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Monsoon Clothing

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    14 Reviews
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      12.03.2013 09:10
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      Monsoon

      Monsoon is one of my favourite high street shops and somewhere that has really different clothes than other shops that are very well made and very beautiful.

      At first I'll give you a little bit of history about Monsoon that I found on the internet. According to an article I read, "Monsoon was founded in 1973 by Peter Simon who brought hand-crafted and folk-inspired fashion to London, after travelling the globe and setting up a stall on the Portobello Road. The original focus was always on clothes with an ethnic origin from faraway places, such as India and Afghanistan, and the very early collections were made from hand-loomed cotton in Indian villages.

      The first Monsoon store was opened in Beauchamp's Place, Knightsbridge. Accessorize followed in 1984, producing high street accessories with a profoundly different aesthetic to what was found on the high street at the time. Monsoon Home was launched in 1999, creating an innovative and individual home accessories and gift range. Monsoon Childrenswear arrived in 1995 and extended to include baby wear in 2003 and in 2006, Monsoon Fusion was added to the family. Fusion is a capsule collection of younger, more trend-led pieces but still featuring Monsoon's signature hand-writing of embellishment and embroidery.



      More recently, Monsoon extended its Bridal and Occasionwear collection to cater for the more specialist end of the market.



      Today there are over 380 Monsoon and Accessorize stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland and over 1053 throughout the world in 74 markets."



      Monsoon is rather expensive so its not somewhere I would shop for everyday items like t-shirts or vest tops but, and probably most other women would agree with me here, if I have any kind of nice event such as a wedding, christening or party, Monsoon is the first shop I will head to. They have an amazing selection of dresses that are perfect and hit just the right note of being dressed up and looking like the perfect wedding guest. I was really pleased last year actually. I had a wedding in March and went into Monsoon about January/February time. Luckily for me they were having one of their sales and I got a beautiful pinkish/purple crepe long dress with really intricate stitching and beading around the neckline for about £30, down from well over £100, a real bargain. It fit me really well and I got loads of compliments on the day. This year I have two weddings to go to, one in October and one in November and I have my eye on a beautiful dress that has white lace at the top, a pink bow band around the middle and a prom dress black skirt at the bottom. Its £109 at the moment which I am actually willing to pay as I think I will get a lot of wear out of the dress.



      I would say the clothes are aimed at fairly middle aged ladies. What I like about them, and I am probably showing my age here, is that the hem lines are sensible and flattering instead of tarty and the clothes just fit really nicely and look classic rather than on trend or overly fashionable. Thats not to say you cannot look fashionable with Monsoon, I think they have some really quite fashionable clothes that last a really long time. I have lots of pieces I bought years ago that I still wear now and they still look good. You can buy pretty much any item of clothing in Monsoon, tops, jumpers, jeans and they also have a really nice shoe collection as well.



      Monsoon have now introduced a loyalty card. I signed up a few months ago and they swipe it at the register every time you purchase something and they track this and then you get rewards. According to their website, "The Monsoon Reward Card rewards you each time you visit us in store or online. It's simple, just present your card every time you make a Monsoon purchase and to thank you for your loyalty, the amount you spend will go towards earning a well-deserved Reward Voucher.

      With a Monsoon Reward Card you can indulge knowing that every time you spend, you will earn towards Reward Vouchers which can be spent on future purchases in store. Reward Vouchers are issued in February and September every year - perfect timing for our new collections."



      Monsoon have a wonderful children's collection which is really beautiful. Again, I think its a bit expensive for everyday wear but for special occasions they are perfect. My little girl was a flower girl at my best friends wedding the other year and she got a beautiful long white dress from here that she looked so cute in.



      Monsoon stores have a really nice jewellery section too. What I like about it is that it is often colour coded where the silver jewellery is in one section all together, the gold in another, the coloured section in another and so on. They do really well at nice strings of beads and colourful, interesting earrings. They also have really lovely scarves which you can't always find in other stores and if you are looking for a particular style or colour you can usually find it in here.



