I am extremely
picky particular when it comes to clothes and footwear; I want things done my way, and I am willing to put in as much effort as necessary to get it close to perfect. This is perhaps part of the reason I am so invested in sewing and cooking, so I can control every aspect of the process, and in turn, get the outcome I want exactly the way I want it. Anyway…
Once I saw how commonplace it was in Ghana to get custom clothes made, as in someone would take your measurements and make you basically whatever you wanted, I knew that’s how I wanted my clothes done for the remainder of my life. From that point on, I pretty much stopped clothes shopping, and wore the old, saggy clothes that were already in my closet; I preferred to wear clothes that were far past their prime, than buy new clothes that weren’t specifically made for me.
THE WHOLE POINT OF THIS STORY is to say that I am extremely picky!!! Therefore, this selection contains the best of the best. These are brands (or stores) that I can browse their catalog and find at least 2 things I would buy from them. Like I said, I would rather wear saggy clothes than buy clothes not custom made for me, so these places do an extremely acceptable job.
1. New Balance
In the summer of 2019, I was searching for gray tennis shoes. Yes, gray was basically the only requirement. I have a thing for gray tennis shoes for some reason, but apparently they are extremely rare. The gray tennis shoes I had previously worn were from Walmart, and had become saggy and old to the point where my husband (then boyfriend) was begging me to upgrade them.
I walked into a shoe store (Tradehome shoes, see below), and there they were: these perfectly average gray tennis shoes that I had been so desperately searching for. I tried them on and they were comfortable; it was a success.
Fast forward one more year, and I had worn holes in those (literally). My husband again encouraged me to upgrade, so I walked back into Tradehome shoes, and walked out with another pair of New Balances. This time, they were gray and tan. Spicy, I know.
The whole point is: New Balance has comfortable shoes that match my style. And they come in gray. That’s all.
I only own one pair of Sorel shoes, but I appreciate their aesthetic; they are unique, but not so unique that they are trying too hard. They are also quite comfortable, and have quite a few styles I could see myself buying if I had unlimited funds. I am a fan.
3. Tradehome Shoes
This isn’t a brand, but a shoe store. I have purchased 3 pairs of shoes in the past 3 years, and 2 of them have been from this store. The third, my pair of Sorel boots, were only thought of because they carry that brand and I went on their website. This store never disappoints me on my annual quest for upgrading my old sneakers, or giving me inspiration on brands I may like.
H&M has been one of my favorite stores for probably a decade now. Since it is a German company, they have many styles that are muted and made for everyday. I have worn their tank tops to the point of no return, and enjoy browsing the shelves to see what they have put out. Not only do I like their clothes, but I just enjoy the overall atmosphere in the store in general. They are the go-to store for basics and everyday.
Also, they have nice men’s clothes.
I have never purchased anything for myself from Express, but their men’s section is really nice; I’m sure they have nice women’s clothes, but again, I’d rather just make it myself. I never went into an Express store with the intention of buying anything, but rather to see what’s trending and how the clothes are made. However, they can go on the list because they do a good job in their men’s department, and the women’s department can get an honorable mention.
Like I said, it’s a short list. I hope to add more clothes and footwear brands as I find them, but for now, this is all I have. Let me know what your favorite stores are or your quirky shopping habits in the comments!