13 Brands Like Theory That Will Make You Look Expensive

In today’s post, I’m going to share with you 12 brands like Theory that will make you look expensive – without breaking the bank.

These are exactly the stores where the most expensive-looking women shop to not only look expensive but to also be so.

Because of this, shopping there will not only make you appear wealthy but also may change your emotional state, making it simpler for you to attract a lot of money.

Who knows.

Let’s dive right in.

13 Stores like Theory:

Massimo Dutti

Massimo Dutti, part of the Inditex Group, is the higher-quality, more expensive brand next to Zara. 

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
12 Storeez

Taking inspiration from women’s lives and needs, 12 Storeez strives to create a wardrobe that you will wear for years to come. 

A capsule wardrobe for a busy life. Clothes that work for you time and time again. Timeless, feminine, and subtle.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Arket

ARKET is a modern marketplace and a trendy lifestyle destination at the same time: they offer high-quality products for men, women, children, and living spaces.

The name ARKET is a reference to the Nordic heritage and our Nordic soul and means "sheet of paper" in Swedish. 

It symbolizes creativity and innovation and open-mindedness in connection with the simple aesthetic that runs strictly through their range. 

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Your Favorite Sneakers
Veja

VEJA is a French minimalist footwear brand that produces high-quality, timeless sneakers


We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
& Other Stories

Designed in Paris, Stockholm, and Los Angeles - for stylish diversity.

Each piece of the design studio has its unique expression, reflecting the constantly evolving, characteristic styles of the city in which it is located.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
My Personal Favorite
Karl Lagerfeld

Behind the dark sunglasses, elegant suit, and immaculately styled hair - behind the appearance of the global fashion icon - Karl Lagerfeld was above all one thing: an incredible human being.

Blessed with an extraordinary capacity for perception.

Incredibly well-read. A fantastic storyteller. His friends knew him as a brilliant, generous, and loving person. And what may surprise many: as someone who had a sharp sense of humor and always used it at just the right moment - a quality that made him an incredibly entertaining conversationalist.

So behind the carefully staged image that the public saw of him, there was an incredible amount more...

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Theory

Theory believes that cool, tailored garments made from the best materials can change the way we live, improve the way we work, and inspire the way we live.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Mango

Mango inspires the world by sharing its passion for the Mediterranean style and culture.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Weekday

Weekday is part of the H&M Group (the company that also owns COS), so it's easy to see certain parallels between these Swedish brands. 


However, Weekday differs in that it is aimed more at younger audiences. Streetwear is a familiar motif here, which is why there aren't only feminine dresses, but also wide pants and jeans, hoodies, motif T-shirts and bike shorts, as well as urban statement tops.


Personally, I like the brand especially for its classic oversized sweaters and t-shirts, because the quality and cut are simply by far the best on the market. You can also find very good jeans here. 

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
H&M

H&M is the largest brand in the H&M Group and is known for its wide range of trendy fashion pieces that range from minimalist to streetwear urban.


In recent years, H&M has also increasingly established itself as a more upscale, environmentally conscious fashion brand, offering higher quality fabrics and cuts with its Premium Selection Collection*.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Uniqlo

Uniqlo's pieces are simple, high-quality, and everyday clothing with a practical sense of beauty - ingenious in detail, thought through with life's needs in mind and always evolving.


The most perfect high-quality basics I own are from Uniqlo.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Our Favorite
COS

A destination for timeless design

Every piece is made to last beyond the season. With a focus on craftmanship, COS brings you essentials for the modern wardrobe.

Buy better, keep forever.


We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

These are some of the most popular stores like Theory. You’ll find that most of these shops have a similar aesthetic to Theory. They typically sell high-quality clothes without logos or labels, and they focus on minimalism and simplicity.

When shopping at these stores, remember to focus on quality over quantity. It’s better to buy one or two expensive-looking items that will last you a long time, rather than filling your closet with cheap clothes that won’t last more than a season.

What is Theory?

Our Favorite
COS

A destination for timeless design

Every piece is made to last beyond the season. With a focus on craftmanship, COS brings you essentials for the modern wardrobe.

Buy better, keep forever.


We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Reasons to Shop at Theory or the Other Stores

I can only tell you from my personal experience that Theory* exceeds everything else in the mid-price segment in terms of quality.

And you feel that too.

For example, I have some basics like button-down shirts or simple tops that have brought me joy for years and still will. Simply because they are so high quality and at the same time so simple.

Also, there is just remarkable how strong they – unlike many other brands of this size – always strive to produce fairly and sustainably, giving not only the customer the best experience but also those who make the clothes.

