Collection of Style Reassessed

Collection of Style Reassessed

I trust my initial instincts a lot and I have mostly fared well by going with them.  However, sometimes they do come back and bite me back from behind.  I THOUGHT I had formulated a fairly conclusive opinion about Collection of Style, H&M’s new higher quality, higher priced store which has now opened branches in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands as well as the first store in London.  I even visited the store just to confirm my suspicions. 

Well, with my first visit marred by a terrible migraine and non-plussed enthusiasm, I again hastily dismissed COS as a missed opportunity (edgier design, ready to wear quality at lower prices blah blah blah).  However, my second visit to the COS store yesterday has finally made me wish to retract my original post – and I never usually retract anything I say.  I devoted a good two hours combing through the well designed store (the aesthetics and aspirational styling of COS weren’t what I had a grudge against but of course it doesn’t hurt!).  I found that on closer inspection, many of the pieces posessed enough of the design twists/quirks that I always yearn for in high street clothing.  On face value, none of the clothes go ‘way out there’ with the design yet there are really great subtleties that differentiate COS clothes from the usual high street garb.  An elasticated waist/hem here.  A bit of ruching there.  Clever draping and cutting.  They don’t scream at you but are more apparent when you try it on.  Furthermore, it does what it says on the tin and delivers higher quality than say Zara which I find gets it spot on with the design but has flaky quality considering the price.   The overall effect of everything is a very fresh kind of subtlety that would work all the time and not just for one season. 

As I took the two dresses below, a zig zag printed smock top and a paper-bag waisted skirt to the till, I did feel guilt saying the things I did about it.  I guess the statement I made about COS perhaps being very ‘safe’ with their design is true.  But I just didn’t foresee the little twists and turns I would find when seeing the clothes in person.  More of those twists and turns, and I’ll be an 100% satisfied happy bunny indeed. 


Leave a comment
  1. cachou

    2007-04-01 at 8:56 PM

    I totally adore the second dress!

  2. frostpatterns

    2007-04-01 at 9:13 PM

    Hello! Your blog has been in my bookmarks for quite some time and now I’m finally “delurking”, or what it is called. I just came across this website ( and immediately thought of your post a while back about Betty’s style. I still don’t get what it’s all about, there are poster advertisements around here in Finland for it as well, but the webpage is not very helpful in clearing up the mystery. Maybe it’s just a clever advertisement, since Ugly Betty is soon going to start to air here. Anyway, the page seems to me to be a tribute (a small one, though) to Betty’s style and confident personality. Thought you and everyone else might enjoy this!

  3. misskittin

    2007-04-02 at 12:30 AM

    oh susie, i have been a long-time fan/lurker as well, and just wanted to drop in and say that i love love love how those dresses look on you! i particularly adore how the first dress works with your coloring. i wish there were a COS opening up near me but, alas, i am all the way across the pond. 🙁

  4. lloydy/the alien

    2007-04-02 at 12:30 AM

    DO you mind if ask the prices (reference purposes)?

  5. Jamie

    2007-04-02 at 2:36 PM

    I love that white dress! The ruching and pockets really add nice detail.

  6. Matt

    2007-04-02 at 3:24 PM

    WONDERFUL!!!! A fashion blog, and you seem to have your stuff down :). Just wanted to compliment you on it was all. Take care 🙂

  7. jahaute

    2007-04-02 at 4:27 PM

    Ok, I too will admit I had the same initial feeling; The designs are simple and well, a little Banana Republic meets Club monoco, but those dresses do look cute on you. wht was the price tag?

  8. susie_bubble

    2007-04-02 at 7:14 PM

    The green dress was ¬£35 and the white dress was ¬£55 – a little pricy but I must stress the quality is pretty top notch…

  9. the coveted

    2007-04-02 at 7:33 PM

    oh wow… we’re all allowed to change our minds. the dresses are adorable! i like the second one, over the weekend, I got a similar one to the second one, i like the neutral simple shape it makes it easy to dress up with accessories!

  10. scarletholly

    2007-04-02 at 9:58 PM

    the second white dress is really cute. They sort of look like Reiss (which I love for their “structured” approach), without the horrendous price tag.

  11. a

    2007-04-03 at 1:19 AM

    do you know if they have stores in china?

  12. the_kitten

    2007-04-03 at 1:03 PM

    oh 55 for the white dress only? I think I’ll get it, it looks pretty pretty!

  13. Becca

    2007-04-03 at 4:14 PM

    The 2nd is wonderful! The colour of the 1st seems to suit you well but the cut, I’m not sure it looks as if it drowns you. I too was impressed with their quality, as you said which Zara seems to lack…which is always dissapointing.x

  14. Mariana

    2007-04-03 at 4:15 PM

    I just loved then!!!!!!
    And the prices… incredible…

  15. memily

    2007-04-03 at 5:36 PM

    i love both of the dresses
    btw i am linking u xxx

  16. emily

    2007-04-04 at 4:43 AM

    wow.. Love the white one.. It looks great on you!

  17. the_kitten

    2007-04-04 at 4:08 PM

    just popped into my local COS store myself today and am totally in love now! so simple, sleek and chic but with that certain twist you mention. Lots of the pieces reminded me of stuff I bought in Tokyo design-wise (really sweet but edgy and cool), the cuts are absolutely to my likings while the prices are not as bad as expected. I really like what H&M has come up with of late – I do love the Organic-Cotton-line they sell at the moment and hope there will be more constantly.


    2007-04-11 at 5:48 PM

    Where is the London store my pretty one?
    anna x.

  19. Debs

    2007-06-12 at 3:18 PM

    I agree with you Susie…I think there is some really good stuff in COS…but it is very annoying that they rarely have any size 8 or 10 left in anything whilst 16s and 18s sit there for weeks.

  20. Christina

    2008-09-26 at 7:25 AM

    I wish we had one here. =( I like the white dress alot!

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