a rebrand in 2017, Abercrombie & Fitch transformed itself into an elegant, simple, and logoless retailer.
We all know Abercrombie’s offerings of hoodies and low-rise jeans in the past. This is no longer the case! The brand now offers Gen Z consumers timeless dresses, tops, blouses, jackets, and denim. It’s perfect for minimalist shoppers, as it primarily sticks to neutral colorways and subtle patterns.
With this design shift, the brand has also moved towards body inclusivity. The brand’s past marketing was quite exclusive, only utilizing thin, white models. Abercrombie & Fitch has now worked to incorporate a wide array of bodies, races, ethnicities, and genders into its campaigns. Further, the brand has partnered with body-positive activists and content creators. This is to ensure that its apparel is actually functional for all body shapes and sizes.
We can’t talk about stores like H&M without mentioning Madewell. Madewell specializes in carefully tailored basics, with a feminine and playful intermix. The brand is best known for its impressive sustainable denim collection. This boasts jeans and jean shorts in almost every size, cut, and color. Madewell is unique amongst this list of stores like H&M in that denim is at the forefront of everything the brand creates.
Beyond denim, Madewell offers a comprehensive collection of elegant staples. This spans tops, sweaters, coats, shoes, purses, and jewelry. Created to be effortlessly paired with jeans, these designs are still versatile to be dressed up.
Madewell is slightly pricer than other stores like H&M. The tops range between $50-$100 and bottoms range from $100-$180. However, Madewell’s commitment to using high-quality fabrics and production techniques ensures that you are investing in durable pieces.
Banana Republic is the perfect destination for affordable luxury. This retailer has been serving staple work wear attire since its founding. Dresses, jumpsuits, blazers and other tailored silhouettes are found consistently throughout its collections.
Although Banana Republic specializes in work wear, the retailer also offers everyday essentials. Even with a basic t-shirt, Banana Republic threads an essence of elegance and refinement into each piece.
Despite its focus on understated pieces, the brand boasts adventure-filled designs. Inspired by exotic landscapes, you will find intricate patterns in a variety of dresses and blouses. In this way, Banana Republic appeals to both the minimalist and exploratory shopper.
Kotn started with a simple goal. To create the perfect t-shirt that did not compromise on fit, quality, and the integrity of the people who made it. The brand has done this and more. They offer apparel for men and women as well as homeware. Their products use the finest materials and give back to the communities who make them.
Kotn works with cotton farmers in Egypt through direct trade. By buying the raw materials themselves, Kotn provides customers with fair price. They also provide its farmers with better wages and protection. This helps provide transparency into how its partners conduct business. Further, with every Kotn order, they donate a portion of funds to NGOs throughout Egypt to build primary schools in the Nile Delta.
Beyond moral integrity, Kotn produces high quality, and unique pieces for the elegant shopper. The brand has an “essentials” section on its site. This displays pieces from both its women’s and men’s collections that are unisex. They can be paid with about anything in your wardrobe. The brand is best known for its organic cotton t-shirts and tank tops, which reflect supreme quality and comfort.
Everlane is where fashion and function meet. Everlane creates staple pieces that are perfect for an active lifestyle or upcoming trip. Here you will find ribbed tank dresses (perfect for day or night), 90s-inspired denim, and crisp button-down shirts.
What makes Everlane unique amongst this list of stores like H&M is that the brand designs with utility in mind. Whether it is a pair of pants or a dress, Everlane ensures that its fabrics are breathable, comfortable and flexible enough to move with you. This sense of function is also reflected in the brand’s impressive purse selection. They sell items such as the leather mini sling bag which has the perfect mix of sportiness and chicness for any city goer.
The best part about Everlane is that despite its high quality, its prices remain affordable. Pieces range from $20 on the low end to $150 on the high end. It is the perfect destination for that cherished pair of pants that goes with everything. Or that comfortable t-shirt that you can throw on when you’re in a rush. The brand appeals to minimalist shoppers by simply giving them what they need, with no frills or gimmicks.
Mango is the perfect destination for refined European looks at an affordable price point. Starting in Spain and since taking the global fashion scene by storm, Mango focuses on elegant basics, with trendy items trickled in.
Unlike other fast-fashion retailers, Mango treats trends delicately. Instead of duplicating styles seen everywhere else, Mango takes cues from trending colorways and silhouettes. and turns them into something that is authentic to the brand. For example, the current trend of lingerie-inspired wear is reinvented into elegant bustier crop tops for the brand’s 2022 summer collection.
Perhaps the most impressive piece of Mango’s collection is its dress selection, which spans every occasion you can imagine. Here you will find romantic day dresses, cool going out dresses, elegant formal dresses, and chic workwear dresses, among others.
Gap was one of the first brands in the retail market to prioritize comfort and simplicity above all else. Since its founding, Gap has focused on closet essentials: jeans, t-shirts, and knits (amongst a plethora of other items). With this, Gap has always strived to be body inclusive, staying true to their brand motto “fit for all”.
This body inclusivity is reflected in the brand’s denim collection, which comes in a wide range of sizes and styles. Further, the Gap site makes it easy to assess how the pants will look in real life through its virtual 3D model.
Not only does Gap provide a comprehensive selection of wardrobe staples, but the brand’s prices hover around the $15-$25 range for tops and the $40-$80 range for pants. For even more savings, check out Gap’s sister brand, Gap Factory, which sells Gap overstock at 50-80% off.
Gap is also a great destination for loungewear and pajamas. Here you will find lounge sets that are made with comfortable and breathable fabrics but still chic enough to pass off as a cute work-from-home outfit.
Another brand on this list of stores like H&M to have a rebrand, J. Crew changed course in 2020. After shoppers stopped connecting with the brand’s signature preppy and modest style, J. Crew transformed itself into a contemporary women’s wear brand by leaning into the timelessness of preppiness, rather than the constraint of this style.
J. Crew reflects the wardrobe of a refined, wise woman who is confident in who she is. The brand focuses on cuts that are flattering on a wide range of bodies and rarely strays from classic silhouettes. Further, the brand focuses on fabrics that feel good on the body, and move with, rather than against you (such as linen and cotton).
Despite J. Crew’s minimalism, the brand still incorporates youthful, and playful designs. Here you will find subtle details that make its items fresh and modern, such as a criss-cross strap, an open back, or a slit on the side of a day dress.
Uniqlo was founded on the principle of innovation-making clothing that adapts to consumers’ ever-changing needs. The brand continues to value function and quality above all else, by developing a multitude of technological innovations.
Perhaps the brand’s most successful endeavor was the launch of heattech, a fabric that automatically warms the body by trapping heat. The heattech line has now expanded to a plethora of thin and lightweight items that can be layered under cold weather apparel for extra warmth. Another great example is Uniqlo’s packable down coat, a lightweight yet warm winter jacket that can be rolled up for easy packing.
Uniqlo is constantly thinking of ways that fashion and function can meet, which makes it unique from stores like H&M. Beyond this, Uniqlo consistently engages in interesting collaborations with artists, fashion influencers, and other creators to launch limited edition products. These products are always unique and give Uniqlo a high fashion edge.
If you thought that minimalist style was boring, hopefully, this article changed your mind. Minimalism is constantly being rewarded in today’s retail world, you just have to open your eyes wide enough to see it. Check out these stores like H&M for timeless treasures!
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