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Occasionwear and formalwear indicator, June 22

We take a look at the bestselling brands in women’s occasionwear and men’s formalwear.


Aileen Wilson, director of Blush in Belfast

“Our John Charles shift dress has been a bestseller, due to its Chanel-like embellished jacket (£960). Younger mums have opted for Irresistible’s fitted dresses with lace sleeves (£485 to £595), while Kevan Jon’s high fashion clothing is ideal for the races, particularly a popular asymmetric hem dress (£165).”

Thalia Bloundele, manager of Butterflies Bridal in Thornaby-on-Tees, Stockton-on-Tees

“A pale blue dress and jacket by Condici (£765) has been a hit with mothers of the bride. An Ispirato long-sleeved taffeta dress and jacket (£645) with a matching oversized fascinator (£189) in navy and pink has also been popular.”

Louise Brown, buyer at Catwalk in Falkirk, Stirlingshire

“Our newest brand for spring 15 is Antonio D’Errico. Its printed jackets and coats have been popular in a variety of fabrics (£750). The John Charles sheer lace long-sleeved dress (£775) in sea mist has been a favourite, alongside Condici’s satin-back, crêpe, navy-based dress and jacket (£689). Pistachio has been a key colour across all ranges.”   

Robert Stephen, manager of Celebrations of Turriff, Aberdeenshire

“Our boutique is located in a traditional area, so most styles do well in classic sheers and silvers. This season Gina Bacconi dresses have seen demand (£300 to £400), while Condici has provided customers with a selection of popular two-piece silver dress and jacket sets (£600 to £700). Joseph Ribkoff’s print dresses (£100 to £150) have also been popular.”

Beverley Carson, manager at Dressini in Market Bosworth, Leicestershire

“Condici sells itself, with two deliveries of its blossom and navy dress and jacket (£689) selling within a month. An Ispirato mother-of-the-bride dress (£269) has been a hit, along with an Ian Stuart black and white striped dress (£1,269).”

Janice Williams, owner of Duet in Lampeter, Ceredigion

“Joseph Ribkoff’s midnight blue and pink dress (£210) has been popular, while older guests are opting for the brand’s cami and jacket twin sets in blue California (£255). Our Gerry Weber cotton shift dress (£130) has been popular, along with a Bandolera lace dress (£186.50).”

Gwen Brennand, manager at Checkmate in Whalley, Lancashire

“Leslie Monte-Carlo’s quirky cottons and traditional pale-coloured dress and jacket suits (£485) have been in demand, alongside Joseph Ribkoff’s royal blue and white dress (£225) and jacket (£149). Slightly plainer than Ribkoff, our Michaela Louisa dress and jacket (£265 to £275) has been popular in lime green and coral.”

Charles Simons, owner of Donna in Barnet, Hertfordshire

“Bernshaw’s Audrey Hepburn-style dress in aubergine (£369) has been a classic choice, along with its gold suit (£415) and block dress and jacket suit (£415). US brand Terani’s range of short, beaded cocktail dresses have worked well (£149).”


Mike Duff, buyer for Tyrers of St Helens, Merseyside

“Figures are up 12% for spring 15, with our jackets, suits and shoes all popular choices. Meyer trousers are very much in demand (£89).”

Robbie Wallace, manager of Signature in Aberdeen

“Our strongest brand has been Eton. Its white and blue gingham shirts have been well received (£120 to £130), complementing our Boss spring suit collection (£530). Our Circle of Gentleman double-vented blazers have been popular (£400) with their on-trend funky lining and small buttons. Though we are ahead of two years ago, the area has struggled slightly with political issues, including fracking.”

Brian Smith, owner of Leaf Clothing in Newcastle-upon-Tyne

“Remus Uomo suiting in French blue (£245) has been popular. We have used the brand for 15 years and find its wide range of sizes work well for wedding parties. We brought in new brand Magee for spring 15 and have found its waistcoats (£95) and suits (£445) have been popular, while our trimmed Giordano shirts (£65) have also been well received.”    

Simon Hyslip, owner of Armstrongs of Worcester

“Bright colours are working in our Meyer trouser range (£79 to £99.50) and Eton’s classic shirts are popular in whites and blues (around £110). Without Prejudice’s lightweight summer jackets have sold in sky blues and greys (£299). Occasionwear is doing OK but our casual ranges are selling better.”

Tim Hobden, owner of Landmark in Marlow, Buckinghamshire

“Munro made-to-measure suiting is popular (£500) and jackets have done well across all brands. Trimmed jackets by 1 Like No Other (£350), bright blue versions by Circle of Gentlemen (£400) and Santinelli versions (£275) have been firm favourites.”

Ian Gardiner, director of Pritchards in Hereford

“Our Paul Smith suiting is popular (£575 to £800), paired with the brand’s tan brogues (£200). Boss spring 15 bright blue suits are in demand (£500 to £600) and Eton’s classic-collar slim-fit shirt in yellow, pink or blue has been on trend (£125 to £135).”

Richard Town, owner of Raymond Town Menswear in Shipley, West Yorkshire

“Benvenuto has been a top selling brand this spring 15. Its two-piece (£350) and three-piece (£425) woollen suits in navy and grey have been prominent choices. Chequered three-piece lighter-weight suits have been popular, with Benvenuto’s version (£460) and Gibson’s cheaper option (£350) in store.”

Siobhan Nolan-Farmer, manager of Jones in Mumbles, Swansea

“Spring 15 has seen demand for Remus Uomo two-button suits in French navy (£240) and slim-fit shirts (£55). Without Prejudice blue suits with waistcoats (£450) have been popular among wedding parties and Torre, our bespoke range, has been a hit in French blue. Van Buck’s ties have offered a splash of colour in popular purples and pinks (£39 to £69), while sensible price points have been key.”  

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