I'm going to be completely honest here, most of the time I shun high street lingerie. My time at university, coupled with my time interning/working with luxury lingerie brands, has taught me to be wary. The quality of high street clothing is so often lacking. Prices can be worryingly low and the longevity of pieces radically short. There is also the fact that *some* high street stores are known to 'borrow' the designs of smaller, independent brands.
Despite all of this, I had always heard good things about the clothing offered by & Other Stories. I didn't even realise they sold lingerie until I wandered around one of their stores.
& Other Stories is part of the H&M group and was initially conceived as a stand-alone beauty brand with fashion and accessories quickly added before its launch in 2013. Design ateliers in Paris, Stockholm and Los Angeles create & Other Stories' collections with close attention to detail and quality.
& Other Stories is priced slightly higher than other high street stores with its main clothing line retailing between £17 and £349. Their lingerie itself retails from £13 to £49, with bras averaging £25 and matching sets averaging £40. Their price point mirrors the pricing of many other high street brands such as Boux Avenue, Ann Summers and Topshop.
What helps to set & Other Stories apart from these other brands is their approach to design. Many of their pieces boast simple silhouettes that are already proven to be consumer favourites dressed up with on-trend prints and embroideries. However, like many high street retailers & Other Stories offers a very narrow size range, with bras available in sizes 70B - 70C, 75A - 75D and 80B - 80C. Unwired styles, bodysuits and bottoms are all available in sizes 34 - 44. Unfortunately, this does mean that many people will find themselves sized out. If you don't find yourself sized out, & Other Stories offers some fantastic options for fashion led basics as well as pieces with real styling potential.
Simple Balconette and Triangle bras make up the bulk of the basics selection on offer at & Other Stories. Balconette styles feature soft seasonally coloured fabrics and are dressed up with lace trims. For those who prefer a less structured look, an abundance of triangle bras in delicate laces and trimmed with contrasting satin are available.
The brand also offers a range of more trend-led pieces that double well as outerwear pieces. Bodysuits and longline style bras perfectly pair with high waisted trousers and skirts for on-trend summer dressing. High-neck styles and ornate bralettes make great styling pieces for those who don't want to show off all their lingerie. These pieces are ideal for showing small glimpses to add an extra dimension to outerwear looks.
I've been relatively impressed with the quality and the design of the & Other Stories pieces I've been able to try. They do appear to be a little hit or miss when it comes to original and innovative designs, but that's the lingerie addict in me coming out. I'll be keeping my eye on the brand, and I suggest everyone lucky enough to fit into their sizing does as well.