I often hear from my clients and even from my friends and family that they don’t know where to shop anymore, that they don’t know where to start on the high street and that everything they see is for the youth market and so consequently hate shopping.
Whilst it is true that there isn’t many (any?) shops that cater for the 40+ market specifically the high street is definitely a treasure trove of fantastic wares for all ages, once you know where to go. In fact I would go as far as to say that the UK high street is the best in the world and we are lucky to have so much choice….especially those of us who live in the south east in close proximity to London.
For our age group I think the high street can be divided into 3 main sections… The high end high street shops which are expensive but definitely cater for us in terms of fit and style. The likes of Whistles, Reiss, Jigsaw, LK Bennett, Cos, Hobbs and Jaegar fit into this category. These shops have their place but can be quite work orientated and pricey and are by no means the only places we should be going.
The second section is the obvious places like M&S, Next and the department stores – John Lewis, House of Fraser, Fenwicks and even Debenhams (on a good day). I’m sure most of us are quite happy to go to these places as they are trying to appeal most definitely to our demographic and we can buy clothes, home wares, gifts and kitchen items all in one easy location.
However, it is the 3rd section of the high street that most interests me for this blog… The low to mid range high street shops…. These are the places where I believe the discomfort can start… We feel like these shops are not catering to us and that we wouldn’t know where to start shopping in them but it’s here that adequate quality and excellent price point can be found along with current trends. My three heroes from this section would be H&M, Zara and Wallis. Fantastic styling season after season…excellent pricing (particularly in H&M) and great seasonal offers (Wallis) and whenever I go in I don’t feel like I’m in the wrong place, going to be mutton dressed as lamb and that nothing will fit properly. Recent purchases include a blanket wrap for £22 with seasonal discount from Wallis, a stripy wrap cardy for £15 from H&M and a sleeveless waistcoat from Zara.. a little more expensive at £79. If you haven’t been into these shops recently I definitely recommend a window shop to get familiar with what they have to sell and you never know what may catch your eye!
To be honest I rarely shop in the first section of shops as I don’t have a need for formal work wear and the price puts me off. I’m quite happy shopping in the department stores and Zara, H&M and Wallis. Possibly topped up with online offerings from Asos and Atterley.
There are of course a handful of shops that are worth avoiding. Amongst these I would count River Island, Forever 21 and Top Shop. I don’t feel quite welcome in these shops and consequently haven’t bought anything for years from them. Gap and Banana Republic need to learn to get the steam iron out on their clothes before hanging them up as I resent paying £40 for a top which looks like it has just come out of a box (I know that it has but it doesn’t need to look like it has).
If you need help navigating the high street please contact me to book in for a personal shop. In only 3 hours we can find some fantastic items for the coming season or even for a special event you have coming up. Alternatively, I offer a pinterest board shopping list service which enables you to have your own specially curated clothing guide and which with a click of a button takes you through to the retailers page to buy. Please contact me for details.
For any questions about this blog or to contact me to find out how I could help you dress well call 07500 443974. If you like this blog please share with your friends and/or comment and to get regular updates on what to buy and how to wear it please like my facebook page and subscribe to my monthly newsletter on my homepage.