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This might sound mad considering how expansive women's fashion is, but I really struggle to find brands that make / stock clothes that are suitable for something who is:
in their mid twenties (and definitely don't want to look frumpy/mumsy - boden and white stuff are not for me!) not into trendy stuff (topshop definitely not for me) is not stylish enough for classic designs (i'm more casual, but really look frumpy in stuff you might see in seasalt or howies for example... i'm very short and baby faced and need things to be slightly on the "sexy" side to avoid looking too much like either a child or a grandma) needs something inbetween - something edgy, simple, well cut, well made. doesn't want throw away fashion items (from boohoo or misguided for example) i'm also not the right shape for boho type clothes - i'm short and hourglass, I need structured or slightly clingy clothes so I don't look huge.
willing to splurge if necessary and made well. please tell me where you shop!
too preppy for me i'm afraid (though it looks nice - i know i would feel self conscious in it). i'm also really not built for zara clothes... i'm a short hourglass shape and can't do anything slinky or flowy without it being clinched in.
Cos? I wouldn't write whole shops off either. Even somewhere like Topshop has plenty of stuff that isn't super trendy. Their personal shoppers are pretty good (and free) and will get you to try stuff you wouldn't normally try. You might surprise yourself!
I think you need to have another look at some of the places you've discounted already. Not everything in Zara is preppy, likewise not everything in boden is frumpy. Plus it's about how you put an outfit together etc. But I don't think anyone just shops in 1 or 2 stores? (Perhaps I'm totally wrong there?) Maybe also check out all saints/whistles/mint velvet? But again don't just write off entire stores/brands