      All in all a lovely addition to the high street.

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        17.03.2011 12:59
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        Just what I wanted, though it took a bit of effort

        I have spent a long time searching for the perfect dress to wear to special occasions, but until recently I was never able to find anything that was just right. If it fitted in one place, it showed my bra straps. If it covered my bra straps, it was sleeveless, or emphasised my tummy. Or was too short. And then, towards the end of last year, I was looking through the fashion pages of one of the glossy magazines (I'm pretty sure it was either Woman & Home or Good Housekeeping), where they feature a certain style trend and then show you how to match it to your body type. I am in the 'well-endowed' category, although this is something I normally try to play down rather than enhance. I don't really care for my bust. It's too busty.

        The dress that was featured for a full-bosomed figure was Monsoon's 'Elizabeth' dress, a beautifully dark bluish-purple, with a reasonably deep v-neck (always the style I look for, to lengthen my neck and detract from my tummy), and it had sleeves that came to just below the elbow - an elegant length that is wonderful for hiding heavy upper arms and highlighting slender wrists. I like my wrists. The dress comes to just slightly below the knee, and is almost empire-line, with a slender ribbon trim (the same colour as the dress) on the bodice and at the bottom of the sleeves. At £65, I thought this was good value for a Monsoon dress.

        Although this review so far sounds as if it's for the Elizabeth dress, actually it's really more about Monsoon and my wonderful experience with their sales and customer service staff.

        After falling in love with 'my' dress, I began the hunt to track it down. Because I'm not well, and real-life (as opposed to online) shopping really takes its toll, I phoned my local store (about 25 miles away) to check and see whether they had it in stock. I wanted to avoid a wasted journey, both in terms of petrol money as well as expending energy I often don't have. But alas, they didn't have it, nor did they anticipate getting any in. So I decided to try online. I am reluctant to buy clothes online, though, as you can never be sure of getting the correct fit, and sending returns back can be a nuisance.

        So, I began the second stage of my mission. Because we soon had to go to the city anyway, for a hospital appointment, I decided that I would take advantage of this opportunity and go to Monsoon - where I could try on different sizes to see which would be the most appropriate. When I got to the store, and explained what I wanted to do, the sales assistants were really lovely, even though they knew I wouldn't be putting any money in their till that day. They were both very kind and attentive, and helped me pick out dresses in a similar style to 'Elizabeth' so that I could get a good idea which size would fit both my bust and my middle. They also brought different colours for me to try, although I had already decided that the deep purple should look nice. I have very grey, almost silver hair (let's call it Arctic Blonde), and so thought that dark purple would not only be a nice contrast, but also a welcome change from my usual black! During the trying-on process, I discovered that I seemed to fall between two sizes. Again, if it fitted on the bust it wasn't right on the tummy. As always.

        I began to feel a bit sad, with the prospect of my perfect dress disappearing into the distance. But I was delighted when one of the assistants commented on what a small waist I had! As I'm a size 18 top and a size 14 bottom, this cheered me up no end. Even if it was just good salesmanship, it was very good salesmanship. When I got home later that day I decided to keep my fingers crossed and order two sizes online, having been assured that I could return any unwanted items free via the shop when I was attending my next medical appointment . After all, I reasoned with myself, there's nothing like a bit of retail therapy to cheer you up after finding out you need surgery for skin cancer (luckily it was non-malignant, and I've ended up with just a smallish scar on my nose, so nothing that would detract from the beauty of the dress).

        Alas, even online, the sizes I wanted were out of stock. But on investigating the website further, I discovered that Monsoon offer a wonderful service where they will try to track down the item you want by checking through all their stores, and if available will send it to you from there (my dresses ended up coming from Reading. Thank you, Reading). So I phoned the helpline, and they promised to do their best. I was thrilled when the parcel arrived, although I was steeling myself in case neither of them fitted. Luckily, the smaller size was perfect. Because I was then able to return the unwanted dress back to my local shop, it meant I didn't have to get involved with the hassle of couriers or having to get to the Post Office.

