I can’t believe a year has passed since I wrote my last review of the shops! If you’re new then I’ll briefly explain how this all works – for the 3rd year now I’ve written a post about the highstreet shops in the UK, explaining my favourite ones, the ones I avoid, etc. If you want to read up on my previous reviews of the shops then click here: #1 and #2. This post is always a long one so lets get cracking.
It’s always hard to know where I quite stand with Primark. I love the wide range of clothes, the cheapness, the rip off ideas. But I hate the low quality fabric, the chaotic stores and the long queues. I guess I’m pretty 50/50. I feel like if you go there at the right time you can pick up a bargain garment which (contrary to popular opinion, might actually last a while). At the same time, it’s definitely not a nice shopping experience!
Described in 3 words: cheap, excruiciating, basics
Best for: basics, tops and cheap sunnies
Not so great for: I tend to shy away from shoes and bags (or at least know they’re not going to last forever) plus I’d always try on (or be prepared to take back) as the garments can be quite see-through/ clingy fabric.
While I have many things from New Look (mostly shoes) I never really gravitate towards it when shopping. If you’re lucky enough to have a good New Look near you (the closest one to me is pretty rubbish) then I’d definitely rate it higher. Personally though, their clothes are a bit hit and miss for me – they’re nice, but just not 100% my style.
Described in 3 words: patterns, boho, fluky
Best for: shoes! They’re super sturdy and last well. Also, bags from there are always lovely.
Not so great for: I tend not to buy many clothes from New Look as I find their tops/vests/shorts to be kinda pricey for what they are.
I feel like I don’t need to go into my love for H&M. If I had to shop at just one store for the rest of my life, I think it’d be H&M. The shopping experience is pretty good, the range of clothes is fab and they do basics as well as more interesting pieces.
Described in 3 words: simple, affordable, heaven
Best for: Clothes. Any clothes. Literally I love it.
Not so great for: Shoes – their shoe selection is often limited, although if you’re going to a bigger store then you’re sure to find something.
I’ve had phases where I’ve been completely head over heels for Topshop but at the moment I tend to stay away from it. I feel like for what it is, it could be found elsewhere for less and at the moment I’m really not keen to be spending so much on clothes anyway – no matter how nice or not they are.
Described in 3 words: overpriced, trends, cult
Best for: Key pieces. Jeans (they fit well but do fade). If you’ve got the money then lots of the stuff is good.
Not so great for: If you’re on a budget (most of the things you can find in lesser expensive stores, plus I find Topshop’s quality not to be in line with their prices). Anything too unique (however expensive, at the end of the day this is Topshop).
Urban Outfitters is a great shop with frequent great sales. In fact, anything I’ve ever picked up from there was in a sale. I like that their stores are filled with more unusual pieces and the quality is noticeably better than many other high street retailers, that’s for sure.
Described in 3 words: interesting, expensive, different
Best for: Key pieces and retro clothing.
Not so great for: Anyone on a budget.
It’s funny that I’ve never been a big Forever 21 shopper (partly because the closest ones to me are in central London), but after recently going in there again, I’ve completely fallen in love. At the moment I feel like it has a very H&M vibe, with a slightly younger, trendier feel. Of course, for the affordable price, their clothes aren’t amazing quality but this t-shirt dress I picked up was on a similar price level to Primark and is made of a softer material.
Described in 3 words: affordable, variety, nice
Best for: Everything really. The one in Stratford Westfields (and any big store) have loads of clothes to choose from.
Not so great for: bikinis, shoes (they often have very limited sizes).
Zara’s bags and shoes -especially those on their website- leave me wanting everything, but their clothes don’t give me that same urge. I feel like Zara is a shop for professional twenties as their garments -whilst still being ‘trendy’- are more timeless, classic pieces too.
Described in 3 words: quality, mature, trendy
Best for: Classic pieces with a twist. Shoes and bags are fab.
Not so great for: If you’re looking for ‘younger’ pieces e.g. you won’t find a gazillion crop tops or spaghetti strap dresses. Also not too good if you’re on a budget.
(never actually bought anything from River Island!)
I don’t really have much to say about River Island as it definitely isn’t a store I gravitate towards. I’ve seen a lot of stuff in there which looks pretty cool so I’d suggest you at least have a mooch around – I’m going to give it another shot when I go shopping.
Described in 3 words: tropical, trendy, colourful
Best for: Feature pieces and trendier pieces.
Not so great for: wide varieties (I’ve found there to often be a limited range of things even at a bigger store).
I hope you like this post! Geez, it’s always such a long one!