Stores You Should Know About—London: Labour and Wait

So it's a new year, and we're all getting back into the groove of things. A healthy way to ease that pain (and nearly any pain, for that matter) is via retail therapy.

Over the past seven months since I made my move from New York to London, I've come across a wealth/shit ton of new stores—some in London, some in New York, and some who strictly operate online.

To help you satisfy that resolution of shopping more, I'll be sharing some of these new shops over the next few weeks. All of these stores are totally unrelated aside from the fact that they're all independent and they're all awesome, so there will be a nice variety to help keep you from away from the ledge during the Worst Months of the Year.

Without further ado, I give you our first awesome Store You Should Know About, and that's London's own Labour and Wait.

Stores You Should Know About—London: Labour and Wait


Labour and Wait is the kind of store that makes you feel clean, but that kind of clean that you'll never really be and can only aspire to. (Similar to the feeling you get when you shop at Whole Foods.)

Whether I'm in their East London store or just browsing their online shop, I'm always overcome with the urge to throw out everything I own and focus only on classic, salt-of-the-earth design.

Stores You Should Know About—London: Labour and Wait


Labour and Wait originally opened in East London in 2000. The store was created with timeless, functional design in mind, which was a response to the cheapened, mass-produced products that were beginning to saturate the market. It only took the rest of us about 15 years to catch up to this idea but boy, I'm sure glad we did—I got one of those snazzy little mugs from my husband for Christmas and man, it's good:

Stores You Should Know About—London: Labour and Wait


Stores You Should Know About—London: Labour and Wait


Stores You Should Know About—London: Labour and Wait


Labour and Wait has two brick and mortar locations in London—one in Shoreditch as well as one in Dover Street Market. And should you find yourself in Japan, check out BShop—you'll be able to find Labour and Wait at 13 of their locations.

Thanks to Poppy Talk for taking a great picture of the swoon-worthy brush collection, and Dwell for their ballin' shelf photo.

Cos And The Case For High Street Minimalism

There are several benefits to being an American expat in London.

Some are practical (national health care), some will become clearer the longer you're here (earning your salary in GBP is awesome, the weather truly does suck), and some are superficial (Boots, the general social acceptance of being drunk by 6PM on a weekday).

Another benefit to living in London is having access to the high street glory that is COS.

Cos And The Case For High Street Minimalism


You know the fancy section of H&M? Yes you do—it's the part of the store that's slightly minimalist, slightly more upscale, and has nicer fabrics. It's the part of the store that you never really shop from because it's too expensive and you're at H&M for Pete's sake

If you took that and crossed it with Zara, you'd get COS (which is actually a part of H&M, for the record).

Sure, it's a little more expensive but the design sure is good and the quality is better. This is what COS stuff looks like:


A little taken aback by the Scandinavian minimalist approach? Don't be nervous! COS has stuff like this, too:


 Not that I've ever bought anything there, but much like the fancy section at H&M, it's bound to happen one of these days. I am earning the pound, after all.

From here and, well, obviously here.