Monday, 5 October 2015

3 Different Online Shops

A recent trip to Cabot Circus proved a reminder of just how poorly served Bristol is for shopping. With my pay cheque burning a whole in my pocket and a requirement to buy some new jeans, I spent a very frustrating afternoon trawling the shops and inwardly cursing about the lack of choice in our city. I don't understand it - Bristol is a creative, relatively affluent place, so you'd think the retail offering would be, well, just a bit more exciting. Of course, you'll find most big name high street stores at both Cabot Circus and the Mall, but if you're after something a bit different you're limited to Urban Outfitters. 

But on this particular occasion even Urban Outfitters failed to deliver. Not only did I bump into a friend's 14 year old daughter and her gaggle of mates in the changing rooms (a scenario that did rather make me wonder if I'm perhaps getting a little too old for Urban Outfitters) but the jeans I tried on here made me look like a '90s throwback...which is okay if you're not old enough to actually remember the '90s.

So back to the world of online shopping and seeking out those elusive jeans on the world wide web. It's a pretty overwhelming experience, so I thought I'd share three new sites you might want to bookmark if you're looking for an alternative to the standard chain stores (and useful if, like me, you never have any luck finding denim on the high street...)


Not cheap, but the denim is particularly good and you can pick up bargains in the sale, plus Madewell really knows how to do a good vintage wash. I hate the flimsiness of high street denim, so I'm happy to pay a bit more for something that is a bit more heavy duty and shape retaining. 

Embroidered top, £66.12 in the sale

Aside from denim, you'll find great knitwear and t-shirts that have that relaxed but well-made look that US brands do so well. If you ever indulge in the fantasy that you're actually a writer living in Brooklyn (yes, I do) then this is a brand that will fit your style, though unfortunately you do need a little more than a writer's income to afford some of the pieces in the collection. That said, there are bargains to be had in the sale - I tend to buy my summer clothes in the winter and vice versa, so have been stocking up on a few pieces that are heavily discounted at the moment. And if you're after a special treat, the bags are affordable luxuries and have a timeless but cool look. 


Perhaps Paris' Left Bank is more your thing than Williamsburg. In that case you need to know about Sezane, a French site that has just launched in the UK. It's got that sophisticated-without-being-stuffy vibe that characterises French style and prices are reasonable - it's on a par with more upmarket brands such as Whistles or Reiss, but has more affordable t-shirts and blouses in its collection, too. 

Bora Blouse, 65 euros


A bit like &Other Stories, this Spanish brand has more of a fashion-forward edge, so it's perfect if you're looking for something for a special occasion and don't want to look like everyone else. Again, prices are very much at the upper end of the high street (think Karen Millen, Whistles, etc) but, like sister brands Zara and Massimo Dutti, the pieces feature quality fabrics and sharp tailoring that justify the steeper price tags.

Striped dress, £125

All images courtesy of Madewell, Sezane and Uterque

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