Ella goes to College

This is Ella and she is about to start college so we decided to go shopping together to find her suitable clothes to wear.

We began by visiting all the high street stores and in this blog we will cover the prints that we found. I was guided by Ella and we tried to steer away from animal prints as she, like me, is rather fed up with them. As she said, if you bought them last year why would you buy more this season.

Ella is also very practical and wanted clothes that were interesting but not too flamboyant as this was daywear. The garments also needed to be comfortable and easily mixed and matched.



Although it has been done before, Ella liked the spotty printed tops to wear with trousers from Miss Selfridge


Red Herring, Hollister, Miss Selfridge and Topshop all had very similar colour palettes and ditsy florals.


Topshop was more colourful in two floral prints and had an interesting holey fabric which was a welcome variation.


Ella liked the more abstract take on skins and the warmth of orange in these prints in DP.


These more inky spot abstract skins were different, the first in DP and the second in Topshop. This was a skin print but she liked the warm colouration in New Look.


H&M had some interesting geos but the fabric was thin. This last one from Topshop was different.

gA diagonal plaid skirt in Miss S and a khaki tropical in H&M  were very wearable. Again khaki camo and chain prints but a less flamboyant chain more suitable for daywear, both in River Island.


Topshop and New Look have very similar leopard and zebra patchworks and this H&M nude and brown ground is a pretty colour.


Ella liked the baroque print in Wallis only the scrolls and not the  jewels. We liked this print in H&M until we saw this on the mannequin.


The overall winners were the navy and orange flame animal from TS, the autumnal tie and dye to wear as a flash of colour and a very pretty fine line floral from H&M.

Taking a 16 year old girl around clothes shops should be an exciting affair but frankly it was not. I have been getting rather despondent by what is out there and did this exercise in order to see whether I was just becoming old and cynical.

Frankly high street you need to up your game. Too much looked the same or rehashed ideas from last year. Colours were drab, in store choice was limited and there was very little difference in the offering from shop to shop. I let Ella choose where to go and do remember that this was to source daywear for college. Some shops we entered do not even feature as there was nothing for her.

Oxfam has launch “Secondhand September” as a campaign to primarily raise funds for the charity, however this is addressing the amount of clothing that goes into landfill each year.  If the quality of garments does not improve then they will not make it as far a charity shop. Also note that this marketing drive is not going to help the downturn in high street sales and the job loss implications that this entails.

Next we will be taking up the “Secondhand September” challenge. Watch this space.



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