13 Brands Like Theory 2024 That Will Make You Look Expensive

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In today’s update, I’m excited to introduce you to 13 brands similar to Theory that will enhance your style and create an upscale look – all without emptying your wallet.

These are precisely the stores where the most expensive-looking women shop to look expensive and be so.

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

Who knows.

Let’s dive right in.

13 Stores like Theory:

1. Massimo Dutti:

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  • High quality fabrics like linen, wool, cashmere or down at affordable prices
  • Timeless, classy pieces
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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 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?

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 regarding 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 pretty 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 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 polyesters. 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 stylish and modern.

I myself have 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 keep up in quality with my virgin wool blazer, which just as little creases or falls apart somehow.

2. Button-Down Shirts by COS

Everyone needs high-quality button-down shirts in their closet for warm days because the classics can be super casual. Pulled over a top or buttoned up and always looks elegant.

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

3. Trench Coats by Mango

Mango is my all-time favorite for 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 have all jackets and coats that I have so of Mango wear for years and am always delighted! 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 check out their outerwear!

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.

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.

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 ten 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.

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.

10. Midi Tube Dress

Feel feminine while being on trend.

11. Linen Pants

The pleasure of linen. As pants.

12. Aviator Sunglasses

Classic sunglasses belong in every closet.

13. Pleated Shorts

14. Linen Blazer

The pleasure of linen. As blazer.

15. The Statement Pullover

16. Pleated Pants

17. The Polo Shirt

Tips for Finding Expensive-Looking Pieces these days:

1. Look Carefully at the Item Descriptions & Material 

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

Acquire a basic knowledge of high-quality fabrics 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 cheaper for the manufacturer. So always look at the largest proportion and ensure that a high balance 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 require more maintenance, but they always look fancier!

However, it generally depends a lot on the skin and hair color, which is why it’s best to find out 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, please 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 various 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


Cheap lace, polyester, and viscose.

Quick Breakdown

Minimalistic Brands Like Theory:


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.

Is theory a Japanese brand?

No, Theory is not a Japanese brand. It is a contemporary fashion brand launched in New York in 1997. The brand offers perfectly fitting and elegant designs and styling, and its acclaimed comfort stems from superior materials. 

Is theory an American brand?

Yes, Theory is an American brand based in New York City. The brand was founded in 1997 and offers contemporary fashion for men and women, including clothes and accessories. The theory has over 400 retail locations worldwide and has global sales approaching $1 billion as of 2021. 

What other brands are like Gucci?

Brands like u003Ca class=u0022wpil_keyword_linku0022 href=u0022https://rstyle.me/+kJBCl7gg4S-Cklw7-y0Euwu0022 title=u0022Gucciu0022 data-wpil-keyword-link=u0022linkedu0022u003EGucciu003C/au003E include Cettire, Net-a-Porter, u003Ca class=u0022wpil_keyword_linku0022 href=u0022https://rstyle.me/+cmyIWn16MuM06_A5gdQt0Au0022 title=u0022Nordstromu0022 data-wpil-keyword-link=u0022linkedu0022u003ENordstromu003C/au003E, Miu Miu, Balenciaga, and more.

Does theory belong to Uniqlo?

Yes, Theory is owned by Fast Retailing, which also owns u003Ca class=u0022wpil_keyword_linku0022 href=u0022https://rstyle.me/+C4SglXOcsTkHoblFdf7ndwu0022 title=u0022Uniqlou0022 data-wpil-keyword-link=u0022linkedu0022u003EUniqlou003C/au003E. 

Is theory a good brand for suits?

Yes, Theory is generally considered a good brand for suits, with a reputation for quality and style.

We Cover them All.

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*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.

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Elisa Steffes
Elisa Steffes

Elisa Steffes reviews designer fashion brands and elegant pieces for a living. She also loves Old Money Brands and is passionate about writing about topics related to this classic style.
She has close to 3 years of experience in SEO and has taken the Streetstylis Pinterest account to one of the most popular magazines on Pinterest and Instagram.
When she's not working, you'll find her doing Pilates, dancing or hanging out with her friends in Malta.

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