I do most of my clothes shopping in England, mainly in London. I try to travel there at least once a year – with a very light suitcase – and buy as much as I can 🙂
It’s not that London in general is very affordable, but the selection is amazing. And you can find real bargains. You just need to know what to shop. And where.
Cheap clothes shopping in London
Now if you’re looking for top notch quality then it obviously won’t come cheap. But here’s what London is great for: Budget versions of catwalk pieces. I mean the cheap high street chains copy everything that’s current so quickly nowadays that you don’t have to be rich to be trendy – or to look good. Here are the best places to shop in London:
Really, really good for basics. I stock them in every color. Do not go to the Primark store in Oxford Street. Let me repeat that: Do not go to the Primark store in Oxford Street. It is horrible. I could actually give you another advise: Do not do any of your shopping in Oxford Street. Honestly. There are so many people there that it just drives you crazy. I love Primark stores in Hammersmith (very nice and peaceful) and even the one in Wembley (opposite a very nice and cheap Travelodge hotel and a very large TK Maxx, read on to learn more about TK Maxx).
The clothes are so affordable in Primark that you don’t even have to look at the price before trying them on. There are also some very cheap accessories and shoes although I’m not too crazy about the shoes.
Matalan is very similar to Primark. In fact I can’t really tell them that much apart, you’d think that you’re in a Primark when you visit a Matalan store. Both Matalan and Primark are great for budget underwear. I guess Primark is a bit more fashionable than Matalan. And it’s not as easy to find a Matalan store as it is to find a Primark, there are fewer of them in London.
New Look has to be my favorite clothes chain in the UK. I’m not even sure why to be honest. I think that I just seem to always find things to buy there. They have great tops, jackets, jeans and skirts. Anything really. And the shoes! I was so very apprehensive about their shoes at first. They are so affordable I was sure they couldn’t be comfortable. But they are! Honestly, try them. I’m even ordering their shoes online now if they have really good discounts, that’s how confident about them I am right now.
My ex-boyfriend goes crazy in TK Maxx. I mean, he doesn’t like shopping for clothes, he hates it. But when he enters a TK Maxx, everything changes. It’s quite hilarious really 🙂 He always ends up buying bags of clothes. And I love TK Maxx too.
What makes it so great? It’s very affordable, the stores are huge and perhaps the most important thing: The clothes are organized in the store by size. I mean if I’m looking for a dress that is M (medium) size I don’t have to browse all the dresses and then come across a dress I like only to notice that they don’t have it in my size. And the same goes to shoes: I’m a UK size 6 (European size 39 / US size 8) so all I have to do is go to the shoe shelves marked with size 6 and start browsing.
OK. You might not think of it but when it comes to shopping clothes you can actually find some gems at supermarkets in London. Try Tesco or Asda for example!
Those four chains I mentioned above are very “UK” although there are now Primark stores in other parts of Europe as well.
The best international clothes chains that are quite affordable in London include H&M, Bershka, Zara and Mango.
There are some other British clothes chains that are not as cheap but offer great value if you happen to visit them during sales. These chains include TopShop, Warehouse, Monsoon, Oasis and my favorite, River Island which is a bit edgier than the rest of them.
Read more about the best British High Street brands.
There’s a very distinct British style to wearing clothes. If you spend a while in London shopping and come back to your own country you’ll find that your style has changed a bit. You look more like a Brit 🙂
I’m not very comfortable buying clothes online, especially from another country because I would then have to pay if I wanted to return some items. However, the sales can be pretty good in London so I sometimes make exceptions and I’ve for example ordered some clothes and shoes from New Look if they were very cheap and on sale.
My favorite place to shop is actually just outside of London. It’s a town called Kingston-upon-Thames. It’s like a mini size London: There is a great shopping centre and all the High Street stores in the town center within very easy walking distance. And there are some really nice restaurants. And even the Thames! So if you want to have a great day out shopping consider taking a train there! It’s just 30 minutes from London.
Have a great time shopping in London 🙂
Read more about my London on a budget series: