Cheryl Shops Topshop, part 2
The first time I went to London, in 1998, my friend took me to a club. We got there around 11, stood in line (or "queued," as they say) for two hours, then when we were finally allowed in, the place was nearly empty--in other words, making people stand in line outside instantly draws attention to the club and makes it seem desirable. Topshop seems to be employing that strategy, and it works: In the 20 minutes I spent waiting to get into the store (which was not bad--the sun was shining, and I checked my email on my iPhone), countless people gawked at the line and/or asked why we were standing in it. And once we were let in, the store was not as crowded as it could've been, but having been to sample sales where one can barely move, much less get at the merchandise, I appreciated the crowd control. Also, the store is huge, so there's plenty of room in which to spread out. The lower level, which I didn't have time to look at (sorry, MW!), is Topman; the ground floor has lots of clothes, plus costume jewelry, bags, belts, and hosiery; the second floor has denim, Kate Moss, and the other designer collaborations; and the top floor has shoes, knits, special sizes (petites and maternity), lingerie, and some more random clothes. There are fitting rooms on every floor, and in typical fast-fashion-store, well, fashion, there are not nearly enough of them--I waited 30 minutes to try my stuff on (there's no limit to how much you can take in, which might be part of the problem). As for the merch, it's wonderfully all over the place, from basic tees and tanks to spangled miniskirts. Every trend is represented here: neon, fringe, studs, jumpsuits, maxi dresses, harem pants--you name it, they've got it. My favorite part of Topshop, however, is always the accessories, and I was not disappointed. They had some great-looking fringed, studded bags, the lingerie is cute (and bras come in up to D-cup sizes), and the costume jewelry is to die for (seriously, it puts the jewelry at Forever 21 to shame).

Which brings me to the iffy part: the prices. I'm sure prices were set months ago when the pound was much stronger; if you go on the British version of the Topshop website, then the stateside version, you can see that prices are doubled for the U.S. However, as of today, the exchange rate is roughly 1.5 dollars to 1 pound. In other words, if Topshop trimmed their prices by about 25%, I think they'd be a lot more appealing. For example, I spotted a cute electric-blue chiffon dress; when I saw that it was $80--and polyester--I didn't even bother trying it on. A button-down shirt was $60, a faux-leather skirt was $70, and a leopard-print trapeze tank top that I really liked was $44, a price that I could not justify. I also fell in love with a crocheted tunic/dress from the "designer" section, but at $110, it seemed a bit much. The jewelry, while obviously of nice quality for costume, can also be a bit on the high side; I got a very hippie-chic multi-strand coin necklace for $25, but some cocktail rings were $50, and some of the more ornate bib necklaces were over $100. The shoes, however, seemed pretty reasonable, considering they were leather and European-made--most were around $150 (there are also lots of cheapie synthetic ballet flats and sandals, but I didn't price them), and there's a special section featuring shoes from Office, which is one of my favorite stores in London (those shoes were a bit pricier however).

Aside from my coin necklace, the only other thing I bought was this Kate Moss liberty-print jacket, pictured above (it's currently sold out online), which is soft and quilted and, at $125, seemed worth the price. I'm not sure it's "me"--my mom wore something similar circa 1981--but as MW remarked, it looks really frumpy on the hanger, but pretty cool once you put it on. I had really wanted the Kate Moss studded belt, but it was nowhere to be found, so of course I'll probably end up ordering it from the website. If you spend over $100, you get a free (albeit flimsy) tote bag and a little heart-shaped zip pouch. It's definitely worth a trip, although I'd recommend going early (like when the store opens), or maybe even waiting a few days until the excitement dies down. Then again, it's Topshop--I have a feeling that it's always going to be a madhouse.

1 comment

Natalie said...

i love your blog, and how you show products with a range of prices!