Elly Glynn – thank you. In your comment you encapsulated everything that this blog is about: looking good, being unique and not sucked into lazy mainstream fashion, and not buying items that cost the earth. I salute you. To answer your question about where to shop on a budget but get good, individual pieces then I have a few suggestions which I hope will be helpful. I appreciate that not everyone wants to spend their days rummaging around in vintage shops and charity shops like I do!
First: H&M. I love H&M and it is definitely the high street store in which I shop most often. Cheap (even more so in the sale) and unique enough that you won’t see anyone else in the same thing. H&M do beautiful collections in many different styles so there really is something that everyone will love. In fact, I have just realised that I am wearing a pink flowery tea dress which I bought for £10 in the H&M sale, as I type! They are also great for accessories and jewellery too, and recently are marketing some of their own make-up. Again, as I type my nails are painted in a bright blue polish I bought for £2.99 in H&M – so it is definitely worth a look.
Second: New Look. Now you may think that it is quite mainstream, but if you can pick out pieces that feel unique then you’re sorted. New Look is pretty cheap (and they have great reductions in the big sales, though in most stores they have a constant sale section so always take a look there first). I find New Look is also good for pretty accessories that are cheap. They also have a great selection of shoes – and they show how important their shoe marketing is to them by going up to size 9 and also doing a wide-fit shoe range. I would buy more of your staple clothes from New look (such as my chinos featured in my post “Denim jeans: the addiction”), and buy your statement pieces somewhere less mainstream.
Thirdly: sales. In this current financial climate (as everyone keeps calling it) most stores are having quite regular sales – wanting to shift all the stock they have. Take advantage of this by heading into shops you perhaps wouldn’t normally go into such as Debenhams. Not many people seem to realise that Debenhams does blue cross sales with up to 70% off clothes – that is fantastic! Recently I bought three items that should have come to a total of about £60 and I bought all three for a total of just £24. These clothes are all by reputable brands/designers, and because they were all originally quite expensive they are great quality and will last. (See my upcoming post about Warehouse – I’m certain you will find it useful).
Shop around and soon you will discover the shops that you like the most. In the meantime, keep pioneering for uniqueness. PLEASE.