It doesn’t take a genius to understand why shoppers who care about style and price might want to find some other clothing stores like Express.
On the one hand, Express has long been a staple for anyone looking for modern, affordable styles that you can wear to the office, a party or out to the club.
On the other hand, affordable is the operative word.
While their styles look good and cost little, the trade off is that they’re not the most finely constructed clothes in the world, and they don’t last all that long.
Fortunately, Express is hardly the only game in town (or online, for that matter).
In this post we’ve rounded up nearly two dozen stores similar to Express that offer a wide range of stylish, affordable and well made clothes.
Stylish Clothing Stores Like Express
Breaking Down the Best Brands Like Express
J.Crew is one of those stores like Express or Banana Republic that you find in most malls and retail centers across North America.
Like Express, they carry a wide range of styles for both men and women, but both their pricing and the quality of their merchandise is generally higher.
J.Crew Factory is basically a discount version of J.Crew.
They carry a similar range of well made products in modern styles, though it’s worth noting that they have a smaller selection in each category.
The good news is that they also offer cheaper prices than the flagship J.Crew store, so Factory is arguably a closer Express competitor.
Topman and its sister store Topshop are kind of like UK versions of Express.
They sell super modern and stylish clothes that are always hip and of-the-moment, but the quality isn’t quite as high as what you’ll find at stores like J.Crew.
Everlane is kind of like Express with a conscious.
Like Express and many of the other stores on this list, they offer a wide range of staple pieces in modern styles at pretty affordable prices.
But they also have a corporate ethos that focuses on sustainability and ethical practices, so you can feel good knowing that your styles are guilt-free.
Madewell is another member of the J.Crew factory, but unlike the previous two mentioned above, Madewell focuses primarily on denim.
They carry a wide range of jeans across a variety of cuts, fits and styles, along with a good selection of casual staple pieces that work well with denim.
In my opinion Banana Republic is one of the closest Express competitors, and one of the best places to turn if you’re looking for an upgrade.
While the base price at BR tends to be a bit higher, they run sales all the time (tip: sign up for their email list to score a discount if you’re shopping online) and their aesthetic is a little more grown up and refined.
If you mostly rely on Express for affordable casual pieces, then Urban Outfitters is a great alternative option.
Unlike Express, Urban Outfitters carries a wide range of brands and designers, so it’s a good one-stop-shop if you want to find a decent array of options without visiting too many sites or stores.
The men’s arm of online women’s wear store boohoo, boohooMan sells modern and fashion-forward pieces at affordable prices.
Their styles tend to be more up-to-the-minute hip than Express, which focuses more on basics and staples, so it’s a good place to turn if you’re looking for something different.
H&M is another one of those stores like Express that you can find in most malls, though their pieces definitely have a distinct vibe.
H&M focuses on the fashion-forward and flips their inventory over every season.
With H&M the good news is that you’ll look super on-point, but the bad news is that what you’re wearing might not look as hip (or hold up as well) a year from now.
As a discount department store, Target is admittedly not the first place that comes to mind when you think of stylish clothes.
But they’ve carved out a real niche for themselves by focusing on stylish and affordable casual staples that can complement and layer well with some of the higher end pieces in your wardrobe.
Asos is an online-only retailer that sells clothes and accessories from a variety of brands, including their own in-house label.
Asos is based in the UK and definitely has more of a British/European feel to their aeshetic, so it’s a good option if you’re looking to venture away from the standard North American look.
And speaking of the standard North American look, the Gap is one of the stores that has arguably helped define it over the past 30 years or so.
While their aesthetic may not avant garde, you can’t argue with their formula:
They sell modern and affordable staple pieces that are stylish enough to look good, but not so hip that they’ll be obsolete in a year.
Owned by the same parent company as The Gap, Old Navy is kind of the younger sibling of the family (which also owns Banana Republic, arguably the most mature of the bunch).
Like Gap, Old Navy focuses on casual staple pieces, but their aesthetic and target demo skews younger.
While they carry a lot of slim fit stuff nowadays, traditionally I’ve found that Old Navy’s clothes tend to run a little wider, so it’s a good alternative to Express if you find their stuff is a little too slim/tight.
American Eagle is another casual retailer that’s focused on a younger demographic.
Whereas Express sells business casual pieces, American Eagle is strictly casual.
It’s a good place to turn for staples like tees, sweatshirts and khakis, the style of which doesn’t change much over time.
Abercrombie & Fitch
A close competitor of Express and American Eagle, Abercrombie is kind of like a slightly more mature version of AE (emphasis on slightly).
Another place to turn for casual staple pieces, they have an all-American aesthetic that’s perfect when you’re looking for something comfortable and casual rather head-turning or super stylish.
Aeropostale is very much in the same vein as Old Navy and the two stores above.
It’s another staple of malls everywhere and another good place to turn for casual staples like sweaters, tees, henleys and jeans, all at affordable prices.
Uniqlo is a close Express competitor that applies a Japanese design aesthetic to classic wardrobe staples.
While they offer a similar selection of products as Express, Uniqlo’s stuff tends to hold up better.
I’ve sworn by their merino wool v-neck sweaters for years, and find that even though they’re thin, they’re surprisingly durable.
Specializing in modern, trendy takes on casual staples, Shein is a great place to turn for pieces that are a little more eye-catching than much of what you’ll find at Express.
It’s also one of the most affordable stores like Express, with prices that are comparable to lower-priced competitors like H&M and Target.
Like American Eagle and Old Navy, Forever 21 is another mall staple that skews younger than stores like Express and Banana Republic, which carry business casual clothes.
But it’s another good place to consider if you’re looking for cheap casual staples and don’t want to pay extra mark up for buying a plain tee from a more “mature” (aka more expensive) brand like Express.
Like H&M, Zara’s aesthetic is fashion-forward while its prices are generally lower than stores like Express and J.Crew.
But, also like H&M, with the cheaper price tends to come cheaper quality. All of Zara’s stuff looks great (their business model is based on having runway knock-offs in their stores as quickly as possible), but most of it won’t last more than a season or two.
You Know The Most Stylish Sites Like Express
Now Learn How to Become Your Most Stylish Self
Now that you know some other stores like Express where you can turn for modern and affordable styles, you should be able to stock your closet without (completely) emptying out your wallet.
But knowing where to buy some good-looking clothes is one thing; knowing how to actually become more good-looking is quite another.
If you want to out-dress the other guys and stand out from the crowd, you need to know how to nail all the seemingly small but crucially important elements that add up to make a big difference on a man’s look.
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More Resources ↓
More Men’s Style Advice from Irreverent Gent:
- 31 Stores Like Urban Outfitters
- The Best J.Crew Alternatives for Men
- 16 Stores Like Madewell for Stylish & Affordable Staples
- 12 Stores Like H&M for Stylish & Affordable Fashion
- How to Shop for Men’s Clothes
- The Best Stores Like TJ Maxx Online
- 21 Stylish Shops Like American Eagle
- The 23 Most Stylish & Affordable Brands Like Uniqlo
Banner image via Mike Mozart on Flickr