Hugo Boss’s casualwear nods to the nautical trend, with a navy, red and white colour palette on blouses, floaty dresses, trousers, blazers and slim skirts. Its smarter, more tailored offer comprises blouses with structured shoulders and pleated shirt dresses. Bright purples and yellows on dresses and separates inject colour into the darker tailoring range.
This is a tight, well-edited collection comprising only about 40 pieces in a store where womenswear is only given about a quarter of the space. The mix is evenly split between smart and casualwear, one on each rail at opposite sides of the store. Dresses – of which there were seven styles – stand out, but all product categories are ticked off, including blouses, skirts, trousers and suits.
Despite being in a shopping mall, Hugo Boss delivers the type of service synonymous with luxury brands. Staff call female customers “madam” and are on standby outside the changing rooms. Womenswear takes up about a quarter of the whole store, which is mainly dedicated to menswear. There is plenty of room to browse the predominantly white shop, which features few mannequins, a white leather chair and fluffy rug.
Hugo Boss’ prices are understandably higher than its rivals, who have been judged on their diffusion lines in this category. Still, suits come in at around £450, which is reasonable for a designer brand, but a stripey silk dress for an extra £20 seems expensive, especially when neighbouring contemporary retailers are offering the same fabrication in equally design-led styles for half the price. A jersey shift dress is £199 and good-quality knitwear is around £179.