A personal stylist is only as good as the brands they have at their fingertips and can access quickly and easily. When I need to find something for a client, I need quick access to these brands that I have cultivated over the years and can count on. I don’t just keep listings of brands and designers, I know the names of the most popular silhouettes from each one of them. Once a brand works well, you go back to those brands over and over again until they stop working. And when those brands stop working, it’s as devastating as catching your boyfriend making out with your best friend. You feel so betrayed. God forbid a brand drops a style or changes the fit of one of their classic pieces. The horror. I know you get it.
This is not to say I’m not always on the hunt for fresh and new brands and designers to check out. I am always falling in love with something new, developing new favorites, and recommending new pieces to clients. If I find something really spectacular, I will text a gaggle of clients immediately to check something out.
A few years ago, I listed my go-to brands for professional clients, a popular post that still gets a lot of interest. While many of these brands are still tried and true staple brands for me, I decided to add some recent darlings I have come to love and think are worth sharing with you if you haven’t started tracking them already through my blog posts. Check out these brands that have been recently topping my list.
Before I Get Into That, An Update On My Wardrobe
As promised, I was going to keep you updated on my own wardrobe. Last week, I shared my wardrobe and shopping plan for spring and mentioned that I wanted to add a few more shirts. I picked up this neon coral tattersall button-up shirt from Frank & Eileen on Poshmark. Fun fact about me. Despite loving neutrals, neon coral is one of my absolute favorite accent colors. I always try to find workout sneakers in this color and I once had a pair of sandals in this shade and was devastated when they broke. Neon coral and magenta are two pop shades that make me exceptionally happy.
When considering any new piece for my wardrobe, I run it through my entire wardrobe to make sure it works. I roughly create outfits to see what I will do with them. Here are five looks I quickly pulled together using pieces I already own with the new top to see how it would play in.
I also bought Tod’s orange bag I was following on The RealReal for just over $100. The price dropped on one and I scooped it up. It’s so beautiful and gorgeous and I will use it a lot. It even came with its dustbag.
If you have any questions about how to run potential pieces through your wardrobe before buying, I am happy to answer questions in the comments below.
Brands That Have Been Coming Through For My Clients Most Recently
Okay. Now back to the brands.
I have to start with M.Gemi. HAVE to! Let me tell you what a stylist’s dream is. A stylist’s dream is that there is a brand that could be recommended to every client that fits perfectly. Where every client tells you they can’t believe how comfortable they are and they become devoted fans who don’t even care about the price. Up until recently, this was only a dream. And then I found M.Gemi. I am not exaggerating.
Feet are the bane of every stylist’s existence because every client will have some type of foot problem. And if they don’t? Well, they will have wide, narrow, or odd-shaped feet or have some peculiar special foot need. Finding shoe brands for all of these different varieties took me years to solve, and now I have M.Gemi. My wide clients wear them, narrow clients do, even a client who recently had foot surgery called them comfortable. I bought three pairs of their Felize driving loafers in less than a month. Have they replaced my top-ranking favorite Aquatalias? No, only because I tend to be a fiercely loyal person and because Aquatalia has the edge in that they are weatherproof, but M.Gemi runs a close second and only by a hair. Their secret in being so perfect besides being handmade in Italy? I don’t know and I don’t care. Just check them out. Shop M.Gemi
Margaux is another front runner as a shoe brand. They had me at their shoe The Penny which I think is an absolutely stunning loafer and a style my clients claim is exceptionally comfortable. Their City Sandal, flats, booties, and heels are all simple, divine and have devoted cult followings. Unlike most beautiful shoe brands that only offer medium widths, Margaux offers wide and narrow widths which is something you don’t see very often. Their offerings are simple, bordering on sparse, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find what you need. Margaux proves that you don’t need a lot to get a lot and in this day and age of overwhelming shopping they get right to the point. Often those who don’t say a lot say it all. Shop Margaux
Quince is the best-kept secret for anyone looking for quality basics at affordable prices. At first, you think Quince must be some cheap shopping website that sells cashmere sweaters from overseas that will disintegrate before the box even arrives because there is no way a good cashmere sweater only costs 50 bucks. Then you receive your $50 sweater and shudder thinking about the hundreds of dollars you’ve spent over the years on cashmere sweaters of the same quality. The quality of Quince is exceptional and so are their prices.
