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?

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19 comments

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Oh those shoes are beautiful and seriously what a good bargain.
Britain does seem to have the best range of trendy highstreet shops, I mean the equivalent in Ireland (where I live) are just hideous, probably a thousand times worse then Forever21!

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Some of the best shoes I have ever gotten were from New Look until doggie X chewed them! One thing I do love about England is the fact that you can mix designer with high street and no one can really tell the difference. One thing I have learned is get all key peices designer and all other trends high street. I am sure going to miss Oxford Street when I move 🙁 but there will always be Topshop 🙂

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Those are great shoes!

I don’t know about New York,I am Midwestern/Southern and not too well traveled… but I know that I find the best under-$100 looks here from locally owned stores… there are a lot of little boutiques that sell brands like Cheap Monday and WeSC as well as locally-made pieces and unknown but higher-quality brands that even fall under $50. And the best thing is that the store owners can incorporate their own style/aesthetic into every piece, and supporting the local economy is great too.

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OMG I love those shoes! Do you take orders? 😛

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Those are lovely shoes! Though I wouldn’t blame you for getting the blazer, either..the grosgrain trim would have done me in in about five seconds.

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Your dancing shoes are great, and for the price… God.
How I wish I could have things like that…

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Ooh shiny shiny!
x

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i like the dancing shoes! i am a poor student but i’m afraid i have far less restraint than you…i bought that very whistles blazer in their sly pre christmas sale!

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http://yarnstorm.blogs.com/knitblog/2008/01/marmalade-socks.html
I thought I had seen these shoes somewhere before.

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