Do you like your dresses big, your accessories minimal and your colour palette offbeat? Then you're probably a COS girl like quite a few of our fashion friends in the industry. It's where you can pick up directional, simplistic designs that you'd normally find at much higher price points or from very niche Scandi labels. The fabrics are always top quality, and we still own COS items from the very first season when the brand debuted in the UK. Yep—its wares have stood the test of time and still look mint today.
Brittany Bathgate wearing a dress from April Meets October.
Our love is a forever one, clearly. With an aesthetic of smock dresses, sensible shoes and neutral hues coming through right now, it's no surprise that a few more brands of a similar ilk are surfacing.
We looked to the minimalist experts we follow on Instagram (like Sylvie Mus, Brittany Bathgate and Alexis Foreman) to delve into a world of labels that will compliment your COS pieces and give you a chance to try out something entirely new.
Keep scrolling to see the brands like COS that we rate the most. (Oh, and when you're finished, don't forget to see our edit of the best COS dresses in store right now.)
If top-quality wardrobe staples are what you're after, then COS's sister brand, Arket, will fulfil your fashion dreams. It makes the best tees, tanks, jeans, trousers, jackets… Basically, every single pillar of a modern wardrobe can be found here.
You can also pick up more adventurous items there like printed dresses or utility jumpsuits. We're also big fans of its small but mighty shoe edit.
Although Marimekko is a very different kind of Scandi brand from COS (you'll find more vibrant prints and bold colours from this Finnish label, as well as pretty jazzy homewares), there is a similar sensibility in terms of loose-fitting shapes and clothes that speak to a slightly indescribable art-teacher vibe.
Weekday is yet another part of the H&M group (the company that owns COS), so it's no surprise there's a thread that links many of these Swedish brands together. Weekday, however, is aimed at a younger, more streetwear-appreciative audience. That means in amongst the breezy dresses, flat sandals and wide-leg trousers, you'll find some urban staples like hoodies, motif tees and cycling shorts too. We often shop the brand for jeans—its organic-cotton denim is more environmentally friendly but also a notoriously great fit when it comes to buying jeans on the high street.
These days, it seems that if I spot a simple sundress on Instagram that I really want to buy, it's from Mr. Larkin—a brand and store founded by Casey Larkin and based out of both Copenhagen and Houston. The range's understated cotton styles are timeless and perhaps a bit more fitted and feminine than what you'll find at COS.
I also need to inform you that shipping from the U.S. e-commerce store may result in import taxes.
COS's leather goods are really quite spectacular—have you ever checked them out? We like them because they're ultra-plain but always a bit strange (like sandals with a sculptural mini heel or a bag rendered in an odd tubular shape). Following this kind of formula for arm candy is the small Spanish label Vacare. It currently only offers this one geometric style, but it comes in many different colours and finishes.
Pixie Market, an online extension of an NYC boutique, is something of an internet phenomenon. Those who know it love it with a passion and head straight there for relatively affordable pieces that bring a lot of design bang for your buck. There's always the latest trend on offer, but we've also noticed an undercurrent of minimalism that taps into the COS look. You may have to sidestep the sexier or cuter items on offer, but trust me—there are some real gems to be had. Again, remember that you may incur an import tax, as these pieces are shipped over from the U.S.
Now that Everlane finally ships the UK, you can pick up the conscious and minimalist fashion brand that Meghan Markle loves to wear. It's known for its simple glove shoes, practical totes, basic shirts and well-cut trousers amongst many other things. Everlane is noticeably more size-inclusive than many other brands of this ilk and offers up each item in an array of colourways, so you can shop like an editor and select your favourites in multiple hues.