We set ourselves a challenge to prove to you that anything is possible in the world of fashion. Even purchasing a change of clothes that will fit neatly into your bag – for less than twenty quid!
I decided on Kensington High Street as the target. It has all the trimmings of Oxford Street - without the people overload. The boutiques and second hand stores unique to the area add a touch of quirkiness too. My only concern was that there were no fast-fashion superstores around. Was it possible to bag some bargains without them?
A thrift shop was my first stop. The secret to success is to pick stores of this kind in affluent areas. That way, the generous contributions of the public are sure to be more in style then no style. After a careful rummage about, I pulled a floor length Max Mara dress from the rail. £15. The silver domed (and slightly dented) buttons were secured with tiny safety pins (not immediately visible). On any other day I would grab it and run to the cashier. Bearing in mind that I had a list the length of my arm of things to do before my flight, I knew I would never find the time to mend it before I left.
When you find something that you know does not suit your needs, move on swiftly. Otherwise you are bound to end up with a wardrobe of dysfunctional nightmares.
Max Mara on the mend £15
Score at a charity store!
I headed for the charity store further along the way. A leisurely browse turned out to be worth the visit. Juicy Couture’s sport chic was exactly the kind of fun functionality any girl on vacation was looking for. The tennis dress was a cute alternative to track bottoms and perfect for lounging about in style. At £9.00 I was humming all the way to the changing room. Happily side-tracked along the way, what was a hum became a whistle. Another incredible find: a Pucci inspired print fashioned by their former designer Averardo Bessi. There was no skirting around the price either. Designer for a fiver!
Most of their garments are within the £20 limit, but bearing in mind that I had to purchase a change of clothes (as opposed to one item only), I needed to be selective. I settled for £6 shorts that could be slept and sunned in.
Juicy Couture tennis dress £9,Trinity Hospice Charity Shop
Averardo Bessi skirt £5,Trinity Hospice Charity Shop
Zara had a few cute tees that caught my eye, but again £12 would eat into a tiny budget. I was more taken with a jumper at £9.
Uniqlo is not usually a store I visit. Their refreshing new ad campaign had piqued my interest though. After walking past some well-priced separates, I was immediately taken by a sleeveless dress. Sailor was so this season and I was a sucker for their navy and white interpretation with string tie detail.
The all important change of underwear was not to be overlooked. Thankfully, M&S do knickers in packs of 4 for under £5. I also quite fancied H&M’s versatile sleepwear: knickers and a top for £6 would take me from morning glory to afternoon splendour.
Clockwise from top left: sleepwear from £6 H&M, Dry Pile sleeveless dress from Uniqlo £14.99,knitwear in green £9 Zara. shorts £6 at Topshop
So there you have it. Mission possible: twenty quid for a shape-shifting change of clothes that will leave plenty of room in your bag and cash in your wallet. Go on, take your pick!