Now and again, when I’m shopping, I like to take a road a little less travelled. London is a supermassive black hole of brilliant retail venues, and when stuck in an Arcadian rut, a new adventure is welcome. It’s not just about seeing different shop staff – yep, because some of the Topshop St Paul’s crew have begun to recognise me – but about switching it up.
Because I don’t really subscribe to the vintage thang anymore – see 2007 – it’s nice to find solace in a shop that sells fresh pieces with a kick, and that don’t hurt my wallet too much. At the beginning of first year, I discovered Joy the Store. We’ve been in a happy relationship for two years. I’m quite loyal when I find a goodun, and Joy is just that.
What had been making me happiest about Joy of late is its elusivity. It is hidden in some of London’s best retail nooks. I ate my words when Idiscovered that there are in fact fifteen London stores, sixteen if you include Croydon. Which is actually, quite a lot, and according to Topshop’s website, five more than the big T have! So I’ll be damned, Joy isn’t quite as coy as I
first thought. But it is, nevertheless, simply a joy to be in. Couldn’t help the (very bad) pun, sorry.
But because this is not Travel and is in fact Style, I ought to be telling you about the clothes. They are safe, let it be said, but I like safe if I’m honest. I appreciate a good JW Anderson skirt as much as the next Young British Designers supporter, but I can’t pull it off. I like A-line skirts, polonecks and coats too much for actual fashion, and luckily Joy has all of those. The store is built on, according to the literature, ‘an eclectic mix of fun’. I’d agree with that. You can find a good unicorn jumper alongside an appropriate meet-the-parents dress, slotted next to a stonking great winter coat. Joy isn’t breaking fashion rules but it is making solid clothes for solid people. If the fashion versus clothes debate wants to raise its head, Joy knows whereit stands. And I think that’s fine.
Happily there’s a packed menswear section too, great shirts for boys a little over Topman. You won’t find any creeper clad hipsters inside Joy’s wall – and thank goodness for it – but you will find pretty, happy clothes. And sometimes, that’s simply a Joy.
Click through the gallery for the best of Joy’s October edit.