The King is dead, long live the King!

Uniqlo-flagship-store-by-Wonderwall-New-York-09

Written by

Ifza Khushnud

 

The high street is frequented by 95% of the population (guesstimate but it sounds right), it’s where most feel comfortable spending their hard earned money. Unfortunately, we’re not all of a wealthy disposition whereby we can just stroll onto Savile Row for a new suit. So the high street has filled a gap, providing up to date, on trend clothing at a very reasonable price, I mean just writing that it seems perfect?

Well in some ways it is, that’s why these brands are thriving in the current market, they provide fashionable styles minus the quality (we’ll get on to that later on) at a price we can all afford. I’ve never believed in paying over the odds for the sake of it, the so called brand whores who for a plain black tee pay an extortionate amount just because it has a certain logo emblazoned on the chest. I’m not about that life, and neither should you be!

Style has nothing to do with money, if you know what you’re doing then money does help but you can easily create a great wardrobe on a basic budget and that’s where the high street is so good.

There are a couple of downsides of course, like I mentioned before, quality will be sacrificed, top quality fabrics and craftsmanship equals top quality prices. Shelf life isn’t great, you’ll get your fair share of wear but after a few washes you’ll start to see garments losing shape and discolouration. You won’t or shouldn’t care though, its quick fashion at a low price; those two points override anything else when it comes to high street clothing.

One thing I would advise is to try and mix your wardrobe up, buy a few quality items to compliment the rest of your collection. Only if finances allow, as much as I may talk about menswear and style, it’s only a hobby at the end of the day, I wouldn’t want you to go and take out a loan for a new Zegna sport coat or anything. Life is more important. *moment of reflection*

I’ve always visited the high street for day to day clothing (t shirts, lounge wear, the occasional pair of jeans) because over the years they have stepped up their game. H&M has been collaborating with some of the biggest and brightest designers over the past few years and Zara has always positioned itself well in the market, creating quick to market collections and known as a fashion imitator bringing high end fashion collections to the general populous.

It usually comes down to quality of material and how it fits on me when deciding to buy something, so when I do visit the high street I tend to come up short, unless I lower my inhibitions and sacrifice on either fit or quality but what If I told you that that you don’t have to?

(INTERMISSION)

A few years ago I was in London visiting friends; I’d popped into central London on urgent business, I was in dire need of a dress shirt. It was one of those quick, in and out type of visits, well that’s what I told myself anyway. I decided to visit a store I’d heard of previously, a friend had spoke about this place and how great it was and being a fellow man of style I had promised myself that I would visit whenever I was in town. I think I got to where the shirts were located around an hour after I’d entered the store and not because it was poorly laid out or I have no sense of direction, I’d just come across something so wonderful, so original.

So here I am, examining slim fitted selvedge denim, knitted polo shirts, blazers for all occasions, jackets for even more occasions, oxford shirts, knitted ties, cashmere sweaters, the list goes on and on. What struck me most was the quality of each item I looked at, that and how everything I tried on would fit so perfectly. The range of items was remarkable; the variety in colours makes you feel like you need the same t shirt in every colour.  Then just to top it off the price just makes you want to laugh, I would without hesitation have paid double for most of the items I picked up. I am in no doubt that I could create my entire wardrobe by just shopping here, summer, winter, any occasion, this place has you covered.  I left the store around two hours after I entered with exactly that, I had left with six or seven large bags that were overflowing and my wallet was smiling too. Oh and just for good measure they’ll alter your jeans/trousers for you free of charge, if you have unusual sized legs, talk about sealing the deal!

I am however baffled that they only have stores in the London and Greater London area. I am under no illusion that if they were to expand to other parts of the country they’d give these other high street brands a massive run for their money, actually I think I’m being generous, they’d blow them out of the water. Take note people in charge.

Born in Japan, a personal favourite country of style at Street Sensibility HQ this brand has outlets across the world. You may have seen a certain enigmatic Tennis star and recent Masters champion sponsored by this brand. They pride themselves on creating on trend, simple, basic clothing and have collaborated with some of the brightest designers in the industry including Philip Lim and Michael Bastian. You can check out their website but I would recommend you take a little trip to London and visit one of their stores, if you walk out empty handed then I have failed you, or you have no sense of style and you have failed yourself. If you’re in London you should know about them already and if you don’t, give yourself a slap and get down there right now.

Ladies and Gentleman, the (high street) King has arrived.

www.uniqlo.com

 

PS. I received no financial incentive to write this post, I am however open to the idea and I can be bought for the right price, I accept most currencies but food is my favourite currency of all.

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