For example, they use a lot of recycled materials and they always look for the highest quality fabrics.

For the alternatives that we have compiled for you above, we have paid just as much attention to similar points. Such as the price-performance ratio, sustainability, and high quality of the products.

But still, it’s just amazing that of all these things, only Arket* and COS* come so close to Theory. All the others often have to cut back on quality or sustainability.

Quick Breakdown for Reasons to Buy at Theory*:

  • Theory* has by far the best quality
  • Their products last for years
  • Ultra good fit
  • They care about fair production & working conditions
  • Very comfortable to wear

Get Started with these Pieces that Could Also be From Theory

1. H&M Men’s Blazers

As I’m sure most of you know by now, because we’ve reported so many times about these great blazers: We swear by H&M’s men’s blazers* because they’re made of a much sturdier viscose than their counterparts from the H&M women’s department.

The soft yet sturdy fabric is simply brilliant, as it ensures that the blazer stays in its usual shape even after years of wear and doesn’t start to wrinkle or shrink like so many other blazers on the market, which are usually made of a lot of polyester. This makes it a piece that can make you look super expensive in no time – without being so.

Another advantage of the blazer from the men’s department is that it sits so nicely oversized, making it totally stylish and modern.

I myself have actually had this model for years and now in pretty much every color – and none have ever disappointed me!

They still sit as the first day and are faithful companions that can definitely keep up in quality with my virgin wool blazer, which just as little creases or falls apart somehow.

A hearty recommendation for all blazer lovers!

The Best Low Budget Blazer!
The Best Low Budget Blazer!
H&M Black Slim Fit Blazer

A hearty recommendation for all blazer lovers!


$64.99

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

2. Button-Down Shirts by COS

Everyone needs high-quality button-down shirts in their closet for the warm days, because the classics can be super casual simply pulled over a top or also buttoned up just always look super elegant.

But since here too, unfortunately, in most fashion stores more and more synthetic fibers such as polyester are mixed, these look super fast totally cheap.

Therefore, it’s essential to rely on high-quality button-down shirts made of 100% linen, viscose, or cotton – and those of COS always are*.

In addition, they offer great shirts in many different colors and patterns – so there should be something for everyone.

 
Our Favorite
COS

A destination for timeless design

Every piece is made to last beyond the season. With a focus on craftmanship, COS brings you essentials for the modern wardrobe.

Buy better, keep forever.


We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

3. Trench Coats by Mango

Mango is my all-time favorite when it comes to good jackets and coats* for small money.

But in particular, I swear by the trench coats because they come from a big cotton and viscose content, which makes them pretty high quality.

In addition, I really all jackets and coats that I have so of Mango, wear for years and am always fully satisfied! For this I love the brand – it brings me namely every year new through colder days or colder evenings.

Feel free to stop by there and make sure you check out their outerwear!

This is my all-time favorite trench coat:

THE BEST
Mango - Classic Cotton Trench Coat

Cotton. Straight design. Mid-design. Lapel collar. Long sleeves with buttons at the ends. Belt loops. Adjustable belt. Front button closure. Two side pockets. Back vent. Lining.

$79.99

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

4. Leather Shoulder Bags by COS

For strolling in the city with your best friend, for brunch, or for the morning coffee to go.

No matter where this bag accompanies you, your arm and looks 10x higher quality.

Timeless Classic. Expensive-Looking. What more could you ask for?

The perfect longtime friend.

COS - Folded Leather Medium Shoulder Bag

Quality is a Feeling.

Made from soft leather and fully lined with organic cotton, this folded shoulder bag features a wide adjustable strap, a magnetic button closure, and a detachable zip pouch to carry your essentials.

An investment for this season and the next that folds perfectly below the shoulder.

- Embossed COS logo

- Adjustable flat pins

Shell: 100% Leather, Lining: 100% Organic cotton

$190

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

5. Leather Loafers

Leather loafers are the everyday shoes you can’t help but feel and look expensive without.

They’re comfortable and you can combine them in 2 seconds. They go with everything.

And by the way, they make any of your outfits 5x more stylish.

Walk in Expensive Elegance
COS - Chunky Leather Loafers

These chunky loafers are made in Portugal and are crafted from pure leather using an environmentally friendly chrome-free dyeing process. They feature a rounded square toe, wide front strap, and a stacked rubber sole.

- Enforced toe panel and heel counter

- Leather lined

Upper: 100% Leather, Sole: 100% Thermoplastic rubber

$250

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

6. Long-Sleeve T-Shirt with Ruffles

Yes, this may sound boring, BUT: expensive-looking t-shirts and other tops are a super important part of your outfit that can either elevate the look and make it chicer, or completely mess it up.

