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Whenever I need to buy new clothes, the first place I head to is Esprit. While it is a shame that all of their UK stores have closed, they have a strong online presence. That said, the last few years, I have been buying all my Esprit clothes online, so perhaps it makes sense for them to do so.
With this in mind, my review is a two pronged one, first talking about the clothes and then the website.
Quite simply, I can't fault their clothing items as all of them are of high quality and stylish. Even if some items are not to my taste I can still appreciate the quality. Further proof of this is a summer jacket that I have been using the past 3 years. It still looks great, makes me feel great and I get alot of compliments on it!
However the prices at times can be on the higher side. But you do get what you pay for in this instance. If you prefer, Esprit also have a sale section that is constantly updated with new items! Time to fetch a bargain!
The website experience is excellent. Placing an order is easy, as it creating an account. For each purchase you make, you get back 3% the value in points which you can redeem at a later date. To qualify for free delivery, you'll need to place an order of £15+.
Deliveries and returns normally go smoothly. I've found emailing customer service to be a little slow at times. But thankfully they have a freephone number you can call to speak to a customer service agent.
Sometimes you can get a clueless agent, but I've found them overall to be fine.
Oh, and did I mention that returns are free too!? Again a little on the slower side but in all I have been a very happy Esprit fan for many years.. Their clothes are great!
I first discovered Esprit when visiting a family member. There was an Esprit store on the high street and because I had never heard of the brand I went inside to have a look. I was impressed by the clean, smart look of the clothing and the quality of the designs and fabrics. I ended up getting a pair of black leggings. These were standard leggings except they were inspribed with the Esprit logo near the waist band. I have had these leggings for many years which any woman will probably know is quite exceptional since most leggings either stretch out of shape or are so thin they get holes in them very quickly. I was so happy with my leggings though that I started to shop online with Esprit.
Esprit make a whole range of clothing for women, men and children. I only have experience of their womenswear collection though. In this section they have everything including vest tops to jumpers and from shorts to jeans. They do casual wear and more formal clothing. They also make dresses, skirts and have accessories like hats, scarves and belts.
The Esprit website is well designed and it's easy to search through the menus to find what you are looking for. Almost all of the items are shown as how they are worn by models (in picture or catwalk video) as well as flat pictures of the items and also close up pictures so you can really see the texture of the clothes. I find the presentation of the clothing ranges to be excellent. A lot of the items have the same style but in multiple colours and all of the colour options are shown in complete detail. I have found that the pictures show a true representation of the colours.
Sizing for Esprit starts at XS (for extra small) and goes up to 3XL although most items only go up to XXL (extra extra large). I have always been put off by sizing charts of this nature but the brand have a size chart which shows the measurements these sizes equate to. The size range for the brand is quite small. XXL equates to about a size 16 although size equivalents are given in chest size because this is a European brand. I am a size 14 and always take a XL (even though according to their size chart I should only be a medium) and I feel a bit strange about this since it sounds like a massive size! A lot of the clothing on the website is marked as being from a range called EDC and in my experience the overall size of the EDC range is on the small side of whatever size you normally are. So basically expect items to be on the small size and consider 'sizing up' as I do.
The Esprit range tend to have their logo somewhere on the item. On many items I have this logo is that of a cherub and it is attached to the item of clothing in a little button form. This is a very cute and stylish mark and distinguishes the range although it is not on every item and tends not to be on sportswear. The EDC line also carry this cherub button logo but they also have a red tag with their initials on which usually is attached to the bottom hem of any item. I sometimes feel the EDC logo is a little misplaced on some of the items as it stands out quite a lot. It makes their range look quite casual even when the item looks more stylish.