But cashmere isn’t all they do. They sell machine washable silks, linen, merino, alpaca, leather goods accessories, and even bedding. FYI, their bamboo sheets are to die for! I just got four men’s shirts for my husband at $25 each and they are the best shirts he’s ever owned. Their secret in how they keep their prices so low is they ship direct. They also strive to use sustainable fabrics and practices. Quince is a must-shop destination for myself and my clients who have all become true fans. Shop Quince
I will start out this recommendation with a disclaimer. Poetry runs exceptionally large and fit can be an issue with them. Once you get sizing down, Poetry has become a wonderful new shopping destination for its soft dressing, gorgeous color palettes, and unique silhouettes. In a time when we’re all dressing more casually but looking to dress again, Poetry has been hitting that sweet spot. I’ve selected Poetry pieces for clients ranging from CEOs to clients going on vacation. Poetry is based in London but ships internationally (check their shipping details for your own country before you shop) but produces their natural fabrics and garments all over the world in smaller factories and mills to maintain more of a low volume high quality feel. Shipping can take longer as a result and sometimes ordered items get canceled, but it’s still worth a try. Shop Poetry
Accessorizing is a valuable step in the process of styling a client and the latest brands and designers from major retailers just weren’t doing it for me. It was all starting to get so boring, same looking and cheap in appearance, despite the price. I was incredibly uninspired. So I took to Etsy one day and the juices started flowing again. Now I am finding I am spending more time seeking out jewelry on Etsy than I am shopping at major retailers, and that makes me feel good too. I prefer the idea of putting money in the pocket of a hardworking artisan to a large conglomerate that probably just knocked off a hardworking jewelry designer anyway. I’ve purchased jewelry from designers as far away as Vietnam through Etsy and often despite the low prices some of the jewelry sells for, the quality has been great. You can search for a wide variety of price points and look in jewelry and most sellers are very open to direct communication through Etsy’s messaging system. Shop Etsy
Vida is a really interesting place that I found when I was, again, uninspired by what major retailers were selling in scarves. I just wanted to find a few gorgeous styles that weren’t going to cost my clients one of their kidneys. Etsy is a great place for scarves but Vida is another one. Vida partners with artists from all over the world who can upload their artwork to be printed on anything that Vida sells. Artists make 10% of the sale and Vida handles everything else associated with the manufacturing and sale of those items beyond the design and works with many factories in 3rd world countries. It truly is a win-win. In addition to scarves, they sell other products.
As feel-good as all this is, there are a few caveats. The first is that these orders take a while to come in because each one is printed to order. So don’t expect to receive your scarf in five days. Second, sometimes the colors have been off from the photos displayed on their site and the scarves aren’t returnable. I’ve had two clients run into this problem with one of the few scarves they ordered. They did like the quality and were willing to give the off-colored scarves away as gifts. Shop Vida
The Fold came to me from a client which isn’t unusual. These are guinea pig situations where either I find something or a client does and they agree to be the first woman in who will report back. Clearly, the report was good because since then, The Fold has become another go-to destination. What I appreciate about The Fold is they never folded (pun intended), and what I mean by that is, while the pandemic raged on, they didn’t decide to ‘break brand’ and start selling mountains of joggers. They might have added a few more elastic waists but they appreciated that some women still in fact needed work clothes. What I also appreciate is that their work clothes are interesting, modern and have silhouettes that don’t put you in a coma. They capture that perfect feminine yet strong balance.
The Fold is based out of London but have decent shipping and return policy with the US. They have some perfect sustainer pieces that are always in stock along with some fun pieces that are always refreshing. My only wish is that they would at least expand past a US 12. I would do a lot more business with them if I could at least get them to size up to a US16. Shop The Fold
Meg is a charming little shop in Manhattan and Brooklyn, not far from me, that I took my client Mrs. Wonderful to last year. She is now a devoted shopper. If you are looking for unique and different, if you are looking for a personalized touch, Meg is for you.
