8 surprise hits that sell out quickly – and still-in-stock versions to try instead

Anyone who bases their opinion of UK retail exclusively on economic news would undoubtedly describe the condition of Main Street as dismal. Relentlessly, with reports of store closings piling up higher than the mountain of fitting room falls on the last day of trading at Topshop.

But in fact, visiting a high street store feels different. One of the people, happy to shop, try new season items, share their opinions and ask for advice.

Earlier this week, I went down King’s Road in Chelsea in London to do some research (yes, honestly that’s part of my job), and found – in one store – a group shopping for the one of their birthdays, a woman eager to try on every new coat and someone looking for a dress for her first day at a new job.

It was encouraging. But then when I asked for a few items in my size and saw that they were sold out, I asked myself: have I ever missed something?

Retailers wary of tough trading conditions have ordered more cautiously this season. In many cases, buyers’ appetites have exceeded supply, meaning popular items are either completely sold out or sold out in many sizes at the start of the season.

Among the pieces already missing (or on the way) are a waistcoat and pantsuit at COS, a midi dress at Ghost and a quilted jacket at M&S.

Here are the best-selling pieces of the season (so far) from eight premium brands – and the items to try if you missed your chance.


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