Pop in a bookmark till pay day…
Now I’m partial to the odd scroll of ASOS, or peruse of the racks of good ol’ Whistles every now and again, but from time to time it’s nice to veer off the well-beaten path and discover somewhere new to fill up your basket. Over the past year through my travels, or fellow blogger recommendations, my eyes have been opened to a handful of off-piste brands that are well worth getting to know. Unfortunately some aren’t the easiest to source here in the U.K, but most have their shipping methods sorted and offer up gorgeous pieces that you can throw on in the mornings knowing that you’re not going to turn up to the office with five other lasses wearing exactly the same thing. When I worked in an office many moons ago my colleagues and I were practically one big walking, talking ZARA advertisement – leather bucket bag and all. Who remembers that bag? So if you fancy scrolling through something different, here are the brands that I recommend popping in your bookmarks for next pay day…
Sézane. If my laptop corrects it to ‘Susanne‘ for the 67th time, then I might have to throw it out the window. BUT, Sézane – created by Morgane Sézalory, who originally began selling vintage pieces online, which turned into a website selling her own creations back in 2013 – has this laid-back, French-girl vibe DOWN. Capsule collections, filed under the ‘La Liste’ category, are released four times a year (could this BE anymore up my street?), with limited edition supplementary ‘E-Shop’ drops once a month, so it’s worth signing up to the newsletter to be in the know. Although the monthly releases are beautiful, and a very clever marketing technique, it’s the core collections that get me the most because they appear to completely ace the basics. From what I’ve purchased from there, I’d recommend checking out their knitwear, coats and shirts – the Boy Shirt is a 100% silk and the name just gets me every time.
MY TOP PICKS FROM SEZANE
AYR. This is a brand that I first discovered back when I was visiting New York earlier this year as their one and only store was based just a 10 minute walk from where we were staying. After wandering past a couple of times I headed in and let’s just say that things happened *insert money flying away emoji*. If you want to hear the backstory to the brand then I highly recommend listening to this episode of the Glossy podcast, but it’s the brand messaging that just sings to me. Their goal is to create clothing that can be worn ‘all year round‘ and season after season – hence the name, that are a long-term investments for the customer. It’s all about the quality over quantity thang and so they really nail basics in their line-up, especially denim. It currently doesn’t ship to the U.K directly from their website – BOO! – but an edited selection of pieces are available from Shopbop if anything catches you eye, and next time you’re in New York? You know what to do…
FRAME. The inspiration for FRAME is ‘the French way of dressed up casual’ – need I say anymore? This UK/LA-based brand aren’t the most wallet-friendly one that I’ve mentioned here, but their range is probably my favourite of all. I would 100% wear, or at least wish I could pull off, everything they design. They’re stocked most broadly in the U.K on Net-a-Porter, but their website has just began to ship to the U.K, with promises of no hidden costs – WHOOP. I’d say they’re the best for sourcing basics with a twist; polka dot shirt with an unusual collar, a wool jumper with some fancy design woven into the knit. Personally right now I’m coveting their Le High Skint Leather Pants, which unfortunately I would have to remortgage the flat in order to purchase, or their Silk Ruffle Dress which looks like the perfect LBD for me and would just require me having a little welp out loud when I pressed order.
MY TOP PICKS FROM FRAME
Realisation Par. Now I must admit that I actually have yet to purchase anything from this brand yet, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t take a weekly pilgrimage to their website to browse, eh? Realisation Par was founded by two mates in the U.S and instead of releasing collections, they feed out items individually and so really hon in on certain pieces that they wish were hanging in their wardrobes. It’s a nice concept and the result is a floaty, feminine capsule of dresses, tops and outerwear that feel so L.A that it hurts. It’s very much a summer brand and their speciality are wrap dresses and tops, so perhaps it’s one to keep in mind for next summer. I think it might finally be time to buy the The Alexandra Dress that I’ve been eyeing up for the past 10 months. Heads up: apparently the brand comes up small, so it’s worth sizing up if you’re between sizes.
Everlane. If you’re in the market for basic pieces that are ethically sourced, to the point where you can even see pictures of the factories each item is made in, along with facts and figures about the staff – honestly the information available here is so amazingly transparent – then Everlane is you guy. They do both women’s and menswear and cover all bases from cashmere to denim. There’s nothing particularly groundbreaking going on with design here, but there are good hardy pieces that you know are coming from ethical factories and that is pretty groundbreaking. Unfortunately they don’t ship to the U.K year-round, but they do have promos, especially around sale times were they do – for a limited time only – offer shipping internationally. You know that Black Friday is coming soon, right? *nudge*
Photos by Lauren Shipley
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