London has several good dress agencies,
(or consignment stores as my American readers would call them), but I’m going to focus on a cluster of these shops located in Cheval Place, just a few blocks from Harrods.
There are just a few very small shops on this quiet street, but Cheval Place is worth a visit nevertheless. The small boutiques specialise in designer handbags and have an impressive selection of Chanel and Hermes in every possible colour. They also stock shoes,sunglasses, dresses and evening wear. The prices are still quite steep, especially when it comes to handbags, though.
The biggest and best of the Cheval Place dress agencies is of course Pandora. It has a huge selection of designer clothes, jewellery and accessories, all in excellent condition, or ‘as good as new and no more than 2 years old’.
However, the selection of clothes is rather limited when it comes to size: if you wear British size 8-10 (that would be American sizes 6-8, or European sizes 34-38), it’s bargains galore. A Chanel jacket is still quite pricey, of course, but at least you could afford it after saving a few months… And you can find beautiful designer coats and evening wear at very reasonable prices.
However, there is significantly less choice available in British size 14 (American size 12, European size 42) and above. I suppose this is somewhat understandable, as designer clothes tend to come in small sizes (never mind the dress size of the average woman). Why? Well, designers seem to think that it’s women who should be accommodating the clothes instead of the other way round. Personally, I think they’re just as deluded as the women who fall for this bullshit and stop eating just to fit into a dress that an 8-year-old would find tight-fitting…
But I’m digressing here…
So, if you’re shopping in Knightbridge, stop by Cheval Place to look at some almost-affordable designer wear, or just admire the multi-coloured array of Hermes Birkins in shop windows…
For more posts on London, go to London Calling
PS: There’s a new Dilettante Artist post…
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Your digressing made me yell, "You tell them, Tiina!" xo
its not the designer. is a class thing. skinny is a sign of being rich. only poor people who have to eat poor food (and have no discipline) are bigger than europ. size 36. while working as a designer i came across such upperclass women (and wannabes). even having big boobs – on a otherwise slender body – is considered cheap….so no need to make expensive clothes in average sizes.if i ever be in london i will follow your shopping tips here – in my corner of the world one never comes across such cool labels, not even brand new. xxx
Wow Beate, I am glad I am not in the upper class. Dieting to fit size 36 is one thing, but having your boobs removed to not look cheap…. is a bit much LOLGreetje
Hmm… If it's a class thing (i.e. skinny = rich), then what's up with all those highstreet shops full of clothes made for stick insects? I mean, even in my size the sleeves are often made for stick-thin arms, the shirts made for a body that has no waist, boobs or hips… No, I think it's designers, and highstreet labels imitating high-end fashion.
high street labels don´t have designers usually – they have textile engineers and economists. and stick thin sleeves need less fabric – the cheap prices are not only a result of abusing workers – creating patterns that need less fabric and less seems are too involved…..i know it – because i worked for a blouse producer for some high street labels in the 90´s – i´m a pattern maker. and one other thing – the order was that the clothes should look good on hangers! the fit on people was secondary!and the thin=rich=beautiful math is so anchored in the collective brain – we all are not immun against that – are we?xx
Yes, I find it's scary how we are all brainwashed to not question the pervasive cultural ideal of beauty. But at least there are a lot of bloggers out there trying to show that beauty comes in many shapes and sizes. Maybe that's a start, and fashion industry will eventually follow…
"stick insects" – charming. Why do we need to use derogatory terms to describe body shapes?I think lots of the high end designers have a huge Asian market where the average body size is smaller. Their target market is not the average UK woman
What can I say? My blog, my terms (pun intended…).Yes, Asian women are smaller, but they are not particularly tall, at least not as tall as the 'average model'. As for the 'average woman' (of any nationality), she must feel somewhat invisible and ignored, walking into ANY shop selling clothes. Perhaps someone should tell designers (high end or not) that there's a huge untapped market there…
I am afraid of the word "almost" in front of affordable. I rather go for a segment lower. If you come across affordable good stuff I am your girl.Greetje
Well, depends on what you're looking for, of course… Big name designers tend to be quite pricey, even in second-hand shops. But you can find really nice coats and jackets in dress agencies at very reasonable prices (but they're still a lot more expensive than thrift shops).
I had no idea what "dress agency" meant; thanks for explaining. Only given my size, I doubt there's anything that will fit me.
Yes, Brits call them 'dress agancies'… I find it difficult to find anything in my size, there, too…
Thank you soooooooooooo much, TinaXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Looks such a cool shop , the window display looks great :)Thanks for sharing at the weekend blog hop
Thanks. Yes, it is a cool shop.