The city is host to all of the usual suspects when it comes to high street fashion; Debenhams, River Island, Primark, New Look, Dorothy Perkins. But if you’re craving a break from the skinny fit jeans, leggings, and clothes boasting the same old patterns, look no further than Canterbury’s high street.
Stepping into Revivals is like taking a step back into Victorian London. They take good customer service very seriously, and an assistant is always on hand to help you choose an item, be it a red velvet dress from the 1960s or a renaissance shirt favoured by university Pirate societies nationally.
Funky Monks has a great shop window and it wouldn’t look out of place in the Brighton lanes. In fact, my theory is that the manager mistook Canterbury high street for one of the lanes, but decided to settle there anyway because of the view. If you like jazzy colours, double denim, patterns that remind you of a 1990s bus seat and knitted cardigans, Funky Monks is the PLACE. TO. BE. Also, they have a little goth section if that’s what you’re into, and some long floaty dresses that could potentially be used for a prom, for someone, someday, somewhere.
Head along to the end of Orange street, opposite the chocolate café.
Here you will find Siesta, the hippy shop to crown all hippie shops based in Canterbury. Canterbury does not have a huge hippy client-base, so this accolade is not one of the most hard-earned accolades, but it is regardless a very nice shop. In here you will find incense (essential), fairy lights, eccentric picture frames made from recycled Coke cans from Lebanon, and upstairs, a sea of clothes; ponchos, baggy coloured trousers, summer dresses, knitted bags, brightly coloured makeup sets and a full Glastonbury festival wardrobe.
Follow the road towards the Cathedral and you will soon find Peppermint. Although it is less eccentric than the others, is a very pleasant alternative to the high street brands. If you’re fond of brands like Red Herring, Apricot and Pussycat, it has that kind of vibe; it boasts a little more edge than your average visit to New Look.
This is not inclusive of the city’s great contribution of charity shops. If you’re willing to put in the browsing time, you’ll be sure to secure, at the very least, solid pair of jeans and an offensively patterned shirt.
Make Canterbury shine!