5 Shopping Secrets of a Best Dressed A-Lister

I’m not into the idea of dressing like everyone else, and I’m sure you feel the same way, right? It’s part of the reason I’ve developed some secret shopping techniques over the years. So outside of my usual go-tos (some of my favourite American brands are Diane von Furstenberg for bohemia, Cushnie et Ochs for bold cutout dresses, and ladylike pieces at Prabal Gurung), and when I’m not scouring your regular high-street stores for standout goods, these are the five (kind of top-secret) places I look to for super-specific reasons.

If I’m in the market for a vintage buy, I have certain tricks to find the best pieces. Or if I do want to hit up some affordable brands but not be seen in the exact same must-have as everyone else, I’ve discovered there are a few ways around it. Keep reading to see the five shopping secrets I’m willing to share…

Forever 21 is where I go for a fast-fashion hit. The retailer taps into trends really quickly, and it’s a great way to grab a piece that you don’t want to invest a lot of money in. And as not everyone in the UK is used to shopping there, you’ll usually find something that people can't instantly place, so it will feel more unique. 

Shop Forever 21:

Yes, the F21 site stocks other labels as well.

I love using a piece of leather cord as a choker. I was inspired by my costume designer on Salem, Joseph Porro, who uses leather cord for everything on my costumes—belts, chokers, bracelets, hair ties… Try adding little charms too! 



Ashley’s always got a choker to go with every one of her off-the-shoulder tops—you can buy leather cord on Amazon.

I’m obsessed with Etsy. This is my go-to for costume jewellery. Tassel earrings and body chains that have been handmade… just not by my hands!

Shop Etsy's jewellery:

No one would ever guess where you found these.

So reasonable you could buy a couple and wear them stacked up.

I return to Reformation time and time again. The brand makes silhouettes that feel timeless and effortless. It’s the items you’d want to find in a thrift store reimagined and designed to fit. 

Shop Reformation:

No doubt about it: We’re getting the matching trousers.

I find some of my best vintage pieces on Instagram. I have a few accounts I follow—check out @shrimptoncouture and @feathersboutiquevintage—and use for inspiration. I also search hashtags like #vintage and #bandtee. That’s how I found my vintage metallic tee—from Feathers Boutique, actually!

So there you have it! Now check out the methods that clever fashion girls use to shop ASOS.

Be sure to see what Ashley’s up to on her blog, Ring My Bell, and via her Instagram feed.

Opening Images: Rex/Courtesy of Ashley Madekwe

Related Stories