A Gentleman’s Guide To Weekend Shopping In Central London

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It’s a nightmare many Londoners know to be true. The travelling, the sheer volume of people, the insane amount of tourists and the long queues. Shopping in London can be a real challenge at weekends and can often mean you end up spending your entire day wandering in-and-out of stores trying to avoid collisions with everyone else (who seems to be travelling in the opposite direction to you for some reason).

Here at The Male Stylist we, and our fellow stylish gents, have managed to work out a system that serves us well for Saturday/Sunday daytime shopping, without the crowds, headaches and tedium associated with weekend crowds. Whether it’s heading to Jermyn Street for suit shopping, Covent Garden for browsing or a trip to Selfridge’s, this is how we make sure weekend shopping remains enjoyable rather than a chore.

9:00am: Coffee & Breakfast

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The main factor for this to succeed is beating the weekend crowds. No matter how you plan it, central London will be busy if you arrive any time after midday, so it’s better to get in early. Before 10am most of the stores will not be open so there is barely anyone around, it’s quiet and easy to get around so find a nice place for breakfast and/or coffee before the day ahead.

10:00am: Shopping Objectives

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Whilst it’s still quiet you’ll be wanting to get the items you originally set out for, so make sure you head to these stores first. Areas like Jermyn Street and Regent Street are a joy to walk around on clear mornings, the world is just waking up and the few early-risers are enjoying the peaceful atmosphere.

On many occasions, we’ve gone to pick up a suit or shirts and ended up browsing the entire store with the assistants simply because both parties have the time to enjoy the experience. Though this might not be so good for your bank balance, it’s an incredibly satisfying way to shop.

11:30am-1:30pm: General Browsing

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Once you’ve finished picking up the main items your trip was for you are then able to start browsing as the shops begin to develop a buzz. Seeing as you’ll be more likely to be meandering in and out of shops and not have specific destinations in mind, it’ll be easier to just go with the flow of the growing crowds.

Keep it easy and stress-free. You’ve got what you set out to buy so no need to fret now.

1:30pm: Lunch

4 hours of being on your feet has earned you a seat and some food, so as the shoppers are rushing down their food you can enjoy the meal and the company you’re with. By this point you’ve not only got your shopping sorted but you’ve also had a chance to enjoy the London morning.

The important thing is that you now have the rest of the day to look forward to. We usually part ways at this point, go off to meet friends, catch up with family, do work around the house or just relax.

That covers our guide to weekend shopping in central London. As always, feel free to comment, like and share with your friends if you’ve enjoyed the article. Be sure to subscribe for future updates from The Male Stylist and keep an eye out for future competitions.

By Adam Walker

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1 Comment

  1. 30th January 2015 / 1:49 pm

    Adam, it has been a few years since I lived in London but your post took me straight back to that time, and trying to make a visit to the shops something to be relished, not endured. I always loved arriving at Sloane Square tube station for a stroll down the King’s Road … dipping in and out of shops until I got at far as Habitat and the Chelsea Farmers Market where I’d have a lazy lunch – chilled Peroni, of course (I’d plump for a Moretti these days, given a choice) – before ambling back down the opposite side of the road to the one I had strolled up in the first place. If I had my foodie head on, it is the South Bank every time; starting in Borough Market, lunching in Gabriel’s Wharf, poking around the galleries in the Oxo Tower.

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