We all have our go-to brands. On a shopping trip, you do a loop of your favourite shops, and if they don’t have what you’re looking for, you go home empty-handed. You check the brand’s new-in section daily and know the store’s stock by heart. This can be great and save you precious time, but before you know it, your entire wardrobe is made up of three or four labels and you can’t turn up to a party without twinning.
But what about the brands that aren’t on our fashion radar—the shops you simply “don’t look in”? There are a few I can think of that are often dismissed as “mum shops” (note—some of us here are mums, but we’re referencing the older gen that tends to frequent these places). I’ll admit that I didn’t visit these at first either, but once I ventured from my strict shopping path, I was delighted and surprised at the pieces on offer: Scouting out an exceedingly good item from an unexpected source never fails to supply bragging rights.
So perhaps you wouldn’t buy every single item from the following stores, but isn’t that true of any place? What is guaranteed is that you’re missing out on a whole host of delights by omitting them from your shopping radar, as I often find the below brands offer superior fit and comfort. Here, with the focus on well-cut pieces and quality of fabric as much as it is on trends, there’s about to be more competition in these stores than ever before.
Fast becoming a style blogger favourite, La Redoute’s tailoring is perfect for a style-savvy ensemble. Plus, there’s so much to choose from, so there’s no fear of twinning outfits here. Lindsay Holland of @ropesandholland tells me: “I always check La Redoute for knitwear and I never come away disappointed. Those French designers have got it nailed, and that’s something you can’t always find on the high street. I’ve got a huge chunky knit that I got last year, and it was so popular that the brand made it again this season. The brand collaborates with some incredible up-and-coming designers too, so you’ll always find something special.”
The way we shop is changing, supermarket brands have upped their design credentials to compete with high-street retailers. In fact, they contribute £3.1 billion to annual UK clothing sales, and as we’re about to show you, they can add a trendy update to your wardrobe without you spending big.
Tu Clothing has casualwear done right. For a simple, chic weekend outfit, look no further than its winning denim. The best bit? The brand’s premium line starts from just £18.
For we superfans, it’s hard to imagine the time a few years back when M&S wasn’t so fashion-heavy—but maybe you haven’t rediscovered the joy of this Brit brand yet. These days there are multiple quality ranges to choose from—and every season there is at least one item that flies into the stratosphere of influencer-dom.
M&S’s Autograph and Limited Collection lines are a must-visit for workwear. The premium fabrics and unique prints look well beyond their price tag.
If you have been missing the joys of Boden—allow us to enlighten you. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by Boden’s S/S 18 offering—from trend-hitting knits to every kind of statement print, there’s something for all kinds of fashion fans. Don’t miss its great shoes for an easy outfit update.
Where else can you shop brands like French Connection, Whistles and Reiss at 70% off? Plus, the Gold Label (featuring designers Givenchy, Chloe and Carven at a fraction of the price) is a fashion editor fave. Although this does require a rummage, some of the best dressed girls we know will swear by shopping here.
My best-kept fashion secret (until now) is the designers at Debenhams range. Preen’s Studio line stays faithful to the brand’s look for a fraction of the price—just what a successful high-street collab should be.