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What's selling now: Independents' occasionwear and formalwear bestsellers

Find out what’s selling now in occasionwear 


marc cain stylish dress with sequins 415 cut out


Ellie Wilkinson, sales assistant at Giselle in York, North Yorkshire

Marc Cain and Riani dresses in shades of lemon and nude (£250-£450) are probably our bestselling brands at the moment. Although not your typical occasionwear, they are very popular for mother of the bride looks paired with scarves and accessories. Joseph Ribkoff is another popular choice, with dresses available from £200.”


Jan Palmer, owner of Lindsey James in Sleaford, Lincolnshire

Dress Code and Dressed Up dresses are always popular (£500-£700), with our Santino jackets (£500) coming a close second, as customers still want a jacket because of the weather. We have noticed a demand for longer occasionwear dresses, so we have brought in some more below-the-knee stock to suit our customers. However, we do offer a tailoring service to those who prefer a shorter dress.”


joseph ribkoff black show stopper dressfrom 200 cut out

joseph ribkoff black show stopper dressfrom 200 cut out

Libby Allan, co-owner of Revolve, in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

“Fishtail dresses from Dynasty, which vary between £300 and £500, are selling very well along with backless dresses from Forever Unique (from £275) and floor-length Joseph Ribkoff styles from £200. Bariano, which is originally from Australia, is our newest bestseller; its crochet dress is priced at £215. We have noticed that stronger colours, such as scarlet and royal blue, are flying out of the door, instead of the typical pastel colours associated with summer.”


Claire Barker, co-owner of The Pageant Boutique, in Bradford, West Yorkshire

Sherri Hill and Mac Duggal dresses, which range from £250 to £1000, are our bestselling brands. Both brands offer couture collections, which can reach up to £10,000 depending on embellishments and cut. Blush Prom dresses (from £300-£450) are also popular with their pastel colours. Our Sherri Hill two-pieces and separates are also very popular, with prices varying from £300 for a short skirt to £700 for a floor-length skirt. This year, green, turquoise and teal are selling very well, with floor-length styles still the bestsellers. As most of our customers are young women shopping for proms, big, puffy, bridemaid-type dresses are long gone. Customers want fashionable trends.”


Jenny Packham

Jenny Packham

Sharon Paver, manager of Poppy Bridal in Darlington, County Durham

“Our top-selling brands for bridal gowns are Maggie Sottero (£900-£1,500), White One (from £800) and Jenny Packham (£3,000). White and lace are very popular for summer, with longer dresses still selling the best. Backless dresses and unusual necklines with full sleeves are very much sought-after as designs evolve.”


barbour international rebel wax jacket 199



Tim Benns, manager of Jarrold, in Norwich, Norfolk

“Our bestselling brands at the moment are Gant, Camel Active and Barbour. Shirts from Camel Active(from £50) are popular, as are a lot of jackets from Gant (£200), probably because of the weather. One item that is selling very well, with 95% of sales at the moment, is a lightweight jacket from Barbour’s pre-autumn collection at an amazing £149.”


Steven Buttress, owner of Buttress’s in Thurso, Scotland

“Our kilt hire service is very popular with our customers for summer weddings, with brands such as Cameron Ross and prices varying between £75 and £115 for a weekend hire. Other brands include Double Two and Rael Brook, which are very popular with our customers when they’re looking for dress shirts, as they are very affordable, from only £20. We’ve noticed that lilac and lemon shades are selling well this summer, but classic black remains a top seller. A new brand that was introduced in the spring is Gabicci, with prices ranging from £30 for casualwear to £60 for knitwear.”


Philip Curtis, owner of Coneys of Boston, Lincolnshire

Boss jeans (£140), and other brands, such as Ted Baker and Armani Jeans, are currently the bestsellers with our customers. Ted Baker chinos (from £80) and Armani polo shirts (from £75) are the top choices for this summer. Although we do stock bright colours, classic and traditional colours, such as white, navy, grey and black are always the most popular.”


Philip Buckley, manager of Denis Hope, in Rochdale, Lancashire

“Our Remus Uomo three-pieces suits in royal blue (from £295) are very popular. Another popular brand is 7 Square for jackets (£180). Giordano shirts (£75) are also a top seller, with many of our customers picking bright orange and pink for summer. A new brand coming soon is Belstaff, a British heritage brand.”


Edward Old, marketing manager and son of owner at Robert Old in Bournemouth, Dorset

Zegna formal jackets (from £1,000) and Eton shirts (from £120) are always popular. However, our bestselling items have to be Kurt jeans (£300). With jackets, we’ve noticed that customers prefer soft prints, such as dog’s-tooth, over stripes, with blue still being the top colour. We are looking at introducing new brands in the future, but we are not sure yet what these will be.”


Compiled by Megan Goodwin

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