People in the UK dress a lot differently than Americans. Looking from person to person, the UK fashion is vast, and it seems that everywhere I look, grunge, posh, and hipster have been combined into a strange hybrid that I have come to know as English style.
Thick sweaters (sorry – jumpers), crop tops, lace up boots, skater skirts, baggy retro t-shirts, big baggy cardigans, disco pants, leggings (everywhere you look), skinny jeans, collared shirts, and big gold accessories are just a few things that pop into mind after being exposed to English style for a week.
Style is important here. While there are some people in t-shirts and tennis shoes, the majority of people I’ve seen in Leicester are better dressed than most Americans are. However, limited to one suitcase and only a handful of neutral, staple outfits, I wasn’t quite expecting to be walking next to fashionistas every day.
So, I did what any American girl living in England would do – I went to Primark.
Everything I have ever heard about Primark was completely right. It is basically the Forever 21 of the UK – cheap, fashion forward, and full of customers. It’s the wonderland for any bargain shopper. The first time I went in, I was shocked how many people were packed into the aisles of all three floors. The fitting rooms were packed (I had to wait five minutes!). There were families, teenagers, young, old, and everything in between wading through Primark’s stock.
Honestly though, I can see why – the prices are insanely cheap and even with the conversion rate I paid less than normal US prices.
First up, I needed a dang collared shirt because apparently not having a collared shirt in England is the equivalent of being the kid everyone picks last for gym class. It seems that blues and neutrals are much more predominant in English style so I picked out this shirt for £12 ($19.22). It’s a nice material, flowy, and can be paired easily with jeans or leggings.
I came to the UK knowing that I was going to buy a new purse once I was here and, I am glad I waited because WOAH Primark prices are amazing. This purse was only £8 ($12.82). To get a cheap, fashionable purse in the US will cost you at least $20 – $30, but $13 – really? How can you pass that up?
The large golden hoops only set me back £1 ($1.60). Even Forever 21 rarely sells earrings for less than $2 a pair, so these were a good buy.
I’m not usually a huge ring person, but I love the accent that they can add to an outfit. This big golden globe ring was £1.50 ($2.40), and I actually really like wearing it. I have smaller hands, so I have trouble finding rings to fit me, but this one fits perfectly.
Hair in the UK is quite a big deal. In the US, it seems like everyone wants sleek, straight hair but here, there is an emphasis on volume – a lot of volume.
I got these two headbands for £1.50 ($2.40) each and, they are amazing. The polka dot one is elastic, but the plaid one has some kind of bendy material and can be contorted into different shapes (like bows). It makes it really comfortable to wear because it can be customized to your own head shape.
I couldn’t help but buy the top knot bun roll. It was £1 ($1.60) and in the US, they are more like $3+ so, don’t judge me. I want to pretend like I can have a top knot just like all the other English women.
This necklace is a statement piece, but from what I’ve seen – statement jewelry is in, in the UK. Monochrome and gold pieces especially seem to be making the rounds. It was £4 ($6.40), which is still a pretty good deal for a heavy, large piece like this.
Overall, Primark is an amazing place. If it weren’t for the conversion rate setting me back a bit – I would buy probably the entire store. So…when is Primark coming to the US?
Do you shop at Primark?