My Best Designer Fashion Buys

…just don’t tell my Mum.


Firstly I must apologise for the fact that this post went accidentally live last week with all the pictures in place, but just ‘TEXT’ written in between them all. FAIL. Now my dirty secret about writing each post about 30 minutes before it’s due to go live is out (as I look at the clock it’s current 8.34am – HELLO!). So here it is, with actual prose all about my most-worn and therefore most-easily justified fancy purchases replacing ‘TEXT’. Now I don’t think that designer pieces are the be-all or end-all in a wardrobe. I didn’t own anything other than high-street clothing until about two years ago and it’s still my favourite place to shop for it (& Other Stories can take all my money, please and thank you). But if you are in the mood to invest a little more in some key items in your wardrobe, then here’s where I’d recommend doing so…


REISS Trench Coat. When it comes to outerwear, I just don’t think you can beat REISS. I’ve owned two of their trenches over the years and both have stood the test of time and looked brand new after a dry clean at the end of each winter season. They’re not designer necessarily, but they are at the higher end of the high-street price point and they are so worth the investment. Each winter they come out with coats, trenches and jackets in a monochrome colour palette, but in cuts that you could easily wear year, after year (and you actually can because the quality is top notch). I have a feeling they no longer stock the one I’m wearing here, but next time you need to make a jacket or coat purchase, REISS is where you need to head..

DUPES AVAILABLE: & Other Stories Beige Trench Coat, Topshop Relaxed Tie Waist Trench Coat & ASOS Y.A.S Anna Trench Coat 


FRAME & Equipment Shirts. My justification when it comes to fancy shirts, stems from the fact that they provide my basic capsule wardrobe all year round. In the summer I pair them with denim shorts and in the winter, jeans. Instead of buying a load at once, I chip away purchasing one every few months in a simple colour-way, knowing that they’ll get a tonne of use over the next couple of years. If I want something a little more fun and playful, then I grab it from one of the places I’ve noted below. My favourites come from Equipment – I love the ‘Kiera’ style and the striped cotton numbers – and Frame, like this Sgt. Pepper Polka-Dot Blouse number I’m wearing here. It’s made of silk so it’s super flowy and light for the summer months and I feel like the double-breasted front makes it a bit different to all my other blouses.

DUPES AVAILABLE: & Other Stories Blouses & Shirts, Weekday Shirts, Whistles Shirts & Blouses

Chloé Faye Medium Shoulder Bag. This bag doesn’t come without it’s faults. I’ve been filming a video about it ever since I got it back in January, so I’ll save all the juicy details for that when I finally finish putting it together, so it’s certainly not a perfect bag – but it’s pretty close. Out of all the items I’ve picked here this is the hardest one to find a dupe for and I guess it’s because, although this is the priciest bag I own, it’s also the most extensive and complex when it comes to design. You’re getting a lot of bag here; the pockets and pouches, the hardware – there’s a lot going on. The reason I love the Faye though (aside from the fact I can fit an iPad in there), is because I find that it dresses up whatever outfit I pair it with, but not in a formal way, in more of a polished way. P.S) If you do fancy treating yourself (in a big way!), I highly recommend the all-leather version that I have because it’s much easier to maintain. 

DUPES AVAILABLE: Missguided Black Chain Strap Shoulder Bag, Faith Metalwork Cross Body Bag & Topshop Cooper Crocodile Effect Clutch Bag


Acne Studios Denim. Now it’s worth noting here that I purchased two pairs of Acne Skin 5 Jeans in Stockholm, which meant they were a little cheaper than buying them in the UK and I’m bloomin’ pleased I did because they are the most well-fitting pairs of jeans I own. You know how sometimes denim can get a little saggy in the butt, baggy in the knees or just generally faded and worn out? Not these, despite the fact that I’ve washed this white pair a million and one times (I can see why my Mum never let me wear white clothing as a child). I’ve tried a tonne of brands over the years, but Acne seem to cater well for my flat bum and long limbs and whatever design I try on from them – be it boyfriend or straight leg – they seem to flatter and cling and flare in all the right places. Side note: Mark owns a pair too and loves them – they actually are long enough for him, so it’s a brand to check out for tall guys too.

DUPES AVAILABLE: Topshop Denim, BDG Jeans (from Urban Outfitters), River Island Denim


Gucci Horsebit-Detailed Leather Loafers. Gucci have been making this style of loafer for 60 years; that’s the definition of an investment piece right there. I was first introduced to these by Lizzy Hadfield and once I’d seen them, I couldn’t stop thinking about them. They were just what my wardrobe was lacking. I’m a boot lover who doesn’t like my toes being on show, so when summer rolls around I gravitate towards espadrilles and then back to boots when the weather cools down a bit. These are the perfect in-between shoe and being a more formal flat they make me feel well fancy whenever I wear them. They’re also the one item in my wardrobe that Mark wishes he owns too. There’s a lot of chat out there about how these are like wearing slippers, but in my experience they required a bit of wearing in, but now they’re some of the comfiest shoes I own (and so they should be for the price!).

DUPES AVAILABLE: Topshop Karpenter Loafers, Mango Slip-On Loafers and ASOS Movement Leather Loafers

Photos by Lauren Shipley