H&M is a budget-conscious fashionista’s dream. But buyer beware; some items aren’t worth buying at even the lowest prices due to poor fit, low quality, or better bargains elsewhere. Here’s what we suggest you skip when shopping at one of our favorite affordable fashion outlets.
Though plenty of us like to indulge in pretty underthings, bras and underwear’s most important characteristic is function! While H&M’s lingerie selection looks nice, most of their products are made from synthetic materials (elastane and polyamide, to be specific), which are fine for T-shirts and dresses, but not so great for our lady parts because synthetic materials don’t breathe as well as real cotton and can cause problems in these particular areas. Additionally, the last thing a woman wants is to get poked and prodded by the underwire in her bra, and H&M’s selection doesn’t offer the best fit, sometimes leading to discomfort.
Much like lingerie, swimsuits are also items that need to both fashionable and fully functional. H&M’s swim collection is definitely stylish, but when it comes to clothes that are one slip or see-through material away from public indecency, we prefer to buy pieces from stores that have specialize in or have more experience with swimwear, such as Victoria’s Secret or Vix.
3. Business Suits
We’re not fans of the “work wear” concept in general, though we certainly understand the need to stay within a dress code. But even if your job requires ultra-conservative attire, H&M’s selection leaves much to be desired. Their dress shirts are often made from difficult-to-iron synthetic materials that are uncomfortable and won’t last through many machine washes. And though we like their blazers as everyday items, their suits aren’t flattering and are made from low-quality material that wrinkles and wears down easily. Take our advice: if you need serious work wear, invest in quality suits that will stand the test of time. (We like budget-friendly selections from Ann Taylor, Banana Republic or J. Crew, or investment pieces from Theory.) You’ll look and feel much better—not to mention save money in the long run!
4. Basic Knits
This one might seem counterintuitive, but in our experience we haven’t been thrilled with H&M’s basic items like T-shirts, tanks, and other staples. Their prices are unbeatable ($5.95 for a basic jersey tank!) but the pieces don’t always fit well and certainly don’t last very long. A couple of wears and washes is it all it takes to stretch or disfigure an item. And even though they’re cheap, if you’re looking for basic items that you want to wear for multiple seasons, look elsewhere. Investing in a quality set of camisoles and T-shirts will make a world of difference to your wardrobe!
5. Fringe Items
H&M is great at producing on-trend fashion at a low prices, but we’re less enamored with their ancillary items, like makeup and umbrellas. One of our staff members couldn’t resist buying an umbrella while shopping at the store, only to have it break five minutes into using it on a rainy day!
6. Gold-Colored Jewelry
We’re not jewelry snobs—plastics are just as great as precious metals for our colorful baubles! But we’ve had disappointing results with H&M’s gold-colored jewelry. Whether it’s a metal bangle or plastic beaded bracelet, the gold always invariably changes color with wear or come off completely. Our concern isn’t so much the color change itself (bronze is a great color too), but more so the fact that whatever is rubbing off is doing so on our skin!
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.