We Try On All The Clothes In Lidl So You Don’t Have To. And Yes, We Said Lidl

Lidl does normcore – and we’re buying it


by Nellie Eden |
Published on

On hearing the somewhat suprising news that Lidl are now doing clothes, I was open-minded. Lidl reminds me of foreign supermarkets, and who, in their right mind doesn’t love a trip round a foreign supermarket? Part of the joy of Lidl is it’s biblical market-style visual merchandising – rustic crates filled to the brim with dusty potatoes, four-litre bottles of ginger ale lying on their sides and bags of rice so large you could barricade your home with them should an Armageddon scenario arise.

Seriously, though, Lidl is no-nonsense retail and I can get down with that; I hate being shadowed by overzealous sales assistants and I’m not into being sold an ‘experience’ whilst sock shopping. As I somewhat excitedly entered the Hackney branch, I was greeted by a warm wall of croissant-y flavoured air. I couldn't believe my nostrils. This Lidl had an in-store bakery.

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OK, so first things first, ‘department’ is the wrong word. In fact ‘section’ would be grandiose in this context. ‘Jumble sale’ might even be a little too pretentious. Essentially what you’ve got is maybe 12, 4ft white-wire baskets, filled with half-packaged clothes with no indication of what lies where, despite the happy-go-lucky signs jauntily hung above the baskets, proclaiming ‘T-shirts £4.99’ and ‘trousers £6.99’. I was not about to be deterred. I soon realised that sizes start at a 10 (not my size), but after getting stuck in I was pleasantly surprised with some the treasures that I heaved out from the murky depths of the baskets (dark denim wash jeans, classic white shirts and high quality plain tees).

Things took a slight turn when I was told there were no changing rooms. Morale still high and ready for a challenge, I headed home and got my Lidl on -– with Gap’s AW14 ‘Dress Normal’ campaign on my mind all the while. Here’s what happened…

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First Things First: Lidl Does Good Denim


The fact that the smallest size Lidl does in a size 10 might be off-putting to anyone smaller. But I am a size six and the jeans were actually a really nice fit: high-waisted, with a deep indigo wash and a cute little turn up. They reminded me of a pair of very expensive Acne jeans I used to love and had lost. Housemates were impressed.

Denim Shirt, £5.99 in store; Jeans, £6.99 in store

The Plain White Tee


You might be thinking, bullshit, how can one review a plain white T-shirt? I could write a dissertation on them (don’t push me). This men’s plain white one was silky and I very much enjoyed the high-neck and the way it hung.

T-Shirt, £3.99 in store

Your New Old Skirt


2003 is back, babes. Don’t deny it. I haven’t worked a denim pencil skirt since school, so initially, I felt out of my comfort zone in this get-up. The fit was really snug and the more I paraded around the house in it, the more I decided that the skirt reminds me of Thora Birch in American Beauty (no bad thing). If all goes to plan, I will be teeming this with a large turtle-neck, Adidas Superstars and a puffa jacket this winter. Come join me.

Denim Skirt, £5.99 in store

Chiffon ’n’ Chucks


Ok, so U-neck T-shirts make me anxious. A neckline which isn’t a ‘V’ that doesn’t tickle my throat confuses me, hence the subsequent styling out of my khaki †-shirt. I’ve simply turned it back to front, and knotted a white chiffon shirt around the waist of my now, new, favourite jeans. I always think of Chucks as the full stop at the end of the normcore line.

T-shirt, £3.99 in store

Channel Britney's Baby Baby In A Knotted White Shirt


In my head I was channeling Cindy Crawford circa 1992, in reality it’s more French au pair on a budget circa 2003, but I’m loving it nonetheless. The beauty of a knotted shirt is that it’s so simple and yet makes you feel extremely sassy in a Salsa teacher kind of a way. Whilst the texture of the shirt might give away its price (about £6) I can’t imagine getting as good a quality fit or cut in Primark.

Um, I’m Sorry


I’m not sure what to say about this look except for, sorry. Elasticated-bottomed, cowl-necked tops are the Devil’s spawn and I was maybe getting a little big for my boots when I picked this one up. I thought I could make it work as a dress in a kind of Chrissy Aguilera attempt at red carpet dressing. I ended up whacking it over my Lidl jeans and popping on pool sliders, but I still couldn’t rectify the elasticated bottom with my conscience.

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Follow Nellie on Twitter @nelliefaitheden

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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