In the era of fast fashion and budget-friendly style, many apparel items don’t stand the test of time. The trendiest statements last for a season or two before becoming null and void — and that’s OK, because many of them simply cannot even withhold a few washes before unraveling at the seams or fading away. After all, that Forever 21 top isn’t made to, well, last forever. But some clothing brands not only pass with flying colors when it comes to timeless appeal, they are also high-quality enough to keep you well-outfitted for years to come. And while they may ring up at a bit of a higher price, it’s an investment worth making that will pay style dividends in years to come.
1. Ralph Lauren
The embodiment of true Americana, Ralph Lauren sends out classic staples with an eye toward quality, which means that you should have them in your closet. The brand’s signature spirit and range of versatile apparel items will take you from country club to nightclub and everywhere in between, so you won’t have to worry about compromising style for quality. And, if the Ralph Lauren Collection designer prices are a bit too high for your comfort level, the brand’s diffusion Polo Ralph Lauren and Polo Sport lines offer less sticker shock with much of the same timeless appeal.
2. American Apparel
Speaking of all-American, American Apparel is another brand to consider when it comes to clothing that keeps on kicking. Their basics may seem a bit pricier than some of the other fast-fashion giants, but items such as the shirts and tanks are worth the slightly extra splurge. Plus, they have a relaxed California vibe that screams cool-girl.
It doesn’t get more denim than Levi’s. The blue jean giant has been turning out the time-honored staple since they invented it in 1873, so you know you’re getting the original goodness with this brand. The epitome of classic style and effortless cool, Levi’s continues to innovate while staying true to its quality heritage. In addition to the must-have jeans that include everything from super skinny to straight, boyfriend, and bootcut, there are full apparel collections like Made & Crafted that combine the best materials and construction techniques with an eye towards modern styling.
4. L.L. Bean
L.L. Bean has a consistent track record among many circles for making items that last. It’s a philosophy that dates back to 1912 when the family-owned company was founded by Leon Leonwood Bean. To this day, they believe in making classic, long-lasting, and high-functioning pieces that outfit a lifetime of adventure — especially one that is experienced in the great outdoors. From all types of classic apparel to swimsuits, shoes, outdoor gear, and fitness wear, L.L. Bean delivers the goods at a 100% satisfaction guarantee that really cannot be beat.
Like L.L. Bean, Patagonia provides what amounts to a lifetime “ironclad” guarantee. While you may think of the brand as primarily active and performance wear, they have a full line of dresses, pants, jeans, and more. And, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better puffer coat or parka that will last winter after winter without needing a replacement coat. But it’s their mission statement that truly is in such good taste: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire, and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
6. The Frye Company
There is nothing quite like a good solid pair of boots, and The Frye Company is a brand that will go the distance with you. It’s part of its heritage, which began in 1863. The artisan-crafted, genuine leather boots along with statement-making shoes and bags come in both classic and trendy styles, but all feature the same dependable longevity and unparalleled quality. The boots and shoes are known to mold and conform around your legs and feet for the best lived-in fit, and the soles take forever to wear down.
America’s go-to sneaker is definitely the Chuck Taylor; the signature footwear from Converse never really goes out of style. Even if you’re not exactly into the skater look, a good pair of these tennis shoes are relatively versatile, moving between a multitude of different street-style-savvy ensembles. Plus, with their lasting comfort and quality, these kicks will keep on kicking.
What you wear underneath your clothes is equally important, as it’s the foundation for your daily looks. Spanx not only delivers body-shaping magic but also high-quality unmentionables that are practically indestructible. Even their hosiery won’t leave you with unsightly runs or rips.