The Lost Art of Shopping
I have a confession. Over the past couple of years, I’d fallen out of love with shopping. GHASP! Surely I, a self confessed fashion and shop-ahollic couldn’t possibly fall out of love with shopping? But somehow, as fashion and shopping became part of my job (pinch me) and having studied retail and indeed shopping in great detail at university, I would find myself always shopping with a business head, analysing the store and its merchandise, rather than shopping for pleasure. When it came to shopping for new clothes, the ease and convenience of shopping online became my method of choice, while nipping into store would be something of a chore, or an errand, rather than a joy.
SO, what’s changed? And what about these shopping hacks that you’ve lured us in with? I hear you ask! Well, it seems I’m not alone. Despite what it may seem when you squeeze your way through the crowds on a bustling Oxford Street, shopping in store in general is not as popular as it once was, so stores are upping their game in order to win us back, and it’s a game I’m more than happy to play!
With in store experiences, gifts with purchase, and environments that make you practically want to move in, retail flagships are becoming a destination so much more than just a place to pick up the latest trends. With services such as personal shopping which is often free, in store beauty treatments, artisan coffee shops within the stores, there are plenty of ways to be tempted back in store.
Bringing Joy to the In Store Experience
A store excelling particularly well with the in store experience is Debenhams. While I’ve always enjoyed popping into the Oxford Street store to discover the newest beauty launches and in depth skincare consultations (the Elemis counter there is amazing for getting a free consultation to discover exactly what your skins needs are) it’s not just the London stores that offer amazing experiences. With many stores now offering not only fashion and beauty but also delicious food offerings ranging from Patisserie Valerie to Nandos, they’re upping their game to bring together all of our favourite things. Some stores are now offering beauty services such as brow grooming, blow dry bars and facials as well as yoga classes, manicure stations and prosecco bars in others.
Of course, all these experiences are wonderful and ensure the shopping experience is a wonderful one, but at the end of the day the fashion is what’s most important, and in the Debenhams stores I’ve always been so impressed with the selection of designer pieces available, in fact my outfit from today’s post was purchased from the Oxford Street store;
I opted for a classic, smart pair of autumnal toned rust trousers as my starting point, much like the new school year starting in September I like to also think about a new work wardrobe at this time of year, and these trousers are the perfect combination of smart and stylish. A flattering fit, perfectly on trend colour, and material that hangs beautifully but doesn’t crease, they really are a versatile piece. (Similar pair here)
Of course, even when working it’s lovely to show off your personal style, so I paired the trousers with this ruffle blouse, still smart, but also feminine and fun – the perfect combination for work and fun. I kept my jewellery minimal to balance the detail of the blouse, and it’s a lovely neutral tone which works with so many outfit combinations.
At this time of year, I find wool fedora hats to be practical and stylish. A brown woollen hat such as this one is an instant statement piece to finish an outfit, pop this on and switch your outfit from office-appropriate to autumn-fashion-goals in an instant, and when the temperatures drop, it’s fantastic at keeping you warm too! (Plus, hats like this are saviours on bad hair days!!)
While the core building blocks of my outfit are the perfect affordable price point, my regular readers will know that I love a designer accessory, and so I complete the look with my new Mulberry bag, it’s smart and stylish, versatile and oh-so- on trend for Autumn!
Sunglasses are also a great accessory for Autumn as we enjoy the late afternoon low sunshine – I finish the look with my classic tortoise shell frames.
Shop The Look
Keep these shopping tips in mind…
When it comes to making the most of your in store shopping experience, keep these tips in mind to ensure you get the best pieces, and the best shopping experience.
Firstly, be aware of key pieces and seasonal timings; for example at the moment as we approach Autumn, a lot of key cooler weather styles will be dropping, and the best pieces will likely sell out before the colder weather hits. Stylish key pieces such as this warm and wonderfully on trend coat may seem like a premature purchase, but retailers are putting these key pieces in the store now, so snap them up before they sell out!
If the crowds are putting you off from hitting the stores, then aim for either the first or last hour of the stores opening times. In particularly busy stores, I like to visit first thing – all the garments are beautifully displayed, often in size order, and often I’m one of the only people in the store – it’s like one big personal shopping experience!
What I Wore
Top by Studio By Preen
Trousers by Principles (similar here)
Hat by J by Jasper Conran
Coat by The Collection
all available in store and online at Debenhams
Bag by Mulberry
Jewellery by PANDORA
This post is in collaboration with Debenhams x RewardStyle