The Affordable Brand Our Editors Get All Their Basics From

If you asked us which high-street store we'd be lost without, you probably wouldn’t think we’d say Uniqlo. Yes, we love a bit of Topshop, Zara and H&M for topping up on our trends, but recently we realised that everyone on the Who What Wear UK team’s wardrobes is built around basics from this affordable brand.

When we chatted about it, everyone had a different item they swore by Uniqlo for, from the Extra-Fine Merino Crew-Neck Sweater that’s a personal favourite (I own no fewer than four colourways) to the best fleeces in the business (yes, fleece is back, people). We almost didn’t want to give this one away for fear of our favourites constantly selling out, but we’re nice like that.

The secret to shopping Uniqlo like a fashion editor seems to be to size up to get that expensive-looking slouch (especially in knits); also, don’t be afraid to detour into the men’s department. The unisex style of the clothes is the brand’s biggest asset, especially now that the slightly oversized look is so in.

We’re not the only ones who are wild about the retailer either—our favourite minimalist influencers have been raving about the brand on Instagram too. Especially as the weather starts to turn (it’s not quite Heattech season just yet, but we’ll be ready for it when it comes), the endless layering solutions on offer simply can’t be beaten.

Whether it’s for essentials like the perfectly thin turtleneck jumper or luxe affordable cashmere, you’ll want to check out our top five Uniqlo buys below and all our reasons for loving them. Shhh—don’t tell anyone else.

1. Menswear

“I'm a sucker for a ‘boyfriend fit’ piece, and Uniqlo’s men’s section provides the perfect selection of (actual) men's items that I can get away with wearing. They’re the perfect slouchy oversized fit without looking too big (if you know what I mean). I dabbled in its fleece and long-sleeved top collection last year, and wore them all to death. This year, I’ll be upping my fleece game with this guy below.” — Alyss Bowen, associate social media editor

4. Merino Wool Knits

“Uniqlo’s merino wool selection is so soft—it feels much more expensive than it really is. I particularly love the extra-fine crew necks that come in every colour (I’m building up my collection as we speak), which I find is the perfect layering piece. It’s basically a winter T-shirt and so great for tucking into jeans and skirts. I always go up a few sizes to get that slightly more slouchy look. The roll-necks are also autumn essentials.” — Emily Dawes, contributing editor

2. Coats

There’s nowhere better on the high street for high-performance outerwear than Uniqlo. By that, we mean warm, waterproof and good-looking pieces all the time. The puffas and trench coats are always particularly notable, but this season, its wool and cashmere offerings are garnering a lot of attention from our editors and influencers alike.

2. Affordable Cashmere

“Shopping for cashmere on the high street can be tricky, and I’ve had so many bad experiences of bobbling and stretching. Uniqlo is one of the few places that I can always rely on for good-quality, long-lasting pieces that come in a wide range of colours. Plus, I like that the fits are super classic: No batwing sleeves or novelty necklines here. Sometimes I’ll nab one from the menswear section, as I enjoy the slouchier fit; it can make jumpers look that little bit more high-end.” — Joy Montgomery, shopping editor

5. Fleece

“Fleece has officially become a ‘fashion’ item. Along with hiking boots, the rambler-chic look is in, and I’m not mad about it. It’s not just that fleece is warm and practical, but it’s also that it’ll look good with jeans, skirts or thrown over a dress. Uniqlo’s styles are a favourite of mine, and I plan on wearing this version from the J.W. Anderson collaboration all of winter.” — Elinor Block, assistant editor

Photo:

Emily Dawes

Next: More of the best autumn/winter trends for 2019.