The first time I purchased from the website I bought several t-shirts and because I didn't know the sizes were smaller than usual I ended up sending them back. Since then I have bought several items from the brand. I tend to love their range of long sleeved t-shirts and jumpers. I am in my thirties and everything Esprit make tends to appeal to me. I would say they are a brand that is suited to women who are over 25. The style is quite 'grown up'. I really like the clean lines and chic style of the clothes they sell. They are easy to wear and make you look great. The clothes actually look expensive and very well designed. Even if I buy a simple casual top I know there is going to be some great detailing on it like special buttons or the material will look unique.
The price range for Esprit is reasonable although it's a little more than I'd pay on the high street. A plain short sleeved t-shirt for example could start at around £12 and go up to around £40 depending on shape and material. As far as basics go there is so much to choose from and I love to look around the website to find that special top which I know will make me feel individual and extra special.
I've never had any problems with the service from Esprit. They process orders very quickly and provide free delivery and returns which is excellent, considering most clothing brands now charge around £4 for delivery. One thing that does irritate me is the availability of items. A lot of items tend to sell out quickly.
Esprit is one of my favourite places to shop though as I know that the quality and appearance of the clothing will be top notch.
This is one of just a handful of shops I buy my clothes from. I believe the store originated in Germany, but first came across it in Hong Kong about 6 years ago. I was therefore really pleased when, a couple of years later I discovered Esprit shops in the UK, and they seem to be continuing to pop up, certainly in London anyway.
There are two Esprit shops on Oxford Street and one in the Westfield shopping centre, but if you really want to check out an Esprit shop whilst in London go to their flagship store on Regent Street. This has recently been completely renervated and the new design is quite spectacular and they seem to have designs there which the smaller Esprit shops don't stock.
I find I go to just a few shops for clothes and have certain items I always get from certain stores. Esprit is my one of the stores I regularly buy from and I find they have really quality and well priced t-shirt, long and short sleeves, which fit and wash well. I also buy cardigans from there, they are usually fitted in style and again wash and fit very well. Often you can get offers, like 2 t-shirt tops for £16 instead of £10 each or whatever, obviously prices depend on the style, some are more ornate with buttons and I have a couple of tops which are elastic aged round the neck with a little tie at the front which go well with my smart work trousers. Most t-shirty type tops will be around £10-£12 and cardigans tend to be around £28, but they do have some really good sales to watch out for, and some of the stores permanently have a sale section tucked away either st the back or upstairs.
I have black coat, casual for weekends which I got about 4 years ago, really nice fitted detail and side pockets which have a fleecy lining, designed to put your hands in to keep them warm. I've washed the jacket several times and it's looking as good as new.
I have bought jeans there in the past, but at the moment their whole trouser collection seems to be the thin legged range and I much prefer wide leg. I've generally don't buy skirts there as they are usually quite short and they don't tend to have many full or knee length skirts or dresses, however I did recently buy a nice navy corduroy pencil skirt with double buttons down the front which comes to just under my knee, which is smart for work but can also be worn more casually at weekends.
I bought a pair of black trainers in the Hong Kong Esprit when I was there about four years ago, they are Velcro, with 3 Velcro strips accords the top as fasteners. They have lasted very well, although I only really sued them indoors recently for playing squash.
They have several ranges for women (there's a men's store too but can't comment on that) the normal Esprit range, EDC, which I would say is usually a bit more "trendy" and Esprit collection which is more smart/going out wear and a little more expensive than the other collections. The store also has some very nice scarves (I bought a very elegant grey/silver scarf with an internal pattern in the material) and they sell quite a large range of shoes, especially at the flagship store on Regent Street. They have underwear as well which is really pretty and I intend to try it out at some point when I next need some.
In the Regent Street store they have a children's section, this is the only shop I have seen kids ware in, but I got a really cute blue tank top for my son in the sale there for about £8 earlier this year. They now do baby ware, from newborn right up to teenagers for both girls and boys but it's ate expensive at full price. However, they have some lovely designs that are appropriate for little girls - often I find fashion shops sell completely inappropriate clothes for girls which I would never buy my daughter.
