Advantages affordable and fashionable clothes, available online
Disadvantages not that many stores around the country
|Range of products|
|Value for Money|
|Speed of delivery||Excellent|
[Esprit: French, from Latin spiritus, English: spirit]
For the longest time I avoided ESPRIT clothing, thinking it was too expensive. But over the past couple of years I have changed my mind and most of my wardrobe contains items from different ESPRIT collections. I am a regular customer at most of their London stores and always find something to add to my wardrobe.
You will be in luck if you live in or around London as there are about six ESPRIT stores dotted across town, three very close together, two on Oxford Street and their flagship store on Regent Street, a few doors down from Hamleys. The Regent Street store occupies the former Warner Brother Studio Store (for those who can think back quite a number of years).I recommend checking out all ESPRIT stores around town as everyone has slightly different collections and even their sales items are often different. I can remember picking a lovely pair of trousers in the High Street Kensington store but didn’t buy it at the time. When, later that day, I hit the Regent Street store I noticed that the trousers that had been full price at High Street Kensington were already reduced in price at the Regent Street store and I saved myself a cool £15.00+ just by shopping around. Of course you need to have the time to visit different stores to find the best deals.
The main store in Regent Street is also their largest in London and covers two floors. The ground floor comprises of the regular women’s ESPRIT clothes as well as the slightly more expensive ESPRIT Collection as well as their shoes, watch underwear and bag department. Up the escalators (but you have to walk down the stair case) you will find their men’s department as well as EDC (ESPRIT de Corp – their late teens/early twenties range) as well as a small children’s department and the latest ESPRIT edition called ‘de corp’ consisting mainly of clothes designed for the modern teenager, although I do sometimes see the odd piece I wouldn’t mind owning.
If you feel a little thirsty, you will also find a Starbucks coffee shop on the first floor.The Regent Street store is the one I most frequently visit. I like the fact that it is the largest selection of clothes here. There is always something new and if you don’t mind buying something that is a few month old in their constant sale areas, then you will easily find something for you.
It is worth knowing that, not unlike M & S. the clothes collections change every few weeks with a few staples staying the same. I receive emails alerting me to new items in their collections at least once or twice a week via email.I can spend hours in the store, picking out what I like and what I want to buy. In a lot of cases I have looked on the ESPRIT.co.uk website, their online shop to see what is new and what I might want to try on. It’s good to stay prepared at all times.
The staples of every ESPRIT store are T-shirts in all kinds of colours and shapes, trousers (including jeans), shirts and cardigans.The clothes labels are very easy to read, the sizes are displayed in most European standards as well as UK and US size. So a pair of trousers could read something like 40, 42F, 12 UK, 10US on the label meaning that around the most of Europe the size will be 40 with the other sizes showing what it will read in France, the UK and the USA. T-shirts are usually labelled from XS to XXL and these sizes are internationally known and accepted. There is also the price for the item in a lot of currencies, in particular in Euros, Dollars and Pounds as well as a number of other currencies of countries where ESPRIT have a bigger presence.
When it comes to prices, they are not much different from other modern stores and on par with a lot of what you would expect nowadays. You can expect to pay around £10.00 per t-shirt and around £42.00-£48.00 for the latest collection of trousers. There are plenty of prices in between.As mentioned before, the ESPRIT clothes lines change regularly every few weeks and you will find that items that are still shown as full price online are already reduced in price in store. There are times when I walked in, taken a full price item from the rail and when I went to pay it, found out it was already reduced. On more than one occasion did I find that a previously priced £48.00 item was reduced to £34.99 or similar. While the price label didn’t show me it was already reduced, the tills were already programmed to reduce certain items. This is something I found is true for a lot of the stores.
There is plenty of staff around all stores and they are always keen to help you. Most of the time I send them away as I know what I want and need but they do come in quite handy when you can’t find an item in your size and they are more than willing to dash off and get it for you from the store room.
While you sometimes feel that the staff may be too eager to help, once you tell them you don’t need their help they are happy to leave you alone but will come back when you actively seek their help and assistance.
Changing rooms are plenty, clean and airy and you are welcome to try as many items as you like. At the end you just give the assistant the items you don’t want (could be all of them) and move on. If you find that you need and item in a different size you can always ask them to go and look for it so you don’t have to dash around the store half dressed.There are usually a couple of tills open when you are in the store and waiting time are not too long.
Items are rung up on the till, any discounts taken off and you can pay by credit or debit card or cash. Your purchases will be put into a (currently) very bright red bag for you to take home in. Last year they had special ‘celebration’ bags in black with the ESPRIT name in different colours and their bags at Christmas time were really stylish in black and gold.
It is worth remembering that students will get 10% on full price items when showing their NUS card. This comes in quite handy for me as I am a mature student and have an NUS card. I normally pre-sort what I buy so that I pay separately for the full price items so that I can take advantage of the discount, even if it’s only £1.00 of a t-shirt, it’s still better than nothing.If you are a regular shopper you might also want to pick up the ESPRIT loyalty card which gives you three points per pound spent, and equivalent to a regular 3% reduction. Once you have collected at least 450 points you will be sent a coupon you can then use to put towards future purchases. I will explain more about this loyalty card another time.
I find ESPRIT clothes very good value for money. It is well made, modern and available in a lot of fashionable colours and sizes. There will be something for almost everyone and you are likely to find sizes up UK sizes 18 and sometimes 20. I know I can pick something off the rails and without even trying it on, I will know it will fit me. The clothes are designed for real people with curves and bumps and not stick insects.
Is it worth the bother?
All in all. ESPRIT offers very good value affordable and fashionable clothes without the designer label price tag. Highly recommended.If you're not one of the lucky ones to live close to one of the stores, why not check out their clothes ranges online on www.esprit.co.uk. Delivery is free over £15.00 and if you don't like it, there is also free returns.
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