Disclaimer: All pictures taken with Vignette for Android on my HTC, am going to be using it a whole lot from now on!
Based on my personal choice (and style) after almost two years of living in the UK. I initially wanted to include only high street stores which weren’t franchised in Malaysia, but decided against it in the end.
(watch this space for in-store pictures)
Credits to Lipsy
This London-based brand is well-known for its printed bandeau dresses (I’m a huge fan myself) and signature loungewear, which include soft velour hoodies with “Lipsy” boldly emblazoned on the back, and matching bottoms to boot. They’ve a gorgeous collection of going-out styles, from the sexiest bodycons to the most feminine flou babydolls. I tend to liken Lipsy to the more costly LA-based Juicy Couture, what with their luxurious loungewear and chunky charm bracelets. Got to love the both of them!
Oh, and Lipsy’s recent collection (autumn/winter 2010, if I’m not mistaken) had an asymmetrical one-shoulder dress in baby pink which looked more or less exactly like Carrie’s Halston Heritage dress in Sex and the City 2, for much less of course. Something worth noting, no?
Malaysia (because it’s home): No
4. Topshop (tied)
4. Miss Selfridge (tied)
I tied Topshop and Miss Selfridge together simply because they’re both under the Arcadia Group (along with a few others). Topshop caters to the more edgy and indie, with sharp pieces and femme fatale-esque tailoring (it even has its own cosmetic line now) whilst Miss Selfridge adopts a softer, more feminine and vintage look. I see Topshop as a bit more high fashion though, yet also more commercialised, with different designers pitching in like Kate Moss. Both stores stock petite sizes (whoop!), but my favourite thing about them has got to be their jewellery lines: Freedom for Topshop and Diva for Miss Selfridge. I’m an accessories freak, so I can never get enough of those!
Malaysia: Yes, plenty
I adore Accessorize. Vibrant and exotic with flourishes of colour, it gets quite kitschy at times but it somehow always reminds me of beaches, tropical islands and summer. Paisley and floral prints are abound here, with adorable little trinkets and just about every accessory imaginable in twinkling gold, silver and brass. They’ve lovely beaded seagrass flip-flops and handstitched totes as well, it’s all embellished goodness when it comes to them, mm.
Malaysia: Yes, one in OU (last I checked)
2. River Island
Personally, I think Accessorize complements River Island: plenty of embellishments, sequins and deliciously loud prints. Sexy and stylish, they’re the most urban of the high-street stores I’ve mentioned so far, with a certain wild and uninhibited flavour to their clothes.
I take such a fancy to their Beach Couture line, a wonderful collection of printed floor-sweeping chiffon maxis, gold chain leopard-print ankle-wrap sandals and a wide selection of bikinis and (I tend to prefer) monokinis from sequinned zebra-print to ruffles with tiny starfish charms. Summer’s without a doubt the best time when it comes to high street clothes, individually speaking. And River Island doesn’t disappoint, not in the least.
Now, where do I begin with this one? I love, love, love H&M. They’ve done practically everything: clothes, lingerie, swimwear, shoes, accessories, cosmetics, even collaborations with high fashion designers such as Roberto Cavalli (one of my very favourite designers), Jimmy Choo and Lanvin. Couture at high street prices? It doesn’t get any better than that.
The best thing about the Swedish brand is that they’re quite easy on the pockets, and they’ve such lovely clothes in colossal stores. Off-shoulder jersey tops, bandeau dresses and halter maxis in beautiful prints and fabrics, high-waisted bodycon skirts, gorgeous satin robes and chemises, you name it, they probably have it. Not to mention their cosmetics are pretty good too, from vanilla and sugar body butters to brilliant bronzers. I could go on and on, but it’d take a very long time before I’m actually done. So go, pop into a store when you’re in the UK (or any other country which has H&M for that matter), I think you’re likely to walk out with a thing or two, a signature H&M shopping bag in your hand.
PS. Such a shame the Cavalli line was out way before I came to the UK (pft!). The collection was nothing but divine, I’ll probably write about it sometime soon.
There are actually plenty more around where that came from, but these five (or six, depending on how you look at it) come out tops on my list. However, if your pockets are deeper than mine, there are a couple of stores such as AB10, Bank and USC who stock multiple UK and London-based brands, most of which are absolute gems.
Oh, and of course there’s ASOS, the most well-known online store in the UK, whose prices range from as little as two quid to those of designer brands. Mhm, definitely worth a look.
Happy shopping then, lovelies! *blows kisses