River Island is always a high street shop I’ve avoided – on so many occasions, I’ve wandered into the shop and then walked straight back out again, disappointed by the quality of their clothes and also their weird tendency to over-embellish things. After multiple trips to the shop which served to confirm my feelings about their clothes, I didn’t go back for a few seasons and they were mentally noted down in my mind as a ‘not worth looking’ shop.
So when I popped into my local branch a few weeks ago accompanying my best friend, you can imagine my surprise (and delight) when I discovered a shop filled with rails of 60s inspired tops, dresses and coats, as well as mock-Alexa bags and stunning knitted cardigans and jumpers. It seems they’re reverting back to their 60s roots, when the brand went under a different name – Chelsea Girl.
A photo of the Manchester Chelsea Girl (photo credit)
I would so love to have lived back then - you don't get shop fronts as cool as this nowadays!
Their new stock is a far cry from the items I remember from my last visit – out with the diamanté, and in with the retro tailoring and quirky pieces that I could easily see slipping nicely into my own wardrobe. I hope this new River Island image is here to stay!
Here are some of my top picks from this season's stock:
I may have made a sneaky purchase of one of the above items... I'll leave you in suspense until I visit home next weekend, where I plan to do a little photoshoot with it :).
Has anyone else noticed a big change in River Island over the past year?