Meg is a locally made, women-run independent clothing line with easy pieces that fit into everyday life. Meg’s mission is to empower women through fashion and impact the communities by stocking woman-owned accessory brands, supporting neighborhood schools, local factories, and print shops as well as fundraising for important causes.
When you walk into Meg, you enter a friendly space and are given just enough room to let the merchandise slowly open up to you while also getting the perfect amount of assistance. Meg’s philosophy is simple and relatable. She thinks of clothing in a pragmatic way. When she makes a piece, it needs to be wearable in multiple ways to multiple places. Comfort is another key, as is washability, pockets, and the importance of having the clothing that you wear to feel good from the start of the day to the end of it. You can shop at her shops in Manhattan and Brooklyn or online. Shop Meg
One of the hardest obstacles to overcome when updating your look is where to shop. I hope these new destinations have given you some fresh ideas to consider. What about you? Do you have any retailers or brands I should be checking out?
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I’m sure I’m not the only one who would love to see a post about about how to run potential pieces through your wardrobe before buying.
Hi Sally, happy to oblige but it’s really not that hard. What you see visually is exactly what I do in my head. I take the piece I am considering and do a quick style run of looks I can build with it. I try for at least a few. I may not flesh them out as completely but as long as I know I have shoes, and coordinating clothing items and can put at least three looks together, it earns a spot. I hope that helps.
Thanks, Bridgette. I have a very systematic mind so I’m always looking for a Process to everything, but it sounds like the trick is more about Doing It than Doing It A Particular Way. I definitely do what you describe here, and it sounds like that’s probably sufficient. I do struggle more with splitting my wears than buying orphans, so a key element for me might be to focus more on the building a number of looks that are *different* enough from what I can already do with what I own.
That sounds like it might be helpful for you, to focus on the number. I always make sure I can multiple things with whatever I buy so this way everything in my closet interacts with each other. I have learned from working with clients that everyone’s brain works differently so whatever method works best for you, go with that.
I´m sorry, this article is great, but useless, since most of this shops do not ship to Czech Republic. But the inspiration is great, I greatfully admit ;-).
What can I say? If only I knew brands from that country. I am glad you still found it helpful.
I certainly do find this blog very helpful.
Thrilled to hear it, thank you!
I’m in Serbia, it’s nearly impossible to get something shipped over here. And if I get it, it needs to get through the customs office. It’s just not worth it. But I enjoy the blog.
Of course, understandable. I wish there was more I could do about that. I do know that a woman I spoke to in Australia does use a company that gives her a US address to ship to and forwards it on to her and she has had no problems. However, I’m assuming there are still customs charges on it, not sure, but you can look into it. https://www.myus.com/
I once ordered a dress from a brand you recommended. I can’t remember the name, your sister wore a burgundy dress at a wedding. Luckily, the dress I ordered was a good fit, but I can’t bother again.
My husband and I occasionally ask friends or relatives to get something for us and it’s often quicker and cheaper. Doesn’t work for clothes, though.
I ordered a cashmere baseball cap with fleece lining from Quince. I was extremely skeptical about what it would be like, given the low price. It was astonishing! Soft, well made, thoughtfully designed. I will definitely order from them again.
Mindblowing, right? Everything about Quince will make you initially suspicious after all the online sites that are scammy and cheap until you get your first order. They are the best kept secret tucked away on the internet. Nothing I order from them is disappointing. Seriously, try the bamboo sheets!
I really like Three Dots for the quality of their materials and construction. Simple and casual, but well done. I think they’re true to size. I’m just in denial about my size, but that’s another topic.
Ha. Yes, I always hear great things about them and forget to give them a look. Thanks for the reminder!
I love the Fold–glad you mentioned this brand. The clothes are well-made (seriously well-made), comfortable, always business-appropriate and interesting. Necklines are always appropriate for business and I rarely need to tailor their pieces. There is a $25 shipping charge on purchases but returns are free.
Totally agree. Just when business clothing for women got stuck in snoozy sameness, The Fold came in shook things up. It’s nice to hear another rave review! I love their one and done tops that look finished without effort. They are perfect to have on hand.