Sometimes I love our high street and sometimes it drives me mad. What I want, what I really really want, is a non-plastic leather jacket that doesn’t cost the earth. A pair of boots that don’t fall apart in the rain and a skirt I can wear without fear of flashing my crotch (hideous visual – apologies). Easy right? Apparently not. Whilst I will champion the high street until I am blue in the face, it remains the fact that much of it falls apart in the wash and the rest is increasingly overpriced. Since when was £300 for a jacket considered high-street?
With many mid-priced brands edging closer to high-end, the treasured middle ground between tat and spendy is rapidly disappearing, meaning that the quest to find well-made, well-priced clothes feels harder than ever. And this is exactly what new womenswear label Sosandar is attempting to address.
Launched on Monday and headed up by two former fashion magazine editors, Ali Hall and Julie Lavington, Sosandar’s mission is to offer clothes that are “chic but sexy, are trend-led, but not intimidatingly so, and focused on great fabrics at competitive prices.” Which all sounds completely lovely. In reality this means fine-knit jumpers for £30, trousers and skirts for £45, midi dresses for £70 and wool coats for £150. The leather pieces are pricier – a jacket is £249 and a skirt is £139 – but they are buttery-soft (an overused descriptor but in this case very true) and built to last. Production takes place in both Europe and the Far East with huge emphasis on quality fabrics. All the pieces are tested by both Hall and Lavington and come in size 6 to 18.
“We heard the same complaints from women again and again; there are no great dresses with sleeves, hemlines are way too short. Women want fashion-forward, versatile, quality clothes that are flattering.” Agreed. And whilst you won’t find the type of show-stopping catwalk copy that Zara and Topshop can provide, what you will find are very lovely items with which to build an outfit e.g polo necks, tailored trousers, silky shirts, ankle boots and jeans. There are a couple of jazzier pieces too – I’ve got my eye on a leopard-print dress and a pair of blue snake boots.
The collection is available purely on the website, which as well as selling clothes also offers stylings tips and outfit inspiration. As Hall and Lavington explain “women don’t just want the clothes, we want advice on how, where and why to wear them.” The September drop is shoppable now and there will be new pieces next month including a midnight-blue velvet party dress and a shearling coat.
12 of the best bits