That’s why I urge you to pay special attention to these small, but fine details, because they have great potential.

Here you should pay particular attention to high-quality fabrics such as viscose, cotton, silk, or linen because they prevent excessive sweating and are air-permeable.

This top here, for example, is my all-time favorite, as it just always looks good and is exciting at the same time, as it doesn’t quite cover your neck and thus exposes your collarbone as an eye-catcher.

All-Time Favorite
COS - Off-The-Shoulder Long-Sleeved Top

Crafted from a fine ECOVERO™ Viscose blend, this black top features an off-the-shoulder neckline and elegant long sleeves. The minimal seams create a clean silhouette.

- Slim fit

- ECOVERO™ is a trademark of Lenzing AG. Viscose fibers are derived from certified renewable wood sources using a lower environmental impact process

67% ECOVERO™ Viscose, 27% Polyamide (Nylon), 6% Elastane / Machine wash cold

$69

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
THE BEST
STRIPED ROLLNECK SWEATER

Crafted from a soft blend of wool and cotton, this timeless striped sweater is the perfect layering piece for cooler days. It comes in white and has a roll neck.

- Side slits

- Raglan sleeves

- Certified by the Responsible Wool Standard, to protect the welfare of the sheep and their environment 

64% RWS Wool, 36% Cotton

$135

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

8. Cashmere is Your Best Friend

Yes, cashmere is a high-quality, comfortable fabric. Yes, it’s also a bit more expensive.

But I promise you: it’s an investment worth making.

The cashmere pieces that I bought over 10 years ago, I still wear today. They look and feel the same as on the first day.

There is no other fabric that makes you look so high quality and glamorous.

An Investment Worth Making
COS - Relaxed-Fit Cashmere Top

Knitted from pure cashmere in soft cream, this top features a rolled crew neck, dropped shoulders, and neatly ribbed trims.

It's designed for a relaxed fit that drapes elegantly over the body.

- Raglan sleeves

100% Cashmere / Machine wash cold

$250

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

9. The Linen Shirt

Forget everything you know about sweating. Linen is temperature regulating. It won’t make you sweat or freeze.

Comfortable to wear. Expensive in appearance.

Our Pick
COS - Regular-Fit Linen Shirt

Crafted from lightweight and breathable linen, this beige regular-fit shirt is designed to last beyond the seasons.

It has a classic pointed collar, concealed placket, and a curved hem that's slightly longer at the back. For a complete set, wear it with its matching item.

- Long sleeves

- Buttoned cuffs

- Back pleats

100% Linen / Machine wash cold

$99

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

10. Midi Tube Dress

Feel feminine while being on trend.

COS - Knitted Midi Tube Dress

Knitted from a blend of recycled fabric with a touch of stretch for comfort, this black tube dress is designed for a close fit with shaping at the waist to highlight the silhouette.

- Thin straps

Made from pre-consumer waste and used fishing nets, recycled nylon reduces our demand on natural resources 

56% Viscose, 43% Recycled polyamide (Recycled nylon), 1% Elastane / Machine washable 

$135

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

11. Linen Pants

The pleasure of linen. As pants.

12. Aviator Sunglasses

Classic sunglasses simply belong in every closet.

Our Favorite
COS - Oversized Aviator Sunglasses

Designed in the COS atelier, these aviator sunglasses are part of our debut sunglasses collection. Crafted from recycled brass with a gold-tone finish, they feature tinted polarized lenses and are finished with a flexible hinge and a curved temple for a comfortable fit.

- Adjustable nose pads

- 100% UV protection

- This product bears the CE mark

$120

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

13. Pleated Shorts

14. Linen Blazer

The pleasure of linen. As blazer.

15. The Statement Pullover

COS - Regular-Fit Printed Mohair Jumper

Crafted from a traceable mohair blend, this regular-fit intarsia-knit sweater has a simple round neck and ribbed trims for comfort with a slightly cropped body. Our in-house atelier designed the bold landscape print, which makes it a striking piece to brighten any day.

- Long sleeves

- Certified according to the Responsible Mohair Standard, to protect the welfare of the goats and their environment

55% RMS Mohair, 30% Recycled polyamide (Recycled nylon, 15% RWS Wool

$135

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

16. Pleated Pants

COS - Wide-Leg Tailored Pants

Crafted from traceable wool, these black wide-leg tailored trousers have been designed to fall loosely over the body. The front pleats and back darts create a flattering silhouette, while the side slip pockets and back welt pocket make them functional. The concealed adjustable-button tab allows the trousers to be worn low-slung or on the waist.

