Mar 16, 2012

The London Shop Girl Confessions.

There are Heathrow Injections and then there are Heathrow Injections.  The first kind can be sort of disguised under dark tops and jeans with a bit of stretch and a flared leg.    It often can be passed off as 'well rested' with the aid of an incidental Sydney tan (thank you early autumn sun).

The second kind is more problematic.  Even with a generous luggage allowance, there's no hiding the bloatednesses of a suitcase (or two) plus the need for your travelling partner in crime to mule home the more unglamorous things like the clothes in desperate need of the front loader.  Then there's the challenge of trying to assimilate the new stuff with a wardrobe that was picked to the bones before the trip.  My wardrobe is definitely looking a little fuller in the hanging area.

To begin, this is my customary fridge magnet purchase by which I will remember the first place I stayed in London.

The unique entrance to Cool Britannia at Piccadilly Circus.
It's from a fun souvenir shop at Piccadilly Circus called Cool Britannia and it has a wide range of mementos within a pretty wide price range as well as being a place to buy theatre and tour tickets.  It's close to Lillywhite, the sporting goods wholesaler I mentioned previously.  I think that would be pretty much your tourist survival centre covered between the two.

Almost forgot, you'd also be needing a 24 hour upmarket Maccas as well.  The one on Swiss Court should be fine.

My shopping in London wasn't the cut priced bonanza of Hawaii or the excesses of Dubai but rather a hit list of  (mostly) things I needed with a uniquely London purchase or two added for good measure.  Our  lovely AUD is doing great things against the pound (one of many reasons Australian retail is in panic mode at the moment) so the shopping wasn't as expensive as I feared it would be.  Despite the pervading uncertainty in European economies and its impact on consumer confidence, there weren't as many sales as I had hoped.  I caught the tail end of one winter sale but everywhere else, new season spring summer stock was available at full price.  It was perhaps just as well that I didn't have enough time to make the trek to Bicester Village or the Burberry outlet.

Besides that rather large Marni at H+M haul, the other thing on my clothing wish list was boucle.  High street Chanel inspired style.

Zara's tribute to Chanel's fine work with boucle.

I hit pay dirt at Zara and had to stop looking after I found 4 jackets I loved.  Now all I have to do is will the weather to cool down soon.

A longer line Zara knit that's more a card than a jacket.

My next purchase is currently still at the dry cleaners so a stock photograph from Google images will have to do.

The Chichester Coat
The Chichester coat.  Image from the Jaeger website.
On the advice of readers in the know, I made a beeline for the Jaeger flagship store on Bond Street and found the last Chichester coat in my size at 60% off - fully lined and made of a cashmere blend.  I'm such a fan I've signed up for the mailing list as Jaeger ship internationally and I don't want to miss out on their fabulous coats in future seasons.

Next was next on my list.  I was curious about their skinny jeans because I've found the flares I bough from them a good fit.  I found a pair of black skinnies for under 24 GBP full price and the flattering cut sealed the deal.  Cheaper skinnies have been a gamble for me in the past but the next version sit around the natural waist and are tight enough without crossing that  line to jeggings land.

I'm waiting for that pat on my back because the only things I bought at Harrods was make up!  The beauty hall was the only level of the store that I didn't feel overwhelmed by, mainly because of the reassuring sameness of a brand's beauty counter wherever you  may be in the world.

The only reason I found out about these Dolce and Gabbana eye pencils was because I happened to be reading a British glossip magazine on the plane from Sydney.  I know.  How could I not buy an heir and a spare?  The limited edition charm range features both lip and eye pencils.  The black glitter shade had sold out by the time I was there so I bought the regular black version instead.  Lining my eyes will never the same again with those charms jangling seductively at every stroke.

Detail photo from

Liberty, I love you so!!

Strolling through the store was like visiting the weekend house of someone terribly bohemian with strong British roots.  Fresh flowers are arranged at the door entrance every day.

Amongst the mix of designers from all over the world are a few Liberty designed  pieces.

In honour of the Olympics, I bought a limited edition Big Ben scarf.  I was torn between this design and the Jubilee design featuring Queen Elizabeth.

I also got a set of scarf cards.  Being sensibly British, Liberty advocated the tying of scarves without anything tricksy like scarf rings. I will see what I can do.  Each knot depicted in the pack has a very British name.

And that is just about it from me.  I'm going to kick back with this month's InStyle and the Burberry sample that came with the subscriber's issue.  It's a sample of skin primer, I think.  The new stand sample was a lip gloss palette for those of you keen to get to the supermarket tomorrow for the low down on Jennifer and her man as well as the 254 best web buys.

Have a lovely evening!


  1. The packaging of Libertys is lovely. I think you did well and didn't overspend, judging by the pictures...

  2. Lovely items that you bought! I especially like the zara jackets :)

  3. Love a good boucle jacket! I have a couple of faux ones from Hong Kong ladies market and I love them to pieces. Liberty looks a dream, I never went there when I lived in London... probably because I was on minimum wage and also terribly uncool back then ha ha.


  4. Seems like you got a lot of great stuff, I looooove the boucle jackets! And the colours of the Big Ben scarf are gorgeous. Isn't it fun shopping when the currency is on your side?


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