        The dress is gorgeous, although it was very heavily creased from its journey and had a 'no-iron' instruction on the dry-clean care lablel. However, after phoning for some advice, I was then able to iron it carefully on the reverse using a cool iron.

        I really looked forward to wearing my lovely new acquisition, and knew there was a big family celebration coming in a couple of months so that I could show it off. On the day I felt lovely, and the dress made quite a change for me as it certainly isn't what I consider my usual style - I tend to go for something much more classic. I received some lovely compliments, and felt positively glamorous for once!

        The gist of this story is that, although I hadn't bought anything from Monsoon for years, I was absolutely blown away by the quality of service I received - both from the shop and from their customer services department.

        And also, of course, I love my beautiful purple dress. I think I'm on my way to becoming a devoted customer!

        So, Monsoon, you get five stars from me, and you richly deserve every one.

        (This review is also on Ciao, under the same user name.)

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          08.01.2010 15:50
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          A good shop

          Monsoon is a great shop if you want to buy some good quality clothes especially for special occassions. They have a lovely range of more fancy clothes so are ideal for party wear and special occassions.

          I find Monsoon clothes do have a distictive look about them and often the same trend styles apply on quite a few of their dresses etc. having their own look though does mean they are a little bit different from all the other clothes shops on the high street or supermarket ranges which in my opinion is a good thing.

          They tend to go for more fancy clothes rather than basics. One of their best things in my view is their wedding dress range. They have some great wedding dresses that look lovely but are a fraction of the price of those sold at offical wedding dress shops. I got my wedding dress from Monsoon and I still love it 6 years later (although I don't wear it sadly I just look at it in my wardrobe lovingly!)

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            10.11.2009 12:19
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            Good clothes for all ages

            Generally, I am a sucker for Monsoon - I am quite a girly-girl, and wear dresses and skirts almost every day. I also like a touch of luxury in my clothes, and always find a decent selection of silk blouses and tops instore.

            Monsoon is aimed at women of all ages, though I would say its a little more mature in style then some other retailers, and the prices (about £85 for a dress!) may put off younger buyers. They also have a range of childrens clothes (really for smart occasions rather than for every day) and a section devoted to evening wear and wedding dresses. Some of the items in this department are lovely, and inexpensive for such a big occasion. But I would always be wary of women at my wedding recognising the dress from Monsoon, as I would want to feel a little more special!

            The stores are laid out quite tightly - it can be difficult to get round the racks without pushing other shoppers out of the way - and I can imagine it would be a nightmare with a buggy in tow. Despite this, items seem to be well displayed - there is usually a good selection of sizes on the rack (many garments go up to a size 22) - and they are sectioned by tone, which helps you to pick out outfits that co-ordinate well.

            Customer service can be slightly overbearing - you are greeted at the door and then usually one or two girls will ask if you're ok whilst you browse. Now I'm a bit older, I don't mind this so much as I feel less like they are trying to stop me steal and more like they are trying to help, but its a little annoying sometimes.

            On the occasions on which I have needed to return clothes, the staff have been willing and helpful in exchanging them, on one occasion recommending a dress more flattering than one I was returning cos it gave me a lumpy bum!

            As long as the clothes are well-made and service is good, I will remain a customer at Monsoon!

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            16.07.2009 20:36
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            A few Monsoon items in your wardrobe can add a touch of class.

            The Sale in Monsoon is in full flow and at lunchtime today the place was packed and the queues were long. I know. - I was there and I stood in the protracted queue at the tills.

            Target Audience
            --------------------

            Monsoon is a high street shop with a target audience of mainly middle class women - also selling some men's clothes, children's clothes, accessories and some decorative homewear. Even with the menswear, I still believe that women may be the target audience - propelling their blokes through the ruffles and jewel colors of the womenswear at the front of the shop through to the small area of guy stuff.

