An American girl in England survives the Credit Crunch by going back to Topshop

Posted on February 28, 2009 by pacificyorkshirebird

avt_kapyork_large115Ladies – Topshop is a must for any American woman visiting the UK.  Great clothes beyond just the classics for pretty good prices (especially with the exchange rate making the pound a little cheaper these days).  But after you live here for a while Topshop (and similar shops H&M, Next, River Island, & Primark) start to give way to calmer and more grown-up shopping experiences.  This calm will cost you though!  I have returned to the chaotic shopping to try to save a few pennies.

So I thought during this credit crunch, you ladies might like a little advice for surviving the madness of these high street favorites

Rule 1: Divide and conquer.  It sucks to shop without a friend, but trust me… if you try to shop together you will lose your friend, start panicking and you will be more likely to pick up the first hideous dress you find.  Split up and pick a time to meet so you can browse comfortably.

Rule 2: Dress for shopping.  I don’t mean impressing the shop assistants with your exquisite sense of fashion.  I’m talking PRACTICAL dressing.  A few light layers that you can easily remove and stuff in your bag are a must.  These high street shops are jam packed with sweaty people all hoping to find a bargain before anyone else grabs it and it is boiling hot in these places.  Also, keep accessories to a minimum.  Your oversized jewel-toned faux ring is sure to catch on every mohair-inspired acrylic sweater.

Rule 3: Bring a flashlight.  These dressing rooms are dark and there will be no switching to another room if the one you are assigned doesn’t have any lighting as they are all full.  Yes, I said assigned – you must wait in line then have the shop assistant count your items before they let you in the unlit body odor trap.  If you can’t bring a flashlight, wear cute underwear so at least you can open the curtain a little to at least see what you are trying on next.

Rule 4: Leave you credit card at home.  Once you enter Topshop you it might be hours before you leave again.  It is dangerous.

Rule 5: Spot the acid washed jeans section.  This is the area you can go for a little peace and quiet to compare the purple trench with the teal peacoat.  The acid washed jeans section is pretty much empty of shoppers – this is your haven.

That’s it – Happy budget shopping!

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  2. notfromaroundhere March 1, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    I seem to be the wrong shape for Topshop; Monsoon and Next are my faves. Especially Next with their petites section: my being only 5 feet tall (whatever that is in meters) means that high street shops are pretty tricky!

  3. yankeebean March 1, 2009 at 11:00 am

    I’m loving the ‘acid wash jeans’ tip! I’d never thought of that before, but I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there. I’m a big fan of wearing a small strappy top under a jumper with a zip – then you can try on any top without needing a changing room…

  4. peacefulyorkshire February 28, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    I’ll never forget my first UK shopping experience. The fitting room was “communal” when I went to try on some jeans. Age 19 and my first time living in London I was horrified. I was definitely a prude American back then! Ill take communal now anyday when you see the lines at H&M these days. Bring it on to save some time. haha

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