HOPE AND CHARITY

So, now we are hopefully in to the full swing of summer, we can finally invest in our summer wardrobes.

 

Light fabrics such as cotton, silk and linen obviously take precedence over heavier wool fabrics. 

 

On a trip around town yesterday with my wonderful, yet ever watchful girlfriend, we did a lap of Jermyn Street and Piccadilly, stopping off at a couple of joints on Bond Street.

 

This was purely for research purposes of course...

 

High street brands such as H&M, mango and Zara, previously the acrylic nightmare which haunted my idyllic dreams of cheaper style have realised fabric and quality of fabric is king.

 

Uni-Qlo really know what they’re doing, in regards to material, having always pushed cost effective good quality fabrics and now produce some things that resemble clothes, in particular light weight wools woven with elastics for daily summer use, and an impressive fielding of linen shirts. Not to mention their sock wall which always has me starring open mouthed, mumbling the colour-ways, jaw pointed towards the heavens.

 

H&M also caught my attention, if you can sift through what can only be described as a sea of shit, you will find some really wonderful light weight woven polos, in a silk cotton blend which has the look and feel of a merino, but offers the ease of care you have with cotton.

 

More importantly I have recently had a new take on how I shop, usually I find something I like and spend hours and hours researching it and then take very slow steps towards purchasing it, the general protocol being if I still like it in two months then I will start putting cash aside for it ( as I am a lowly paid journalist? First time I’ve used that word, at least in relation to myself).

 

Anyhow, I have of late lost all my mirth, but wherefore I know not -for high price shopping- and become a bit of a charity and junk shop addict. Make no mistake that too many people have ‘all the gear and no idea’. With a lack of funds one becomes more creative and achieves a better understanding of what works with what.

 

Now, location is key…. 

 

London is filled with amazing second hand joints, where you will come across some absolute belters never seen before and never seen again. The idea being to never go looking for something but just see what the room of requirement spews in your direction. Go south and you’ll be fighting the Art students of UAL; but seeing as they are generally dressed awfully you may be in luck. Go west and you have the wardrobes of investment bankers who have been forced via marital pressure to drop their ties and suits into the arms of the public. Go east and you will likely find nothing as they will wear anything over there. Don’t bother with North… The real treasures are out of the capital. If you find yourself away for the weekend check out the local high street you will find more than one and they will be more than fruitful.

 

This isn’t to say that the high fashion houses have nothing to offer, quite the opposite, but for most people it simply isn’t practical. Yes, spend money on certain things such as coats jackets and shoes, perhaps the most important parts of the wardrobe. The shops on the high street offer the fillers. Look, you can buy a turtleneck in merino wool from H&M for under £30, in my mind you go a little higher or go full pelt and hit up somewhere like Loro Piana, everything or nothing.

 

And if you do find yourself by some village hall and they are doing a fete worse than death or sale, check it out, you’ll often find you get something you never thought of.

Words by Tom Heap

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