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What's selling now: contemporary fashion

Find out what’s selling now in the world of contemporary fashion


Carl Jacklin Managing director, Agatha in Lincoln

Our bestsellers at the moment are dresses, dresses, dresses – the top three are Part Two (£65-£129), Inwear (£89-£110) and Weekend Max Mara (£229). We had Ted Baker transitional product (dresses £150-£249, tops £99, T-shirts £59) delivered a week ago and it just went bonkers. People want “buy now, wear now” product – that’s the way things are going. Part Two utility daywear is doing well – people want a piece that can do several jobs, something you can wear during the day and then add a pair of heels to and wear for the evening. It has to do a couple of jobs: that’s how ladies are buying, unless it’s something a bit special.

The lead-up to the election had a little bit of a slowdown, but trade was decent in February, March and April. May was challenging – we had the announcement of the election, and spring/summer is always difficult in ladieswear. Unless you’ve got the good weather, it’s so confusing – one minute you’re in a cap-sleeved blouse and the next you have to get your winter coat on.


Weekend by max mara

Weekend by max mara

Weekend Max Mara

Florrie Dunn Personal stylist at Jarrold in Norwich

The Weekend Max Mara range has been really popular recently, especially its frayed-leg jeans (£139-£169) and outerwear (around £455). Dressy tops by Luisa Cerano (£249 for a blouse) have sold well. They’re on the expensive side, but we often get people who buy two or three things simultaneously from that range alone. Trends that are popular with our customers include flared sleeves and jeans with interesting designs on them, like at Max Mara. It’s lovely to see all the bright colours and patterns coming in for the summer.



Becky Simons Online orders at Gemini Woman in Stratford-upon-Avon

Sandwich’s new summer stock has sold well in colours such as summer rose and cobalt blue, and a really good seller from that range is the painted dot dress in deep blue (£95). Our Grizas range, while slightly more expensive, is very popular with our customers who love the natural white, cream and navy pieces on offer, particularly the silk sleeveless dress (£189.) Bubblegum pink and blue are the colours in demand with our customers this season.

Elaine Peel Owner of Peel Fashion Store in Belfast

Floral one-size kimonos by Essentiel Antwerp (£199) are popular with my customers at the moment, as are AG Jeans (£180-£230), which are extremely comfortable and suit all ages. One particular Xenia Design top our customers love is the Bita top (£165) in black and cream. Northern Ireland has had better weather than London lately, so shoppers are looking to refresh their summer wardrobe with vibrant colours and prints. We’ve also noticed a shift towards casual, versatile dressing among our customers. They want their money to go further, so they can wear more things in more ways.  

Mamabss17 27 for web

Mamabss17 27 for web

Mama B

Tamsin Straiton Owner of Polly’s in Leicester

Our Sahara range is selling well across the board, and its dresses (£120-£200) have proven especially popular with customers. Mama B tops (£60-£100) have also been bestsellers as customers shop in readiness for the high summer. When the sun is shining, people are definitely looking at buying items in brighter colours, such as orange, or with prettier designs, like embroidery. At this point in the season, we’re doing better than we have in previous years, which we’re really pleased about. A big department store in Leicester recently closed down, and it’s definitely had a positive impact on our business. In general, we’ve noticed that customers are looking to buy a single, good-quality piece rather than a few throwaway, cheaper pieces. 








Craig Armstrong Owner of Armstrong & Kingston in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh

Bestsellers for us are shirts (£85-£110) and chinos (£85-£135) from Gant and Ralph Lauren. Swedish brand Stenströms is a new brand for us. It makes great-quality shirts (£110-£149) and is doing well. We’ve been quite busy at the moment, particularly after Easter. The warmer weather has put customers in a good mood and they’re more prone to shop – they buy more lightweight fabrics and go for bolder, louder colours.

Gant ss17

Gant ss17


Jason Schiller Owner of Morse Point in Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria

Trousers from Gant (£80-£100) and Hackett (£100-£130) are performing well for us. Our Sebago boat shoes (£90-£130) and other boat shoes from English shoemakers are also going down a storm with our client base. Business is great and, since last year, it has been increasing each month, mainly thanks to our selective buying and knowing what works well with our customer. I have to say that Brexit hasn’t affected our business like many feared. The sunny weather that we’ve been having has also been vital in fuelling sales.




Philip Buckley Shop manager at Denis Hope in Rochdale

Hugo Boss polo shirts (£80) are selling well, as is its whole Green range. One brand that has really stolen the spotlight is Dutch brand R2 Westbrook – its long-sleeved shirts (£75) are really popular. Chinos by MMX (£130) in navy, stone and grey are also flying off the shelves. It’s been a hard season for us, and it might make for a tough year overall. Footfall has been down, even though spending per head is potentially higher than in previous years.

Scotch and soda s17men

Scotch and soda s17men

Nick Reaver Business partner at Jones Designer Fashions in Mumbles, Swansea

Our bestselling brand is Scotch & Soda. Our customers adore its denim (£100) and I love that it does great variations that fit all tastes and sizes. Remus Uomo shirts (£35) and Gant polo shirts (£35) also do great with our customers. Trade has slowed down a bit, but is about the same as it was this time last year. We’re waiting to see what will happen during our big Sale in July. 

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