I was asked by MenStyleFashion to review Bluewater shopping centre as a shopping destination and to seek out and select some mid-season staples. I had heard that Bluewater is renowned for being a great shopping destination for family and friends. Although I live in London I had never been to Bluewater which is located on the South East side of London, in Kent just outside the M25. This shopping centre is perfect for when you come by car (it has 13000 parking places) as it is just of the A2 motorway at the Greenhithe junction. As I am without a car I took public transport, which is incredibly fast as you can take the train from St Pancras International to Ebbsfleet International from where you can take the bus to Bluewater, it took just under 40 minutes.
When Bluewater was finished in 1999 it was hailed as the largest shopping centre in the UK, it has a total of 330 stores so plenty to choose from for my outfits. I had a budget of £300, to hunt for a new wardrobe to carry me over into the spring season. This time of the year can be very temperamental regarding the weather. It can be hard to choose items that look good, keep you warm and in some cases keep you cool too. Like many people, I am not normally a big fan of inner-city shopping centres. So as a self-professed seeker of style and all things bright and fashionable this was an opportunity I could not refuse.
What Can £300 Buy You?
I set out to see what this mammoth architectural creation had to offer in terms of fashion and style. Could it tick all the boxes? And what is it that separates Bluewater from other shopping centres?
Now like most people that go to shopping centres and malls we all know that we cannot always find everything under one roof right? Well, the Bluewater shopping experience is an exception to that rule! With a £300 Bluewater card in my back pocket, press pass and license to spend. I headed inside to see fashions latest offerings and seek out some mid-season staples.
First on my list of places to visit was H&M and although undergoing work at the moment to make a bigger and better, the store still had a considerable selection of menswear. I decided to look for transitional lightweight items that could be worn in both summer season and rainy months and these are some versatile looks that I managed to find and style along with the help of the wonderful team at H&M.
- The first look I selected was a simple lightweight navy blazer £39.99 made from recycled materials and from ‘The Conscious’ collection and also matching trousers at £24.99 paired together with a blue and white striped nautical style t-shirt at £5.99 and white pumps at £14.99 all from H&M.
- The second outfit I chose was a lightweight versatile navy blue blazer on sale at £10 and matching trousers at £24.99 made from a shell-like material and great to take on your travels as it does not crease Paired together with a vibrant tropical green t-shirt made from a cotton slub jersey at £7.99 and white H&M pumps at £14.99.
- The third look I picked out was a beige cotton blazer at £39.99 beige cotton trousers at £29.99 both from the David Beckham modern essentials range, switching it up a little I decided to add a rugged texture to this look by introducing a jean jacket underneath at £29.99 this also gives a layered effect and warmth if needed paired with a white cotton t-shirt at £9.99 white pumps at £14.99 this is an interchangeable outfit that is both edgy and comfortable.
- The fourth look gives a change of mood and also a nice layered effect combining mid to light greys which can be interchanged with items from all the previous outfits to create a range of different looks so the top layer is a light waterproof raincoat in a mid grey at £24.99 from the David Beckham range, light grey jersey at £14.99 and a white cotton t-shirt with pocket detail at £9.99 and completing the look some navy blue recycled material trousers from the conscious collection at £24.99.
M&S – Social Media Influences Style Tips
Marks & Spencer has had a lot of re-marketing over the last two years. Gracie Opulanza the female voice for menswear interviewed the new faces for M&S way back in 2014. We are delighted to see that they chose to target a younger market using style icon such as Oliver Cheshire.
However, for me, the smartest move was to use Social Media Influences, such as top male model David Gandy to revamp the underwear range for men. Using David as an example of how you can team casual outfits with more evening wear, is one of the reasons I chose to have a peek at their latest collection. Let me know what you think of my style using our social media platforms. Oh, by the way, don’t forget to tweet your personal M&S style to us too. Even if it is, wearing David Gandy’s underwear.
The next store I visited was M&S where I managed to purchase a beige and brown short sleeve summer shirt made from Supina the worlds finest cotton at £25 and a super slim fit limited edition tailored long sleeve light blue shirt with a white round neck collar at £19.99.
And last but not least the ultimate accessory to complete all looks a large concept style watch in jet black and silver with a leather watch strap from forever 21 at £15. You can never go wrong with a watch. They are the perfect accessory in fact watches are a man’s best friend.
After a long day of shopping and exploring what Bluewater had to offer I headed to the main entrance where I could not resist a little something to eat before leaving. I tried the Bella Italia restaurant which served great Italian food and a wide range of gelato. For me, it is about excellent service no matter how busy these shopping centres are. So it was nice to be complemented with friendly staff, some colourful furniture throughout and amazing interior design features including a limoncello light installation on the ceiling.
Why Shop At Bluewater?
If you go to Bluewater I would recommend a full day here because there is so much to see and do. Bluewater is yours to explore and has plenty to offer It’s all about different strokes for different folks. The parking space can hold up to 13,000 cars in one day. There are many activities to host the children as well, which is crucial on a day out with the whole family. You can shop at your own leisure and meet new and exciting people. It hosts the British brands we are also used to and when bad weather hits, this is the perfect place to spend a day. There is plenty to choose by when it comes to snacking or a full-on meal. Catering for everyone even the fussy eaters.
When entering H&M and M&S I did not share who I was representing why I was here. So I can honestly say the customer service was genuine and honest. So well done you ticked all the boxes for me and you were very informative regarding the product, listened to my requirements and provided a memorable shopping experience so in terms of service and professionalism I thank you.
Did Bluewater cut the grade? For me it was an absolute yes because the people in itself made the effort. Sometimes it’s not just about the clothes it is also about who is helping you to try it on. It has an amazing choice of high street trends which I will be coming back for soon!
- Website: www.bluewater.co.uk
- Address: Bluewater Pkwy, Greenhithe, Kent DA9 9ST, United Kingdom
- Phone: +44 1322 475475