Find out what’s selling now in the world of occasionwear.
Simon Hyslip, owner of Armstrongs of Worcester
Dinner suits from Torre (around £275) have been doing well for us, as have Van Buck bow ties (£14.95-£29.95). Dress shirts from Hunt & Holditch (£49.95) are also performing strongly. We introduced a new Italian knitwear brand Impulso (£89-£189) for autumn 16 – it has a contemporary design and has attracted a younger clientele into the store. Unfortunately, roadworks are constantly blighting trade, which is especially damaging in the initial run-up to Christmas.
Neil Welker, managing director of Elliotts of Lymington in Hampshire
There are a few brands that are really selling well for us – tailored jackets from Carl Gross (£400), three-piece suits from Ted Baker (£500) and two-piece suits from Tommy Hilfiger (£500). The weather this year hasn’t had too much of an impact on trade, but the recent mildness is not helping the sales of heavier winter clothing, such as knitwear.
Classic lounge suits and casualwear are selling well for us at the moment. Dinner suits from Scott (£200), velvet dinner jackets from Remus Uomo (£150) and mohair suits from Sand (£600) are some of our bestselling brands. We’re hoping that partywear will start to take off as we get closer to Christmas – floral suits are normally very popular.
Siobhan Nolan-Farmer, manager of Mr Jones in Swansea
Remus Uomo sports jackets (£200), R2 shirts (£79) and Roy Robson trousers (£99) are all flying out the door. However, there are currently roadworks on the street where we are based and this is causing a lot of disruption – not only to our customers, but also to our incoming deliveries.
Ellie Wilkinson, sales assistant at Giselle Ladieswear in York
The relatively mild weather hasn’t affected us too badly at all – in fact, we’re selling a lot of cashmere and coats. Cashmere from Riani (£260) is doing particularly well. We like to pair cashmere ponchos over dresses for a more casual look. Marc Cain dresses (£250) are also performing well for us. We’ve recently introduced two new brands: bespoke tailor Mark Powell and Dutch fashion brand Turnover.
Soho crepe dress and stripe cape ú290 fuchia
Heather Jones, owner of The Wardrobe in Ballyclare, County Antrim
Evening dresses from Ispirato (£299) are selling well, as are Frank Lyman dresses (£250). Gina Bacconi’s caped dresses (£250) are also very popular. In Northern Ireland, the weather has just turned really chilly and there is definitely an autumnal feel, which has helped sales. We moved to smaller premises two years ago and this has been really beneficial for us. Consumer confidence in the area is high and sales are up. We had a 50% profit rise since last September, which we hope will continue for the rest of the year.
Diane Holland, owner of Peep In in Greater Manchester
Dresses from Gina Bacconi (£185) and Joseph Ribkoff (£200) always sell well for us. For younger customers after a trendier look, Ella Boo dresses (£175-£205) are popular. Gone are the days when people would spend £800 on an outfit to wear only once, and I find that a lot of my customers want items that they can wear time after time. We do find that, when the children are on holiday, trade takes a nosedive, but it should start to pick up now.
Kate Horsfall, manager of The Copper Tree in Usk, Monmouthshire
Joseph Ribkoff tops (£180) and trousers (£160) are selling nicely, as are Sahara dresses (£160), and caped dresses and wraps from Gina Bacconi (full outfit £240). We get a bit of a passing trade, but we’re lucky enough to have a lot of regular customers who return to us often.