If you're a savvy shopper, then you'll head to the best high street stores for your new season purchases. Of course, in an ideal world, we'd all be gliding around in McQueen and Chanel; but in reality, most of us try to translate that into a more affordable alternative. So, here are my best high street stores - and what you should buy from them.
Personally, Topshop isn't a favourite of mine - but I couldn't leave it off a list of the best high street stores. In fact, it's one of the most successful stores on the high street. If what you want is the latest trends, directly from the catwalk, the street and the gossip magazines, then this is the place to go - it’s the definition of fast, throwaway fashion. Just don't expect that dress you bought to wash very well.
Reiss is slightly more expensive, in terms of high street prices, but the clothes are good quality and should last you more than one season. For me, Reiss is the place to head for work clothes - dresses, pencil skirts, tailoring etc - and for those kind of occasions where you want to dress up but you still need to look smart, like a work do. Plus, the sizes go all the way down to a 2 (UK sizing), which is unusual on the high street.
3. Russell & Bromley
I'm not completely sure this counts as the high street, but I think I should include it anyway. Shoes, shoes, shoes. I love shoes. Unlike, for example, Kurt Geiger, Russell & Bromley have styles that will appeal to a wider age group. So, you can get your back-breaking stilettos, or you can get a more demure heel if that's what you want. Once again, it's good quality.
How could I fail to include ASOS? The customer service is excellent (important with an online only store), the ranges they stock vary dramatically in terms of price, so there's something for everyone, and the ASOS marketplace is the perfect place to find vintage pieces or one-offs.
I find their regular lines tend to reflect the very cheap price they're sold for. However, H&M is the place to go for designer collaborations. Having created collections with everyone from Lanvin to Anna Dello Russo, most have sold out in a matter of hours too. Also, they've just launched their higher end range, & Other Stories, in the UK; better clothes, but still relatively affordable.
The Spanish brand is the place to go for coats and jackets. Whether you want a bright blazer, a leather jacket, or a faux fur coat, they have a huge selection. Plus, I think their coats and jackets tend to be better quality than some of their other pieces.
If you're a fan of Jil Sander, then this is the place for you. Cos specialises in minimalist, simple basics. Whether you need a good blazer, a coat or a knitted jumper, this is the store to head to. When walking into a lot of high street shops can seem like an instant brightly-coloured, patterned and sequinned headache, Cos is a haven of cool tones and simple design.
Another online store, this shop has a collection to rival ASOS. They stock brands that you may not be able to find elsewhere in the UK, so this is the place to go if you want more choice. I especially like their shoes. Also, it’s the only place where you can buy Bebe over here - so if you need a party dress, try looking here.
In my opinion, Zara is the best store on the high street. They keep up with trends quicker than most other stores, and the design tends to incorporate those all important details that make something look so much more expensive than it is - a well-placed zip, or the finish used on a handbag, for example.
All of these stores prove that you don't always have to go designer; the high street can really be every bit as good. So, happy shopping! And apologies that most of these are UK-based - most ship internationally however. Have I missed any off the list?