My 16 year old "petite" daughter would like to purchase a few pieces of affordable clothing for school while we are there this summer. I would love to get a really good suggestion on where to go so I am not spending my free time searching while we are there. I plan on doing the Rick Steves "Oxford Circus to Piccadilly Walk" with my daughter - but I am not sure if any of the stores along this walk would be what we are looking for. She has been saving her allowance for months and is excited to get some unique things to wear to school next fall.
Topshop might be what you're looking for. It's directly across the street from Oxford Circus Tube Station and takes up an entire city block:
Lots of other clothing retailers also nearby.
Two rather different options- Covent Garden Market for "funky"/trendy clothes. Marks and Spenser's and Selfridges for more traditional. I also recall a store near Picadilly Circus- I think it is called White Lilly???? We got our son some items there one year.
As Toni said, Covent Garden is great, Kensington High Street has some nice shops
A few years ago I shopped at Marks and Spencer. It seemed similar to Macy's, so if that's what you consider affordable, they had a large selection.
I am a shopaholic and have been to London a few times.
There is a place that is really cheap on Oxford street called Primark. I got cute robes for my daughter and I for 7 pounds each ($10). Quality is about a 7 on a scale of 1-10 but the prices are great. They even sell shoes, handbags, etc.
There is a huge mall called Westfield in White City, still zone 1 on the underground. Take the Hammersmith line on the tube to Wood Lane station (maybe 10 minutes from central london) and you'll see the huge mall on the right, a 5 minute walk from the station. It is also across from the BBC so that is a bit fun to see as well.
Fun shops for girls and ladies are Topshop, Next, Dorothy Perkins, River Island, and Miss Selfridges as well as plenty of other shops.
Accessorize is a fun trendy jewelry shop that is a few steps above Claires in quality but not too expensive.
The route from Oxford Circus to Piccadilly will probably take you through some very expensive shopping areas - try elsewhere on Oxford Street as other people have suggested.
Primark for "one season only" cheap and highly fashionable clothes. Topshop for a more upmarket version of Primark but still highly fashionable.
Both stores are very very popular so be prepared for big crowds and long lines at the payment desks.
Another vote for Topshop! I visited England for the first time as a junior in high school, and fell in love with Topshop.
Thank you all so much for the tips. Top Shop sounds perfect. My daughter is checking out the website!
I also appreciate the feedback that the RS walk is in an area with high-end shops - we will probably re-think our afternoon and map out the places that you have all suggested.
Why not take a Google Streetview "walk" around the area? You cannot go down Oxford St itself but you can see the Topshop store from Oxford Circus. Don't worry, roadworks that you see in the images have been completed!
I'd bring a 16 year old to Camden Lock Market for unique fun clothing, jewelry, bags and accessories.
Top Shop and Primark are fine, but I did not find Top Shop much different than say walking into a "Forever 21" store in the U.S., and Primark was awesome when I needed some new cheap socks and underwear, but it was kind of like the quality and styles you would find at Target.
My 15 year old daughter loved Topshop on Oxford street. But not cheap. there are other smaller Topshops around too. Carnaby street had stuff too but all the shops were closed.
Topshop is good, but it's a big chain store, Mark's and Spencer I don't think is what you're looking for. I would look for little bootiques as you go. If you want the High Street shopping experience then I would just go and see what stores you like.
I think we will end up hitting a few of the larger chain stores and a couple of boutiques as many are in the same area. Then she can choose what she prefers. At home we shop at JCPenney, Macy's and Target - so I am sure she will find something she likes at many of the places that have been posted here. Thank you all for your recommendations.
Topshop, H&M, Primark, River Island, Dorothy Perkins, New Look (has fashion awards for shoes)- they're where the kids shop in the UK. All inexpensive and all very 'in'.
Marks and Spencer do have some young styles but they are not so inexpensive or trendy as the ones I've mentioned here.
Just to say that Primark has been the subject of a number of investigative reports about them using suppliers who use child workers and refuse to provide basic toilet facilities in India and China.
I'm not saying other high street brands don't also do this, only that Primark has been shown to have done. When asked to comment they said they had strict guidelines and would not tolerate such.
Unfortunately there were then additional shows.
Primark for sure! Just be aware that due to it's popularity and value proposition, the place is always packed.
There is a chain of store called the Edinburgh Woolen Mill. They are all over England. They have reasonably price clothing for men and women. I've never been there when they weren't having a sale.
H&M is going to be a good choice. Indeed, it’s an international chain, but they have probably a dozen stores all over the city. Their fashion is geared toward a young crowd…high school to college age. Their stuff is inexpensive and trendy. They’re also in NYC, SF, Chicago and other big cities here. We had trouble finding size 0 for a family member…just don’t think they carry any, but I believe the 2 worked as I recall (US sizes). Check out their website.