Friday, 28 September 2018

#FridayRetailTherapy | Hobbs

This week's Friday Retail Therapy is a visit to Hobbs in Victoria Square. 
Way back when I worked full time and my money was my own (remember those days??!), I always bought either a coat or a pair of boots in Hobbs each winter. The last pair of boots I bought was when I was pregnant with the twins and I still have them. They're not really on trend at the moment but they are too beautiful to give away and I do wear them now and again. 

Skip on 10 years and I've changed how I shop. I'm making a conscious effort to avoid the fast and cheap fashion outlets. I'm horrified by what I've read in 'To Die For' by Lucy Siegle. It's really changed how I feel about shopping and I've honestly not set foot in a Primark, H&M or Tesco F&F etc since - not that they're the only culprits, higher end brands can be just as bad. So the overall message is to buy less and wear it more so I've pared back my wardrobe, made a conscious effort to shop less and buy responsibly and started reading the small print on websites.

Which is what drove today's visit to Hobbs. If you're interested, take a look at their website because I honestly haven't seen a more comprehensive approach to modern slavery, corporate social responsibility and gender equality from a high street retailer. Speaking to the team in Victoria Square, I came away wanting to work there. They all absolutely love their jobs, feel hugely rewarded in terms of pay and bonus and get a generous staff discount. I spend a lot of time in shops and the kind of engagement I saw in Hobbs today was more akin to what you'd see in an independent clothing shop. It's these kinds of things that really drive me to shop with a brand.

Let's move onto the try on. Brace yourself - there are a LOT of photos! And if you're reading this the weekend of the 28/29 September, there's 20% off all prices - I've not factored that into the prices I've published below..

Starting with this black dress with is an absolute classic. It's work appropriate but also could be dressed up, has some gorgeous 60's vibes going on and is flattering in all the right places - arms, length, cut - and the fabric is 80% wool. Just stunning and if I had an office job, I'd have bought it in a heartbeat. You could literally wear it EVERY day - so easily accessorised. A little hard to see in the photo but you can see more on Instagram stories and on the link to the website below. 

Next up, a more casual look. These merino wool knits are a wardrobe staple and come in a few great colours - camel, grey, black. The skirt is part of a checked range that includes a dress and which was so nicely merchandised in-store with mustard yellows. I played it safe with the camel!  

Next, a classic trench - Hobbs do these SO well every season and this year's one comes in timeless camel, navy and a grey/green that I tried on further below
And here it is closed:
and add a leopard scarf and you're good to go! 
Speaking of leopard, I couldn't come to Hobbs and not try on their leopard dress - the most classy one on the high street in my opinion. The black stripe down the side is so slimming and helps to take down the leopard a notch. Only downside is that there are no pockets!

Back to a knit with a wool skirt and this cat jumper is so cute. A bit more interesting than a black crew neck and blissfully slogan free!

Onto workwear again and away from the black for this plum and navy combo. 
Marie Top - £89 (size 8)

Then I added this gorgeous navy coat - also comes in red 
Romy Coat - Navy - £269 (wearing the 8)

This next cream top is so lovely - beautiful sleeve detail yet fully work appropriate. I teamed it with navy trousers

Brighten it up with a red wool blazer which can be worn casually too..
or a more casual knitted jacket..
or the Hackness jacket again - this time in a lighter blue:

Back more casual again and I'm wearing the Hobbs Indigo jeans now with their classic shirt. Just the most perfect classic wardrobe foundations..
add a colour block knit for a pop of colour and a bit of warmth:
or dress it up a bit with this check blazer from the sale rail:

There are some great jersey basics in the sale too, like this white top for £31
And this breton for £27 
Moving onto boots and this is the 2018 long boot option from Hobbs. Yes, long boots are back in but they're wider in the leg this season for wearing with midi lengths and trousers
And this is the must have ankle boot of the season:
And finishing with a few coats I couldn't walk away without trying. Firstly the classic trench in this gorgeous neutral colour - something different if you're not a fan of camel:
This black coat is stunning with its ruffle detail at the cuff and pockets:
And how about some red - stunning for winter:
And there you go - I'm exhausted just typing it all! Thanks to Lauren and all the team at Hobbs in Victoria Square for welcoming me this morning and looking after me so well. I'll leave you with a few images from the store - it's always beautifully merchandised:


And remember, there's still lots of sale stock to be found in-store this weekend!
Back next Friday with another Retail Therapy session and remember you can see all the videos on Instagram highlights!

Ax
Disclaimer - I wasn't paid to come into Hobbs - it was a favour for Lauren the manager who follows the blog. I was given a gift voucher to thank me for my visit. 
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7 comments

  1. Bernadette @ gettingolderandbolder28 September 2018 at 22:41

    Great blog post Avril, everything looked fab on you. I love Hobbs trench coats and they’re the closest anyone will ever find to Burberry trenches (I dreamed of owning a Burberry trench since my early thirties but couldn’t justify the cost. Since getting a Hobbs trench I’ve stopped thinking about Burberry. The quality, detail and fit of Hobbs trenches are amazing. Now I’m lusting after the Hobbs camel coat, the animal print scarf and dress and the ankle boots. A trip to Hobbs is on my agenda in the next week or two. Anything I buy there I never regret, and get several seasons of wear from. Their footwear is so comfy and worth the extra cost. I make a conscious decision to avoid cheapy shoes and boots and only go for leather lined ones as otherwise they end up languishing in my wardrobe

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    1. Oh Bernadette, that's made me want one of those trenches even more!! All the comments I've been getting about this post on social media have been the same - anything people have bought from Hobbs has lasted and lasted and there have been tons of comments about the footwear. You're so right about the cheap footwear - it's such a waste of money as they never last and are generally uncomfortable! Thanks for taking the time to comment and Happy Hobbs Shopping! x

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  2. Can't believe it has taken you until this long to work out that high, cheap fashion never lasts nor is it timeless. I am referred to as being old fashioned throughout most of my working life. It is amusing to watch bloggers as they age revert to what I have been doing since the day I started working 44 yrs ago. I may not have much in the way of clothing I.e. One coat, one pair of boots, one pair of jeans, but bringing up a family and little disposable income even yet, my clothes have stood the test of time.

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    1. Oh I can assure you it isn't a recent thing! I always bought quality when I worked but the lure of fast fashion was strong while my income was much depleted and I had three kids throwing all that life brings at me in the way of food mess/spew/paint - you know the score. There was no way I was wearing Hobbs then and interestingly I think it's only in the last 3-5 years actually that many of these more expensive brands have started accommodating a casual, stay at home mum kind of lifestyle - where items are washable and wearable while being a bit on trend and not dowdy.
      Like everything in fashion, it all comes full circle and I'm now trying, as you have clearly been doing so well, to make slower fashion work on a lower budget as a work from home busy mum. I hope I can encourage others to do the same via this blog.

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  3. Lovely styling and thoughtfully written, as usual. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you so much for the encouragement! Makes the effort all worthwhile x

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  4. Lovely post - oh, how I miss shopping in Hobbs!!

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I love reading your comments and will reply as soon as I can if you have a specific question. If for any reason, you are unable to leave a comment, just drop me an email at avril@alifetostyle.com or leave a comment on the A Life to Style Facebook Page! Thank you xx

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