What to buy from Primark

What to buy from Primark (and what to avoid)
In recent years, Primark has become a stable stopover for savvy shoppers hoping to blag quite a few bargains for their cash.

But as the old saying goes, we often "pay for what we get" - while Primark's selection is immense and very cheap, not everything is up to scratch. So inspired by this very helpful thread on the MoneySavingExpert forums, I thought I'd share my personal favourite buys from this budget high-street store.

For yourself...


  • Basic Tees (£2-3 each) - I prefer the short sleeved type in 100% cotton which wash and wear well for a few months at least (and I wear mine often!)
  • Underwear (from £2 to about £8) - Primark knickers aren't really meant to be worn or washed often (I've found most will begin to degrade after a few wears). But their camisole sets and t-shirt bras are fabulous, and there's a beautiful range of lingerie too!
  • Socks and tights (£1-3) - There's always a fabulous selection at low prices. Check out the reduced section for the best bargains
  • Hair accessories and costume jewelry (£1-5) - With packs of 20 bobbles or hair slides from just £1 and pretty jewelry from the same price, it's easy to jazz up tired outfits on the cheap
  • Shoes (£2.75-20) - Some of my favourite footwear EVER originated in a Primark store. My pretend-Uggs cost just £4 and lasted more than an entire winter of being worn everyday. I still own some of the prettiest sandals I've ever seen five years after purchase, and those cheap ballerina pumps at £2.75 a pair are worth it even for a single wear.

For the man in your life...

  • T-Shirts (from just £1.90!) -Even my local charity shops don't offer tees as cheap as these! The cheapest cotton ones do stretch after a few wears but are ideal for holidaying or lounging. We prefer the "branded" ones with bold logos across the front which have lasted for ages, such as a Top Gun one (£4) and a retro Atari tee (£6, often reduced to just £3).
  • Hoodies and Sweatshirts (£8-12) - Plain ones can be even cheaper, but the best are those with contrasting trims and/or logos. Often we find them reduced and snap them up for later wear.
  • Fitted Boxer Shorts (£3) - Unlike the ladies' knickers, these cotton shorts wash and wear well, and are usually sold in packs of 2.

For the kids...

  • Babygros and baby vests (£2-5) - Not the best quality, but good for those early months when baby outgrows clothes like there's no tomorrow
  • Cotton dresses for girls (£6-10) - These are not only beautiful but last ages too! Almost all my daughter has had were still good enough to pass on to the charity shop when she outgrew them. Wash on a low temperature to preserve the colour.
  • Cotton Tees (£1+) - Not really meant to last, but then does anyone have a child whose tee shirts last more than a few months?
  • Accessories (£1+) - From sunglasses to baseball caps, hair accessories, bags and everything between, there's a lot to be found for under £1 for the most discerning of young tastes
  • Party clothes (£8-ish for an outfit) - Great prices for those outfits which won't be worn often, but which still need to look pretty or smart

What not to buy

Things which we've learned from experience to avoid include:
  • Women's cheap knickers (unless you plan to wear only a couple of times, they tend to lose shape or fall apart)
  • Ladies jeans - I've never found a well-fitting pair!
  • Flimsy fashion pieces, which tear or lose shape very easily
  • Pajamas (apart from the winter shirt types) which barely last a few wears
  • Perfume, it almost always smells cheap!

What do you think?

Do you have any favourite finds at Primark? Is there anything you'd particularly avoid buying from this store? Share your thoughts by leaving your comments below.