How to

How to Shop (and where to look for) This Season's Key Pieces

What is this resort that they speak of in stores when asked which season the orange puff-sleeved coat is on the ‘new season’ rail? And why doesn’t it just fall under winter or summer, or spring, even?! Let us explain in non-gobbledygook terms: put simply, it means the fashion industry’s most dangerously shoppable, wearable and desirable pieces, AKA the stuff you want to buy. And it’s in stores. NOW. So we decided to go on a mission to dissect it in a manner digestible by shoppers such as ourselves.

Strolling down the beautiful, calming* (*trust us, it really is, in the grand scheme of shopping destinations) curb sides of Sloane Street, we wondered how to make sense of so much delectable stuff: Chloe, Chanel, Zadig and Voltaire, Sandro, Cartier... the list of ‘things we’d like to buy if money were no object’ is endless. Boots from Joseph? A purse from Prada? Sandals from Valentino? Answers as follows: yes please, yes please, yes please. And that’s the tip of the iceberg.

There’s only one downfall of the physical act of shopping (as opposed to the digital act of shopping online, which shares the same downfall, in any case): it can be a little stressful if you’re without a plan. Let’s face it, floating in and out of stores, leaving each one empty-handed because you didn’t find what you were looking for, even though you weren’t looking for anything specific, is no fun. The end goal of shopping is to buy, right? (That said, strolling down Sloane Street, checking out Miu Miu’s sparkling jewellery is a pleasure in itself.) So, we’ve come up with some simple yet helpful rules for shopping a la bricks and mortar, plus a guide to finding this season’s key accessories all in one destination.

Know Where to Go
In other words, don’t dilly dally. If you’re looking for shoes, you won’t be going into a handbag store. Or if you’re looking for fine jewellery, for example, you won’t be looking at shoes. For Couture-worthy accessories, look to Delpozo, Fendi and Valentino. Or for classic footwear, head to Jimmy Choo, Tod’s and Salvatore Ferragamo.

Know What You Need
It’s much easier to buy things you don’t need. Why? Because you can be less fussy: you’re buying out of sheer pleasure. But before you hit the stores, take a look through your wardrobe: what is it that is missing in the first place? Is a classic handbag? An evening wear piece? Make a mental note of what you’re after, and consult Sloane Street’s store list for an idea of where you’re heading.
http://www.sloane-street.co.uk/stores/

Shop with Similar People
The act of shopping is a social one: it’s nice to have a second opinion, or someone to remind you that 12 pairs of kitten heel pumps are quite enough. But choose your shopping partner(s) carefully based on the following criteria: 1) They should know your style well so as to be objective. 2) They like similar brands - there’s nothing worse than them trailing off and leaving you shopping solo. 3) You value their opinion.

Take a Food Break
There’s nothing worse than shopping on a tired, hungry stomach - it reduces both your patience and the joy of the experience. Head to Harvey Nichols’ 5th floor to fill your belly.

Enjoy It
Because, let’s be honest, browsing collections from some of the world’s most prestigious luxury labels is a pleasure we should relish.

The Accessories To Buy Now...

The Daytime Clutch
Elevating your daytime wardrobe is the key to making the most of what's in there, and Delpozo's bow clutch is just the ticket.

Neutrals, Who?
Forget beige, black and grey - this season is all about making a bit more of a statement with your bag. Take it from us: autumnal hues are the new seasonless statements. Our favourite place to browse? Boutique 1 where you'll find envy-enducing bags from Proenza Schouler to Roksanda; Manu Atelier to Acne Studios. Time limit not advisable.

Subtle Statements
If you're yet to be acquainted with Fendi's Peekaboo, then you can thank us for the introduction later. But the key to investing in modern classics is in the details - subtle studs make for a badass icon.

The Bum Bag
No, it's not going anywhere. (And yes, we're pretty happy about that.) Miu Miu's bicolour bag is the perfect dose of 80s eclectic, and goes with everything from corduroy to floaty dresses.

Big vs Small
There's no longer space for the in betweens: either go big, go small or go home. Smythson's classic tote is the ideal everyday go-to, but for something smaller, mustard hues are the perfect update.

Borrowed from the Boys...
Is the name of this collection, but who says we're borrowing? We're keeping, thank you very much, Jimmy Choo.

Matchy Matchy
We love Anya Hindmarch for the subtle playfulness in each design, but we love creating tonal looks with them even more, as inspired by the runways.

No Such Thing As Overdone
Because if you can't have fun with fashion, then why bother? We love pairing sparkling accessories with our everyday outfits, including these gem-embellished beauties from Roger Vivier.

All imagery by Moeez Ali

Feature produced in collaboration with Sloane Street