The Problem With The Highstreet ~ Bring Back Pearl Lowe…

Something that's really been niggling way on my mind for months now – the high street, and it's lack of fashion options for a woman like me.

Let me explain.

Clothes shopping used to be such fun; Topshop, French Connection, Reiss, Warehouse, Miss Selfridge, Monsoon – even a sneaky bit of M&S occasionally thrown in.  Yet all I see these days, is dress after dress with a hemline that would have had my dear Grandma raising her eye brows with disapproval. Itsy-bitsy,  teeny-bopping dresses and skirts, the skinniest of skinny jeans {if you've got the legs – I haven't}, and a whole bunch of crazy tiny space age fluffy stuff that makes no connection with me as a potential buyer. At all.

Trust me, these dresses would not look good on me…

Image Source: Topshop


What the hell happened?  When did looking demure become so old fashioned?

Topshop.  I want to love them.  I used to adore their edgy, carefree, casual style.  But I rarely bother stepping inside their stores these days. It would seem that I am no longer a part of their target market now I've had kids. It feels like Topshop no longer care.

I'm disappointed.

I get that the majority of Topshop buyers are a bunch of trendy teens and cool hipster twenty somethings, but is there no place for a woman like me in the hearts of the hippest high street designers?  I've grown up with Topshop and age or having had children doesn't define me.  What I choose to dress in defines me and I don't want to dress like a dowdy old thing. I don't want to invest in dresses where the hemline stops mid-thigh.  Am I to feel like I'm over the hill and past it at 37? Is my wardrobe doomed from here on?  I feel the marketing people don't really care about connecting with me any more.  I've been left on the fashion slag heap!

I want to feel chic, elegant and a little bit sexy when I don a frock for the weekend, but having two children has changed my body shape forever and I'm not keen on showcasing 3/4 of my legs these days.

One of the best things that happened to the high street in the past two years was Pearl Lowe, when she was commissioned to design for Peacocks.  Pearl designed dresses that made you feel feminine, a little bit sexy. They were inspired by the silhouettes of the 40s and 50s when looking demure was the sartorial choice of most women.   Beauty {the cosmetics brands kicked off big time around this period} and striving to be beautiful was a fun and serious pastime for many women post-world war 2, following a long period when women had been de-feminised and spent months, years living in utility clothing whilst they served their country.

Image Credit:  Pearl Lowe, for Peacocks

Pearl Lowe designs for Peacocks

But alas, Peacocks is no more and whilst I hear rumours via Pearl's Twitter feed of her returning to clothes design, the high street is sadly bereft of her touch of elegance right now.

Meanwhile I continue to feel disillusioned with the high street and the efforts the marketing guys behind high street brands make to connect with women like me.

I shall continue to plunder the vintage stores and try to find other choices online, but I'll be giving the high street shopping trip a miss for a while now.

I'd love to know what my readers think; what are your experiences of high street shopping? Which brands/shops are your favourite and why? And, is it just me, or is Topshop just a mecca for teenyboppers these days?




Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.