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River Island – High Street Hell/Heaven

I never would shop in River Island. Peering though the bright fluorescent lit doorway, intended to only see masses of polyester garments for the slimmer of the girls. The weird cut of clothing that never seemed to increase in arm hole despite upping in dress size. The very generic hipster throw away fashion that my vintage loving, individuality craving self hated.

My River Island men’s shirt


Then something changed. I am not entirely sure if it was River Island’s redesign, the realisation that not the entire shop is full of sweat enhancing polyester fabrics or perhaps…I just want to be able to buy on the high street for once. I hope it’s the latter, but who cares. I have shopped there four times this year. For me that is a record for any shop in less than four months ( almost).

My River Island glasses I do love them dearly.


I have found items in their plenty that I have liked but put back as I knew they would date badly and last very little time at all. I have come to realise that River Island is a shop of two halves. One of cheap and blingy tat that wears well for a short time, and then a part of good quality staples that can be used time and time again. I have learnt to stay away from their shirts as they never wash well and instead head to the men’s section for better designs. To pick up harnesses to accessorise  with pretty dresses and best of all, their sunglasses are cheap enough to buy in bulk to customise but quality enough to look expensive.

River Island choker…harness and earrings.

I have learnt to tolerate the need for River Island to lump their clumsy logo on practically everything and that often a size 14 is really a 12 and a size 16 is a weird fitting 14. If a top has built in bra cups to not expect them increase in size with the dress size. That neoprene is their favourite fabric of the moment…it shouldn’t be.

I have developed a love to hate to love relationship with this shop. I love the tat for its tackiness but hate the over pricing. Then the items I do love are few and far between but worth the wait…the joys of shopping. It is not the shop for individuality as it sells that on all it’s rakes, in many sizes and in many fabrics. It’s choice of unique is adorning the bodies of many and so some of the charm is lost. Just learn how to accessorise it with items from other shops. Never buy a full outfit as chances are, the girl in the club next to you did the same thing.


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