Thrift is to be my watchword this year. And I have the best of good intentions. It’s just that I do wish that New Year’s Resolutions didn’t coincide with the winning combination of a new season and the sales. Especially when I’m in London with all these lovely fast fashion shops that don’t exist in New York.
Because, believe me, whilst America excels at fashion in the £100-£350 bracket (just take a look at the Intermix and shopbop websites if you don’t believe me), it truly sucketh in the below £100 category. There’s Forever 21 (New Look on acid. It gives me a headache), Banana Republic for office-y staidness/suburban housewife gear, and then the ubiquitous international chains (Hennes, Zara & Mango, which has just landed) if you want to look just like everyone else. The slightly more upmarket British High Street stores are starting to make an impression: French Connection, Sharon Millen and Reiss all have a strong presence in Manhattan but are the same price or more expensive than they are in London, which makes no sense at all with a 2:1 dollar/pound.
There is no equivalent of Topshop (which I think is over rated, but still), Miss Selfridge, New Look, River Island, Wallis, Warehouse, Principles, Oasis, Dorothy Perkins, or M&S Limited Collection: the stores where a savvy shopper can pick up interesting pieces to perk up her designer & vintage-filled wardrobe, and experiment with new looks.
I spent the whole of Monday in the West End with Miss P, helping her fill her new season wardrobe gaps and I was so super-restrained. But it killed me. There was a delicious fitted black blazer for £80 (reduced from £180) in Whistles, edged in navy blue grosgrain which I really, really want. But, all I bought was a pair of on-sale dancing shoes in New Look. They were £10/$20, so I think I can be forgiven?