There are thousands—no—hundreds of thousands of fashion brands out there, maybe even millions(!) to choose from when it comes down to spending our hard-earned money on a wardrobe that not only feels stylish but also long-lasting. How, then, are we ever supposed to narrow it down to the ones that are actually worth our time? Well, there are, of course, many factors. From sustainable credentials to how well the brands sit with your personal style and ethics. Unfortunately, since every one of us has such different approaches to what we want—and need—from our wardrobes, it would be very hard for us to offer personalised brand suggestions unless we set it up as a whole side-hustle/personal shopping-esque service—which isn't a bad idea, actually.
However, what we can help with is revealing the brands that our editors themselves truly love (and genuinely wear on repeat). After all, Who What Wear editors are nothing if not experts in the field of fashion, and because it's literally our jobs to see as many collections from as many brands as possible each season, you can bet that we make considered decisions about each and every brand we actually choose to wear.
Of course, certain restrictions (from budget, to time) play a big part in what our favourite brands are. I'm sure in a dream world we'd all be wearing pieces from The Row on repeat, or spending hours each day on Instagram discovering smaller independent brands, or trawling thrift shops for second-hand finds. But, alas, we're talking hyper-realism here—no BS. which is why you'll find below a mix of more affordable high street brands we can rely on for quality, as well as some lesser-known or higher end brands we choose to invest a little more in to elevate our wardrobes. We're big fans of a high-low dressing if you hadn't already cottoned on.
Keep scrolling, then, to see which brands your favourite Who What Wear editors actually wear time and time again, and shop the items we really recommend as well.
Emily Dawes, Affiliate Editor
"I just love how classic and timeless (but never, ever boring) Toteme's pieces feel season after season. I know my investments are always worthwhile as their designs never go out of style, which is something I'm looking for more and more the older I get."
"If I'm going to shop more affordable brands, I need something that provides quality and a commitment to at least trying to be more sustainable, and Everlane always delivers. I discovered it while I spent time in the States, and it felt like my little secret until they started to ship over to the UK (finally!) They do anti-trend pieces so well, and often offer petite lengths which I really appreciate."
Hannah Almassi, Editor-In-Chief
"I'm someone who doesn't really 'do' flat or casual shoes, so I'm always on the lookout for comfy heels, and French shoe brand Bobbies has become a regular go-to. Their styles are very classic and elegant but ultra-easy to spend a long time in too."
"I've been a Rixo girl from the start—literally, I was one of the first editors to meet with founders Henrietta and Orlagh when they just had a few samples to show. Everything they produce is flattering and retro—my ideal combination. I've never met a Rixo piece I didn't like!"
Remy Farrell, Shopping Editor
"I'm often asked 'if you had to wear one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?' and the answer is easy, it's dresses. And if there's one place that gives me all of the dreamy dress variety that I need it's Free People. Whether you're looking for ethereal, boho dresses, sleek party dresses or cute and easy everyday dresses, there really is something for everyone, and I can happily spend my time scrolling through Free People's new–in section and assembling my wishlist ahead of summer."
"If I'm not in dresses you're most likely to find me in relaxed tailoring and denim, and after searching through the internet for the perfect pair of jeans, I wasn't remotely surprised to find them at Raey. I've loved their refined take on wardrobe staples for years, and each season the offering gets stronger and stronger. Need a quality tank top? Raey's got it. A boxy blazer? Take your pick. Crisp shirts and summer co-ords? Check, and double check. Act fast though, as soon as their buzzy pieces land on the site, it doesn't take long before they're snapped up."
Joy Ejaria, Social Media Editor
"I feel like the older I get, the better I shop. I'm choosing quality over quantity, timeless over trendy. In my opinion the high street store that does this best is COS. I have a dress from the brand that's about 6 years old abut looks like I just bought it."
"Classics with an edge is probably how I would describe 16 Arlington pieces. Every fashion week I wait in anticipation for what they will release and they never disappoint! I recently treated myself to their Odessa dress and I can't wait for the perfect occasion to wear it."
Poppy Nash, Managing Editor
"I’m a dress girl through and through and there are SO many beautiful brands that I really, truly love. However, my ultimate favourite dress brand is Aje for floaty, puffy goodness that makes me feel happy. An Australian brand but stocked on plenty of UK retailers, it is my go-to for summer dressing and occasionwear. Plus, I find the fits really work for my body shape (I’m a UK12 roughly) and the sizing is always bang on."
"Oh Zara, you rarely do me wrong! The great British high street has plenty of fantastic brands, but Zara really does take the top spot for me. In terms of hero pieces, I always head there for shoes, fun accessories, jackets, knits and jeans. There’s also a strong swimwear and dress collection this summer, which I’m loving. "
Florrie Alexander, Commerce Writer
"For years, Uniqlo has been the reliable brand I turn to for all my basics. It all began with one of the puffer jackets that folds up into a little bag. As someone who travels a lot, having an extra layer to hand has always been my saving grace. But since then, Uniqlo has seriously upped their game with the Tiktok-famous bag that I wear almost everyday, and have proclaimed before about how much it fits inside. Their basics are far from basic, with the hidden-bra tops my favourite addition to my summer wardrobe to date, with their light expensive-looking linen shirts another favourite. If you scroll through my wish list you’ll also find an array of sleek tailored trousers and perfectly cut denim, plus there’s always a sense of anticipation for one of the brands iconic collaborations. Truly, it’s a one-stop-shop for all your wardrobe foundations, and more."
"French handbag brand Polene only came onto my radar about a year ago, but since then I’ve been completely infatuated by the brand. As a self-proclaimed handbag hoarder, I’ve always got an eye out for exquisite fabrics and elite craftspersonship and Polene easily embodies both. What sets it apart is the reasonable prices that make it much more attainable than many designer brands, though the quality is truly there. Plus, the designs are so unique that each piece feels like a distinct treasure or walking art when carrying it around."
Maxine Eggenberger, Deputy Editor
"From beautiful dresses I pull out every summer, to elevated linen buys, Reformation has all the components to make up my dream wardrobe. I like that they go some way towards trying to be a more responsible brand, and the pieces I own have the quality to back up the slightly higher price points."
"When shopping on the high street I try to find seriously expensive-looking pieces that could pass for designer, and Mango always has such great designs that match up to the most exciting trends of the moment. From crochet dresses in summer to excellent leather buys for autumn and winter—Mango, you have my heart (and a lot of my money)."