The general consensus with H&M is that though it’s affordable, the clothes can sometimes be poor quality, the shops can resemble a demolition site and it’s impossible to find anything. We feel we should take this moment to admit that being ‘Young Professionals’ (so fancy) in our 20s, we are huge fans of shopping in H&M for affordable work wear, knitwear and basics. Either we haven’t mentally moved on from our penniless students days, or we’re onto something. So we thought we’d share a few tips that may help open your eyes to the classic European style that H&M has to offer.
1. Basics and Staples
Buy T-shirts, Vests, Jeans, Leggings, Pyjamas, Socks, Tights (you know where we’re going with this). H&M do all of these things so well, hitting the mark on both quality and price for things that you’d wear over and over again.
Their Autumn/Winter collections far outshine their Spring/Summer items (which is basically just their basic range in yellow and that weird bright blue – we are onto you, H&M). You can count on them to have a huge range of great quality knitwear in ‘on-trend’ (hate this word but had to use it) colours and styles.Patches: I usually find myself buying the same jumper in every colour under the sun, which looks so cool when it comes to organising them in a drawer (I have issues, don’t judge me).
3. Online vs. In-store
Their online shop isn’t great. Annoyingly they don’t always have everything you can find in-store on the site and delivery times can be up to a week, sometimes more; sorry H&M, we didn’t realise you were conducting deliveries via messenger pigeon. Having said that, they always have a couple of discount codes running (especially if you sign up to their email newsletter) which could save you money if you don’t mind waiting a few years for your gear. If you need something in a hurry (“Oh noes! The Christmas party is like, 2 days away and I have like, nothing to wear…like”) then go shop at asos, they got your back.
4. Go to a Quieter Branch
If you prefer shopping in-store then it can be a headache as it can occasionally look like Primark with a hangover (ouch). Our solution to this is to either go to a larger branch (shop size to number of people ratio is more preferable) or to one that’s not in a central location (usually less busy). This lets you shop without constantly being elbowed in the back by an impoverished student; it really does paint a disturbing picture, one where an emaciated student climbs out from under a clothes rack and grabs the jumper from your hand hissing ‘my precious’. Not cool.
5. Designer Collaborations
H&M have had some renowned designer collaborations in the past; these allow us mere mortals to buy a taste of luxury at a more affordable price. The last collaboration with Parisian designer Isabel Marant was a major success and a complete sell-out. Now they’ve managed to sign up none other than Alexander Wang for their next collection, inducing hyperventilation and panic amongst Alexander Wang enthusiasts like ourselves. (Stay tuned for a complete review once the collection is made public!)
A few pointers: know what you are after from the collections beforehand, consider queueing outside a shop on opening day from a ridiculously early hour (unfortunately H&M don’t sell tents so you’ll have to bring your own), be ruthless and if all else fails there’s always Ebay.
6. Watch out for the fabric!
Try and feel the fabric or read the composition label if you’re not sure. You can find some really good items which are made from predominantly silk, cotton and even cashmere at a great price. We’re big fans of the cotton shirts in the L.O.G.G. range, silk and cotton blouses, cashmere/wool knitwear and wool blend coats.
7. Work Wear
Since entering the world of employment, buying work wear seems to have become an actual hobby and H&M nail it.Patches: While I could to buy everything at ZARA and live happily ever after, my bank balance would probably assume human form and punch me in the face. Lucky for me, H&M do good quality blazers and suit trousers, shirts/blouses and smart dresses all at a much lower price point, leaving my bank balance (and my face) in tact.
Just a note: In our experience the blazers run a little small, we’d recommend going one size up from what you normally are.
So that’s it! Hopefully this has helped a few wary shoppers find their way… whether that’s towards a H&M or running in panic away from one, we can’t be too sure.
Patches & Flash x