Shops We Love – Clothing

HIGH STREET TO MID-RANGE

Boden
Stylish basics and some of the best swimwear online. Very friendly site to surf about on. Loads of choice and a good range of sizes, from 6 – 22. Some of the stock sells out fast so you have to wait to up to three weeks to receive your order. Plan ahead!

Coast

An outstanding collection of dresses for every occasion along with a nicely restrained range of trousers, skirts, tops and coats. Sizes 6 – 18

Dorothy Perkins

Not always well made, but each season will produce ten great buys. Sizes 8-22 (8-20 in the Petite and Maternity ranges). Lingerie sizes 34A-38D.

Evans

Specialising in sizes for big girls. They have tall and petite ranges as well as offering wide fitting shoes and wider calf legs on boots. There is also an in-store bra measuring and fitting service. Sadly their designs tend to be quite safe and a bit dull. Sizes 16 – 32, lingerie sizes 38B – 50H, Shoes 4 – 10.

French Connection
Cool yet accessible urban wear. Great designs but can tend towards using synthetics and cheaper fabrics. Sizes 6 – 16.

Gap

Great for useful basics like t-shirts and jeans but ultimately all a bit samey and bland colours. Sizes 2- 20

George at ASDA

Variable quality but they always come up with smart workwear at amazing prices. Worth checking out. Sizes 6 – 24.

H&M

Shockingly inattentive staff. Presentation of rails has the air of a jumble sale. On Saturdays we need a flamethrower to get through the crowds. But here we find the most fab dresses, trousers, jacket, t-shirts and accessories at really affordable prices. They also have a very funky plus-size range. Sizes 6 – 32

Jigsaw

The staff are second to none for thoughtful and polite service. Very flattering cuts for disguising flab in unwanted places. Stores are immaculate and everything well presented. Colours tend towards the drab but quality is excellent. Sizes 8-16 (some styles only go up to 14).

Karen Millen

Don’t be put off by the Footballers’ Wives image. The clothes come to life when you put them on. Sizes 6 – 16

La Redoute
Amazing online catalogue with thousands of items at really good prices, mainly French high street labels. You need hours on this site, there’s too much choice. Sizes 6 – 22.

Mango

Sizing for anorexics but some funky young looks. Sizes 4 – 14

Marks & Spencer
What’s better than Marks & Spencer? Marks & Spencer online with worldwide shipping! Knickers, bras, tights, swimwear, pyjamas, knitwear – all your basics done with a few clicks.  Lots of different clothing ranges spread through the store can leave us a bit confused about where to look for a particular garment. Of all the high street chains, M&S seem to be making the most genuine effort to stock goods that are ethically and environmentally responsible. The downside? There isn’t one – it’s M&S! Sizes 6 – 28.

Matalan

Huge selection of wearable casuals at good prices. Sizes 8 – 30.

Monsoon
Monsoon is a label with a strong identity that just keeps on keeping on. If you have a black-tie event or a wedding to attend, this is the place to look for a reasonably priced yet glamorous dress. Some styles can veer towards mussiness. Sizes 6 – 22.

New Look

The bags and jewellery here are particularly fab. We seem to use them a lot for our makeovers. Summer seasons are usually stronger than winter ones because whilst the styles are amazing, the cut in tailoring can occasionally look a little cheap and of course there are naturally more tailored items for the colder months. Sizes 6 – 18

Oasis

Outstanding capsule collections but overall their clothing seems to have lost its way lately. Sizes 6 – 18.

Primark

Clothes are so cheap it seems rude not to buy twenty items at a time. Don’t expect them to last long though. Be prepared to queue for half an hour at the changing room and another half an hour at the till (no online shopping)

River Island
Funky clothes at High Street prices tending to be aimed towards the younger end of the market. Sizes 6 – 18.

Tesco

The F+F collection always features a few truly stylish garments. Well worth a look.

TK Maxx

It’s a bun fight to find the jewels amongst the thicket of designer rejects but worth it when you dig up an amazing bargain treasure. Great stuff sells out fast but you can stay ahead of the crowd by subscribing to their email newsletter. It depends on the label but a good range of sizes across the board. Something for everybody.

Toast
Truly gorgeous knits and comfortable everyday clothing plus covetable home ware. Be aware that sizing can come up quite differently but the exchange policy is very straightforward. You could get seriously carried away! Sizes 6 – 18.

Topshop
The Mecca for fun and funky clothes! Don’t go on the weekend unless you want to feel totally old and fat. Topshop leads the way in commissioning top designers to produce an own label range. But if you don’t want to join the throngs in their shops they also have a fabulous website, so easy to shop. The returns policy is 14 days. Free delivery if you spend over £50. If you are uncertain about how to put outfits together book a personal shopping session in one of their stores. Highly addictive. Sizes 4 – 16.

Wallis

We have found very well cut trousers for over size 12s and a number of trouser suits and evening outfits that will add a sense of glam to a 40-somethingish wardrobe. They also always have tops that will flatter big tits and flabby tummies. Sizes 8-20.

Warehouse

Great for party dresses. Sizes 6 -16.

Zara

Great versions of high-end designer looks. Generously long trouser legs and great quality. Our only gripe is that labels are sewn on with irritatingly scratchy nylon wire. Mainly Spanish staff is exceptionally helpful. We shop here more than any other high street store. Sizes 6 – 18 (some styles are not available in the whole size range).

 

DESIGNER & BOUTIQUES

A.P.C.
Straight from Paris, A.P.C has the most fab simple clothes, the site is very slick and easy to use, and they do ship worldwide – at a cost. Shipping is expensive and things tend to sell out fast! Sizes 6 – 14.

Browns
The original London cutting-edge designer store, always ahead of the pack. They also carry a breathtaking collection of bridal gowns and accessories. Take care, you may find yourself getting married so that you can wear a Vera Wang gown – just once. Sizes 6 – 16.

Matches
Matches is THE place to go if you have thousands to blow on a designer wardrobe. They also stock the full range of Diane von Furstenberg clothing. Clothes are delivered gift-wrapped in gorgeous marbled packing boxes and they will even deliver same-day. Watch out, you might end up blowing your mortgage. Sizes 6 – 18

My-wardrobe.com
Designer sale site site with fantastic labels. The site is clean and so user friendly. You’ll love shopping on here!
On the down side, many sizes are sold out and some sections are a little sparse. Sizes 6 – 16.

Net-a-Porter
The mother of all fashion sites! Net-a-Porter has the best collections online for fashion victims with serious money to burn. Sizes 4 – 18.

Yoox.com
Designer clearance site with every label under the sun, the site is bursting full of clothes. A bit overwhelming… there is too much choice. Sizes 4 – 20.