Sunday, 9 October 2011

Has The High Street Lost The Plot?

Brought to my attention by the wonderful Miss Olivia Phillips, it seems Reiss have kicked up a bit of a fuss with their latest arrival, a 100% sheepskin coat. The 'Ivanka' coat is retailing online and in-store for £995, a step up from their usual outerwear prices of between £200-£400. For desperate fashionistas like you and I, Reiss' usual prices might be too steep, so to see a coat a fiver short of a thousand pound is quite frankly outrageous for the British high street. Do Reiss think that their new found favoritism with future Queen Kate Middleton allows them to sell outlandishly priced coats?

This isn't the first instance of overpricing I have seen on the high street lately, the Reiss incident simply amplified the thoughts I've had for a few weeks now. Zara need to be named and shamed on this occasion for selling a similar coat made out of 100% lamb's leather, at £239! Never mind this, but when you look at the composition and care guide, it tells you that the lining is 100% polyester! What baffles me is if you're going to design a coat that's made from lamb's leather in it's exterior entirety, why would you line it with polyester? Could we not having something more luxurious for our £239?
Now I once spent an amount in the region of £239 in Zara, and I seem to remember coming away with almost an entire new autumn wardrobe, so what's made them want to stock a product that takes all of that away? Do they think we're coming out of the recession? Well, someone better tell them...

The two jackets above are all culprits of overpricing on the high street this season. On the left, a 100% black sheepskin biker jacket and on the right 100% red leather jacket These two jackets are priced at £300 and above, not exactly the usual spend for a Topshop customer after a winter warmer.

I have to stress I understand that jackets and coats are 100% this and that, I also understand that leather is an expensive fabric, but it's not worth paying over the odds on a high street piece for. Designers at luxury houses like Louis Vuitton and Chanel can get away with charging high prices for their goods, because they have the market for it, whereas Zara, Reiss etc. are there because they sell inexpensive, on trend fashion pieces for us normal people; people who can only dream of one day owning a sheepskin Burberry coat.

Also, whilst I was searching for overpriced coats, I found this by KTZ and I'm just going to leave it here for discussion...FYI it's 100% acrylic and priced at £450.

Disclaimer: The views in this post are my own and not that of my colleagues or employers. I take full responsibility for the copy in this article.


  1. I'm really noticing some insane pricing going on on the high street of late and it's not just 'luxury' items like the ones above, which I'm guessing the retailer will try to justify the price because of the materials used. I'm noticing more and more price increases on basics such as knitwear.

    I am very fussy with my fabrics and find it near impossible to find 100% Cotton or Wool at a reasonable price. Everything seems like a poly something, Acrylic blend but this is not reflected in the price.

    I don't mind paying a bit more for my clothes, but want the price to reflect the quality of fabric, design and manufacturing techniques.

    I could rant for ages...I'll leave it at that.

  2. Everything seems to be overpriced but of bad quality recently :( I saw a simple knitted scarf for £60 and thought I could knit that, so I am!!


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