Primark Haul: It’s Like Fashion Wonderland

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.

primarkprimarkleicesterEverything  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.

shirtFirst 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.

purseI 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?

bracelets2 braceletsearringsringThe bracelets were from a set that was £2 ($3.20). I got them because multiple bracelets and accessorizing seems to be a big deal in the UK (and I thought they were cute).

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.

headbands hairbun

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?


28 thoughts on “Primark Haul: It’s Like Fashion Wonderland

  1. EyeOfTheBeholder September 23, 2013 / 9:10 am

    The leggings got to me a bit! I got so sick of seeing girls’ butts. A number of times I saw girls wearing, what I would call, nylon stockings without anything over it! WHY?

    • Sam September 23, 2013 / 9:23 am

      I agree. There is also a good number of girls wearing leggings/skinny jeans that are just too tight for them. It looks like they are losing circulation!

  2. joannahollyxo September 23, 2013 / 10:33 am

    I’ve been loving your UK updates.
    The leggings situation gets ridiculous the longer you’re here and you’ll realise that literally everyone is wearing the same hipster style. I’d loooove to be a fly on the wall when you go on a few nights out, the fashion is an eye-opener trust me ;)

    • Sam September 23, 2013 / 2:24 pm

      You do see a lot of commonalities but, there are so many people wearing leggings…it just shocks me how many people are wearing them. I went to a party last night and woah…some of those girls are wearing some short, tight dresses and very high heels.

  3. TooManyMuffins September 23, 2013 / 12:06 pm

    Primark is deadly, we call it Penneys here in Ireland. I actually prefer it to Forever 21, recently their stuff has gotten so much more fashion-forward. Definitely invest in some winter coats from there as they are always a great price!

    • Sam September 23, 2013 / 2:25 pm

      I can understand the deadly part. If Primark was in the US, I would probably spend my whole paycheck there!

  4. nhieubeauty September 23, 2013 / 12:31 pm

    Primark is awesome! I loved it so much when I was in Manchester this year! It seems like the quality so not too bad either. I’m very surprised how long my stuff has lasted.

    • Sam September 23, 2013 / 2:27 pm

      That’s what’s so crazy – the quality is really nice for the price! Oh man. Primark…such a great place.

  5. Chriss September 23, 2013 / 12:33 pm

    That shirt looks cute! I always hear everyone raving about Primark, but every time I go in there I come out empty handed (a pair of socks does not count). I can never find the cute stuff, but that’s probably just me ;)

    • Sam September 23, 2013 / 2:28 pm

      Thanks! I love it :) How big is your Primark? The one in Leicester is three floors – there’s a lot to pick from.

      • Chriss September 23, 2013 / 2:36 pm

        The one in Rotterdam (which is the only one I’ve been in) is two floors. Should be enough to find something right? Oh well ;)

  6. nyrmirez September 23, 2013 / 1:22 pm

    I’m glad to hear that Primark is just as good as everyone talks about. I’m going to have to add it to my list of place to go when I travel to France next year. Keep the updates coming I am really enjoying them.

    • Sam September 23, 2013 / 2:28 pm

      It’s definitely as good as everyone talks about – maybe even better.

    • Sam September 23, 2013 / 2:28 pm

      Thanks! I am loving using it!

  7. Kavi September 23, 2013 / 4:33 pm

    Great post! I’m glad you like Primark, and glad you tried it out! Would you say it’s better than forever 21??xx

    • Sam September 23, 2013 / 9:21 pm

      In terms of prices – yes – it’s better than Forever 21. They are both similar in their stock though.

  8. Kavi September 23, 2013 / 4:34 pm

    I’d also buy the whole store if I could. Sigh :(

  9. Gillian September 23, 2013 / 5:11 pm

    The leggings thing is a bit problematic…yes…

    I’m glad you like Primark, the stores do vary a lot in how manic they are depending which city you’re in…the one in Sheffield City Centre is truly awful. I actually was almost trampled in that store once!

    The bag is gorgeous, not seen that in my local store! Hope you’re enjoying the UK so far :)

    • Sam September 23, 2013 / 9:22 pm

      So many leggings! lol. :P

      I can see why you almost got trampled. There were so many people in there – it was insane!

  10. producthoochie September 23, 2013 / 9:22 pm

    Dying to shop at Primark. Dying. You should read fashion for lunch- she is in London and works in fashion. She has such fun style but in the US it would be considered brave. Needless to say, I love her.

  11. Jenn September 23, 2013 / 9:29 pm

    I think I might be proleggings. But I wear mine like tights. So basically I wear them with a sweater dress or swaters or shirts that are oversizes to my knees. Which isnt hard bc. So short lol and I wear tall boots with them. So you see my knees basically. I love your shirt btw

  12. Rebecca September 23, 2013 / 11:47 pm

    Glad you are getting stuck in with English shopping! I love Primark knitwear and jewellery!

  13. Jen September 24, 2013 / 1:48 pm

    I bought a ridiculously cheap and cute bikini at Primark the last time I was in the UK. I would shop there more if it weren’t for my strong aversion to crowds. Love the prices, hate all the people. :P

  14. The Duchess September 24, 2013 / 2:55 pm

    YES! I love a good shopping trip! I feel like no one tries in the burbs, and when I get to the city (Toronto,) I’m with my people. Good thing I’m moving soon. :D A collared shirt will get you through anything; it’s great with skinny jeans + boots, mini skirts, high waist skirts…I mean it’s everything! And a statement necklace is always good. I have been so eager to try one of those hair snoods (I see UK bloggers using them), let us know what you think!

  15. renrenq8 September 30, 2013 / 2:08 pm

    Ahhhh, when I visited London this summer I had to restrain myself because I had my eyes set on the Chanel bag and didn’t want to spend anywhere else. Resisted as much as I got but I did get an outfit from there. (check my autumn ootd, the pants top and scarf and boots were from Primark). I give myself a pat on the back because just the prices make you want to buy everything, even things you don’t need.

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