My Belfast: Victoria Square Feature


If I'm going to do a feature on the best shopping Belfast has to offer, it would be pretty silly to overlook the highlight in Belfast's retail renaissance; Victoria Square.

Recently celebrating its 5th birthday Victoria Square is a sign of of the times, showing the big retailers that Northern Ireland was profitable investment after years of them overlooking us.

I'm nothing if not a thrifty chap and I like my shopping to be smart. I don't usually go for big name brands; I prefer to admire them from afar. So this feature is about my choice of the best affordable shopping Victoria Square has to offer. With many mid-season sales now with further reductions, it's the best time to pick up a few bargains.

First stop is the Square's anchor department store House of Fraser

 Belfast, as with much of Britain, was once renowned for its department stores such as Anderson & McCauley and Robinson & Cleaver (now a fab new restaurant). House of Fraser brought the much needed one-stop-shop back to Belfast (sorry Debenhams). Truth be told, I'm not a huge department store fan, but brands such as Label Lab, Howick and Linea draw me in occasionally. Label Lab, I feel, is an easier to wear version of All Saints, Howick is a casual college style offering & Linea is great for picking up those wardrobe essentials like plain shirts and chinos. I'm a shoe devotee (as my blog title suggests) and the footwear department is a haven for brands such as Bertie, Dune & Converse.
Bertie Benton Eva Brogue
Was £85.00 Now £42.00
Howick Arlington Lambswool Jumper
Was £40.00 Now £20.00
Label Lab Stone Parka Jacket
Was £150 Now £36.00! (WTF?!)

Linea Foster Chino
Was £55.00 Now £22.00

The summer isn't over according to
Pull & Bear
Next stop Pull & Bear. I first visited Pull & Bear in Dublin many years ago and was drawn to their affordable selection of jackets, tees and accessories. A Victoria Square resident from the start, their European styling and presentation is evident, drawing on the brand's Spanish roots.

New season trousers in washed cotton

Jersey Blazer £39.99
This is going on my want list

Working our way around the Square, next stop Topman. I did a small edit of the Topman sale at the end of June, but by this stage new lines will have been added and prices further reduced. If you're looking for some fresher ideas, check out their new season selection instead. Topman is renowned for being trend-setting and this might be not for everyone, but it's worth having a nosey every so often. (They also offer 10% discount to students all year round, so start making friends)

Embroidered Swallow Sweater £28.00
I love the tattoo-inspired pattern

Finally we stop at one of my favourite shops in the entire world. Some may turn their noses up at it for various reasons, but I find H&M one of the most versatile and affordable stores on the high street. I use it for all sorts of occasions; work clothes, basics, casual comfort clothes and going out clobber. I first discovered H&M when I lived in Nottingham and loved visiting home with clothes none of my friends could get. I had mixed feelings when it came to Northern Ireland as my little secret was going to be shared, but style is about wearing clothes your way, no matter who else may have same stuff as you. H&M are currently in sale, but really, you won't even need their sale prices most of the time. Seriously: Tees from £3.99, shirts from £9.99, jeans & chinos from £14.99. Get on it man!

These are a few of my favourite things...

  • Here's a few of my other choice haunts

Urban Outfitters is where the cool kids shop.
A little too cool for me sometimes but great for
graphic tees & quirky gifts

TM Lewin's 5 shirts for £100 sale is now on.
You've really no excuse at these prices. 
River Island is always a good all-rounder.
The BF has a borderline obsession with
this shop.
Pepe Jeans leather jacket
Was £235 Now £117.50
A real investment piece.
I like Reiss for their refined minimal styles.
If you want smart contemporary, this is the place.

Tommy Hilfiger's classic American sportswear
never goes out of style.  

All Saints is a great example of British fashion.
Edgy styles in muted colours &
one of my favourite shop interiors.

I hope you've enjoyed my little tour. You may have noticed I've missed a few of the shops. I have nothing against these stores, but as they are at the higher end of my budget, I'll be talking about them in a future post - check back! Visit the Victoria Square website for full listings of all their stores and facilities. With over 15 cafes & restaurants and the Odeon cinema, Victoria Square is not just a shopping centre; it's a family destination & social hub for all of Northern Ireland.

PS: Don't forget to visit the Viewing Gallery on the top floor for some amazing sights and photo opportunities of the Belfast skyline!

Harland & Wolff cranes
Albert Clock

(Images property of House of Fraser, Pull & Bear and rogues+brogues)

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