- Hook-and-bar closure 

Certified according to the Responsible Wool Standard, to protect the welfare of the sheep and their environment

100% RWS Wool / Dry clean

$150

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

17. The Polo Shirt

COS - Regular-Fit Long-Sleeved Polo Shirt

Crafted from pure cotton, this long-sleeved polo shirt comes in timeless navy and is designed for a regular fit. It has relaxed sleeves, a ribbed spread collar, and a buttoned half placket.

- Organic corozo button closure

- Side slits

100% Cotton / Machine wash warm

$59

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Tips for Finding Expensive-Looking Pieces these days:

1. Look Carefully at the Item Descriptions & Material 

Not all that glitters is gold – this applies not only to the fake life on Instagram but also to the embellished fashion shopping world.

Acquire a basic knowledge of high-quality fabrics that are adapted to the seasons and disregard short-term fashion trends. For example, high-quality fabrics for summer are linen, silk, cotton, and viscose; for winter are wool, cashmere, and leather.

Of course, nowadays there are hardly any items made of these pure materials, but there is increasing use of fabric mixes, which are simply cheaper in production for the manufacturer – so always look at the largest proportion and make sure that a high proportion or at least a minimum proportion of these fabrics are included in your piece that you would like to buy.

2. Order the Piece and Try it On

Sure, this is an obvious tip, but one that is really important. Because even the highest quality fabrics can look unflattering when worn and put you in a bad light.

Therefore, pay close attention to the smallest production errors such as incorrect seams or lint. In case of tears, bulges, or wrinkled pieces, you should immediately become alert and send the item back or give it away – because you won’t be happy with it in the future.

Especially linen and polyester are known to wrinkle very quickly. While, for example, good virgin wool hangs itself out again (a good indicator of a high-quality item), such materials, unfortunately, crumple even after extensive ironing again and again – you have to like that.

3. Colors

Stay away from neon colors. They are hard to combine on the one hand and simply a fleeting trend on the other.

Or have you ever seen an elegant, rich-looking woman in neon!? Me neither!

Otherwise, when it comes to colors, it’s best to follow the seasons, although I can tell you one thing right away: Bright colors do require more maintenance, but they always look a lot fancier!

Here, however, it generally depends a lot on the skin and hair color, which is why it’s best to find out for yourself what suits you. Because that still looks the best!

The color palette changes depending on the season. In winter and fall, you see more black, navy, emerald, burgundy, and plum, while in the warmer months more pastel shades, nude, white, cream, and pink are worn.

Otherwise, stay away from patterns, prints, and inscriptions, because they look neither elegant nor beautiful! In addition, these pieces are super hard to combine! No one has time for something like that!

4. Quality Over Quantity

Call it a cliché, but here’s the thing: quality over quantity!

Avoid fleeting trends (e.g., neon or animal prints). Invest in high-quality basics that you can mix and match in a variety of ways. Buy more skirts, pants, and tops than dresses because you can combine them better in the long run and make more looks out of them.

Bonus: Materials That Will Make You Look Sophisticated

  • Wool, especially cashmere
  • Tweed
  • Leather, suede
  • Silk is luxurious but expensive. Satin is a cheaper alternative.
  • Chiffon
  • Linen is a great material for summer
  • Cotton and hemp

Avoid:

Cheap lace, polyester, and viscose.

Quick Breakdown

Minimalistic Brands Like Theory:

FAQ

1. Is Theory owned by Uniqlo?

Yes, Japan’s Fast Retailing Co, Ltd, whose main subsidiary is Uniqlo, owns several brands, including Theory. Other brands are J Brand, Comptoir des Cotonniers, GU and Princesse Tam-Tam.

2. What is Theory brand known for?

They became famous twenty years ago for a high-quality, well-fitting pair of pants. Namely, they developed an innovative stretch fabric that revolutionized not only the quality but especially the fit of pants.

Never before had American sportswear been so easy to wear to work and everywhere else.

3. Is Theory Clothing High Quality?

Theory offers high-quality clothing with excellent fit at affordable prices.

The items are simple and elegant, with finely selected materials and cuts.

In addition, the pieces are very versatile to wear, as many of their pieces can be worn both day and evening.

Simplistic. Chic. Elegant.

We Cover them All.


*Disclosure: We only recommend products we would use ourselves and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.


If you liked this blog article about “Brands Like Theory”, don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest so you don’t miss any more fashion and beauty news!

Elisa
Elisa

Founder & CEO of Streetstylis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *