There are some stores that will forever have a place in our hearts. We'll all remember Woolworths for its pick 'n' mix and the British Home Store for regular Sunday afternoon trips with the grandparents. However, there are still some classic British stalwarts of the department-store variety that deserve our full attention. We're talking about the high-street and designer giants that have been part of shopping experiences for generations. From Debenhams and Marks & Spencers to Selfridges and Harrods, they're the kind of iconic places that create memories.
You can find everything from home to beauty and food, but we march into the fashion sections first (and probably last, just to make sure we haven't missed anything). Housing all the best brands from Warehouse to Loewe in one easy-to-shop setup, we got in touch with each legendary store to find out what key pieces are trending, which ones have already sold out and (thankfully) been restocked, and the next It buys influencers are backing—even if they're shopping from their mobile phones rather than IRL. See and shop the best department store buys that'll hold that special place in your wardrobes from autumn/winter 2018 and beyond.
We can always rely on Harvey Nichols to fulfil our high-fashion needs. Loewe's Gate Satchel has already sold out in most stores, racking up a waiting list in the process. However, you can still get the black mini version online if you're quick. Then there are the new #ChloéGirl boots: the Rylee snake-effect lace-ups that are replacing basic ankle boots. Now that you've got the lowdown on accessories, it's time to hear that midi skirts are selling out quicker than happy hour cocktails. Free People's satin slip is a particularly versatile little number. Last but not least, there's the everyday piece: the Margo dress by Rixo.
Debenhams hosts a large range of exclusive designers and brands, but a few key items are of note this season. Firstly, there's the ombré leopard-print dress that the likes of The Frugality and others have been spotted (quite literally) in. The label H! by Henry Holland's knitwear is proving to be quite popular too. Lastly, there are the chic party pieces. Sequins are—perhaps unsurprisingly—a top seller right now, and it's Warehouse's sparkly skirt that has our interest piqued. Complete with the Carvela clutch (which no one will believe is high street), you've got yourself a comprehensive A/W 18 look.
Stepping into Liberty London on Great Marlborough Street is like stepping back in time—in a good way. The department store opened its doors back in 1875, and much of the interior has remained true to its original Tudor aesthetic, although the product offering has moved on somewhat from Victorian times. Liberty London is the go-to for niche brands the fashion set loves, dreamy jewels and, of course, exclusive prints (not to mention stationary, homeware, beauty and more).
The store has seen a 15% spike in sales for its latest scarf collection, which is quite the cue for your Christmas gifting. A new accessories collection brings with it a crossbody that's already proving to be a hit. Then there's jewellery. If you missed out on the Celine initial necklace, head to the Alex Monroe section for the ideal alternative. As for knits, Paloma Wool is the Barcelona-based label Liberty has recommended we invest in for autumn/winter 2018. (We agree.)
Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer is one of those do-it-all stores that can give us Percy Pigs and It buys all under one roof. This is why it's a high-street legend in its own right. We all remember the leopard-print dress that sold out countless times in the summer. Well, now there's an autumn version that's set to reach the same status. Corduroy comes in a close second, in the form of under-£30 wide-leg trousers influencers are already into. And it doesn't stop there. We've discovered a belted checked skirt that has already sold out in the brown-and-blue colourway, but you can still grab it in tartan if you're speedy. Finally, party shoes: We know a winning pair when we see one, and some velvet jewel-toned mules have shot to the top of our wish list. Wear them with jeans and a nice top or a sequinned dress. It's not just any new collection: It's the new M&S collection.
The sales team at Selfridges recently let us in on many secrets, and they've kindly allowed us to share them with you. These four buys below are some of the most important this season, and here's why: Each and every one of them—from a Shrimps beaded bag to the sold-out Ganni dress—had to be restocked to keep up with the demand. Surprised? We aren't either. Hopefully, we'll see the big black Selfridges ribbon under our tree. Note to self: Must be very good for the rest of the year.
John Lewis & Partners
Found on most high-street hot spots, the newly launched John Lewis & Partners collection has been inspiring women up and down the country. You've probably already clocked the dream camel coat that's making its way on to every influencer including Style Memos. It also comes in powder blue and fuchsia, and all three colours sold out in two weeks… (Luckily, it's just been restocked.) Then there's the round bag that's already sold out in the mini style but now comes in a larger shoulder version. Add one of these to the could-be-designer ochre wrap skirt and you've got your classic capsule wardrobe covered.
Aside from the chocolate counter, our home turf in the Harrods store will always be its fashion sales floors. But if you want to make shopping easier by avoiding the crowds (and not get distracted by aforementioned chocolate), there are plenty of fashion pieces online too. Harrods tell us that Rixo's tiger-print dress (which you've probably spotted on the likes of @weworewhat) has been a big hit so far. There's there's Alexander McQueen's stacked sneaks that continue to be a top trainer choice for the connoisseurs out there. And then there's a sensible dash of Gucci in the mix… The Italian brand's velvet mini Broadway bag is so aesthetically pleasing that it's flying off the virtual and real-life shelves quicker than we can grab it. Go, go, go!