The Expat Shopping Dilemma

Shopping, something I somewhat enjoyed in the US has become a stressful and often disappointing experience with the occasional bizarre incident that makes it entertaining.  I’d have to say homesickness kicks in most at the grocery store, mostly because I’m often trying to find things (macaroni, ricotta cheese, etc) that just can’t be found, or I have a hard time locating things like Worcestershire sauce (is it in the condiments section or the sauces section, or with the meat helpers??)  The local shops in town have limited selection but are still good, and the massive two story Tesco Extra is just overwhelming.  I’ve found that Booths, a semi local chain, though pricey seems to be the best bet.  They have a good selection of beer, produce and meat and aren’t large enough that you spend hours meandering aisles.

Clothing shopping is a whole other ballgame.  While I’ve been lucky in finding clothing that fits (by depressingly adding 4 to my American clothing size), I’m still not sure which stores are appropriate for me to shop at.  Next seems to be the UK version of Express, which is my favorite store, so that works, but then for casual clothes I’m at a loss.  I often see people in their teens buying the same clothing as people older than my parents, so it is confusing.

Help! Any thoughts on what stores are best for a professional mid 20s person not trying to look too young or too frumpy?

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19 Comments Add yours

  1. Morag says:

    I’m not a big clothes shopper myself (grew up in UK so therefore I hate clothes shopping, and now you understand why!) but my suggestion would be to try H&M.

    P.S. Dilemma

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll give them a try, I liked their clothes in the US, so hopefully similar here! Also, thanks for the spelling catch, now I know my phone’s spell check doesn’t work in the WordPress app. Oops.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel your pain, having the same problem in Canada. My UK favourites are probably Oasis, Zara, Warehouse and H&M. M&S is useful for good quality basics and sometimes has some nice things but also has a lot of old lady clothes!

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    1. Thanks for the suggestions! I’ve shopped at H&M in the states but not here, I’ll have to see if I can find one, and check out the other stores as well. I think I’ve only bought groceries at M&S, so I’ll scope out their clothing section as well. It’s so hard, I don’t know much about Canadian shopping, or if it’s similar to the U.S., but good luck!

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      1. I miss M&S food! Have you tried Percy pigs?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No I haven’t! But they look adorable (and delicious!)

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  3. New look is pretty good, in terms of looking professional and in terms of prices 🙂 H&M also of course!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I got an adorable dress at new look a few weeks ago! I need to find an H&M though! Thanks for the advice 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. M&S Limited Collection can be less old lady like than the other stuff! Oasis and Zara are good too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll have to check that out! And Zara and oasis the next time I’m in a city! The Lake District, though beautiful, offers limited shopping!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Brittany says:

    Oh man, I wish I could help…I struggle with clothes in the US let alone another country.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I know. I struggled at home, here it’s even more of an adventure.

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  6. Try Coach, white company, good old gap, coast, white stuff. However I am a little older than you and I’m not sure where the youngsters shop!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love gap! (And banana republic) Although it’s sad when I shop here and think about how I could by the same clothes for less in the US. I’ll have to check out white company, coast and white stuff. Thanks for the advice! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like old navy when we shop in the States.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes! Where else can you find so many cardigans and jeans for so little money?

        Liked by 1 person

  7. My goodness, I can totally relate to this post! When we first moved to Korea, it was seriously confusing to go to the grocery store. All the ingredients were completely different AND in a different language. Lol…I still remember going to the grocery and asking for parsley, and the clerk saying, “in the fall,” or something along those lines. Quite a switch in thinking (stuff is actually seasonal here unlike North America). And forget about shopping for clothes. The average size for jeans here is 25 or 26…most of the women are just tiny, and I definitely am not. It took a few years before I could find stores that would work for me… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds like quite the challenge! At least here most things are somewhat readily available at the grocery store even if it takes a bit of trouble to find them. And I can only imagine shopping for clothing!

      Liked by 1 person

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