Posted: August 29, 2017 6:23am

Normally at this point, with Autumn just around the corner, there would be a flood of high street pieces making their way to my home.  Being away means I have had a lot of time to peruse all that is out there and really contemplate what is worth buying.

Already I can see a flurry of coloured H&M furs, ‘Balenciaga like’ red ankle boots, not to mention floral dresses galore, popping up on all the bloggers’ sites.

Remember, bloggers need pictures for their Instagram, and swanning around H&M or Zara is the easiest and fastest way to do this.  I know…I have done it.

I hate to be a ‘Debbie downer’ but we just have to walk away from purchasing the majority of the pieces on Instagram.  WE HAVE ENOUGH CLOTHES and when we buy it should be truly special.  If you want lift, check out vintage or preloved for better brands and quality.  Use Instagram for inspiration but be very wary of buying.

Invest in small labels such as Ducie to get better quality than the highstreet

It’s so easy to get sucked in and my tip is not to buy the pieces once you see them on numerous blogs.  In a lot of cases a company simply sends out the same piece to loads of bloggers.  We know the culprits, Hush for example (sorry to name and shame!)

Also shy away from the instantly recognisable pieces, look for your own gems that suit your body shape and life.  I know buying what you see saves time but below are my top tips for shopping the high street.

Embracing baskets but not following the crowd

I take colour and outfit inspiration from Instagram and then give it my own spin to work with my shape and the pieces I already have in my wardrobe.

My tips are:

  1. Look for natural fabrics like silk, cashmere, cotton and wool.  If you are in your mid 40’s, walk away from anything acrylic.  I bought a great one shoulder Millie Mackintosh dress on ASOS.  I LOVE the cut so much that I overlooked the fabric but I know in the end I will sell it as I just cannot get over the acrylic
  2. I adore a splash of colour, but again, limit it to a dress, top or trousers.  I bought a mauve puffer last year which is glorious, but I have worn it three times and I wish I had stuck to black or navy.  If you want a coloured fur (which are everywhere again this year) go for navy or dark green.  I get my ‘fashion hit’ from small designers where the prices are similar to the high street yet the quality tends to be far superior
  3. Don’t buy high street shoes; in the main they are not comfortable.  I would rather buy a preloved pair as you will get a top designer for the same price.  Mostly, I try to buy unworn preloved
  4. Think 10 times before you click, really!  Hold off, come back to it and also try and think of 10 outfits you would wear the item with.  If your daughter/friends daughter is wearing it then it’s probably not appropriate!

7 weeks away from the high street completed my detox, I just don’t rely on it any more.  If I find a gem, great, or something on the bargain rail, but I have moved on.  My focus is now on:

Ebay, Vestiaire, Etsy, sample sales and ASOS Marketplace, not to mention my local vintage shops but NOT the high street.  I am spending the same as I did on the high street but the pieces are far superior and there is no danger of running into 10 people in the same piece.

Skirt from Etsy same price as the highstreet

All the smart shoppers I know mix only a couple of  high street pieces with items sourced from the places I have mentioned above, peppered with an investment piece.  It is so much easier to make a decision to buy a £35 ASOS top or Zara dress but we all know there is no longevity in the purchase.

I keep my money for the sales and nabbing real investment items.

So what’s on my radar for Autumn.  Only a couple of barefoot, white gowned days left and then I get back to mounds of washing and hunting down school bags and uniforms….




Hear more about our story Join our mailing list and receive 10% off your first order
Hear more about our story Join our mailing list and receive 10% off your first order