Newest Review: ... also a great store - When I go shopping in both these cities I always head to the American Apparel stores. American Apparel sells fashion... more
American Apparel Store
Member Name: Kittenpeach
American Apparel Store
Advantages: Good quality clothing in basic styles.
Disadvantages: The cost is a little higher than in other stores.
What is American Apparel?
American Apparel is an American clothing company, which in recent years has made the transition to the UK, and really gained in popularity. The store specialises in producing colourful and simple 'basics' which are usually very versatile. Another important aspect about the chain is that all their clothing is made sweatshop free, which I suppose is why the prices are a little higher than most other high street stores. As well as opening plenty of retail stores across the UK, their clothes are also available to buy online.
Where can I find them?
Plenty of places! Unfortunately there isn't one in Sheffield just yet but stores can currently be found in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Bristol, Brighton, London, Nottingham, Glasgow, and Birmingham. Hopefully they will continue to expand as I would love to have one here!
What type of clothes can I find there?
Well, as I previously mentioned, American Apparel essentially only produces basic items, such as simple t-shirts, jersey skirts, leggings, as well as underwear. They also stock a good range of dresses, which range from 'bodycon' to skater style. Each style of dress usually comes in a whole rainbow of colours, so you are sure to be able to find something you like. My particular favourite is the 'Le Sac' dress, which is a really versatile dress with long straps that can be worn in a variety of ways, from a Grecian style dress, to a little one shouldered number. The price is relatively high for such a simple dress, coming in at £34.00, but because the quality is really very good, and because the dress can be worn in various styles, I think it's a worthy investment piece.
A lot of their clothing is known for being really sexy, and almost a little provocative, so it is really up to the individual to style these pieces in their own unique way. I could see how some people would view a couple of the items as a little 'trashy' and I am inclined to agree - the hot pants in particular don't leave much to the imagination!
I honestly think that the quality of the clothing from American Apparel is generally very high. I've had a number of t-shirts, skirts, and dress from them, and they are still going strong years later. The fabric seems to wash very well, and doesn't get all bobbly which is a pet peeve of mine.
Ultimately, I think most people would be able to find something they like in AA, even if it is just a good quality pair of leggings.
What are the stores like?
I love the visual merchandising in AA, all of the shops I've visited seem really bright and clean inside, and they definitely look a little different to most other shops on the high street. If I had to choose a couple of words to describe the shops, I would say sporty and preppy. Each store I've visited has had a clear layout, and always seems well packed with clothes, so it's easy to find what you're after.
The staff in AA always seem extremely trendy and cool, so I was a little intimidated to shop there to start with, but they always seem friendly enough so it wouldn't put me off shopping there.
I think this is the one thing that would put people off shopping at AA. The prices are usually higher than places such as H&M or River Island, and since you are only buying 'basic' items, it seemingly might not be worth the cost. A Unisex V neck t-shirt will set you back around £17.00, and some jersey leggings cost £24.00 - which I think is fairly high. I think one thing you need to take into account when considering the prices, is that all of these items are ethically made in L.A. rather than in a sweatshop. I don't know everything about AA's company policy, but it's nice to know that the workers are at least getting a fair wage for the job they do.
If you can't make it to an AA store, then I'd recommend shopping online with them. I believe you get 15% off your first online order, which is rather good! Normal shipping is £4.00 for orders under £85.00, over that amount and it's free. They quite often have various offers, and a sale section of the website, so it is possible to pick up a bargain on the odd occasion.
I'd definitely recommend having a visit to an AA store if you get the chance to, the clothes aren't the cheapest, but they are good quality and ethical, which is reason enough in my opinion.
Summary: Definitely worth a look!
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