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Occasionwear and tailoring Indicator

What’s selling now in the world of Occasionwear fashion?

Women’s Occasionwear:

John Charles

John Charles

Ispirato Blue Lace Dress

Ispirato Blue Lace Dress

Nicola Garton Owner of The Wedding Shop in Colchester
“John Charles fitted dresses (£600), Linea Raffaelli dress, jacket and hat three-piece outfits (£600) and silk Ian Stuart dresses (from £1,000) are our bestsellers. The stronger economy, our prominent position on a busy high street and the fact Colchester is one of the fastest-growing towns in the country have all combined to increase sales in 2014.”

Martha Fraser Owner and buyer at Martha V in Newmarket, Suffolk
“Luis Civit scoop-neck pleated dresses and short fitted jackets (£600) are in demand, as are colourful Cabotine lace dresses and short fitted jackets (£500). Zeila soft sculptured dress with sleeves and a short collarless jacket are also popular (£500). We benefit from the horse racing in Newmarket and the fact there are not many independent stores in the area. Trading is up 30% on last year.”

Heather Jones Owner and buyer at The Wardrobe in Ballyclare, County Antrim
“Frank Lyman’s jersey dresses (£149), trousers (£115) and longer tops (between £119 and £135) sell particularly strongly. From Ispirato and Luis Civit, there is demand for knee-length dresses without jackets (£290 to £350). Even though the high street is still struggling, our sales have risen because people love to get dressed up.”

Heather Lenthall, Manager of Renaissance of Newport, Shropshire
“As specialists in occasionwear, Ian Stuart pleated dresses (£1,000), Zeila embellished dresses and Cabotine dresses (between £500 and £600) prove popular. We benefit from the fact that people don’t mind spending for a one-off, special occasion.”

Karen Nodem Owner of Hoops-a-Daisy in Wakefield
“We stock two styles of dresses from Mascara (£225 and £300) and L’Atelier (£300 and £400). Another favourite is the Ingrid dress by Ebony Rose Designs, which can be customised (£380). Overall, business is growing due to sales of mother of the bride outfits, which we started stocking two years ago.”

Diane Wilson Owner of The Bridal Court in Portadown, County Armagh
“Specialising in tailored dresses and outfits, we are the only store in Northern Ireland to stock Jasmine (between £400 and £500). We offer four different ranges from the brand - Jade, Jasmine B, Black Label and Jade Couture. Trade fluctuates according to the season, so around Easter mothers of brides start looking for summer wedding outfits.”

Joe Halford Assistant manager at The Crompton House of Fashion in Wedmore, Somerset
“Dress and jacket combinations from John Charles (£500 to £900), Condici (£700 to £1,000) and Ian Stuart (£900 to £1,400) are selling well. As 2013 was considered an ‘unlucky year’ for some brides, 2014 has been much busier.”

Allison Jayne Proprietor of Allison Jayne in Castle Gardens, Swansea
“John Charles dresses (£399 to £950), Ian Stuart dresses and jackets (£995 to £1,800) and Condici dress and jacket outfits (£699 to £939) are popular. Footfall has been very good this year.”

Men’s Occasionwear:

Without Prejudice

Without Prejudice

Rob Evison Manager of Giorgio Reggiani in Derby
“Suits from Remus Uomo, Gibson London and Sand (between £250 and £550) are popular. We’re always on the lookout for innovative brands, although our customers can take a while to warm to them if they are not well known.”

William Coe Owner of Coes in Ipswich
“Suits from Without Prejudice are a favourite (£450), and also shirts from Profuomo and Seidensticker (both £55). The sunny weather has resulted in a vast improvement in trade, although autumn is our top-selling season.”

Richard Town Owner of Raymond Town Menswear in Saltaire, West Yorkshire
“The Benvenuto mix-and-match stock service suit is our main seller (£350). Other popular brands are Remus Uomo (jackets £150, suits £300) and Without Prejudice (jackets £300, suits between £400 and £500). When choosing new brands we usually look for a mark-up of 2.7. However, customers tend to respond better to new brands in casualwear than formalwear.”

Dominic Bosley, Assistant manager at De Gruchy in St Helier, Jersey
“We had a three-piece, vibrant blue Paul Smith suit that flew out of the store this season (£550). We are increasing our quantity of waistcoats, which are selling really fast as our customers love the three-piece suit look that is popular on catwalks. Roy Robson suits (from £300) are also popular, as is our own label made-to-measure service (between £800 and £900). We like to update our stock by introducing new brands.”

David Warwick Director of Warwick of Wellington, Northants
“Without a doubt suits and shirts sell best. Suits from Remus Uomo (£199 to £275) and Benvenuto (£299 to £350) are popular. Olymp shirts also sell very well (£45 to £55). We look for new brands that are a bit edgy and contemporary.”

Lizzi Long Store manager and buyer at Robert Ashworth in Reigate, Surrey
“Suiting from Munro (£500) and Roy Robson (£400) goes down very well. The white slim-fit shirt from Eton (£125) is also very popular. To keep things fresh we introduce new brands every season, such as Without Prejudice for autumn 14.”

Justin Brogan Assistant manager at Lugets of Exeter
“Our own-brand suits are our biggest sellers (£450). The majority of our customers are regulars, so we know which new brands will appeal. We look to see if they are reasonably priced, good quality and a bit quirky.”

John Footitt Senior menswear buyer and shop manager at Lester Bowden in Epsom, Surrey
“Slim-line shirts from Eterna with a contrast-collar trim always sell strongly (£55). Our Seidensticker ties (£35.95) and Daks suits (£600) are also in demand. The recent hot weather has definitely affected our suits and jacket sales, although most of this trade is done in the autumn.”


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