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Birmingham or Manchester: shop-off

Back safely at my desk (the sofa) so let's pick up the story.  What did I learn from my double-city shopping break?  

Wardrobe Coordination 
As a busy mum packing for a working weekend trip (shopping in between traveling, concerts and writing) I only had a few minutes to pack for three nights and four days: 2 black dresses, 4 pairs of black leggings, 1 white Breton top (changing up a dress to a top/skirt combo) and 1 pair of stretchy black pants for the breakfast runs (paired with the Breton T) for a series of together-looks. Chuck in a jewellery bag to dress up or down whether I was at a concert or shop, and add a couple of cardigans (hot pink and red) to the capsule.

More choice
Back to the shopping - as well as the Revlon nail polish I turned up a lime-flavour Carmex lip balm in Manchester.  Nothing says summer like zingy sensations!  

Lime Carmex

Big cities mean more consumer choice, no matter what stores are available. 

If I only have 15 minutes to shop then I will still hit the bags section of the nearest department store (the Bullring's TK Maxx), and perhaps it's because I know Manchester's cobbled streets so well that my choices are closer, but Birmingham's sprawl of shops meant I never made it to The Mailbox on this trip.  Thanks to fellow blogger Kate on Thin Ice's Birmingham: A Shopper's Paradise post  I grouped my shopping around the New Street/Burlington/Piccadilly areas. 

Lots of metallic sandals and coloured pointed-toe flats around both Manchester and Birmingham (and of course Converse and New Balance), but what I really missed were my Croc flipflops, which I've worn A Lot since being pregnant and in the two years since - comfy and great for running around after a toddler.  
They would have tackled cobbles (Manchester) and hills (Birmingham). At least in Manchester there was a free city centre bus to connect me from Deansgate to The Arndale (Birmingham City Council take note).

In the end it is all about consumer choice.  Birmingham offers geographical accessibility for more shoppers in the UK, and once Grand Central is open I’ll pay another visit, if not sooner. 

But I know Manchester’s side streets and short cuts and the textile history backdrop so well that walking distance between ALS (A Lister Stores) and HS (High Steet) seems much shorter and I’ll never say no to a trip up there, even if it means I have to stay overnight to fit in The Trafford Centre (which offers a Muji, currently on Birmingham's New Street) and a John Lewis (soon to open in Birmingham City Centre). 

Size15Stylist 2014

Where do you like to shop?   


  1. I want that lime flavoured carmex. Want!! :)

    1. It's like wearing a Mojito! Think you can order from the Boots website, and probably Amazon, too.

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