The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Topshop: It Ain't Cheap

Topshop SOHO Grand Opening

Yesterday I went to the city to experience the grand opening of Topshop's first US store. I went because I write about "fashion for all," and Topshop has the reputation of being THE fashion destination on the British high street, blending cutting edge style with purse-friendly prices. Unfortunately, the prices are anything but cheap. Topshop is not affordable and the prices are completely unreasonable. I knew Topshop was pricy from their online shop but I was hoping that once they opened a store on this side of the pond, the prices would reflect the needs of their American audience. I was sadly mistaken. Another blogger I had lunch with later told me many items in the store were actually cheaper online.

(KEEP READING FOR MORE PHOTOS)
The cheapest thing I could find was tights, one pair cost $18. I also found a ring for $22. And that was it for "budget friendly," most bracelets cost $50 and over; statement necklaces cost upwards of $100; handbags averaged $150; all the dresses I picked up were $80 and over. Don't get me wrong, it was all fabulous and unique-looking, but I couldn't tell what made these items different or better than some of the stuff you see at H&M or Forever 21. I guess we all know it's image and perception. Stores will charge as much as customers are willing to pay. Price tags have little or nothing to do with the intrinsic value of a product. So if throngs of girls are going ga-ga for Topshop and are willing to throw their credit cards at the register, then they can easily keep charges these prices. Time will tell.

I succumbed to the effects of the Topshop Kool-Aid myself and purchased an $80 jean jacket and $55 black pencil skirt. Ouch. At least I convinced myself that these were classic pieces I could wear for years. Besides, I couldn't come home empty handed, not after waiting 2 hours to get in, right? And I had to show you guys something, too, right? (Pics to come, I promise.) And I needed the "free" reusable tote bag that comes with every purchase, right? Cuz it says Topshop. Of course.

What else... I saw a beige $400 trench coat that was nothing special. Sequinned leggings were $80. An embellished loose-knit sweater was $110. Shoes. The shoes! The parlor was dreamy but to be honest, a lot of the shoe styles were really awful. And why so expensive? Just because they're displayed nicely and because one could justify that they cost less than a pair of YSL Tributes? I would have loved the shoes when I was 18 but I wouldn't have been able to afford them back then anyways.

In conclusion... I'm glad I went, I had a blast, and I definitely recommend paying Topshop a visit next time you're shopping on Broadway because it's amazing to behold, and who knows, you might find something fantastic that sets your heart aflutter. But don't go overboard, just add Topshop to your running list of fun places to explore fashion right after H&M, Uniqlo, etc. etc.

Topshop SOHO NYC Grand Opening

Topshop SOHO NYC Grand Opening

Topshop SOHO NYC Grand Opening

Topshop SOHO NYC Grand Opening

Topshop SOHO NYC Grand Opening

Topshop SOHO NYC Grand Opening

Topshop SOHO NYC Grand Opening

Topshop SOHO NYC Grand Opening

Topshop SOHO NYC Grand Opening

Topshop SOHO NYC Grand Opening

Topshop SOHO NYC Grand Opening

Topshop SOHO NYC Grand Opening

Topshop SOHO NYC Grand Opening

Topshop SOHO NYC Grand Opening

Topshop SOHO NYC Grand Opening

Topshop SOHO NYC Grand Opening

Topshop SOHO NYC Grand Opening

Topshop SOHO NYC Grand Opening

Topshop SOHO NYC Grand Opening
Comments
SUCH great pictures. and i agree, their prices are a bit hefty, but for special pieces (like those skirts on the mannequins), i think they're worth it.
#1 Cupcakes and Cashmere (Homepage) on 2009-04-03 11:14 (Reply)
Good point about special pieces. Where else can you find an ostrich feather mini, right?! Gotta love them for that, and those sleek dressing rooms too :-)
#1.1 The Budget Babe on 2009-04-03 12:20 (Reply)
Bebe had a VERY similar skirt back in Feb when I was poking around for a birthday outfit.
#1.1.1 Victoria on 2009-04-05 11:40 (Reply)
Awesome pics - street stylez for Budget Babe!

I agree with Emily that it may be worth for some really gorgeous items (I think Topshop makes the most adorable dresses) but not for most. When I was in London, the store was still really expensive, even though that was their home turf (exchange rate didn't help either) and that was 4 years ago!

