Actually, it’s going to be more than five.
Back in the spring, when the fashion press gets to see winter, much was made of the talented designer Emma Cook taking over the somewhat down-at-heel high street chain Warehouse. The always-smouldering (well at least in any picture I see of him) Alasdhair Willis (Mr Stella McCartney) was also brought in as design consultant (you might remember he was involved in the successful make-over of Hunter wellies) and the general gossip was that a ‘good thing’ was happening.
As someone who can actually remember Jeff Banks launching Warehouse back in the day, I rather rolled my eyes at this and ignored the press invite. My mistake. In September a friend sent a text saying she had ‘just had a shopping frenzy’ in the newly revamped Argyll Street store and that it was definitely worth a look.
Forget what you know about Warehouse-of-old, in its place has sprung a collection of easy separates and cracking coats that looks like the love child of COS and Whistles. I was immediately drawn to the navy tunic sweater above, with its giant front split, which I pretty much adopted on impact. It’s 50% cotton, (5% wool, the rest viscose and nylon) lovely to wear and it looks great over jeans as pictured. The shoulder slashes quietly nod ‘on trend’, although you and I might prefer to acknowledge them as useful menopausal ventilation. It is £55.
The coats really are excellent. My favourites include one from the Limited Edition range, the Checked Belted Trench at £249, which is a tad more pricey but the fabrics and production values are good. Then the really well-priced-for-the-quality Premium Trench at £145, which drapes with attitude way above its station. If I hadn’t already got a trench, I’d have bought the khaki green one in a heartbeat.
I did buy this slouchy black piped shirt (inspired by all that mono at Frieze) to wear untucked, over my Winser wide leg crepe trousers (every time I wear these someone asks where I got them from). It is currently in the sale at £26.25, there is a white one too, although that white is quite optic, IYKWIM.
I am also lusting after this totally unnecessary navy bruised velvet padded bomber. It’s £99.
And this interesting wrap checked skirt from the Limited Edition range (£150) with the lavender silk shirt was really pretty, it’s a bit country walks for my style, but it’s a very lovely check and the fabric has a quality handle.
Ahem, pink shearling anyone? A warning, this is from the Limited Edition and expensive at £695, but hey, pink shearling! Bookmark it for the sale.
Back on sensible ground, the denim jeans are terrific, these cropped wide leg ones are an excellent fit, and are £49.
There are a few flights of designer fancy, including this hippy-trippy silk blouse which I might go back for, to wear over navy wide trousers.
The brand is slowly revamping its stores and although my experience was very good (excellent service) in the London flagship, I’m aware your local store might not be quite there yet. However, I urge you to take a look, and there’s always online, you may be pleasantly surprised.