Shopping for clothes abroad can be brilliant, but it’s not all about high fashion – just hitting up the shops in certain cities will get you a whole new look on a budget. Just don’t get carried away and buy something that looks great in situ, but you’ll never wear back home.
Milan, Italy: Of course, it’s the fashion capital of the world but there’s more to Milan than the Quadrilatero d’Oro, the area where all the designer brands are concentrated. Look closely and you’ll find independent shops hand making clothes, shoes, accessories and luggage to put them in. Plus it’s a great, vibrant city that’s often overlooked by visitors to Italy.
Tokyo, Japan: Some of the most outrageous outfits you see in Tokyo may take a little bravery to recreate but the sheer variety of looks on the streets – preppy, anime, punk and so on – should inspired you to switch up your look. The main fashion brands are there, too, and, of course, Hello Kitty is stocked just about everywhere you look.
Manchester, England: London’s where the edgy designers are but if you’re looking for what the UK does brilliantly – thrift stores and second hand fashion – then Manchester’s a safe bet. The second hand shops in the Northern Quarter have fantastic stock at a fraction of London prices – and further north, Newcastle is another Mecca for cheap retro fashion.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Most people use Hong Kong as a stopover but overlooked Kuala Lumpur is one of the best shopping destinations in the Far East. It’s chock full of malls at every level – from $5 plaid shirts to designer gear. It’s pretty fashion forward, but if nothing takes your fancy, you can always get a tailor to craft something from scratch for you.
Berlin, Germany: Since the fall of the wall, Berlin has carved itself a solid reputation as an artsy, alternative city, and it’s a great place to get threads. The street art that’s all over the city finds its way into young designers’ clothes, and there’s a lot of experimentation going on too. Plus, everyone here is so laid back that nobody cares what you wear. Although people might not be so relaxed back home.