I’ve never been a clothes snob: in fact, I’m happy to shop pretty much anywhere, as long as I like the clothes.
I also spend a lot of time looking at clothing websites as part of my job, and one of the things I’ve come to realise is that if you love fashion or style, you really can’t afford to overlook anywhere. Sometimes a brand I’d totally discounted will really surprise me with the quality of their offerings, so when I’m shopping for something specific, I’ll leave no stone un-turned, and will do my best to ignore the preconceptions I might have about certain brands.
Here, for instance, are three high street brands which, although popular, are often overlooked by some of the people I know…
Any time I mention buying something from River Island, I can practically guarantee the person I’m speaking to will look horrified, and then say something about “blinged up” jeans. Now, granted, blinged-up jeans sound pretty dire, but then again, I haven’t seen anything like that in River Island since the late nineties/early noughties – and they definitely weren’t the only offenders back then, either! Actually, I’ve always found River Island denim to be pretty high quality: they’re no longer my go-to for jeans (they used to be, until they inexplicably decided to make their “short” leg roughly the same length as other brand’s “regular”…), but their shoes are some of the best on the high street, their outerwear is frequently fantastic (they do some of the best biker jackets on the high street), and I can almost always find a few great midi-length dresses and skirts, which are at odds with the “clubwear” reputation a lot of people seem to associate with the brand.
BEST FOR: Shoes, biker jackets
Miss Selfridge is another brand a lot of people seem to associate with teenagers and clubwear: in fact, I doubt many of my friends would even set foot in the store, believing themselves to be way too “grown up” for it. Now, I DID shop in Miss S as a teenager: I still occasionally shop there now, though, because this brand has a truly fantastic selection of midi skirts and prom style dresses – think Chi Chi London, but slightly lower priced. They also do a lot of retro-inspired bardot tops, and have a particularly good petites section, if that’s something you’re looking for.
BEST FOR: Midi skirts, prom dresses, petities
H&M is one of the most popular brands in the UK, but that doesn’t mean people won’t look down on you for shopping you there, pointing to erratic sizing, poor quality and mass production. Now, the sizing can definitely be erratic, I’ll give you that. I have some H&M pieces which have lasted for years, though, and are every bit as high quality as some much more expensive brands, and when it comes to basics (and anything with stripes, basically), I find them hard to beat. I’m a particular fan of H&M’s workout clothes, which are comparable to much higher-end brands, but a fraction of the price.
BEST FOR: Basics, stripes, workout clothes
What about you? Are there are any brands you love that other people tend to overlook?