Have you ever ducked into an al cheapo clothing store and hoped that no one saw you? Ever shoved your purchase into another store’s bag? How about telling a teensy lie about where you bought something? Yes? Nope? Maybe, just that one time? I call it the ‘shopper shame.’ Who needs it, right!?
Sometimes, we have no choice but to shop on the cheap and our in-store experience shouldn’t have to feel cheap and cheesy, should it? I’m not saying that value stores should pretend to be sophisticated. Rather, they should treat their customers like the cool but thrifty people they are. Case in point - H&M. This is a chain that knows how to sell cool with an affordable price tag.
If you live in a first world city, chances are H&M forms part of your everyday landscape along with Starbucks and Burger King. The mega clothing chain has yet to come to our sunny shores and I wish it would, gosh, darn it.
I remember the first time I stepped into an H&M in London. If you’ve never been in one, picture clean glass windows, neat neutral partitions and Lilly Allen on the stereo. The store is simple but slick and the clothes are affordable but cool. In-store posters are understated but stylish and the mannequins are dressed in wearable, interesting outfits. Clothes are divided into sections like everyday basics, work wear and party etc. They’re then further categorized by colour which makes for a super-stress free shop. You are just about guaranteed to find a last-minute Friday night outfit or a new boyfriend blazer for work.
They’ve also got mass appeal. I remember shopping among tweens, hipsters, corporates, mums, goths - you name it. H&M have nailed neutral without being boring. Let’s take a look at how they’ve got it right…
Ok, digging for vintage is wonderful but some days you just need a hit of fast fashion! This is just my humble two cents of course. H&M was a lovely, affordable novelty to me while I spent a year in the UK. I’d love to hear your thoughts on our local clothing stores as well as the British High Street. Have your say in a comment below!