Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

Warehouse’s new mood for A/W 2013

It’s rare that you see a high-street shop do a total turnaround in terms of style – and when it does, it can be hit or miss. So does Warehouse’s new aesthetic hit the mark?

Mon, Nov 4, 2013, 07:30


A couple of months ago, I met with the girls who PR Warehouse for a look at the A/W lookbook and see what the shop – which is, hands down, my favourite high-street name – had in store for the coming season.

Usually, when a brand tells you it’s adopting a whole new direction, it’s cause for some level of scepticism. They all want to give the impression of “newness” and revolutionary change – but it very rarely comes through in the designs, bar the addition or subtraction of some hardware on accessories, for example; or the introduction of a new line of atelier-designed tailoring.

You can imagine my surprise, therefore, when Warehouse‘s A/W lookbook seemed entirely and totally different to anything I’d seen from the brand before. The Warehouse woman has totally and utterly grown up since S/S 2013 – and come on in leaps and bounds from seasons before. Where Warehouse used to have a great selection of dresses, party-appropriate separates and lovely coats, now it should be the shop of choice for the well-dressed working woman everywhere. Don’t believe me?

For A/W 2013, we’re talking about cool, Scandi-style dressing: lots and lots of stylish separates; shearling, leather and wool; loads of monochrome with a few “heritage” prints thrown in for good measure such as houndstooth and traditional check. In short, these are timeless clothes – something that high-street stores often struggle to provide.

That said, there’s loads of variety going on, too: for the more daring, there are jumpsuits and layered leather jackets; for the more demure customer, midi dresses in subtle prints and tailored separates that would be perfect for the office.

Strong silhouettes really bolster the collection – the Warehouse customer isn’t half as concerned with being sexy as she is with feeling and looking like the coolest girl in town. Will it be for everyone? Probably not – but there are plenty of other shops to fill the gaps (colourful prints? Try Oasis. Club-ready clothes? River Island. Super-cool dresses and shorts inspired by London’s coolest kids? Topshop’s yer man).