Tagged: blogging events


Rocking the ’30s golfer look.

It’s not often that five girls concurrently ask me to be their boyfriend. Of course, it’s worth pointing out that they’re offering to act as a beard to sneak me into a bar near Bond Street that’s hosting a Next event they’ve convinced me to gatecrash. Yep, I pretty much have the best blogger friends around.

Getting past the bouncer is the easy part, the saloon door moment (you know, the moment when a stranger walks into a saloon in a cowboy movie and everyone falls silent) comes when I walk into a bar FULL of girls. Already slightly buzzed on Babycham, I lean into Amy of Wolf Whistle and whisper ‘everyone’s smiling at me and I don’t know if it’s because they all know me or if some weird collective flirting thing is going on.’ ‘Well of course, everyone knows you, Stu,’ she replies. I’m not sure if she’s being sarcastic. Babycham buzz fading fast, I manage to acquire two free drinks pretty much immediately (the Gatecrashers’ Manifesto is pretty much ‘gatecrash hard, drink fast’) and am dubbed ‘Two Drink Stu’ by Becca of Fashion Train, who I instantly love.

Despite admitting to not having been invited, Next give me a VIP pass and invite me along to the lock-in anyway. They even gave me the same amount of store credit to spend as everyone else. I have to say, this is pretty stellar of them – even just letting me crash was nice of them, but gifting me products too was above and beyond the call of duty. WELL DONE, NEXT. There’s probably a moral in there somewhere – maybe it’s confidence can get you places, maybe it’s brands fear repercussions of turning people away, maybe it’s just that Babycham makes me absolutely irresistible…

The shopping experience itself was sublime. Admittedly I spent almost no time in the menswear department, instead lurking with LawMaria and Hayley in the womenswear bit…doing nothing for my hetero rating, as per usual. I’ve always seen Next as something of a ‘safe’ choice, hence me spending my store credit on navy desert boots (pictured at the top of this post) and some wintery cable knit socks…


but the lock-in proved me wrong. The womenswear department in particular had some really quirky numbers. I fell in love (not in a creepy way though ~) with a pink lace blazer, which I ended up picking up for a special someone but haven’t yet managed to get a picture of them wearing. Whatever Tanya tells you, don’t listen to her; it WASN’T for me…

Massive points also go to the DJ, who not only looked the part but played some massive tunes. It’s not often that I have to fight the urge to get down with my bad self when I’m in Next. Credit to the photographer who snapped the following pic – I tend to forget to take ANY pictures as soon as a drop of alcohol passes my lips.

So yes, thanks for a great night, Next! And well done for proving that you ‘get’ social media and blogging – it would have been very easy just to turn me away from the whole thing, but you made me feel more welcome than I could have hoped for. And I didn’t even have to pretend to be anyone’s boyfriend.