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What’s selling now: occasionwear and formalwear

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


Sawsan Gamgoum Owner of Flair Designer Wear in Towcester, Northamptonshire

We pride ourselves on having the best quality eveningwear. Our bestselling brands this season are Condici (dress suits £500-£1,000) and Ispirato (£500-£1000) for its smart evening suits and mother-of-the-bride outfits. Rosa Clará’s stunning evening dresses (£300-£800) are another popular brand for us, known for their good fit. Business for us is generally good all year round, as everyone needs occasionwear.

171288 bkgd

Frank Lyman

Irené Whittle Owner of Irené of Broadstone in Dorset

Dresses are in high demand, especially those from Luis Civit (£600-£1,000) and Condici (£500- £1,200). Cocktail dresses by Frank Lyman and Joseph Ribkoff (£200-£300) have also sold well. Italian lace outfits by Ann Balon (£600-£700) are also popular for customers who are looking for a day-to-evening look. 

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John Charles

Jane Kingsley Director at Jane Young in Newark, Nottinghamshire

As the winter season is fast approaching, we are mostly selling occasionwear for evening parties. Condici (dress and jacket sets £600-£800) is our top seller – the good fit, traditional feel and range of bright and neutral colours make these dresses popular for us. Joseph Ribkoff’s cocktail and evening dresses (£200-£300) have been another bestseller. Its colours and prints are popular and many styles can be worn in the day and into the evening, which is what makes the brand one of our most popular. Also, John Charles (£700) has been in demand for its dresses and jacket sets – they are traditional and fitted. Business for us has been steady, and as the winter draws in we are seeing an increase in sales.


Tracy Forrest Co-director at Mary’s of Enfield in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire

The 1950s-inspired dresses by Ian Stuart have been very popular so far, but all dresses with bolero jackets (£900-£1,500) from this brand have sold well this season. Dress-and-jacket combinations from Condici (£795-£1,000) and John Charles (£795-£1,100) are also selling well. Business is good for us. We’re very busy.



Martin Grove Sales consultant at Ken Young, in Coleraine, Londonderry

Our most popular occasionwear for this season has mainly been jackets – Hugo Boss (£360) and Armani Collezioni (£400) have become bestsellers for their outerwear. Circle of Gentlemen shirts and blazers (£145) have been flying off the shelves recently. They’re popular for their cuts and the fact they have a nice fit. Men usually go for brands that are on trend and well known. Overall, trade for us is good currently, although we’ve had an up-and-down stage since the season has changed.

Alfie Hope Store manager at Capital Collection, Grimsby

The bestselling brands for us are Vivienne Westwood for its blazers (£700) and Ted Baker – again for blazers (£250). These brands uphold a key style and an “English gentleman” look that is appealing to our customers. Shoppers are spending their money on quality clothing, rather than the cheaper items. Business for us is better than last year, although we have had no consistency this year.

Circle of gentlemen

Circle of Gentlemen

Lizzy Maliangkay Sales assistant at Leaf in Newcastle

We have a few clear favourite brands right now. Circle of Gentlemen is definitely one. Its shirts (£129) have been selling well, as have smart jackets from Herbie Frogg (£300). Adam Kimmel is a new brand we’re stocking, and its shirts (£89) are selling fast. The different styles and great fit of our eveningwear are the reasons these items are popular. Trade for us hasn’t been too bad, although we have our up-and-down days. 


Tim Hobden Owner of Landmark Clothing in Marlow, Buckinghamshire

Jackets from Santinelli (£279), Circle of Gentleman (£429) and Herbie Frogg (£249) are performing best for us. They are interesting pieces and relatively unknown to our customers. They like their different look. Business has been quiet recently. The previous few weeks were better. As Christmas approaches, we expect a rise in sales.


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