Supermarket fashion lines tend to get a little bit overlooked when it comes to fashion roundups and ‘Most Wanted’ lists, and we consider ourselves as guilty as anyone else in this respect. It’s easy to forget there are coats and dresses tucked away behind the bread and milk in your local supermarket, but we know we’re not the only ones to pop out for a carton of milk – OK, a bottle of wine – and come home bearing armfuls of so-cheap-I-just-couldn’t-leave-it items from supermarket fashion brands. Are we? Please say it’s not just us…
The fact is, supermarket fashion has come a long way in recent years, and as well as being very affordable (you’ll almost certainly be able to fill your wardrobe for less money than you can fill your freezer), it can also be surprisingly fashion-forward, and better quality than the price tags might suggest. Here are some of our favourite supermarket fashion picks right now…
Supermarket Fashion | Florence & Fred at Tesco
Tesco’s Florence & Fred line really came to prominence back in the early 00s, when their version a green Chloe dress sold out nationwide, and then started popping up on eBay for way more than retail. It was the first time a supermarket fashion brand had prompted that kind of shopping frenzy, and while the brand hasn’t quite managed to repeat that success since, we think they’re doing a pretty good job. Well, when you can buy a 100% cashmere sweater for £40, you’re not going to catch us complaining.
As for the other items in our selection: the neoprene dress is in a shape and style which Zara have released a few times this year, always for much more than the £25 this one is selling from. The scuba fabric should make it hold its shape well, and although the floral print won’t be to everyone’s tastes, it’s a little more “FASHION” than we’d normally expect from a supermarket brand. The shoes also have shades of Zara’s recent offerings, while the windowpane check trousers tap into another current trend (and look way better on the model than they do in the product shot). Finally, the leather-look skirt may not be real leather, but then again, it IS only £25, so if you’ve like the idea of a leather pencil skirt, but don’t know how much use you’d realistically get out of one, it could be a good option (and it also comes in black).
Supermarket Fashion | George at Asda
Although slightly less fashion-forward than some, George at Asda is a fantastic source of basics: the lingerie and sleepwear sections are always worth a look, and if you’re looking for a basic sweater or pair of tights, say, you probably won’t be disappointed. From the current selection, we naturally gravitated towards the midi and skater skirts, which we totally count as “basics”, because they’re the kind of items you can just throw on in the morning without giving any thought whatsoever. George currently has quite a wide range of these: they’re similar to the kind of styles you’ll find from the likes of Topshop or Dorothy Perkins right now, but for roughly half the price: score.
Tu and Gok Wan at Sainsbury’s
Gok Wan tweed dress, £40 | swallow print sweater: £25 | Structured tote, £18 | Bird-print top, £25
Oh, Sainsbury’s. They’re actually by far our favourite of the supermarket fashion lines, but we’ve left them until last because they don’t sell their clothing online, which earns them a virtual slap on the wrist from The Fashion Police. There is a store list on the website, and if you need to track down a specific item you can call their customer services to find out which stores stock it, but as not all items are available in all stores, there’s still a good chance of seeing something you love and then discovering you’d have to travel 100 miles to buy it, which means that “bargain” item ends up costing you a whole lot more than you expected.
Still, if you DO have a store near you with a wide selection of stock, we can highly recommend the Gok Wan range, which combines amazing style with excellent quality. That tweed pencil dress, for instance, has an in-built control skirt to hold in any wobbly bits: we haven’t tried this particular dress (yet), but as the owners of another of these Gok Wan dresses, we can confirm that the quality is superb, and the shapewear REALLY works, making it excellent value for money.
Now we just need them to start selling online, and we’ll be happy -if poorer – officers.