Wednesday, September 25, 2013

High Street vs. Designer

Is there much difference between high street and designer apart from the price tag?


From Christian Louboutin to Coco Chanel we all have a guilty pleasure when it comes to designer; but is it all worth crying over to afford a pair of shoes that can amount to over £1000 when down the road you could get a perfect pair for £30? Some people, however are still picky and almost snobby about the word “High street” as though it’s a curse to even set a foot (or a Louboutin) down there.

I know for some women having an item of designer clothing is somewhat similar to owning an Oscar, the pride of wearing something that’s been specially made as though it’s a gift from the designer to you, but do you need your entire wardrobe to be full of names? I know that I’m put off a lot by the length of the number on the price tag and seeing as fashion is always changing I’m not prepared to pay hundreds for a skimpy vest top.

I guess shopping at a designer brand is just an experience most women want to have, to feel a sense of wealth and fortune, to feel that designer silk caressing your skin as you slip into the new Chanel summer dress. Adding to the celebrity lifestyle, the service with a smile and a glass of bubbly can really make you feel special. Take it from me; it’s a lot different to the tip we call Primark and the service of “Would you like a bag for that?” Obviously? Unless walking around town with a matching set of cupcake pajamas in your arms looks normal to you?

I mock Primark’s high street service yet entering Burberry the other week seemed like one of the most awkward and embarrassing experiences I have been through in my life. Let me explain... just the other week I decided to take a trip into Manchester, and after gallivanting through The Arndale for a whole morning I finished pretty early (for me), so decided to step foot down the “posh” side of Manchester, BIG MISTAKE! Dear readers please take it from me: if you’re going to go into Burberry do not enter with a card factory bag! As soon as I walked in I felt the cold stare and rising noses of the staff judging me as I walked past the £500 purses. I felt so much at unease I kept tripping over my own feet not knowing which direction to go in, but having an inkling CCTV cameras were probably on my every move. I hardly even looked at the items; I was too busy trying to hide my 5 cards for £1 in my card factory bag. To this date I think that’s the quickest time I’ve been in and out a shop.

Yes designer can be very nice, but as a teenager of 2014 people seem to think you’re armed with a weapon and a hood ready to rob the store. Is that bodyguard checking me out or has he simply got a shifty eye? Designer brands may look inviting but they only want you in their shops if you can actually afford something.

“Take the next right, then turn down the arcade and keep going straight”.
 Yes, a lot of our time in the high street does end up getting lost or searching for shops endlessly if you don’t know the city you’re in. With the high street you have to choose a wise time to go; Saturdays are obviously going to be swarming with people especially when the sales are on, you’ll find yourself jolting everyone out the way to get to the jam packed rails. A good example of this is the River Island sales, if you’ve ever been to the River Island sales you’ll know what I mean; stacks of rails up to the ceilings overflowing with (to put it blunt) crap, ugly clothes that no one wants. Who wants a pair of shorts with a cartoon ice cream pattern on? Not me or most the population of the UK, hence why they’re in the sale.

Funnily enough, even though you know the sales are crap you’ll find yourself almost dragged into them and sometimes (if you’re lucky) you’ll find a really nice jumper for about £5 cheaper than it originally was, not really worthy of being in the sale but it was on the sale rack so you always count it as a “bargain”. I’ve been one of the lucky ones finding decent clothes in the sale racks, but not being 100% sure to buy it or not, so I’ll hide it in between some tacky pair of patterned leggings knowing I’ll be safe to come back later for it. Is it just me or does that never work out? I’ll return back later, happy that I’ve finally made up my mind then look where I left it and it’s gone, vanished off the face of the earth, gone forever. Then all I can do is complain that someone stole it even though it wasn’t mine in the first place. Sales are stressful stuff.

All of this can be rather tiring, and it’s well known shopping in the high street for the day can be exhausting, but there’s many a place to boost your energy! Take Manchester for example, there’s a Starbucks almost around every corner so you’re bound to easily find one, no need for the satnav on phone trick. As well as being easy to get to, the high street is value for money without being too cheap and tacky.

Personally, Zara is my favourite and best value for money as their clothing line is tailored and sophisticated in style, looking like it’s just come out of Whistles collection. The quality is strong and you’re bound to find something perfect in there to match an occasion whether it is for a formal party or festival wear. Now America is hearing our call for the high street as Topshop has made its way into their land and they love it; round of applause for Topshop everyone.

If I had to choose between the two, the high street would definitely be number one for me, I’ll be joining half of the women in Britain who say they prefer the high street to designer. Why do I prefer the high street? Well, for one you can buy a whole outfit or more for the same price as a bag from Gucci so you’re definitely getting your money’s worth. Next, the atmosphere is better and makes my life a hell of a lot easier being able to meet friends, have a drink and shop all at the same time for a couple of hours. Also, now everything has been taken over by the world of the internet you can now shop from the popular high street stores online on your couch at home with a cup of tea, what could be more soothing than looking at clothes you could actually afford whilst watching Corrie?


Let’s not be biased about this issue though, as I cannot say I despise designer shops, far from it! Especially seeing as Cath Kidston is one of my favourite shops. Designer can have its perks and so can the high street but I know that seeing as we are living in a recession (and I usually only have a fiver to my name) I know I prefer the high street along with the majority of people. Take a trip down and thank me later. Take a trip down to the “posh” side of Manchester if you wish but please don’t take a card factory bag with you, you’ll thank me later for that too.

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