            The Clothes
            ---------------

            Monsoon sell many separates (camisoles, tops, knitwear, skirts, nightwear, jackets and coats) for women - these are displayed in colours. This is useful for me because I particularly like purples and I can just make a bee-line for that area. Even in the sale the colours are still generally on a rack together (probably a little muddled by the end of the day) so they are easy to browse. Compared to a shop like Next, this is a much better system; I find the Monsoon Sale almost bearable.

            Monsoon, I think is possibly more well known for its lovely dresses - both short and long. It is certainly a shop to visit if you have a posh Christmas party, a wedding or a prom to go to because there are lots of dresses designed for these occasions.

            Prom Dresses
            -----------------

            I give this a subtitle of its own because it was the place I bought my daughter's school prom dress. We spotted the pale green empire line long dress (in floaty chiffon with a satin ribbon just under the bust) well before the prom. It was half price in the sale at around £80 (on average, teens spend £250 on a dress). She tried it on and when she emerged in the dress out of the cubicle many of the women who were also trying things on told her how lovely she looked in it. It was very simple and elegant with a touch of 'princess' about it. We bought it. The photos I took of her just before she left for the prom, wearing the dress, are very precious.

            There are many prom, wedding and bridesmaid styles in white, ceam, pastels, black and jewel colours. Even if you don't go to any parties, it is still a place to go and try them and live the fantasy. Beware of this though - you could be tempted.

            Children's Clothes
            -----------------------

            The Children's clothes are in very cute styles - not particularly catering for kids who like street styles - more classical styles. The age range is quite limited - more for babies and the younger children.

            Men's Clothes
            ------------------

            The mens clothes or also not particularly street cred - more well cut 'smart casual' in natural fabrics.

            Accessories
            --------------

            Monsoon also operate 'Accessorise' so the shop also has some very nice necklaces, rings, earrings and bangles. They also sell hats, shoes, scalves and purses.

            Things I have bought from Monsoon
            ---------------------------------------------

            I am quite lucky as I took out a Monsoon store card when they still operated their reduced price insurance. If I buy an item and it is reduced in price within 100 days from buying it I can claim back the difference in cost from the insurance company connected to Monsoon. This is great because I can calculate when to buy things so I can check out the reductions in the sale and make a claim a couple of months later. Usually, I can find out when things are reduced by 70% - and claim quite a bit over a few items. This insurance option was removed a while ago - probably because it was so popular. It means I can buy things when I want and in the right size (popular sizes often sell out before the Sale) and still benefit from the Sale.

            I have bought over the years a deep blue wide cotton muslin scalf, a purple cross over top, a black and white dress, a purple cotton cardigan (that was so nice it was stolen at school), silver flip flops and some long shorts I am wearing as I write this. Today, I bought a wallet with a polka dot inside in the sale for £7.50. I may be able to get even more off this if it goes down in price again in the next few weeks (likely).

            The Downside
            -----------------

            Clothes at Monsoon are more expensive than some other high street shops and this can be prohibitive if you have not got the readies. This is why I would recommend going to the Monsoon Sale.

            The other niggle I have is that many of their clothes are made of silk and this was a bit of a pain when I was looking at dresses with a view to buying one. As a vegan it means that I am always lifting skirts (on hangers) to check the 'made from' tag. Often I am dissapointed to find that it is.

            Some designs at Monsoon are overly elaborate and showy; too much - possibly too frumpy.

            To Conclude
            ---------------

            I quite enjoy the experience of shopping at Monsoon. There is always a person at the door to greet you when going in the shop and the changing rooms are clean and comfortable with just enough room to make trying on not too much of a pain. In my local Monsoon there are also numerous cubicles - which reduces waiting time. The assistants are generally helpful. The Sale reductions are substantial. In other shops I am often frustrated by a measly 20% but Monsoon reduces 50% or 70% - making some beautiful clothes affordable. I have not had many issues with clothes falling apart and having to take them back.

