Sunday, 15 March 2009

Anne Harvey

OK I'm scaring myself. Either I am finally turning into the frump-monger I'd always feared or the world is actually turning on its axis. Yesterday I found myself in Anne Harvey and actually coveting some of the clothes on offer there.
For the unfamiliar I can explain that AH have existed for the last 12 or so years and are prime High Street criminals as purveyors of elasticated polyester separates in sizes 12-28. They also had no internet presence until recently which meant that you would need to brave one of their ill considered store plans to look at their clothes.
The store layout and lighting is still from the seventies but the clothes themselves seemed to have improved in part. There was some particularly covetable outerwear. Including this jacket which is in slightly textured cotton blend (also in black). There were also a number of funnel necked formal coats in black, red and cream which were reduced from £90 to £70 and which I would certainly have bought for winter had I seen them earlier in the year.
Their size range also extends to a size 32 for some items and AH also do a petite range which I imagine must cater to a long neglected market, (especially in the West of Scotland, land of wee fat wummin). I'll certainly be keeping an eye on them and hope to post on future purchases soon.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Cast aside your Principles

So farewell then Principles. The last remaining stores of this UK and Irish based chain are fast disappearing and so there is one less place that I can go to search for something that might just fit. I went into the Glasgow Braehead branch today and bought myself this cardi more for old times sake rather than anything else. My version is in a citrussy green and there is detail on the shoulders and sleeves which the pic does not capture. Shopping there was, as always, a maddening experience. Some of the stuff on sale was lovely including some really edgy deconstructed tailoring and some funky silk throwback 80's batwinged tops. However there was much arbitrariness in the sizing. Principles has never put sizes on hangers so you have to go through the swingtags painstakingly looking for what might be there in your size. Some stuff stops at 16 some at 18 and a tiny proportion at 20, but you could never rely on sales staff to help you with this and I certainly would not have pulled them up on this today. Similarly some starts at 8 and some at 10 so there is a lack of consistency at both ends of sizing.
This stuff just drives me crazy-where is the economic sense in making it a challenge for people to find what they want. Good layout of stock and knowleable staff should be nursery stuff for retailers nowadays but it is still ignored. Sorry about the rant I'm feeling very grumpy about this. I wish Principles were staying so I could post their head office with my complaints. Oh well