When shopping on a high-street budget, it’s all too easy to fall for the trend-smashing charms and regular arrivals at Zara. After all, we’re only human. The Spanish superbrand works fast and efficiently and never appears to miss a beat when it comes to the items we want in our wardrobes at any given moment. In many instances, Zara can be credited with setting retail trends that other affordable stores follow. (Remember when every brand scrambled to produce a loose-fitting polka-dot midi when that dress took off a couple of summers ago?) Right now, the store’s printed pieces look strong, and the autumn trends are giving many of us the feels. But there are other shops that provide the same level of inspiration and excitement.
If you want to be truly on top of your consumption, then we’ll always be here to chart the top trends you can buy second-hand. In fact, we’re pretty obsessed with hunting down affordable vintage items. If, however, you aren’t a wiz in the thrifting department, there are some other affordable, agenda-setting stores with pieces just as good as Zara’s. But you won’t see these pieces all over the streets or Instagram—they’re a little too niche for that. From an affordable Swedish brand that’s doing impressive work in sustainability (the detail and visibility on its site are really next-level) to a Spanish label you should never ever overlook (especially in the summer months), the below brands aren’t Zara, and that’s okay! Keep scrolling to see and shop the other labels on top of their game.