While I saw lots of lovely items while I was home, I tried to be as disciplined as possible and not spend much money. What I did spend largely went on travel and meals, but early in my stay I visited Topshop at Oxford Circus. A lot of the styles were lovely but as is too often the case with Topshop, they were spoiled by the use of cheap fabrics. I'd far rather pay 20% more for cotton, silk, or even a nice synthetic than some of the nasty nylon and polyesters that will wear poorly, drape badly and irritate my skin. It was a real shame as some of the prints and designs were quite lovely. Many had a 70s Biba aesthetic (that early 70s meets 1920s rather than the tacky mid-70s or the Halston-esque 70s). A lot of it reminded me of Lyell--albeit with more patterns and more colors--and reinforced my recent thoughts that Emma's designs are really looking more new (or now) than ever.
Of course, Topshop being Topshop, there were a variety of styles, looks and fabrics. They had some lovely mid-late 1960s style mini dresses with long sleeves. For years I have been coveting above the knee A-line dresses with long sleeves, in lace and in patterned fabrics. I even hoped that there would be some print minis with long sleeves at the Mayle pop-up but it was not to be. I did get a fabulous Joie dress from Gilt Group recently, but that's for another post. I found a lovely burgundy lace minidress in Topshop. It was £48. I walked away, went out that night, slept on it, and then went back the next day having decided it was a must have. Even my mother loved it (along with Joie dress she though it was one of the nicest dresses I had bought home). It is lined in cotton and available for $100 in the US on the American Topshop website. Here it is:
This does not mean that I will be spending like crazy this year. Instead, it is a dress that fits the bill of something I've wanted for years and that will work for much of the year--and the price was very much right. And as it has almost sold out in the UK already, I doubt it will be reduced.
There were other dresses I liked, tried on, and walked away from. So I am proud of my restraint.