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Growing up in the Midwest, my shopping options were more or less limited to my local mall pitstops (Anyone remember Delia’s?). Perhaps these humble beginnings are the reason I’ve become so obsessed with discovering hidden-gem brands on social media. With the internet, it’s like the world is my oyster. With endless possibilities that span the globe, I’ll never again worry about wearing the same outfit as Cindy in math class. (Or, as an adult, Trish in accounting.)
Whether an influencer’s recommendation or a (scarily accurate) advertisement via an algorithm, Instagram is — bar none — the best place to find under-the-radar brands that definitely don’t exist at your local mall.
While some of the below brands are more well-known than others, they all have one thing in common: I would have discovered them without Instagram. I also never would’ve discovered this Delia’s comeback, but that’s beside the point. Bless.
Shop: Peony Colossal Knit Jacket, $235.07
Credit: Hope Macauley
Hope Macauley’s rainbow-hued, colorful confections are the definition of Instagram style.. The Ireland-based fashion and textile designer’s eponymous brand sells super-popular chunky knits. And while they’re certainly a splurge, you can rest assured knowing you’ll break your “like” record the first time you break one out on the ‘gram.
Shop: CaliStyle Emerald Bay Maxi Dress, $78
Credit: Shop Resurrection
Shop Resurrection epitomizes the California-cool aesthetic with its ‘90s-inspired micro-florals and distressed hoodies. (The brand’s site also has an impressive vintage category.) Personally, I’m most obsessed with the brand’s extensive dress selection, ranging from airy sundresses to edgy minis.
While you may not be able to jet off to Portofino or Tuscany right now, you can still tap into the Italian-countryside aesthetic with Montce, an influencer-favorite swim and apparel brand. Of course, the “cottagecore” trend has never been hotter, and the brand’s lineup of gingham separates, floral prints and feminine ruffles will — if you’re like me — have you ready to ditch the city for pastures and picnic blankets.
Oma The Label
Shop: La Vie Bodysuit, $99
Credit: Oma the Label
I first came across Oma The Label, a Black-owned clothing and accessories brand, after getting sucked in by its gorgeous, aesthetically-pleasing Instagram feed. Fast forward several months, and I wear the brand’s popular asymmetrical bodysuit anywhere I can. (The fabric is thick and super high-quality.)
Shop: Eva Shoulder Bag, $39 (Orig. $79)
Credit: JW Pei
JW Pei is an influencer-favorite brand with on-trend handbags at an actual fraction of the cost. And unlike other affordable handbag lines, these ones don’t feel cheap or plastic-y IRL. In fact, they’re genuinely luxe-feeling and chic. For this price point, it’s (almost) too good to be true.
Shop: Perfect Match Knit Cardi Set, $94
Credit: Verge Girl
I was on the hunt for an easy, chic cardigan set (you can read more about my adoration for knitwear here) when I stumbled across this brand. On its site and IG page, you’ll find easy, boho pieces you’ve probably seen pictured on your favorite LA-based, beach wave-sporting influencers.
Shop: Bella Bra, $63.25 and Elle Bottoms, $56.14
Credit: Bamba Swim
I’ve searched high and low for cute, unique swimwear over the years — especially on Instagram — and Australian brand Bamba Swim is a standout for me. The brand carries lingerie-inspired, feminine bikini designs at affordable prices, as well as other vacay essentials like tennis skirts and beach coverups.
Thursday Boot Co.
Shop: Legend Lug Boots, $160
Credit: Thursday Boot Co.
It might be a New York City thing, but I like to stomp around in boots year-round, so I’m always on the lookout for cool new pairs. Thursday Boot Co. carries high-quality booties, Chelseas and more at affordable prices. There’s something for every style, no splurging necessary. (Fun fact: My mall-dwelling mother also fell in love with the brand after discovering it on the ‘gram, too!)
Lisa Says Gah
Shop: Robyn Jeans, $159
Credit: Lisa Says Gah
Unlike the rest of the brands on this list, Lisa Says Gah is more of a curated boutique — basically a one-stop-shop for every influencer-approved brand, which is how I originally discovered it. (While brand has its own clothing line, it also stocks Paloma Wool, House Of Sunny, Ganni and more trendy indie brands.) Do a quick cursory scroll through the site, and you certainly won’t be disappointed with their selection of colorful prints, quirky accessories and more it-girl faves.
Shop: Cotton Face Mask, 3-Piece Set, $12
I originally stumbled upon accessories brand Kitsch when I was in the market for a wet-hair wrap. I’ve since fallen in love with the brand’s selection of wordy hair clips (like this “VOTE” barrette), satin pillowcases, eye masks and more. Most recently, I’ve stocked up on their packs of cute face masks.
If you enjoyed this article, check out Sophie Ross’ list of 20 chunky cardigans you’ll want to wear this fall.
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