Esprit has a reward scheme, Club Esprit and you receive 3 points for every £ you spend in vouchers. Plus they send money off vouchers, usually 10 or 20% for a given period. I have bought quite a number of my t-shirt tops using my points and vouchers.
As far as sizes go a lot of the tops are sided, XS, S, M, L, XL and jeans come in inches leg and waist size. I am size 12 and their 12s fit as I would expect and I usually get medium sized tops. They do sizes from 6-18 so quite a good range. Shoe sizes seem to go from a size 4-8, don't think they do half sizes.
I think this store is worth a visit, it's stylish and good value for money, with a range of collections to suite people with different styles. The staff are usually very helpful and I usually find there are lots of tills open, espeically in the Regent Street store. You can also buy all their collection online, I've only used this once for a waistcoat, but they delivered quickly, although I think you have to pay postage if you decide to return items and certainly they can't be returned to an Esprit store.
I sent them back unworn clothes and asked for a refund. They acknowledged receiving the goods and said they would refund me the 92 pounds. This was 20 days ago and I am still waiting to be refunded. I have e-mailed them and they keep telling me they did refund me. There is nothing on my bank statement. I asked for a proof of payment and they sent me an e-mail without the attached file of the proof of payment. So I am still waiting for this proof of payment !
Esprit very POOR Customer Service! After receiving a watch the winder fell off after 1 day! I emailed customer service for faulty return address this was given it is different from the parcelforce label enclosed in the delivery, I sent the item recorded delivery back to them. 3 weeks later I am more or less being accused of being a liar! The manager said the proof of delivery I provided was not good enough and I could of put anything in a box! Someone in esprit in UK has signed for the item but this is not enough! They have lost the watch internally and will not give a refund, now hoping to get one from the credit card company! DO NOT order online unless you are 100% sure you will not need to return it as you will be in for a battle. 10 emails and a 25 min call with a Manager and still no result! Buyer beware! Will never order from Esprit again!
I had the WORST online shopping experience ever with Esprit. I ordered over £100 worth of goods which were never delivered. Esprit claimed they had been received by a neighbour,a copy of whose signature they sent me. Nobody of that name lives at that address - they clearly had misdelivered the parcel. They demanded I send them my bank account details and a photocopy of my passport to get a refund. After repeated attempts to speak to the manager, I explained that sending credit card and passport details through the post would be a security risk. They then claimed they could not refund me until they knew where the parcel was. I had to be extremely insistent that the delivery company's mistake was their issue, not mine. I felt like I was being treated like a criminal, and half expected them to demand my fingerprints next! They eventually emailed me that I would be refunded immediately. This took 20 days. They had my money for almost 3 months, cost me pounds in phone calls to Germany, and put me under a cloud of suspicion for an error by their delivery company. I will not shop with them again.
I always liked ESPRIT clothes and still do BUT I have had a bad experience ordering online with them using a GRAZIA discount coupon.
I ordered a pair of trousers with a 25% discount code which didn't fit. They then told me to return the initial item and that if I ordered a second pair over the internet at full price, they would take the 25% off these manually for me to keep in line with the offer I was made with the first pair.
After many phone calls from me asking when I was going to recieve the 25% discount (which had not come off my card or shown on the confirmation emails) I was told that they would not be able to do this and MAYBE I would prefer to get 'e-points' with them towards my next purchase. The manager was rude and unhelpful. I'll NEVER shop with them again.
[Esprit: French, from Latin spiritus, English: spirit]
ESPRIT has always been one of my favourite fashion labels. I grew up in Germany and always thought that it was a German label only to find out much later that it originated in the USA, San Francisco to be precise, and last year celebrated its 40th anniversary.
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.
=== Shops in and around the UK ===
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.
=== Stores ===
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.
=== Staff ===
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 ===
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.
=== Discounts anyone? ===
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.
=== Is it worth the bother? ===
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.
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.
Esprit (French for 'spirit' or 'Enthusiasm') is an international clothing / housewares retailer which started life in San Fransisco during the 1960s. It is currently joint owned by a German and Hong Kong company with headquarters in both countries.
