H&M created a buzz when it opened this flagship store in 2007, and the brand has gone from strength to strength. Catering for those who have grown tired of fighting their way through a frenzy of teenagers at the sale rails, COS (which stands for Collection of Style) is the antithesis to H&M’s throwaway trend-led fashion. But what was supposed to be a grown-up sister of H&M actually looks more like Gap’s posh sibling.
The slick, well laid-out store houses an impressive range of simple, classic separates and coats, jackets and eveningwear in good-quality fabrics and both neutral and vibrant colours. Recent collections have focused on simple shift dresses, classic narrow leg suits for men, and unfussy boxy tops and skirts for women, with soft leather jackets, fine suede coat dresses and split-shoulder eyelet-embellished blazers thrown in for good measure.
Prices start at around £50 for a dress and £80 for jackets; men’s suits average between £200 and £250. The store also boasts some cute retro underwear, sweet baby gear and hip accessories (such as studded belts). There’s a concession in Selfridges.
Branches 1240126 Kensington High Street, W8 7RL (7361 1050); 130-131 Long Acre, WC2E 9AA (7632 4190); Westfield London, W12 7GB (8600 3310).
222 Regent Street
|Opening hours:||Open 10am-8pm Mon-Wed, Fri, Sat; 10am-9pm Thur; noon-6pm Sun|
|Transport:||Tube: Oxford Circus tube|
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Classy minimalism with quirky details pretty much sums up Cos. Great for quality staples that you will want to wear every day, plus the occasional out-there print or eye-popping colour. There are now several branches around town, including the newest one in Spitalfields. Perhaps less well known is that Cos does loungewear really well – it tends to feel really luxurious but never extortionately priced, especially if you shop in the sale (sign up to the mailing list to get a day's jump on everyone else for online shopping). Accessories are another strong point, there are always some statement pendants or fine geometric earrings to put the finishing touches on your ultra stylish, clean-cut look.