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Where d'you shop ....

(94 Posts)
HauntedArmchairOfDoom Sat 11-May-13 19:40:32

... when you're not old, but not young?
Not poor, but not rich?
Not thin, but not all that fat?


After a period of enormous frugality I have some money with which to revitalise my rather sad old wardrobe. I do some dress-making and really love vintage stuff, so that side is kind of covered.

But I still need some of the basics - jersey tops to wear with skirts, knitwear, jackets, shirts - and don't know where to go!

I'm mid-30s but feel about 50, and I'm not big enough to need a Specialist Shop but my days of Topshop and River Island are long gone.

I need things that are really good quality so they'll last and last (the period of enormous frugality is likely to return very swiftly!), but I had a look at The Outnet and £70 for a T shirt seems a bit steep.

Any recommendations gratefully received!

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Sat 11-May-13 20:05:31

Oh Lawks - I just remembered someone on MN mentioning Toast, so had a look - £115 for a jersey top shock ?!

Maybe I actually am poor after all grin

mysteryfairy Sat 11-May-13 20:18:07

I get basic jersey tops from Isabella Oliver, now Baukjen, not nearly as spendy as the ones you've mentioned but still enough that I always make sure I have a decent discount code or it's sale time.

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Sat 11-May-13 20:19:22

Never heard of them mystery, which is just what I wanted! Off to look ... how does the sizing come up??

superbagpuss Sat 11-May-13 20:23:11

supermarkets, h&m, m&s for work stuff, internet for special stuff, gap for jeans

its difficult to find stuff I like at the right place as apparently I'm too old for my look - I'm early 30's but haven't really changed my style in the last 15 years out of work, I should probably grow up sometime sad

mrspaddy Sat 11-May-13 20:23:16

I shop in a mixture of places. For a good dress I like Hobbs. Also Monsoon.
However if I was in need of filling my wardrobe with basics I couldn't pass Marks and Spencer or Wallis or Debenhams.

Then for more colourful or seasonal items/accessories I would go to Peacocks or Primark (but I wouldn't get the essentials here).

New Look is good too. Fair on sizing.

Enjoy your shop smile

mysteryfairy Sat 11-May-13 20:25:12

Oh by the way I might count as old (41), probably do count as thinnish (need an 8 in Isabella Oliver tops), am reasonably comfortable finance wise so might not be exactly the right sample but I love both buying clothes and getting a bargain.

I think whistles is good for tops. I got a nice sweatshirt of theirs the other week via Asos. Original price was £65 but was £35.10 in the sale and 98% cotton. Their sizes are generous.

Worth looking on eBay for brand new items from brands like whistles and jigsaw for basics at miles less than in store prices.

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Sat 11-May-13 20:25:24

I've tried H&M stuff but it always washes really badly and I feel really shabby - like I could get away with it if I were a size 8 22 year old, but being a size 18 34 year old am on the back foot, if you see what I mean sad

I'd forgotten Hobbs and Gap! Excellent....

mysteryfairy Sat 11-May-13 20:26:18

Isabella Oliver/ Baukjen sizes are generous and jersey is v stretchy and forgiving

superbagpuss Sat 11-May-13 20:26:50

mrspaddy do you find new look not generous in the 'up top' department? I find them very tight in the chest area

superbagpuss Sat 11-May-13 20:28:04

haunted h&m is hit or miss, I get string tops or fitted t shirts there for under suits as they fit well and come in nice colours but are cheap to replace when looking worn.

littlediamond33 Sat 11-May-13 20:30:31

i love next.they do everything,sizes good, quality good.their clothes are what i would describe as fashionable and classic.

mrspaddy Sat 11-May-13 20:30:41

Hello superbagpuss.. ha ha .. I have the opposite problem. size difference between top/bottom (smaller on top) half so find them ok.
Actually I was in ASDA the other day and there was a lovely floral blouse with lace centre and you know it was really lovely. I am expecting at the minute and bought a gorgeous Hobbs dress and haven't worn it yet.. will be a long time. It had little circle designs on high neckline and cuffs.... ahhhhhhh

scarlet76 Sat 11-May-13 20:48:04

I am 36 and would describe myself pretty much as you do.
I like Hobbs NW3 collection, French Connection, Gap, M&S limited collection, Next, Topshop and Boden (no patterns though!)

Celticlassie Sat 11-May-13 20:51:04

H&M for basics (jersey tops, etc); Oasis / Warehouse / Zara for the rest.

BinksToEnlightenment Sat 11-May-13 23:36:02

Warehouse, Oasis and occasionally Mango for my basics.

RonaldMcDonald Sun 12-May-13 00:03:56

i like american apparel for t shirts n vests
zara, mango, all saints
h&m are sometimes great especially for jersey
next if you are insanely picky

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Sun 12-May-13 07:37:06

Thanks everyone - really helpful! Some shops I'd either never heard of or had completely forgotten existed.

grin @ 'Next if you are insanely picky'! Just standing on the threshold of Next makes me eyes bleed. I don't know why but I always associated them with brown and orange confused

ProveYourLoveToMe Sun 12-May-13 07:38:52

Boden (with a discount code) for basic Ts and tops.

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Sun 12-May-13 07:45:32

Ooo Prove how does one go about getting a Boden discount code?

I've discovered Phase Eight on my internet travels - they seem to have heaps of jersey tops but interesting ones. Anyone know how their sizes come up? (I shall be doing all my shopping from the sofa).

ExcuseTypos Sun 12-May-13 07:53:34


Their other tops can be a bit pricey, but I love their basic t shirts. They wash really well and keep their shape.

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Sun 12-May-13 08:00:44

Excuse - Oh that's perfect - and they have some tops with 1/2 and 3/4 sleeves too (I have the Arms from Hell).

Brilliant brilliant.

I am so excited - This is a once-a-decade chance to have a total wardrobe overhaul and I have to get it right with long-lasting stuff that won't date, because seriously I've no idea when I can do this again!

Anthracite Sun 12-May-13 08:01:56

Debenhams. It caters for everyone.

Bertrude Sun 12-May-13 08:04:21

I find Phase 8 to be maybe an inch smaller all round than Monsoon - if that helps you! For me, I can wear a size 16 monsoon comfortably, whereas Phase 8 a size 16 just fastens but an 18 is too big.

I have similar clothes issues Haunted - I'm a 16-18 depending on the shop, budget nice but not awesome for every day wear (I save the real cashf or shoes and bags!), and I'm 29, therefore I'm very interested in the thread!

Chandon Sun 12-May-13 08:05:12

I am 41, and have the same problem.

Have recently discovered Mint Velvet, hit and miss but it is a bit more modern than, say, bOden and Joules and no nasty polyesters, mostly viscose and cotton. Though Joules quality is top.

TU (sainsbo) do basic cotton T- shirts of a quality that is comparable to GAP, when GAP was still good.

Jigsaw seems to be getting more expensive and flimsy (unwearable, cannot do see through anything).

Atterleyroad have nice (pricy) selection online for my age group.

Need more ideas!

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