How The Humble British High Street Upped Its Game And Stole Our Hearts

We're smitten with the great British high street at the moment. It has really upped its game. Read on for the Marie Claire guide to the go-to stores you need to be shopping in right now.

When You Want The Piece Of The Season: Whistles

Whether it’s the silver midi skirt of SS14 that we are all crushing on or the personalised bomber jacket of season’s past, Whistles gets it right time after time. For AW14, once again showing at London Fashion Week, it certainly had the latest looks covered. We head there for outerwear (you will always find a Whistles parka in our wardrobe), fun prints and flirty options for nighttime fun. Not just for the girls, though, it’s launching menswear for the first time in September, so now we can give the men in our lives the Whistles treatment too. Yay.
When You Want The Designer Look At High Street Prices: Topshop

Topshop‘s Unique collection is going strong and is in its 26th season. Yes, you did read that right, we are still drunk in love. Headed up by Emma Farrow, Unique has been on the London Fashion Week schedule since 2005 and we love its mix of the latest trends but with a Topshop spin.
You will often see the fash pack mixing a Topshop piece with designer separates, quietly upping their style credentials. For AW14 expect lots of coats, from puffa to shearling, to flippy black dresses with off-the-shoulder detailing. We can’t wait for it to hit the stores.
When You Want The One That Celebrates All Things British: M&S

Each season the M&S finger is firmly on the pulse, follow our lead and bypass the other collections and head straight to Limited for stylish coats, flirty floral print dresses and leather. But our newest crush is the Best of British collection. Launched in October 2013, the whole collection is manufactured entirely in the UK – three cheers for that. Look out for classic tailoring, bright primary shades and the print of the season, window pane check, coming through for AW14.

When You Want One That’s Having A Revamp: Gap

New Global Creative Director Rebekka Bay, who previously worked on the Cos launch, has her signature all over the new Gap collection. The summer collection is her second for the brand and it’s looking mega. Gap is having a bit of a revamp at the moment so expect to see lots of directional but minimal cuts, pastel denim and an update on the simple bomber. We bow down, Rebekka.


For When You Want To Be Surprised: Karen Millen

If you think Karen Millen is just for updating your work wardrobe, you need to take a second look. We often hunt down the accessories (the over-the-knee boots for winter are a favourite FYI) and we always snap up the denim collections. But, the leather is really where it’s at. Look for super soft pieces in prints and colours but with affordable prices. The striped biker jacket has our name all over it. Prices from £350.

When You Want The Fashion Editor Favourite: Russell & Bromley

Russell & Bromley is our staple on the good old British high street and the place to go for accessories. It’s not just all high heels though, at London Fashion Week we are forever spotting its designer inspired bags on the FROW. We have our eye on the nude loafers with an oversized bow for summer – team with white, head-to-toe broderie anglaise and you’re good to go.
When You Want A Brand That Will Never Let You Down: Hobbs

Hobbs is one of those need-to-know brands. For the past few seasonsits Creative Director, Sandy Verdon, has been working her magic. It’s not all wedding-friendly outfits, you know, we head there for fantastic coats and the amazing accessories, including shoes by Olivia Morris. For AW14 we can’t wait to get our hands on the huge circle skirts, chunky knits and the many collarless minimal cut coats. Obsessed.


When You Want A Hidden Treasure: & Other Stories

It’s so hidden there is actually only one store, on Regent Street in London, but you can buy online. Launched in March 2013,  & Other Stories is our new favourite find. Part of the H&M family, think of & Other Stories as the older, cooler, more elegant sister. We always pop in for a little something that you won’t see on everyone else.
When All You Want Is Shoes, Shoes, Shoes: Office

Office is where we head when we want to try the biggest shoe trends without blowing the budget. We think the AW14 collection is its best offering yet; look out for chunky Alexander Wang-inspired pointy flats, metallic courts and Valentino-style leopard print kitten heels. We’ll see you in the queue.
When You Want A One-Stop Shop: H&M

H&M is forever in our hearts and a total one-stop shop for everything. Whether it’s a snazzy cushion for our garden (hello, H&M Home) or the most perfect tee in the softest cotton, or swimwear that screams Isabel Marant but at bargain high street prices, H&M has it all.
Yes, you have to trawl to find the best bits but we say it’s worth it. They’ve also upped the style factor, recently, with the launch of the new Studio collection, which was shown during Paris Fashion Week.
When You Want Quality Basics: Cos

When we want the perfect scoop neck tee, an office-friendly A-line skirt or the most comfortable cotton PJs, we head to Cos. So achlingly normcore it hurts. Cos is pretty much always our starting point when we want to update our wardrobe. Plus, they do a banging sale, full of bargains.

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