The store has opperations in 44 countries, and is most popular in Germany. Although the brand has always been known in the UK, Esprit has only offered stores here for the past 6 years, of which it has about 40 in cities across the country.
The price level for Esprit is usually above similar retailers such as H&M or Topshop, however the price range is far broader. For example in menswear, you can buy decent quality shirts for £20, and patterned T Shirts for £7-8, but also superior quality shirts and sweatshirts for around £40-80. I have personally started returning to Esprit again and again as I have found the quality is worth paying extra for, and the clothes last and wash well.
The fashion is not cutting edge, but has a classy European feel to it. The clothing is nicely designed and well cut and colours are usually bright.
In the last year, Esprit launched a new teen brand in the UK called EDC, in order to broaden the appeal of the brand with the younger shopper, although I get the impression that the clientel are probably in their teens to mid-thirties mainly.
Although the clothes are more expensive, the quality is good. I would say that Esprit would be a good store to visit doing sale periods, as on my last visit, the reductions were fantastic.
Esprit also have a club-card where you get cashback of 3% on each purchase which can be redeemed after you reach a threshold of 450 points (£4.50) which are valid for a year. These points can be spend in store or online via their e-store.
Esprit has so many nice clothes that if you go to one of the stores, you go totally nuts! Everywhere you turn, you will find clothes that look so delicious! The colors are beautiful: the best tints and shades of greens, lilacs, pinks, purples, blues, reds.. must I go on?? Everything looks like candy! And the combinations of materials and prints such as plaid wool, floral poplin, wonderful angora and cashmere sweaters, are absolutely amazing. Not to mention: the fantastic wool cardigans they have! But if there is anything that can make a little girl cry, it would be Esprit's price. I guess, that comes with quality and glamour.
I take it back - Esprit has arrived on our shores in good style! I live up here in the frozen North, but visit London for work pretty regularly. Which is nice! Last week I had the thrill of watching (genuine?) Japanese schoolgirls singing their karaoke version of Queens 'Bicycle Ride' whilst strolling through Selfridges... bizarre but fabulous - not to mention the incredible range of desirable Japanese goodies on sale (ok, so I'm far too old for Hello Kitty - so SUE ME!) Anyway - Esprit. Yes, what a fabulous shop. This looks to be the good old 'Flagship Store' that all the chains seem to have. It's on Regent Street, and blow me it's enormous. Bigger than Gap! Better than sex! And definitely European. Not sure where Esprit originates from (France?) but the size labels are awesome - did you know a small in the uk is a medium in Italy? How depressing! There are two huge floors of clothes - including an impressive mens range, and gorgeous kids/ baby stuff. There are a gazillion 'departments' ranging from work clothes (a bit boring I thought) through sportswear (gorgeous, enough to get my ass down the gym) and a huge selection of jeans and t-shirty stuff. The staff are of course not from this planet. They are uniformly six feet tall and beautiful. Well, you didn't expect reality on Regent Street, did you? Credit to them - they are all friendly and helpful, and not in the least bit snooty. Which as we know can be a bit of a nightmare. The sizing requires a degree in physics - if in doubt ask a passing supermodel to help. As a rough guide, my allegedly size 10 hips translate to a siz 36. though i was advised to try a size 38 as they make them small!! Was I being flattered, I wonder?? The prices vary dramatically - some of the stuff i felt was overpriced, for instance a not very well made sweatshirt at 50 quid. But this contrast
s with the lovely pink vest i bought for a tenner- fits beautifully and feels like the real deal. I guess it's similar to non-reduced stock at the Gap. The bags are fantastic, as are the shoes. The shoe department is small but go see those pastel leather trainers and salivate! The changing rooms are blessedly spacious, and there is no dirty look when you hand back the stuff you don't want. I won't be back on London for a bit, but I'll put Esprit firmly on my shopping route.