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Mail Order Fashion

My quick, two-week visit back to the UK has turned into an entire month. Never trust a lawyer who says, yes go go go, your visa will be in next week and you can kill two birds with one stone by going to your home US Consulate.

Almost five weeks later and my visa will be FINALLY in my hot, sweaty (from stress and pulling out of hair) palms by Tuesday and I will – with any luck – be on a plane on Wednesday back to my home and husband.

Slider_Ilse_Jacobsen

The H1B’s patience is running out – but hardly surprising as this has been the longest we’ve been apart since we met, plus he hasn’t seen his 10-month-old daughter for a 10th of her life (that’s a long time in pre-toddler days).

Anyway, on the upside, all this being stuck in the depths of the Surrey woods has given me ample time to indulge in some decent UK shopping. And I don’t even have to worry about the rising cost of parking (my mother’s relentless gripe).

While everyone knows there has been a boom in internet shopping, what has quietly and successfully taken off in the UK is the mail order catalogue. I’m not talking about the 1990s JJ Bean variety, or those ones that sell post-menopausal women fleecy nighties.

ImageMy mum’s kitchen table is littered with catalogues from super-stylish companies (and generally v. expensive – as if ordering from a book somehow makes you forget the value of the pound… like when you went to France pre-Euro days and thought you were a millionaire).

Some of the good ones are The White Company, Wrap, Plumo, Pure and Baukjen. Of course, Boden has been doing this for years and has recently itself had a bit of an style upgrade. (Boden has made it over to the US quite successfully and I know they are looking at a rebrand so they can appeal to the US yummy mummies even more.)

Although, not to forget the web for one moment, another new discovery is Atterley Road, who I’m  more than a bit obsessed with. They have perfectly captured the market gap between ASOS (young, low-ish quality, very fashion driven) and Net-a-Porter ($$$, dresses that wouldn’t fare well with baby chuck-up). It’s full of curated pieces from Hobbs, Jigsaw, Whistles (basically, the best of the British high street if you are over 25), and a few less well-known brands like Danish Ilse Jacobsen and Peach Pink, who do nice, not-bonkers-expensive handbags.

And, ta-dah, they currently do free shipping to the US.

So I can feel doubly good about heading back to Brooklyn asap.

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