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31 March 2012

One More Cup of Coffee...

When I'm deprived of New York, I tend to get a lot of my basics from Uniqlo. The clothes aren't as cheap as H&M or TopShop but the quality is better and the XS tops generally fit me quite well, although some of the cardigans sometimes run a little too baggy. I tend to buy more in spring and summer when the brighter colours on offer are more to my taste. The Oxford Street store is also less annoying than H&M and TopShop, even when, post run, I was wearing my running kit and for some reason about five or six shoppers tried to get me to help them (this would have been more understandable in Sweaty Betty).

Uniqlo also does a lot of designer collaborations but the current Orla Kiely collection was the first one to interest me much. I like Ms Kiely's colourful, patterned designs but apart from a quick sample sale purchase I've never bought anything, because most of her wares are a little too expensive--if I'm going to buy a designer handbag, I'd rather it were leather and in a classic colour and design. Anyway, when I went to Uniqlo last weekend, the Orla Kiely section had been almost completely raided and only a few lonely tees in large sizes remained.

Orla Kiely for Uniqlo
The online stock was just as thin on the ground so I thought I had missed my chance but today, there were a lot more things. I was tempted by a couple of the scarves, which were only £10, either in the classic multi-stem print (like this) or a blue-and-white version of this stem print, but warm-toned colours in the former aren't really my thing, and I already have quite a few patterned, blue scarves. Then I found the tops. Some of the vest tops and tunics looked pretty big, even in XS, so I was pleased when I found a t-shirt with another classic Orla Kiely print--the coffee cups--and it came in that medium blue colour I love so much. The tee is a tiny bit big on me but tucked in or under a jacket it will look fine and although £14.90 is quite expensive for a Uniqlo t-shirt, it's very cheap for an Orla Kiely piece.

Close up of the coffee-cup print

The range still looks pretty depleted online but if you like some of Orla Kiely's earlier designs and want to get a top or dress in one of the patterns, you may have more luck in store. The Oxford Street store (opposite John Lewis) had a lot of stock as of this afternoon. I may even pop back tomorrow, not wearing running kit, to pick up a green scarf for Maman.

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