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              09.01.2009 02:37
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              A fabulous clothes shop, whether shopping for day-to-day or a special occasion

              Monsoon is officially my favourite high street clothes shop.

              Although classed as 'High Street' I think the Monsoon brand is slightly higher class than this, and sits closer to the designer brands that you'd expect to pay higher prices for. The only thing that keeps Monsoon from being classed as designer, in my opinion, is the price. Although the items are brilliant quality, for their general range (ie not their special occasion dresses as mentioned below), you can expect to pay very reasonable prices, and I believe they offer fantastic value for money.

              Although Monsoon has recently introduced a mens range, this is quie limited at the moment, and the shop is definately directed more at women.

              Each shop tends to be split in half, with the more general range being at one side, ie your day to day clothes, coats, shoes etc, with the other half being reserved for their speciality - special occasion dresses.

              These prom style dresses really are something else, and are worth going in to look at, even if you don't have an event coming up! I seriously have never seen such beautiful quality in dresses, and the embellishments and detail added to each one is just exquisite. These are so outstanding that many people will use them as bridesmaids dresses, and I've even heard of a few people purchasing one as a wedding dress!
              Unfortunately, these dresses do come at a price, and there is quite a large jump from their normal range. However, if you have a special occasion coming up, and want to feel like a princess, then this is definately the place for you!

              The day to day range of clothes, although certainly cheaper, as definately not to be sniffed at, with only the best fabrics being used and each piece having a little special 'something' to make it stand out from the crowd. Many of the items are hand embroidered, or hand finished, giving them another special little touch.
              They tend to have a good range of clothes, especially knitwear and coats I've found, although I do find their shoe selection fairly sparse at times.

              The sales assistants couldn't be nicer, and are quite happy to spend half an hour with you in the changing rooms until you find what you're looking for, and they are always so complimentary, whatever you look like in an outfit!

              In my experience of shopping with Monsoon, I've never known there to be a large queue, or had to wait more than a couple of minutes to be served. The bags tend t be the more expensive looking papery ones, which just finishes off your purchase nicely.

              Overall, I find Monsoon to be a fantastic high-end high street store, with helpful staff and an impressive range of clothes. Highly recommended!

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                19.10.2008 21:43
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                Wedding dresses, beach dresses, jumpers, bags, shoes, coats shorts and more in one big store!

                Monsoon & Accessorize are 1 company (which I didn't know), which sell Womans wear, Childrens wear, Menswear, Home wear and jewellery.

                Company History
                Monsoon was founded in 1973 by Peter Simon following a period of selling shaggy wollen coats on the Portabello road and hand block printed clothes from Rajasthan to anyone who would buy them. The unusual focus was always clothes with an ethnic origian for faraway places, including dresses from Afgahanistan and countires en route.

                There are currently over 400 Monsoon & Accessorize stores throughout the UK and Eire.
                All Monsoon Accessorize suppliers are asked to commit to the Monsoon Accessorize Code of Conduct, which is based on the ethical trading initiative base code.

                The Monsoon Trust
                Thie Monsoon Accessorize trust was set up in 1994. The trust aims to help improve the lives of disadvantaged children, young people and woman in south asia with projects focusing on education, health and income generation. The trust has been registered as a UK Registered charity , number 1038446.
                What do they sell?
                Woman - Blouses, Shirts, Dresses, Jeans Jackets, Knitwear Nightwear, Ocassions, Skirts Swimwear, Tops & Tunics, Trousers, & Bridal wear.
                Men - Jackets, Jeans Knitwear, Shirts, Tops and T-Shirts, Flip Flops & Trousers.
                Children - Tops, Dresses, Trousers, Shoes, Shirts, Knitwear, Skirts & Shorts.
                Home - Bathroom, Bedding, Candles & holders, Cushions, Lighting, Mirrors, Photoframes, Rugs, Storage & Tablewear.

