I’m continuing with my series of guest posts with an attempt to make them a bit more regular (see previous guests on beer here and here and football here). There are just too many wonderful things in Brussels for one lone blogger to write about so I’ll be recruiting some help from time to time. And I’ve got a great one for you today! I’ve invited fellow blogger and friend Kate from Bruxelles la Belle to share her top picks for shops in Brussels. Over to you Kate!
Shopping and discovering new shops are high on my list of favorite activities. Luckily, being a freelance lifestyle journalist and having a city blog are the perfect excuse to venture out and hit the shops as often as I want! 🙂
#1 Concept Stores – I love concept stores and multi-brand shops, because they stock a bit of everything and usually have a good selection of items. I find it very difficult to pick just one, so here’s my top three (in random order).
- Smets (women, men, cosmetics, furniture and objects): They have the best designers and store every brand’s key pieces for the upcoming season. A visit to Smets is like browsing the expensive online shops, only, you get to touch the clothes and try them on. As the shop is a bit out of the way (located near Meiser), I rarely make it (my wallet sighs with relief), but I love to check out the collections at the start of the season … and shop during the sales!
- No Concept (women): This multi-brand shop has all the popular French brands, including Iro, Bel Air and Bash. They have shops in Uccle and on Avenue Louise, where you can find clothes, shoes and accessories.
- Graphie Sud (women): The oldest concept store in Brussels (it opened in 1968!), it’s nearly always been located near Place Brugmann, long before the square became the trendy area it is today. Fans of Isabel Marant are spoilt with the best pieces every season. Other brands on sale are Hartford, Heimstone and the Belgian label Just In Case. They have a great selection of gifts, cards and funny objects too.
There are so many others … Hunting and Collecting (women & men), Icon (women), Francis Ferent (women and men) …
#2 COS (women and men) – I love the clothes at COS, for so many different reasons. They’re very affordable, you’ll find lots of great basics (t-shirts, blouses, cardigans), and they’re masters at making dresses, from timeless black ones to structured pieces that could have been created by a high-end designer. One tip though, try on everything you fancy, as they tend to size large and not everything looks the same on the hanger as it does when you wear it yourself. (Two locations – Rue Neuve and Avenue Louise)
#3 Version Originale (women) – This shop near Avenue Louise is a gem for designer clothes at an affordable price. Some of the items come from stock leftovers, but most of them come from customers who no longer wear them. You’ll find second-hand pieces (in mint condition!) by Marc Jacobs, Chanel, Marni and Chloe. You can drop off your old designer stuff at VO as well, and they’ll sell it for you (you need to make an appointment, and the selection is quite strict). It’s my way of fashion recycling. 🙂
What a terrific list Kate, thanks so much for sharing! I have to agree Smets is a mecca of all things fashionable but places like COS are great for more moderate (and realistic) budgets.
Happy shopping all and check back again soon for another great guest!
Images via Smets, Cityplug.be, My Best Address Book and Belmodo.tv.