I guess it could be like the Mango syndrome. I snap up their stuff like crazy when I am in Spain but in North America, it's just too expensive :S
#2 Wanderlusting (Homepage) on 2009-04-03 11:18 (Reply)
I'd photograph people on the street 24/7 if I had the nerve! Figured the girl with a heart shaped bag had to be nice, so she's the one person I approached for a photo. Loved her look :-)
#2.1 The Budget Babe on 2009-04-03 12:18 (Reply)
AGREED! Thank you for writing this. Don't get me wrong, i adore Topshop and shopped their almost daily when i lived in London. That being said, their prices are not "affordable" and the quality of most of their pieces doesn't justify the steep price tag. That being said, the topshop mania is hard to resist and if i were in NYC, i'd def. be throwing my credit cards down with the best of 'em!
#3 Carolyn (Homepage) on 2009-04-03 11:29 (Reply)
eeek replace "their" with "there"... i hate grammatical errors!
#4 Carolyn (Homepage) on 2009-04-03 11:31 (Reply)
Hmmm, kind of a bummer about the prices. Still, I will most likely make this a stop if I ever visit NYC. Until then I'll keep to the H&M's around the Chicago area and looking for topshop deals online. Thanks for all the wonderful images!
#5 Jen on 2009-04-03 11:40 (Reply)
great photos and post BB!!!!!! total bummer about the prices...
#6 Real Style Real people (Homepage) on 2009-04-03 11:48 (Reply)
Totally agree w/you BB, they ain't cheap. I have like their Ceila Birtwell collection and I was VERY excited about the Liberty Kate Moss collection. However, color me disenchanted as this am, they cancelled my Liberty KM dress order after it was placed and paid for. Apparently they didn't have sufficient quantities to meet the demand.
I'm going back to H&M and stores with better values and more plentiful stock of the goods as ADVERTISED for sale.
#7 Mary Hall (Homepage) on 2009-04-03 11:48 (Reply)
Great pictures! I loved the heart purse! So unique!
#8 DY on 2009-04-03 11:58 (Reply)
Thanks for the pictures and report on the fab new store. I agree the prices are crazy, but I was able to score a deal online last year when they opened their US shopping site. The first 100 visitors to the site who purchased something got a free Kate Moss Topshop Starlight Charity t-shirt. It's just adorable and incredibly comfortable. I also purchased a Kate Moss white tee with feathers printed on it that is adorable (and wasn't too expensive) but my husband recently washed it in the same load as my dark skinny jeans. Needless to say, it's now ruined. MEN! ;-)
#9 Emily D. on 2009-04-03 12:48 (Reply)
Oh my! What a disappointment :-( I love Topshop and got a few cute things the last time I was in London, but I can't remember their price points being that expensive. More than H&M, but not by much (and this is when the British pound was worth almost double of the dollar). I wonder if they're charging more over here since the NYC flagship is exclusive to us gullible Americans :-P
#10 cathy (Homepage) on 2009-04-03 12:53 (Reply)
Thanks for posting this. I tried to stop by there yesterday after work but the line was too long, I couldn't be bothered. I will probably swing by later tonight. You're absolutely right about the prices though; the clothing is very overpriced for the quality. I stop by when I'm in London and I leave with hardly anything. I'm going by today because I want to check out the Kate Moss stuff (if there is anything left). I'd buy on their US website but then you get stuck with Customs charges for a shipment of $200 (which would be just about all shipments) because they ship from the UK, not US.
#11 Cassie H on 2009-04-03 14:38 (Reply)
ACK! What's worse, is they are charging more to their US customers than UK customers. Jacket on UK part of their website 120 pounds ($180); same jacket on US website is $250. And you can't buy from the UK website and ship to the US anymore, you have to buy from the US website to ship to the US (Even though they're shipping from the UK in both instances). What a ripoff.
#11.1 Cassie H on 2009-04-03 14:44 (Reply)
When Cecelia Birtwell had her line for topshop on the UK site, I was expecting the same for the US site. Unfortunately the US site carries different products. Boo!
#12 Allie (Homepage) on 2009-04-03 18:45 (Reply)
Oh my goodness! That's a lot more expensive than the TS shop in London. They have some pricey pieces, but never a trench coat for $400! TS isn't my favorite shop, and it's not as budget-friendly as H&M, but even so, I had no idea their prices would be so ridiculous in the US.
#13 Leia (Homepage) on 2009-04-04 01:04 (Reply)
topshop isn't cheap in the UK either. when i was abroad the exchange was $2.7/pound and the only thing i could afford the whole time was some crappy leather bag, which broke after 2 months. the stuff is cute but you can always find similar things at h&m. it's all marketing.
#14 Perry on 2009-04-04 01:30 (Reply)
I agree - I understand that it's part of the hype too, remember a few years ago when they opened up H&M in Chicago? Couldn't get in to save your life!! But then eventually it wore off, and people didn't have this disillusion about a new store. I mean, all for the 'special' pieces, but look at the Twelve by Twelve line at F21 - they are pretty cool, and the most expensive dress is like $40. I have gone YEARS buying luxury brand, and now am learning how to budget and enjoy getting more for my money, so I'm very cautious about the 'trendy' stuff/shop.
#15 LAgurl1997 on 2009-04-04 18:38 (Reply)
Thanks for the review. I really wanted to know about the quailty of Topshops clothes, before I get alll caught up in the craze to buy something.
#16 Rene on 2009-04-05 12:39 (Reply)
I live in england....and topshop is much cheeper here than it seems were u live......but i still cant afford it as im only 14,and dont have a large income,it depresses me severly as i adore topshop....i'll just have to stick to window shopping! :-)
#17 mhaw on 2009-06-08 11:30 (Reply)
I visited a TopShop in Los Angeles and went to the mens section to see if anything would look good enough for me, they had a stale sale going on too so I thought it be worth to look. They have these ridiculous evening wear suits for $200 and yet they cant sell those pieces separately and cheaply... Awful sneakers that do not look good with Levi's jeans and I Mean DOES NOT LOOKS GOOD WITH JEANS... The boots they sell are flat footed so if youre looking for comfort, you are better off getting a pair of gym shoes bewteen the price range of $30-$120... It really cant be TopShop... Also some boots I saw looked cool but those fabric shoe rings dont fit my finger... Also the basic shirts they sell are $10 and yet look like they will sag with the hardest of tugs...I would of liked to wear the shirts out but I already felt like I was stepping the grounds too much as I wasnt dressed very trendy anyways...
#18 saris on 2017-12-16 01:11 (Reply)
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