                What sizes do they do?
                Woman - Size 8 - 22
                Men - Size 32 - 38 (waist size) Size Small - Medium (tops)
                Children - Baby (0-3), Size 3 - 13yrs.
                I find that some of their sizes come up quite funny. Some size 8 clothing fit's but other size 8 clothes are way too big!
                Quality of the clothing
                Different materials are used such as cotton, Linen, Silk, Denim and other fabulous materials to make great looking garments. How-ever i have had problems with some of their clothes. Even after following the wasing instruction correctly and getting certain dresses dry-cleaned some of them seem to shrink or leave water marks on the clothing which is a shame seeing its so expensive.

                Prices
                Prices can vary from £14.00 - £230.00 (these higher prices apply to the bridal range.) I think some of the clothes are a bit over-priced & some even don't look that expensive.
                Personal Shopper
                In the Guildford store they have a personal shopper who has had special training on fabrics and colours to go with skin colours, hair colours,etc. All you do is book an appointment and the personal shopper will choose your garments for you and bring them back to you whilst you sit back and relax in the personal shopper room, which comes with a large changing room and plasma tv!

                Monsoon account card
                The monsoon account card has the lowest apr on the highstreet. Every £1 you spend you receive 1 point. For every 100 points you get, you will be rewarded with a £5.00 gift voucher. They also have special days/weekends when they have double and even triple points for monsoon account holders. You have to be 18 to open an account. Please note that this is a store card and is something I personally wouldn't sign up for, but if you shop there are lot the perks are great!
                Customer Service
                Staff are alwasy frindly and helpful. They'll go out their way to track down that top or dress you want in another size or colour!

                All clothing products are wrapped in purple tissue and secured with monsoon stickers, this is then placed into a paper carrier bag along with your receipt & hangers if you want them. There have been a few occasions where the security tags have been left on items, so the alarm goes off as you walk out the door, which is not only embarrasing but you have to go back into the shop to get the tags removed!
                Refunds/Exchanges
                Refunds and exchanges can be done with 28 days, anything after that is an exchange. I've never had any problems with refunds/exchanges at this store.

                Changing Rooms
                When I have been into Monsoon chaging rooms, I notice they take great pride in keeping them clean, as they never seem to have dirty mirrors and never any chewing gum stuck to the curtains or walls! Unlike topshop where I've been and the curtains are covered in bits of chewing gum, which has put me off trying anything on!
                Fusion
                This is a new range for Monsoon, which includes vintage inspired, statment pieces in demure hues of colour and bold retro silhouettes. This range reminds me slighty of topshop and I think some of the clothes look retro and 60's style, so this isn't really a range I'm interested in.

                Accessorize
                Accessorize is also part of the monsoon company which stock bracelets, necklaces, anklets, flip flops, bikini's, beads and other jewellery, bags, sunglasses and more! The only thing I dont like about Accessorize jewellery is the price, considering the silver looking jewellery will turn you fingers blue if it gets wet/tarnished!
                www.monsoon.co.uk
                Monsoon have a website where you can order items. I have how-ever noticed that they don't sell all the items on the website, which they sell in the shop. I've never ordered from the website so i can't comment about delivery or service.

                Overall Impression
                Not all stores carry the home ware, menswear or fusion range. Customer service is fantastic, there's always someone who is willing to help you get the products/items you are looking for. The personal shopper is a great way to tell you what clothes and colours suit your body shape and skin colour. The personal got me out of wearing black and white and into colours! You can easily dress items up with a pair of strappy shoes or dress them down with a pair of leggings and ballet pumps. A great shopping experience and definately not an old ladies store! A lot of their sizes come up quite strange as I vary sizes in different trousers and different tops. I was also very dissapointed that they did away with the size 6 range! I'm naturaly a slim girl and I know there's other girls out there too who are naturally small and slim and I find it hard to find tops which fit me! I thought monsoon would also carry a Maternity range, but they don't!

