13 Lesser-Known High-Street Brands We're Championing This Year

Although the big-name high-street brands (H&M, Mango, etc.) will always have a special place in my heart, there's something exciting about coming across a lesser-known label. Of course, there's nothing wrong with buying into the latest trending item. However, as all true fashion lovers will know, it can be easy to become disillusioned by the identikit ensembles that can come from sticking to the well-trodden path.

My solution? Take some time every few months to dig around online and discover some new brands. This will ensure that your wardrobe is kept fresh, diverse and individual, and it helps you avoid the awkward outfit-clash moment. To save you time, I've scoured the internet and interrogated the Who What Wear team to find our top lesser-known affordable brands and their best new-in pieces. Prepare to smugly name-drop these labels next time you WhatsApp your fashion-loving friends.

1. Nobody's Child

Having caught the attention of editors, influencers and celebrities (hey, Rachel Stevens) alike, Nobody's Child is an affordable brand you definitely want on your radar if it isn't there already. Specialising in throw-on, easy-to-style dresses, this brand is also sustainably minded in its sourcing and design.

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This would make for a beautiful (and budget-friendly) wedding-guest dress. 

2. Aligne

Aligne is a sustainably minded fashion brand that makes its designs out of quality fabrics with low environmental impact. The brand's aesthetic is clean-lined and packed full of versatile staples such as shirt dresses, jeans and blazers.

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It's the year of the tank top, and this knitted style is perfect for tackling the trend year-round. 

Aligne consistently creates dresses with beautiful back details. 

3. Ren

For beautiful, small-scale design that won't cost the earth (quite literally), head over to Ren. This conscious fashion brand delivers a tight edit of wardrobe staples that you'll wear for many seasons to come. WWW's Hannah Almassi has already given the Delphine Tunic her seal of approval. 

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A grown-up and very chic take on the sailor top. 

A comfortable trouser silhouette to try. 

The ultimate heatwave dress. 

4. Phoebe Grace

best affordable fashion brands: Phoebe Grace

Photo:

@fearnecotton

Acting as an antidote to the prevailing minimalist aesthetic, Phoebe Grace is all about the print. The brand's feel-good pieces focus primarily on floral motifs, polished separates and flowy dresses. I have the Peach Shirt in white and wear it all the time with jeans and a blazer. 

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Daisy motifs offer a cool alternative to ditsy florals. 

5. Seventy + Mochi

best affordable fashion brands: Seventy and Mochi

Photo:

@joy_monty

Having only launched in 2021, Seventy + Mochi remains a lesser-known gem in the affordable fashion world. Founded on the premise of sustainable, seasonless and long-lasting design, it prides itself on using recycled materials and creating collections in limited runs. On top of all this, the brand's designs really hit the nail on the head for me. Think retro-inspired dungarees, ruffled-collar blouses and boxy shackets. 

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If you've been looking for a new pair of dungarees, call off the search. 

6. Glassworks London

best affordable fashion brands: Glassworks London

Photo:

@francescasaffari

Launched in 2010 in a converted glassworks factory in Shoreditch, Glassworks London started out as a pop-up but now has three locations across the capital. You might've spotted the brand's whimsical cloud-print jumper on Instagram recently, but it also offers plenty of premium-feeling staples and year-round basics.

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From the khaki hue to the gathered cuffs, this coat is making me fall in love with trenches all over again. 

Everyone needs a versatile cardigan they can throw on over lighter layers and dresses. 

7. Omnes

best affordable fashion brands: Omnes

Photo:

@heartzeena

Newly launched sustainable womenswear brand Omnes works with a small, carefully selected set of fabric producers and mills, all individually approved by top environmental authorities to create wardrobe staples with a trend-led twist. At the top of my wish list is the silken Lila Cami Top. 

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8. Damson Madder

best affordable fashion brands: Damson Madder

Photo:

@livpurvis

If you're hunting for directional wardrobe heroes, look no further than Damson Madder, the brand that aims to use eco-friendlier materials, including 100% recycled polyester, natural dyes and cotton from organic farms. I'll be wearing the brand's cotton maxi with chunky boots all season long.

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best affordable fashion brands: Kitri Studio

Photo:

@slipintostyle

Set apart by its tightly edited collection of premium-feeling, affordable pieces, Kitri is a Who What Wear fave. It only stocks limited quantities of each style, so you can guarantee that you won't see the same item on every other person on social media. The Gabriella Dress was an instant sell-out when papped on Charlotte Groeneveld in 2019, so keep your eyes peeled for the next big thing.

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I have a thing for polo-collar knits. 

Get in on the miniskirt trend with this '60s-inspired number. 

10. Neon Rose

Founded on home soil in Manchester, Neon Rose's designs are fun and trendy but distinctive in their own aesthetic. These joyful pieces come in a diverse size range, so more people can get in on the bright and bold sartorial action. Our columnist, Sara Brown, is a firm fan.

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11. House of Sunny

best affordable fashion brands: House of Sunny

Photo:

@claire_most

Describing its wares as "supersized basics with a clean, flawless aesthetic and silhouettes cut precisely for everyday success," House of Sunny has become cool girls' go-to affordable fashion brand. The brand offers up plenty of new-season trends, including artistic silhouettes and psychedelic prints.

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This swirl print is a House of Sunny signature. 

As are knits with detachable flurry collars and cuffs. 

12. Gestuz

best affordable fashion brands: Karodall wearing Gestuz

Photo:

@karodall

If you're looking for key pieces with a cool Scandi twist to add to your wardrobe, then Gestuz is the brand for you. Launched in 2008, the Danish label has remained relatively unknown, but it is now available on ASOS, so it's easily accessible for all. Expect great denim pieces, chic trousers and the odd print. 

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I didn't know I needed orange leather shorts until I saw this standout pair. 

A jean shape that will absolutely never date. 

13. Sister Jane

best affordable fashion brands: Sister Jane

Photo:

@oliviaandalice

Sister Jane is the London-based brand here for all your vintage-inspired fashion needs. Its eclectic selection of personality-packed pieces stand out from the high street's identikit offering—think frou-frou blouses, printed maxi dresses and retro accessories. 

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The Sister Jane mantra? The bigger the sleeve, the better. 

A silhouette you wouldn't expect to see on the high street. 

This post was originally published at an earlier time and has since been updated. 

Next Up, Autumn/Winter 2022 Trends: The Only Fashion Looks You Need to Know

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