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Hit or miss: River Island - 6/10

  • 207-213 Oxford Street

River Island Menswear AW14


A brilliant window display with mannequins placed in brightly coloured doors, which open and close automatically, is highly attractive. This great use of props continues inside with mannequins coming through doors displaying signs like ‘Gone to the pub’ or with quirky features such as Frankenstein heads. This sense of fun continues into the product, which has more print than most stores, from bold autumn florals to micro-dots on T-shirts, shirts and sweaters. There is a lot of detail on knitwear, with fake leather panels or looser weave options, which means the range is always interesting.


Although the casual styles rival Topman in terms of fun, individual pieces, the suiting area is dull, with mostly plain styles apart from one or two slim-fit purple and red options. These are around £120, although better-quality fabrics are available in Next for less than £100 and with a wider variety of fits. LikeTopman, everything is quite tightly fitted, with jeans only in skinny or slim. Fake leather bombers and bikers for £75 are not as good value as Zara’s, as the fabric is thinner despite being around the same price. A lot of shirts look crumpled on the rails.

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