Honest, Practical, Style Advice

Support Your Local High Street – Finding Hidden Gems!

Alternative places to shop and find something a little more distinctive –

What is your shopping destination of choice to create the versatile contemporary wardrobe you desire? Well, as you know, I’d always say ‘shop in your wardrobe’ first before heading to the shops. But of course, there are times when we need new pieces – to refresh our wardrobes, replace items that have seen better days and to accommodate our lifestyles.

Whilst the well-known brands can be useful for everyday wardrobe requirements, they don’t really cater for that something just a little bit different. That’s where independent shops can come in because they offer more variety. For those of you that are local to me, we have the very accessible Olney where you’ll find the likes of Noa NoaWoosterValerie C, Allens and the newest addition Anorak. And what’s great is they all offer something a bit contrasting to suit different personality styles, body shapes and colouring.

If you shop with independent retailers you are more likely to get rarer pieces as they buy in much smaller batches. You might pay a little more but that’s because the quality is often better and they’ll also probably have more sustainable credentials.

That’s one of the reasons I love Anorak, not just because they stock some great Danish brands but because they have sustainability in mind when they’re doing their buying.

Their aim is to curate a collection of brands that together offer more unusual quality items as well as fashion led pieces. Most of the brands have commitments to high levels of sustainability with three labels being ‘GOTS’ certified and two of the brands having some GOTS lines in their collection.

GOTS, the Global Organic Textile Standard is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain. Therefore, if a brand has GOTS certification it’s definitely one to have on your radar.

This season sees three new brands at Anorak, two Spanish and one French so some different shapes on their way! And they are offering you 10% off throughout March if you mention my name in-store or use the code LESLEY10 online.


These are some of my spring picks –






























They also stock a range of footwear and have some fab accessories, so a great place to consider if you’re after a present.

When it comes to accessories, and jewellery in particular, Olney is also a good destination. For contemporary pieces I’d go to Anorak, for something a bit more chunky, I’d look at Woosters and for that special piece my ‘go to’ is BOO.

Finally, don’t forget the good range of charity shops, so make sure you find time to have a rummage. Over the years I’ve found some gems! The secret is to keep popping in because you never know when that special piece is going to be dropped off.

Olney is well serviced for coffee stops, so prefect for that caffeine hit before you start shopping. And I’m always game for that if you want to meet up and have a helping hand!


© Copyright Lesley Clarke 2017