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                  15.09.2008 08:43
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                  Clothes shop

                  Monsoon are one of my favourite clothing shops at the moment, they have a very stylish natural range which although not always cheap I do find to be good quality and long lasting because they are well made.

                  Monsoon shops are usually on the high street although they are not in every town as they tend to target reasonably middle class areas, they are certainly no Primark when it comes to prices and the quality of their clothes. They do have a range of clothes for men but it is women and some clothes for chidren which can be found in their stores.

                  Some of their stuff has a hippy chic feel to it, some nice flowing tops and gypsey style skirts. I particularly like their dresses which I find to be both very feminine and also quite flattering on the figure. They have a wide range of styles and a good range of beech dresses as well, I picked up a couple for our recent summer holiday. The also sell a nice range of shoes although the choice can be a bit limited in the shops and some stores may not have shoes.

                  They also have a really good range of formmal gowns for those occasions when it is tme to dress to impress and my last wedding outfit was bough from them.

                  Overall a good store but you do have to pay for the quality.

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                    20.06.2008 18:26
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                    Gorgeous

                    Monsoon is a highstreet shop that sells a variety of luxury clothings and accessories for women and younger children.
                    All the stuff is made from quality materials like silk ans satin, so its all rather costly.

                    The clothing that they sell for women is way too floral for me, but my mum enjoys shopping there. She tends to like the skirts, but I think the dresses have the wow factor. The majority of clothing from this shop looks like it should be worn to a posh do or a wedding. (maybe it is, I don't know!?)

                    I like to try on the hats there though, very stylish.
                    Upon entering the childrens section you see a lot of little glittery shoes and pretty dolly shoes, along with frilly little tops with feathers on them. I think your child would assume that she was a pricess if she wore them.

                    The accessories are usually quite nice, the head bands and things are most commonly jewel incrusted things, or flower based. Although all of the products are nice, the prices are not. They remind me of prices from Laura Ashley.
                    The staff seemed friendly and cheerful, it's probably the brightly coloured clothing thats making them feel happy and dreamy.

                    Overall, a good quality shop that has some of the most luxury clothing items availible on the highstreet.
                    Thanks for reading! woop :)

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                      05.02.2003 19:40
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                      Monsoon is for Middleclass English teachers, but I have commandeered it for my own stylistic needs. As a fascinating and interesting individual I sometimes require clothes to reflect this. And that is when I go to Monsoon. The sales are amazing and often offer up to 70% of full price. This is when I snap up most of my Monsoon hauls. You see I am not as rich as I look. But I don't want to shake the illusion. It would be too damaging to my people. They look up to me for inspiration and guidance. Bless em. I have never been in a Monsoon store where the staff were not beautifully decked out with beaming smiles and helpful personas. Maybe it's the discount. But they really seem happy, perhaps they're getting colour therapy from all those beautiful silks and satins. The atmosphere is extraordinarily calm and welcoming, and it really makes a difference. The prices are well above the majority of the high street, I would say about twice the price of Top shop and the like, but the quality is to blame for that I'm afraid! You really do get what you pay for. Monsoon is on a par with Department store concession prices and competes mainly for the same market. Don't forget Accessorize! The most innovative and exciting high street fashion jewellers, surely in the world. I can't go in there without buying some beautifully crafted beaded item. It just wouldn't be right of me. Happily though, while high street stores like River Island and Dorothy Perkins seem to be hiking their fashion jewellery prices, Accessorize appears to have stabillised theirs, meaning that while a few years ago Accessorize was on of the most expensive places to buy imitation jewellery it can now sometimes be the cheapest. Monsoon is an individual company for individual people who don't mnd paying a little extra for quality.

