Can we talk about Arket? As in ‘market’, but without the ‘m’? As in H&M’s big sister? As in the shop I love most on the high street right now?
I love the suiting, the dresses, the swanky boss-lady shoes. I love the pouches, the glassware, the notebooks and pens. I love the wooden toys, the aprons, the weekend-away bags. I love the kids’ clothes – all the jeans, rain macs and socks. I love the polite ‘Hello’ as I walk through the door. I love the ‘Oh, feck, it could be Céline’ as I ransack the rails. I love the ‘Oh, I can afford this’ when I look at the tag. I love the not-too-crowded changing rooms and a website that works. But most of all, I LOVE the fact I can buy not too fussy clothes that will stand the test of time for ALL manner of events.
Last week, I went into the snazzy new Covent Garden store to borrow the things you see in this shoot, and from dresses to tuxedos, spied tons of great things to wear to events. Not just for one-off occasions, you could easily wear an Arket dress razzed-up with heels or pared-back with smart flats for work. I’d wear the navy blue dress shown above with box-fresh white trainers or flip flops all summer long, but for a special event, I’d wear it as shown, aka with Arket’s lovely 40s vibe high-heels and a statement necklace (old Prada). I realise this has turned into an ode to Arket, but can’t help it – I’m slightly in love. Not an ad or a sponsored post (I’d tell you), I’m simply celebrating one of my favourite shops, because I believe in spreading the sartorial love-fest (and also because I’m surprised by the amount of women who ask, ‘ooh, where’s that from?’ have never heard of Arket before).
The men’s stuff is ace, tons of navy, grey and stone, all seemingly designed with an intelligent architect in mind (or, in my case, a super-geek psychotherapist). I couldn’t get him to model, btw, which is irritating (he said he was “busy”) so I you’ll have to take my word for it. The kid’s clothes are some of the most stylish I’ve found in ages (two more reluctant models = my kids). A blue and white giant spotty top and navy trousers is a favourite for boys. As for the graphic-floral print swing-dress, unlike Martha’s collection of bubble-gum-pink unicorn sweatshirts, it’s exactly the kind of thing I’d wear. I’m aware that’s a bit weird.
And finally, I just need to mention the swimwear. A slick, chic, totally paired-back swimsuit that doesn’t cost the earth (literally doesn’t cost the earth, given it’s made from 100% recycled nylon), is coming with me on honeymoon. You’ll have to trust me on the swimwear front. Now it’s my turn to play the reluctant model. Thanks, Arket, I do believe you are officially a one-stop-shop. I love you. Ok, I’ll stop now… bye x