I Tried on 50 Pieces From Kate and Holly's Favourite High-Street Brands

Here at Who What Wear UK, we're all about delivering the latest and greatest shopping edits, as approved by our team. That's why we've created a new shopping column, The Joy of Shopping, which will see me, Joy Montgomery, heading to all your favourite stores to test out new-in pieces IRL. From summer dresses to the brands you might've forgotten about, prepare for changing room selfies aplenty. Is there something you'd like me to cover? Make sure to tweet or Instagram me your requests!

Back in December, I wrote a piece about the style circles that presided over the fashion world in 2018. Overwhelmingly (if not exclusively), these circles were made up of designer-loving individuals decked out in the latest must-haves. However, anyone who has shopped the high street will know that even the affordable end of the fashion chain is ruled by its cliques.

Imagine the British high street is a house party. Topshop and H&M would be the bright young things at the centre of the action, Zara and Mango would be the reliable BFFs that bring the booze, Arket and & Other Stories, meanwhile, would be the slightly aloof, well-dressed sisters keeping a watchful eye over the proceedings. L.K.Bennett, Hobbs, Jigsaw and Boden? Well, they'd be the horrified parents who return at 1 a.m. to clear up the mess.

When Who What Wear UK's Hannah Almassi challenged me to base my next shopping story on the "parent" brands of the high street, I was uncertain, to say the least. Aside from the odd coat from Jigsaw, I had never given these brands much attention and had them firmly filed under "Kate Middleton" in my mental fashion folio. They existed as a totally separate style subspecies to my own. Turned out that I was seriously missing out.

Yes, they may cater to a more mature audience, but over the course of my shopping trip, I discovered that, with the right eye and well-chosen accessories (chunky boots are a godsend), you can create some seriously good looks. With "quality over quantity" becoming our shopping mantra this year, it's brands like these that are rising to the fore with their timeless cuts and made-to-last fabrics. So why not mix it up and shop outside your style circle this year? Who knows? You just might find a new fashion fave (I know I have).

Scroll down to see and shop all the pieces I found at L.K.Bennett, Hobbs, Jigsaw and Boden.