Best Of Fashion: Building Our Dream Wardrobe

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TQE’s first annual ‘Best Of’ campaign celebrates the head-turning, drool-worthy, seriously-can’t-live-without brands we obsessed over this past year. We sample a *lot* of products – this week, meet the ones that have stood out.

In a day and age where shopping has quite literally become just a click away, we’re always on the lookout for brands that stand out with seamless experiences, innovative product offerings, and beautiful, high-quality pieces. Lucky for us – and you – there are no shortage of those brands online these days. Read on for the fashion brands that enticed our sartorial senses most this year.


Quality basics at cost.
Credit: @italic

At TQE we love luxury, but we also pride ourselves on knowing where to get the best bang for your buck. If you haven’t heard of Italic, it’s time to let you in on this little (not-so) secret. Italic is a unique retail concept that removes the middleman, bringing you high-quality pieces made at the same factories as some of your favorite luxury brands without the markup and name-brand price. The site has everything from cozy cashmere sweaters (from $60) to sumptuous leather bags (from $125). Italic used to be a members-only platform, but this year they opened the site up to the public – I’m oh-so-grateful.


Put some spring into your step.
Credit: @larroude

One of the most exciting brands that graced my feet this year, Larroudé is the pandemic baby of fashion industry veteran Marina Larroudé and her husband Ricardo. The brand believes that footwear should be fun, and it shows: vibrant colors, funky patterns, and playful silhouettes are the mainstays of every pair. The Kate Boot ($450) is so popular it’s been featured in articles, on Instagram feeds, and has sold out multiple times in the last year. Beyond the amazing aesthetics, they’re really comfy too – which is the ultimate treat. Larroudé has most certainly helped us channel our inner Carrie Bradshaws.


Loungewear, but make it fashion.
Credit: @donni

The last few years have brought us back to basics. Loungewear and athleisure are certainly still having their moment. Donni is making it easy for us to look good and feel good with its comfy, mindfully made, elevated basics. Every month, Donni drops a new collection or two featuring fresh silhouettes and colorways. The next drop is a host of lightweight, waffle knit sets in vibrant colors perfect for spring and summer lounging. Check out the brand’s Instagram for teasers and lots of anticipation from Donni’s very loyal following – including many of our editors.


Sustainable and of-the-moment.
Credit: @shopredone

Everyone needs a great pair of denim (or a few) in their repertoire. If sustainability is also top of mind when you shop, Re/Done should be on your radar. The brand got its start in 2014 upcycling vintage Levi’s into fresher fits and silhouettes. Eight years later, Re/Done still sells plenty of pre-loved pairs, upcycled to stay with the trends of course, but the brand has also expanded into creating its own line of reduced-water denim for an option that’s equal parts stylish and sustainable. Safe to say, we’re obsessed.


Sweats sure to make you smile.
Credit: @madhappy

While it seems every brand and its mother are dropping colorful loungewear sets that make working from home look cool, Madhappy was one of the first on our radar. The aptly-named brand makes deliciously soft sweats and more that immediately up your cool factor, yes, but it also is on a mission to make the world a more optimistic place. Madhappy offers mental health education and resources, including its own Local Optimist Hotline, which you can text when you need someone to listen. We love the brand’s mission as much as we love the serotonin-boosting pieces – I mean, how could this not make you smile?

Blackstock and Weber

An instant classic.
Credit: @3sixteen via @blackstockandweber

The best f*cking loafers in the world. That’s Blackstock and Weber’s promise, and we’re here to substantiate that claim. The pairs are grounded in traditional menswear, but have a modern flair inspired by everything from food to art. Designed in Brooklyn and manufactured by experts worldwide, Blackstock and Weber has a worldly appeal built right in. Did we mention they can all be worn sockless? We love how this brand is freshening up a timeless style.


The ski lift just got a face lift.
Credit: @halfdays

When it comes to athletic apparel, performance is most important, but it doesn’t hurt to also have pieces that make you do a double take and a “who is she?!” in the mirror. Halfdays is a female-founded brand making sure you look good and ski better. The brand makes stylish and functional ski apparel (base layers, shells, pants, and jackets) with thoughtful details that make sense on and off the slopes (like a phone leash so you never have to worry about losing your phone when trying to snap pictures of that insane powder). The ski apparel industry is dominated by legacy brands, so we’ve loved seeing this fresh face on the mountain this season.

Ciao Lucia

Always dress like you’re on vacation.
Credit: Ciao Lucia

They say you should dress for the life you want, not the life you have. Ciao Lucia helps us embrace that mantra in the best of ways, with pieces inspired by the days spent strolling along the French Riviera and drinking an Aperol Spritz overlooking the Amalfi Coast. Because even when you’re just going to Target, you deserve to romanticize your life and wear a beautiful linen set. The brand’s knitwear, dresses, tops, and bottoms all have a romantic touch about them which makes us immediately want to add to cart. Anyone else?


Underwear you can actually move in.
Credit: LDMA

The key to a great outfit? Great undergarments. Uncomfortable underwear can make you feel so blah, and LDMA gets that. The brand spent years developing its curated collection of underwear that’s made to withstand your active lifestyle, while also making you feel sexy and confident. The thongs and briefs ($26) are just as suited for your high-intensity workouts as they are for wearing under your favorite dress for date night.


The sneakers you’ve always dreamed of.
Credit: @cariuma

There are plenty of brands making casual, everyday sneakers, but Cariuma’s are some of the most comfortable, and sustainable, in the pack. Slip on a pair of Cariumas and feel like you’re walking on a cloud, guaranteed. The brand takes its feedback from customers seriously, which explains why the pairs just keep getting better and better. Each new drop is created with buyer feedback in mind, which we love. On top of the comfort-first, stylish silhouettes, Cariuma walks the sustainability walk with its high production standards as well as a host of environmental initiatives that prove they’re always trying to get better.

Love a fashion brand that didn’t make our list? Let us know @thequalityedit. Then, come back tomorrow for our favorite collabs of the year.

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