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                        04.08.2002 06:15
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                        • "suits only some tastes"

                        I had to jump on the bandwagon and give a favorable review to one of my favorite clothing stores. I can count on Monsoon for pretty clothing, made from high quality materials, cut and assembled in a way that so as to last even when faced with outrageous abuse (e.g. my chronically ignoring the care instructions on the tags - but don't try this at home!) Plus, over the last few years my dress size has gone up and down (mostly up, woe is me). Nevertheless, I regularly find some lovely little article in Monsoon that gets compliments when I wear it... often followed by a quiet whisper of "I didn't know they did *our* sizes" from other women who are size 16 or up. So, listen up ladies - THEY DO offer larger sizes! Not on every item, but if you're willing to take some time and sift through the racks, there are gorgeous clothes to be had. Okay, so they are a little pricey. The sizing can be inconsistent. And yes, they cater mostly for a more 'bohemian' taste. But if you're ok with that, there's a lot to be said for Monsoon!

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                          06.10.2000 20:13
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                          OK so why is a guy writing about a women's clothing shop...and what the hell would he know about it anyway?!?! Well, as someone who has been dragged around every single clothing shop in Chelmsford, Lakeside, Blue Waters AND Colchester several times in recent weeks I think I have just about as much of an opinion as anyone else. I am not going to talk about fussiness here...I am controlling myself admirably...but the quality of clothing and service to be found in this shop. I can't say that I am a particular connoiseur of female fashion either but this shop does seem to have an excellent range of quality clothing. OK you might say that it ought to at some of the prices and you may be right but you get what you pay for and what you get here is good quality. You also get a good quality of service here which proves that at least in Monsoon service isn't dead in the UK. My friend needed to find something which went with 'that' dress and instead of just pointing and waving in a given direction which is the usual experience, the Monsoon staff were more than happy to oblige. We were not only shown to the right colour items and given some advice as well, but they were kind enough to actually go and check amongst the new delivery for another item which was meant to have come into stock that day. This is the sort of helpful attitude which invites you to come back to a store again and softens the blow of some of their prices...glad I wasn't paying. As it happens they still couldn't help with 'that' dress but she purchased a couple of different items from there and their helpfulness was much appreciated. If you are interested in checking them out this year then they seem to be concentrating on browns, reds, greys and a sort of aquamarine(ish) colour for their winter collection this year. Average prices are pitched at around £40-70 for a skirt for example so be prepared for a heavy hit on the bank balance. <
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                          06.08.2000 05:03

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                          If you're looking for an outfit for a special occasion and are prepared to spend that little bit extra for something really nice I would certainly recommend Monsoon. They have a range of ballgowns and evening dresses that will ensure you get lots of compliments. They also sell a wide range of more everyday wear which could be suitable for a range of occasions, from a job interview to a day out with the family. Although Monsoon's prices are a little higher than your average high street chain, the clothes are of good quality and a little bit different too. The staff are friendly and I haven't had any problems getting a refund when I decided an outfit just wasn't right.

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                          12.07.2000 04:22

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                          As a stay at home mum I do not spend much money on clothes for myself however recently I got married and decided that I needed a new outfit. It was a registry office event and I wanted something that I could use for smart day time events in the future and not something that would hang in the wardrobe and never be used. I had very particular requirements for my outfit and looked all over my local area even travelling 40 plus miles in an effort to find something. I was at my wits end when on an off chance I popped into Monsoon. I saw a couple of items and tried them on. One wasnt right but the other seemed OK however they only had the jacket in my size and not the skirt. The staff were so helpful, they advised me that I could ring their mail order number and get it direct so I bought the jacket and next working day ordered the skirt. I was amazed that it was the same price as the one in the shop which had been reduced and even more amazed when it arrived the day after I ordered it. In the shop they had even been willing to take the time to tell me which of a number of items was available in petite as I am only 5ft and even what colours things were available in which they did not have in the shop. They also have a website which was unfortunately being altered at the time. After receiving the skirt I went to their sister shop Accessorize and chose a scarf, again with the help of the assistants. I had a great wedding day in April and have since worn the suit again so I am pleased. Some of their clothes are quite pricey but I would certainly recommend their service. Well done Monsoon it is good to know that service is not dead.

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