The high street’s must-have items leaving thousands on the waiting list

Patience is not just a virtue but a necessary requirement when shopping the high street’s most-wanted. Waitlists are no longer the reserve of designer collections – now they have become commonplace at M&S and John Lewis, as certain hit items have reached gone-viral status. 

The price is appealing, yes, but the most coveted pieces also share a common design thread. From Boden’s wrap dress to John Lewis’s striped cardigan, each makes for a convincing inclusion in a not-so-basic capsule wardrobe. They tend to be seasonless and are just as easily paired with summer sandals as winter boots. Wearability is key. Many retailers have reissued their most-wanted items season after season, to champion long-term over fast fashion, which only serves to demonstrate their usefulness.

So what to (at least attempt to) buy next? Start by setting your alarms for the restock of the following seven pieces.


The Kate Dress, £120 

Midi, button-through, with elegant three-quarter sleeves and available in four easy-to-wear prints from size four to 22 in three lengths, it’s easy to see why the Kate dress has quickly become one of Boden’s most popular. 

So much so that despite being only released last month, it’s now set to receive a restock at the end of September with a 40 per cent increase in the buy. 

The answer to why it’s called the Kate dress is hardly a huge conundrum as the dress would fit perfectly into the Princess of Wales’s wardrobe. Wear it as she might with nude wedges, for now, swapping for knee-high boots come autumn.

Marks & Spencer

Cargo Trousers, £39.50 

Over at Marks & Spencer, cargo pants have proved a seasonal hit driven by a strong uptake from influencers. Head to its website to see regular banners flagging that triple figures of certain styles have been sold in the last 48 hours across the 50-plus variations available. 

However, its £39.50 option in three neutral hues – black, khaki, beige – is its definitive. “Now is the time to buy a pair of cargos as we head into autumn; they are the perfect transitional item for everyone and can be a stylish addition to any kind of capsule wardrobe,” says Emma Fox, head of womenswear buying.

John Lewis

Textured Striped Cardigan, £55 

John Lewis’s viral item is its Textured Striped Cardigan, available in sizes eight to 20. First a 2022 sensation in an ecru and navy colourway, the button-up, medium-weight, 100 per cent sustainably sourced cotton style has since been reissued in a sell-out ecru and green, with a recent restock for the new season of its original colour appeasing those who have long been waiting. 

This is the ultimate definition of a transitional piece. Hannah Staines, lead for womenswear buying, says: “The cardigan will see you through season to season and can elevate any outfit when layering and dressing up or down.”


Pippa dress, £125

 If this is your first introduction to Sezane’s Pippa dress then know you’ll need to wait until the start of 2024 for its restock and to join the 50 thousand who’ve placed themselves on the waitlist over the past six months. 

“It is just the perfect piece,” says Morgane Sézalory, the brand’s founder, of the mid-length style with a tie-fastening waist and crewneck. 

Available in 11 organic cotton shades from XXS to XXXL, the Pippa has spurred countless dedicated articles and fanfare since its 2022 release, becoming the ultimate to achieve that elusive French style in as easy a wear as possible.


Layla Wool Maxi Wrap Skirt, £240 

Cefinn is currently playing host to its biggest waiting list since the label’s launch in 2017, as thousands await the restock of its Layla wrap skirt. 

The wool-blend style in black (it’s also available in grey) recently sold out within a day and its return has not yet been given a date as the label avoids fast fashion. Samantha Cameron, Cefinn’s founder, explains that “[the] Layla skirt is a year-round elevated, on-trend staple, just what many women look for when investing in additions to their wardrobes”. 

Wear now with a tank and sandals, before wrapping up with an oversized cashmere jumper that is French tucked to reveal its button-fasten waist.


The Quilted Bag, £29 

You know an item boasts cult status when it has its own microsite and is introduced as an “icon”. 

First launched in 2020 with a several-time sell-out success, COS’s bag is resplendent with its Scandi-cool aesthetic and is available in micro, mini and oversized, as well as in various and increasing colour options and in leather or recycled materials. 

This autumn, opt for its Yves Klein blue style in the oversized to brighten up your cool-weather wardrobe.    


The Gabriella Dress, £99 

Over 5,000 units of Aligne’s Gabriella dress have been sold since last autumn, with 12,000 people on the waiting list hoping to wear it soon. 

The style is as versatile as a denim dress could be, with an empire waistline falling to mid-length, a sharp collared neckline and a zip-up front, available in sizes six to 22. 

Spring 2023 saw it re-released in pink and lavender, with the soon-to-come-back classic denim style ushering in a new and improved fit. 

The Gabriella is made of 100 per cent organic cotton, using 50 per cent less water than regular denim. Keep an eye out for its corduroy edition launching soon. Something tells us it will sell out. 

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