I’ve been meaning to visit this store since it opened but never really got round to it because the West End freaks me out and makes me all kinds of crazy…see tweets when I am hanging around Oxford Circus and you’ll understand. Although the boutique is on Regent Street, it is right on the neck of Oxford “tourist hell” Circus. Last week however, I had meetings and errands in the West End so it was the perfect time to pop into & Other Stories to see what all the fuss was about.
What it is;
& Other Stories is the capsule concept brand brought to you by H&M, of course. H&M has upped the ante on the high street of late with their brands and collaborations. Where COS is minimalist and somewhat high end for the high street, and H&M is mass market, & Other Stories is targeted at the more contemporary middle market, bridging both ends nicely.
With its downtown style layout, the boutique is a thorough reflection on the brand’s mission with the middle market, luxury loving, customer as its core. The middle market is where the money is at the moment so & Other Stories will do very well here. A cool, deconstructive and stylish setting, it is not as spruced as similar stores of the same aesthetic, where everything is so regimented you’re afraid to touch the products, neither is it a mish mash of everything jumbled together as if it were a yard sale. & Other Stories is an inviting place to shop, maybe a tad hipster but the staff are much nicer. God TEN TIMES NICER than H&M staff and more pleasant than those at COS and they actually do want to help you shop which makes it hard not to want to spend your money.
Carven. A touch Marc by Marc. Jil Sander Navy perhaps? Where COS is formal and clean and very Calvin Klein boring; I know I’m in the minority here, but everything about COS is much too clinical with the amount of black, white, beige and dove grey on display. Its all so bland despite the minimalist and clean aesthetic and attention to detail and quality. I like a bit of rough in my wardrobe, less pristine and more versatile. & Other Stories has a more broken up and neoteric feel to it, it cuts through the stiffness in softer silhouettes and multilateral pieces with an undertone of formality, providing a more tempered pace to the fast trendy world of high street fashion. Its also a very all encompassing collection; desk to dinner to cocktail hour. And there’s beauty too.
Price & Product;
Price wise, its an in-betweener; a step up from H&M and a step down from COS, however some things are still on the pricey side for a store on the high street; £145.00 for a handbag from a brand that’s essentially high street, could be a tough sell but if the quality is up to par brand name shouldn’t come to play. On closer inspection, pieces are well made, finishing is impeccable and cut is to a fine T, the sizing is miles better than H&M which is always two sizes too small. However, some products are Made In China. So there’s that.
You should shop there.
Because it cuts out all the fat and gets right to the meat of fashion therefore, its not a barrage of cheap stuff, it disrupts the confusion of the very trendy high street stores with its well selected edit. Everything feels handpicked but its an invitation to the wearer to tell their own story through their style because personal style is personal after all…
Shop stories.com or visit The Regent Street store if you dare, 256-256 Regent Street London W1B 3AF