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11 Destinations for Cheap Shopping in London

Obsessed with the style of our fashionable friends on the other side of the big pond? And why not — British fashionistas tend to be bolder, more willing to experiment with color (orange) and style (fascinators).

But…the cost of getting there may encroach on your shopping budget just a tiny bit. So here’s a handy guide to cheap shopping in London.

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London’s best budget stores

First things first, get your bearings. There’s some awesome cheap shopping in and around London’s Oxford Circus. This is a road junction on London’s west side, where Oxford Street meets Regent Street. You can start your shopping there and then branch out.

You’ll find shops as well as restaurants and cafes at Oxford Circus, too — so it’s a nice destination for people-watching.

1. Zara

Zara’s always a fun store to visit, even when you’re traveling. The chain’s collection changes so rapidly that you will find something new — which is what you want from your vacation shopping, right?

Do an online price check before you take anything to the register though. You don’t want to pay a premium for shopping with euros after all.

2. H&M

You know the drill with H&M. Super trendy clothes and budget-friendly prices. Check the garments carefully for quality issues, then plan on caring for them as delicate pieces.

Note that there are multiple H&M’s throughout London. But if you’re planning a trip to Oxford Circus anyway, you may as well see this one.

3. Next

Next is a department store chain, so you can shop for cute clothes for the whole family plus home decor and beauty. You can get a feel for the store’s collection on its website — it has a Macy’s-meets-New York and Company vibe.

The store isn’t quite as trendy as, say, H&M or Zara, but it’s a good destination for medium-quality basics and cute seasonal wear.

You’ll see Next stores all over the UK. There are also locations in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

4. Clarks

This is the same Clarks shoe store you might already know from its presence in the U.S. I’m including it here because of its location and selection of stylish, affordable shoes. One thing to keep in mind though: Clarks is also on my list of stores that offer free returns and shipping. So if your luggage is nearly full, check to see if you can find the styles you love on Clarks U.S. website.

5. TK Maxx

Nope, that’s not a typo. TK Maxx is the U.K. version of TJ Maxx, home of designer overstock, sold at big discounts.

6. Uniqlo

Again, there’s probably no description needed here. You know Uniqlo as the Japanese brand that serves up fun basics at good prices. That’s earned this chain a spot on our best online clothing stores list too.

7. Primark

  • Address: 14 – 28 Oxford Street & 3 Tottenham Court Road, London W1D 1AU
  • More info: Primark at Oxford

Primark is a fast-fashion mecca, stacked to the brim with disposable fashion at unbelievable prices. The too-good-to-be-true prices mean that the quality of clothes isn’t the best (a hem coming undone here, a button falling off there).

This gives you the opportunity, though, to experiment with the most adventurous of trends without spending a small fortune. Products to pay attention to are cashmere sweaters and cardigans, plus trendy, cheap jewelry.

Shop on the weekdays to avoid the weekend rush.

8. ASOS Outlet

Once you’ve had your fill of Oxford Circus, head a couple miles north to the ASOS Outlet store in Camden.

You know ASOS as the U.K.’s fast fashion leader with a seemingly endless collection of trendy and low-priced garments. Expect to find discounted overstock and pieces from previous seasons across the brand’s departments: men’s, women’s, and accessories.

Cheap London vintage and markets

9. Brick Lane

Brick Lane is a street known for its eclectic experience. The thing to do is wander through Brick Lane’s open-air markets — there are several, including a vintage market and a food market.

10. Beyond Retro

Beyond Retro is a huge warehouse devoted to vintage clothing and accessories. Arranged in color-order, the shop is easy to navigate, unlike many other mish-mash thrift stores. There are rows upon rows of vintage logo t-shirts — a great present for a boyfriend or brother, or for yourself, if you belt at the waist.

11. Portobello Road Market

Couple enjoying cheap shopping in London at Portobello Road Market.

Located on Portobello Road, Portobello market is famous for its antiques. Fashion-wise, the market is made up of stalls selling expensive handmade clothing by up-and-coming designers (worth a look but not budget-friendly) and lots of vintage.

You’ll have to be savvy and sniff out the bargains from the overpriced pieces which aren’t vintage at all. Don’t be afraid to haggle!

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judith Kozloff

Friday 7th of October 2011

the current rate of exchange is about $1.50+ to the pound. which doesn't mean it's cheap, only cheaper. UK has a built in tax of 20% on adult clothes so if you can squeeze into kid sizes big savings. You can take the train out to Bicester Village to save money and hassle of driving. BUT my London based daughter does her shopping in New York - heading straight for Forever 21 even if they have opened stores in London and Birmingham they are much more expensive than here ( import duties and tax).

shoetopian

Monday 21st of July 2008

Oh, and Dorothy Perkins is another “high street” store that has great items for reasonable prices.  And they now deliver to the U.S.

shoetopian

Monday 21st of July 2008

The items from the up-and-coming designers at Portobello Market aren’t always that expensive…especially accessories.  However, even with the more expensive items, my logic has always been to splurge on those things because there won’t be too many people with the same thing.

Mojo

Sunday 13th of July 2008

I don’t think I’d skip the vintage section of this Top Shop store. It’s actually pretty cool, there’s a lot of interesting pieces in there. It’s my favorite part of that Top Shop location :-) Some stuff may be overpriced, but then again I think with the US dollar to British pounds exchange rate, just about everything is overpriced.

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