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What's selling now: occasionwear and formalwear

Find out what’s selling now in the world of occasionwear 


Sibel Rutherford Director of Si Belle in Tarporley, Cheshire

The feminine design of Elie Tahari dresses (£500) make them very popular in store. They are made with lots of lace, which really stands out and is a hit with customers. Marc Cain jackets (£300) are also a bestseller, as they are very versatile and can be dressed up or down. Customers also like funky Moschino dresses (£300-£800) with their bright colours and bold patterns. Summer is a much busier time for us as we dress a lot of women for Royal Ascot, weddings and garden parties. Business slows down a lot during the colder seasons.

Gwen Brennand Owner of Checkmate in Whalley, Lancashire

Dresses and two-pieces from Paola and Joseph Ribkoff (£225-£500) are very popular. The cut and colours make their designs stand out – they are a great buy for the summer season. Gabriela Sanchez dresses (up to £500) are also a top seller, because of the quality of the material and the design. Summer is our busiest time of year – when it gets to September, it dies down a bit until the winter wedding season begins. We mainly cater for weddings, races and royal garden parties, which are in full swing now.

Condici occaisonwear 2


Irené Whittle Owner of Irené of Broadstone in Dorset

Women looking for those traditional wedding outfits have been going for Condici dresses and coats (£800-£900), or similar outfit combinations from Luis Civit (£600). For a look that can be dressed up and down, a lot of customers have been going for our Joseph Ribkoff dresses because they can be worn on more occasions. It’s been a very good season for us – the brands we stock provide what our customers are looking for.






Ispirato occasionwear


Gemma Archer Sales consultant at Jane Young in Newark, Nottinghamshire

Condici has been very popular for weddings this season – we sold a lot of the three-quarter-length coat and dress sets (£900). Lots of women also bought standalone dresses from Ispirato (£500): the kind of plain dress you can wear with a big hat to a wedding or the races. The wedding trade has picked up a lot –  high-profile society weddings have inspired a more formal wedding look. Women want something distinctive but also something they can wear again. 






Remus Uomo

Remus Uomo

Brian Smith Owner of Leaf in Newcastle

As wedding season has got under way, we have definitely witnessed an increase in sales in our occasionwear. Remus Uomo is probably our most sought-after brand for weddings at the moment and the suits are proving to be very popular (£300). Customers are increasingly buying Gibson London jackets and waistcoats (£250). Our sales have had a definite increase recently purely down to word of mouth – our customers wear our occasionwear to weddings and all the other guests want to know where it is from.




William Hipkin Sales assistant at Elliotts of Lymington in Hampshire

The hot start to the summer season has really kick-started our occasionwear sales. Chinos are a big seller at the moment in various colours, particularly in classic navy or beige. Ted Baker (£99) and Paul & Shark (£120) are big favourites in our stores because of their aesthetics and their fit. We find a lot of customers go with the brands they know when it comes to formalwear, as they are familiar with the sizing. Although it is typically our younger customers who purchase Ted Baker, we find our older clients can be easily persuaded once they see quality of the fit and the fabric.

Circle of gentlement 10479 326 andrea front

Circle of Gentlemen

Suzanne Dargie Menswear sales assistant at Landmark Clothing in Marlow, Buckinghamshire

We have two brands in store at the moment that are clear customer favourites. Circle of Gentlemen is very popular at the moment – its jackets (£350-£600), and its shirts, too (£119-£139). The jackets have a luxury edge and beautiful lining. Santinelli jackets (£185-£300) are hugely in demand currently too. They are very good quality for a very good price. We’ve been very lucky with the hot weather during all the seasons’ activities.


Chris Wilkinson Director at Man to Man in Southport

Hugo Boss is always a best seller for us – the polo shirts (£59.95-£105) are very popular for formal events and because of the recent hot weather, we’ve also seen more sales of the tailored shorts (£42.95-£52.95). Another top seller is Eterna, especially its cotton shirts (£49.95-£74.95). This is because of the detail of the shirts, their colours available and the lining. We’re not surprised these sell quickly. 

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