By Cristina Boydell
For my Christmas holidays, I went to Naples, Florida where my family has a holiday home.
It was two blissful weeks of picture-perfect blue skies, sunshine, white beaches and palm trees. The weather is definitely the reason to visit Southwest Florida!
Fashion-wise, I found that the shopping in Florida simply does not compare to English shopping – they seem to be behind the times on the trends in this part of the country! There aren’t even global fast-fashion shops, such as H&M, Mango and Zara, and of course they don’t have Topshop and River Island that are available across the U.K.
There aren’t that many options, and if you are a young, stylish girl – the best bet would be Forever 21. For beach and under garments, Victoria’s Secret is the spot to go. There are outlets and department stores with designer labels too, but they tend to only stock unwanted or out-of-date stock.
On a positive note, the best bit of shopping I’ve come across was at a premium luxury shopping destination, called Waterside Shops. Located in downtown Naples, the stunning Spanish-style architecture is contrasted with beautiful palm trees, complete with serene fountains and waterfalls, as well as deluxe tropical landscaping.
This upscale shopping village hosts luxury brands from internationally recognized brands, including Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Hermès, Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Ralph Lauren and many others.
The same brands are also available on the ritzy streets, such as Sloane Square, Regent Street, Bond Street and Knightsbridge in London.
Nordstorm and Saks Fifth Avenue, large high-end department stores in Florida, also stock great designer goods, but the merchandise is very different from the Harrods and Selfridges of London.
On the contrary, missing from the tube map would be more affordable American shops, such as homeware at Pottery Barn and clothes catered to older professional women at the White House/Black Market.
As much as I love relaxing in Florida, I was in dire need of checking out the post-Christmas sales back in London!