In my twenties, while trying to become a writer and juggling many magazine internships, I worked as a sales assistant at H&M to try and fund my London lifestyle. I really loved working there - well, most of the time - but my favourite job was to unpack the new crates of goods that got dropped off daily. Seriously, as a shopaholic, opening these big black crates of all the new-in pieces was so joyful. Getting to touch it before anyone else was such a perk of the job.
It's no surprise that I now shop for a living, and now it's for you lovely readers and not just for myself. I do consider myself a professional when it comes to H&M. Those years of experience, and the knowledge of where the 'good stuff' got placed in store - btw it's always the 'A Area' as it was known - directly in front of you as you walk in to the store. That's the key spot, and I know it's not rocket science but if I have 30 seconds to shop in H&M nowadays I'll always peruse the A Area.
Granted, it's trickier online but years of shopping for fashion features for my job as the Director of Lifestyle & Commerce has taught me that model selection is key, and you can seriously tell when the brand puts items on particular models. Or they've shot the piece in various set-ups, that's another big giveaway.
When I go on any brand's website - especially H&M - I always filter by new in and then sort by recent. I don't like being served 'bestsellers' or 'recommended' as the results sometimes feel old. I just really want the joy of being my old twenty-something self opening the crates of newness again.
Looking on H&M right now, autumn is definitely dialling in and I'm answering that call. The weather is kind of all over the place, but I love shopping for a new season, and it can even be something small like a hair accessory.