I am talking about you, Warehouse.
Now here's a funny thing. I think we could be talking about two separate entities here. The store and the website. So firstly, the store... well, to be blunt, it's rubbish. This may well be my nearest which is at Bluewater and it's frankly, pants. In all fairness to them, the shape of the store is difficult (long and narrow) but it hasn't been refurbed in forever and looks exceptionally dated.
They also seem to hold stock that's just a bit naff. And the problem is, as a shopper, if you find yourself confronted by a host of pretty grim stuff, it's then very hard to see any gems. It just creates the totally wrong impression - if you don't find anything inspiring in the look and feel of a store, you're far less likely to buy into the image of a brand and aren't going to be that inclined to stay and peruse when there are other shops which are so much more visually appealing.
Is branding the be all and end all of a retailer? Well I'm sure there are valid opinions on both sides of the fence but one thing I do think most people will agree on, is that the branding must be consistent. And when you have a shop that looks like a dog's dinner and a website that has had a total overhaul and is exceptionally impressive, it sends a mixed message.
So let's leave the store aside and focus on the positives.
Their website is amazing. And not just the website (actually to be fair, it's pretty slow so when I say amazing, I really mean their styling and photography.....) but their products.
I've thought this for a while but yesterday when I was on the hunt for dungarees (a style which they don't appear to be adopting this season but I'll forgive them), I couldn't help but spend way too long oohing and aahing over the best of the rest.
It also reminded me of a pic I'd papped from a magazine a week or so ago. Absolutely love this look - to me, far more Stella McCartney than Warehouse.
And whilst we're on the subject of denim - there are other beauties I found that definitely warrant exploring in more detail.
I've come to the conclusion that loading up on denim could be the perfect solution to unifying both my love of the 70s and that more minimal Parisian chic look. (Fashion idiotic phrase/theory klaxon....)
Here is the dress that piqued my interest.
Denim Jacket Dress £52 This is ideal for these slightly cooler days plus it doubles up as a jacket/coat as well.
If you do want something slightly less heavy weight, then they also do a shirt dress in what looks like a chambray fabric.
Denim Shirt Dress £42
Or a Denim Shift Dress £38 - I have to say this one would be my preference (I actually love the idea of this with the denim coat dress over the top....)
Next up, staying with denim and a jacket with a difference. This would work over little dresses, trousers, done up as a shirt over jeans (we're all about the double denim) or layered.
Denim Shirt Jacket £45
Moving on to bottoms now and something I will definitely explore more although I'm not going to lie - I struggle with them. That'll be culottes. I'm not sure if it's the length, what top to wear with them...... shoes? I just don't know but I've so far not been tempted by any. But I love the look of them on other people and these would be a great pair for the Spring.
Denim Culottes £45
Whilst I struggle with culottes, one thing that I have loved the last couple of seasons is my A line mini skirt. Mine is leather but I put a suede one on my wish list way back at the beginning of Spring.
This is the most perfect Suede skirt I've seen all season. I love the minky grey shade of it. Yes it's a 70's stylee but the simplicity of the cut and the minimal look to it would work perfectly with a breton and a blazer. Perfection in a skirt for an amazing price.
Brown Tooled Leather Satchel £55
Actually, scrap that, this would be definitely mine.
Brown Vintage Look Cross Body Satchel £52
Jewellery wise, I still have lots to explore this season but this has definitely caught my eye.
Multi Row Coin Tassel Necklace £16
Sandal porn now and what can I say - leather for £20. Amazing.
T-Bar Sandals £20
Feeling the leopard print love still and I have been looking for a pair of pointed animal print ballet flats for forever. Search finally over.
Pointed Ballet Pump £35
And be still my beating heart. Where these would come into their own for me are those occasions when you want to look smart but really don't want to wear heels. These are just the ticket. The most elegant shoes I've seen in a very long time for an amazing price.
Cream pointed ballet flats £35
I could honestly go on and on and on and on. But don't take my word for it - go and have a shufty. And let me know what you think? Is it just my nearest Warehouse that is pap or are they all in need of a new store image? Perhaps someone knows if that's on the cards? And do you think they've improved their online offering?
So here we have rather tipsy photo from very late last night. Fantastic evening and surprisingly I don't feel too shabby today.
Easy Day Jumper in grey melange - Boden
Wide turn up jeans - Zara
Grey military coatigan - 3.1 Phillip Lim
Dakota skate shoes - Seven Boot Lane
Quilted leather bag - Zara
So I have an appointment with Guardians of the Galaxy, fish pie is ready to go in the oven and I'm trying desperately to find a pair of the dark denim dungarees, seeing as they have sold out EVERYWHERE. Can the person who called Fat Face in Sevenoaks this morning asking about them, please fess up?! I went in today and they're sold out country wide. Clearly I'm exceptionally late to the party - off to see if there are any left at John Lewis.....