My angst with the high street has started to ruin every shopping experience I have and for me, this is a travesty.
My angst with the high street has started to ruin every shopping experience I have and for me, this is a travesty. The other day, my friend and I were both stood outside our local Topshop and both of us just sighed an utterly bitter sigh of disappointment. Even as pioneers of the high street, they can’t seem to capture what the consumer wants (and for both me and my friend, it certainly isn’t Lichtenstein prints mixed with sports luxe—ew.)
I salute you for pushing the boat out, Topshop. You do more than your adversaries. But you can’t quite get past one huge factor of high street shopping: someone else will always be wearing what you’re wearing.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a total fashion snob (not yet anyway). But there is nothing more mortifying than seeing someone else in that gorgeous printed blazer that you paid £40 for last Saturday and looking better in it. I cannot recount the amount of times this has happened to me, and so I now stick firmly to the back streets of town—boutiques, charity shops, thrift stores, you name it. I’ll be sifting through it all. In all it’s odd smelling glory.
If you’re going to spend a good chunk of money on clothes, then they might as well be original pieces, no? I’m not saying I don’t make the occasional trip to Primarni for good basics and cheap shoes, but if you’ve earned some good money and want to really treat yourself- buy one of those handmade dresses (of which, only 3 were ever made!)
It’s like shopping in Gucci, but without the blasphemous price tag. You can always style it up with good cotton basics later (I know I will be!). Good places to look for these sorts of things are fashion graduate boutiques or student fashion shows. Students are always looking to sell their work when they graduate (they invested their own money, time, blood, sweat and tears into it anyway!!) and I’m sure would be thrilled to make you a custom piece.
Having also been inspired by the Great British Sewing Bee, it’s now customary for people to make their own clothes or even add to existing ones. I can’t applaud this sort of approach to fashion enough—not only does it make you thriftier (and save you a CHUNK of money on that basic print tee from Urban Outfitters), but will give you a real sense of achievement. Don’t let rips in vintage clothes scare you: you can sometimes even get money off for this! Get that needle and thread, a basic tutorial on YouTube and you’re good to go.
There is another thing which really annoys me about high street shops. As a fashion blogger myself, it’s my job to show my readers what they can get for their money. When high street shops are uncooperative (and quite frankly, rude as hell), it really puts me off. I don’t understand how they wouldn’t want a review on their recent collection, or an example of how to style it. Not to mention, I would be doing this all for free. H&M have even harnessed the blogging collective in their recent opening of a flagship store, ‘& Other Stories,’ actively encouraging people to take pictures and review products.
But if, at the end of the day, you’d rather pop into River Island for a little Saturday pick me up, I won’t stop you. But I warn you, it will hurt when that girl who embodies Mila Kunis walks by you in the street in the EXACT SAME THING. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!