A clever mix of trends and prices means shoppers can choose how fashionable to be
Two complementary trends that stand out are the Riviera look and the new preppy. For the former it is pastel shirts, trousers tapered and cropped just below the knee and light-coloured cardigans. The latter is fitted and tailored; tapered trousers and jackets come with piping or braiding around the edges. Also on show are jackets with toning shorts and even among the checks there is newness, with enzyme washes and faded colours giving a relaxed feel for the summer.
The target audience here is resolutely 18 to 21. The staff had just come to work from college lectures and much of the merchandising is sledgehammer subtle. But it works. Earlier in the season, Drapers visited this store with an 18-year-old and he was in his element, mixing dry knits with plain grey T-shirts and buying a skinny jacket to sit above his APC jeans. Topman lets the customer be as fashionable as he wants. The staff were unobtrusive.
With jackets coming in at between £70 and £85, Topman is by no means the cheapest but it works its basics well so that there are accessible price points in most areas. The best example is the perennial grandad T-shirt, which is offered at £12 for two. Cotton piqué polos are imbued with a degree of fashionability, showing small collars and offering contrast trims at £14, which makes them competitively priced against more classic alternatives. Madras shirts sit around the £28 to £30 mark.
‘Topman is great for trendy, casual clothing and the pricing is pretty standard. I like the formal pieces but they can be a bit dear’
Craig Jones, commercial sales, 23