Have Faith in the Fashion Gods
On the Island I really only had two windows of opportunity for shopping. One was my trip to Gunwharf Quays and the other was my Saturday in Guildford. It was one of the wettest, windiest days I have ever experienced there. Not long after the photo below, the steep Guildford High Street near resembled a cascading waterfall. Umbrellas were completely non-useful for keeping dry. I visited some shops simply because they constituted shelter, not because I was interested in seeing what they had to offer. Shop hopping in this way did take time, and as I was also on the hunt for non-clothing items, I don’t have as much to report back as I’d hoped to.
One shop that is always a must, and that I braved the weather to shift shopping zones for is Topshop. I love Topshop, and I regularly have a good look online, so Topshop in the flesh is that much more exciting. The Guildford store is not the largest, though the range is interesting enough. True to form, the store was heaving. There were clothes and hangers in disarray, and the accessoires section was an absolute mess, but not at all surprising for late on a Saturday afternoon. (In general most shops look like WW3 at the end of a busy day, so this is no criticism). The queue for the cashiers was fairly long, though not as long as I’ve seen it in the past. This store is a must for most Saturday shoppers in Guildford.
Have faith in the Fashion Gods and they will deliver. Wooly Arm-Warmers! I have finally found them! I kept my faith, and the Gods have been kind. Topshop! I almost missed them too. They were hidden behind some discarded scarves of the same colour, and my attention was only drawn to them because of an almost hidden display (a manequin hand sporting a hot pink arm-warmer strewn with more scarves). Making the most of this small miracle I purchased two pairs one black, one grey (I’ve mentioned my small obsession with these two colours before haven’t I?)
I had a good look through the clothing as well, and there were many lush things, though it just wasn’t the same. Back in the day Topshop was the go-to for getting the look for less. Now it seems the prices have risen, though the materials and quality have remained the same as before (this was also the general consensus amongst my fashionable friends). For sure there are items very unique to Topshop, and these are where I would spend my money, but I must say that I’d prefer to buy the basics I used to buy at Topshop elsewhere. The prices are more comparable to some smaller brands known for their quality and nicer materials. I’ll admit to being a bit of a fabric snob, I feel happier and more comfortable in natural fibres.
Despite my small quips with the higher prices, Topshop still churns out fantastic clothes that are up-to-date and real competition for the big designers. I really feel I can count on them to produce everything needed to build most looks every season. The level of design is very high. Plus, the guest designers are a testament to the reach of Topshop to the general public. Kate Moss and Sass & Bide being just a few.
*Note: I’m a big fan of Topshop, and it is perhaps my recollection of lower prices that is tainting my opinion now. I ask everyone to form their own opinion. I certainly still shop at Topshop and by no means wish this post to sound overly critical.