11 Under-the-Radar High-Street Brands That Are Just as Good as Zara

Although the big-name high-street brands like Zara and H&M still have a place in our wardrobes, there's something exciting about coming across a lesser-known label. Of course, there's nothing wrong with buying into the latest trending item. However, as all true fashion lovers will know, it can be easy to become disillusioned by the identikit ensembles that can come from sticking to the well-trodden path.

My solution? Take some time every few months to dig around online and discover some new brands. This will ensure that your wardrobe is kept fresh, diverse and individual, and it helps you avoid any awkward outfit-clash moments. To save you time, I've scoured the internet and interrogated the Who What Wear team to find our top under-the-radar affordable brands and their best new-in pieces. Prepare to smugly name-drop these labels next time you WhatsApp your fashion-loving friends.

1. Nobody's Child


(Image credit: @emilyjdawes)

Having caught the attention of editors, influencers and celebrities alike, Nobody's Child is an affordable brand you definitely want on your radar if it isn't there already. Specialising in throw-on, easy-to-style dresses and timeless wardrobe staples, this brand is also sustainably minded in its sourcing and design.

Shop the brand:

2. Aligne


(Image credit: @sarahlouiseblythe)

Aligne is a sustainably minded fashion brand that makes its designs out of quality fabrics with low environmental impact. The brand's aesthetic is clean-lined and packed full of versatile staples such as shirt dresses, jeans and blazers.

Shop the brand:

3. NA-KD


(Image credit: @amaka.hamelijnck)

For on-trend, small-scale design that won't cost you an arm and a leg, head over to NA-KD. This lesser-known fashion brand delivers a chic edit of wardrobe staples that you'll wear for many seasons to come. Minimalists, this one's for you. 

Shop the brand:

4. Never Fully Dressed


(Image credit: Never Fully Dressed)

Acting as an antidote to the prevailing minimalist aesthetic, Never Fully Dressed is all about the print. The brand's feel-good pieces focus primarily on floral motifs, bold colours and flowy dresses—perfect for dressing up or down and layering up throughout the year. This season, it also has some great vegan leather pieces and outerwear, too.

Shop the brand:

5. Albaray


(Image credit: @pennygoldstone)

Albaray was born during the pandemic in 2020, and founded by three women with over 25 years experience in the fashion industry. It's a sustainable womenswear brand created with a desire to move forward with a more thoughtful, environmentally conscious approach, and the collections full of versatile styles designed for every day life (and to last way beyond the cycle of a season) certainly reflect that. 

Shop the brand:

6. Pretty Lavish


(Image credit: @femmeblk)

Founded by two sisters in a bid to make luxury clothing affordable. They're known for sophisticated dresses and luxe knits—it's definitely a brand to know if you're in need of an outfit for a special occasion. 

Shop the brand:

7. Damson Madder


(Image credit: @livpurvis)

If you're hunting for directional wardrobe heroes, look no further than Damson Madder, the brand that aims to use eco-friendlier materials, including 100% recycled polyester, natural dyes and cotton from organic farms. I'll be wearing the brand's cotton maxi with chunky boots all season long.

Shop the brand:

8. Kitri


(Image credit: @slipintostyle)

Set apart by its tightly edited collection of premium-feeling, affordable pieces, Kitri is a Who What Wear fave. It only stocks limited quantities of each style, so you can guarantee that you won't see the same item on every other person on social media. 

Shop the brand:

9. WAT The Brand


(Image credit: @sarahtankelellis)

The brainchild of perennially chic influencers Philippa Ross and Sarah Tankel-Ellis, this young brand is already selling out its exclusive drops of those perfect wardrobe staples you've been searching for forever. From the perfect black trousers, to the striped breton top of dreams, your capsule wardrobe will thank you for shopping here. 

Shop the brand:

10. House of Sunny


(Image credit: @claire_most)

Describing its wares as "supersized basics with a clean, flawless aesthetic and silhouettes cut precisely for everyday success," House of Sunny has become cool girls' go-to affordable fashion brand. The brand offers up plenty of new-season trends, including artistic silhouettes and psychedelic prints.

Shop the brand:

11. 4th & Reckless


(Image credit: @karodall)

If you're looking for expensive-looking minimalist pieces with a cool Scandi twist to add to your wardrobe, then check out 4th & Reckless. It's now available on ASOS, and you can expect chic co-ords and elevated basics to base your wardrobe around.

Shop the brand:

This post was originally published at an earlier time and has since been updated. 

Next Up, Experts Agree: These Spring/Summer 2024 Fashion Trends Really Count

Emily Dawes
Affiliate Editor

Emily Dawes is the very definition of a fashion multi hyphenate. An editor, stylist and writer with over eleven years’ worth of experience in the industry, Emily is known for her impeccable taste, elegant outfit choices and being able to spot the next big thing in fashion from a mile off. Our readers loyally trust her advice and shopping suggestions; so much so she began her own column documenting the most expensive-looking pieces on the high street, which has become a top-performing piece of content for the Who What Wear brand.

Emily has worked for Who What Wear UK since 2020 in a myriad as roles, spanning from contributing editor and branded content editor. Now, she holds the position of affiliate editor and is responsible for the brand’s overall affiliate strategy, ideation and content execution. Working closely with Who What Wear UK’s affiliate manager, Emily has been instrumental in securing and nourishing brand partnerships, surpassing her goals as standard. Leading the team in tentpole shopping moments including Black Friday and Peak Trading, with Emily’s guidance and leadership, team Who What Wear is in a stronger affiliate position than ever before.

Prior to joining the Who What Wear team, Emily served as YOU Magazine’s acting fashion editor where she managed the fashion team and oversaw all fashion content output for the fast-paced weekly title. Emily is a stylist in her own right, having worked with a slew of VIP clients including writer and television personality, Elizabeth Day, as well as styling and art directing several celebrity cover shoots for glossy print publication, Grazia. Her adept fashion knowledge means brands regularly sought out to work with her as a consultant: previously she has developed marketing and content plans for brands for Cocoon and Edge of Ember. Before entering the industry, Emily obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and American Studies with International Study from Nottingham University. Fun fact: Emily spent a year studying in America which saw her join a sorority during her time there.

When she’s not working or tracking down the chicest, new-in items to share with our audience, you’ll find Emily bestowing her East London home with her stylish flair, reading everything from the classics to cowboy romance novels and escaping to the country with husband, baby boy and dog, Roo, whenever she can.

Emily is currently on maternity leave.