Find out what’s selling well in womenswear.
More from: The Womenswear Issue: Autumn 18 buying guide
Tracey Morrice, manager of Bentleys in Banchory, Aberdeenshire
Our Barbara Lebek coats (£119.50) have been selling well. They have fur around the hood that looks stylish. In eveningwear, Joseph Ribkoff dresses (from £200) remain popular, as well as the Robell trousers (£65), which were doing well in navy and black before the new year, but are now selling well in a wider variety of colours. Most of my customers are over the age of 30, so it’s more about quality for them. Business has been quiet since the beginning of the year, but we’re usually busy at this time of year, so we’re trying to figure out what’s happened.
Teresa Pierson, owner of Eves in West Malling, Kent
A range of Joseph Ribkoff items sell really well, particularly the jackets (£250), which have also been popular from Luisa Cerano (£400). People are buying more colourful jackets – we’ve found that no-one buys black anymore, and customers prefer navy because of what’s trendy at the moment. Bitte Kai Rand knitwear (from £300) has been selling in a range of colours. Our customers like the style and fabrics. Business has been fine – it’s been a bit slow since Christmas, but that’s what we expected.
Irene Whittle, owner of Irene in Broadstone, Dorset
Dresses have been really popular so far in the new year from John Charles (£600), Ronald Joyce (£500) and Joseph Ribkoff (£250). There’s been a lot of popularity for styles with elegant sleeves, especially in lace. Sleeves are generally flattering, and people like to be able to wear a dress again for other things. The dresses that are doing well all have a younger and more modern feel to them, and older women are dressing younger than they used to because they like to feel young and glamorous. Mothers and daughters come in looking ahead for weddings throughout the year, so this is a really positive time of year for the store.
Alison Matterson, sales assistant at Flamingo in Preston, Lancashire
Mother-of-the-bride and mother-of the-groom dresses are selling well by Condici (from £800) and Ian Stuart (from £1,000), particularly in blushes and silvers. Condici knows how to make these dresses well, and the Ian Stewart pieces come in beautiful fabrics. Summer dresses from Joseph Ribkoff (£250) are being bought for summer holidays. They’re so well made and every lady suits one. Business has been absolutely super so far this year, the customers really like the more exclusive designs.
Hari Martin, owner of Basil & Bea in Manchester
Slogan sweatshirts (£100) and trackpants (£140) from Être Cécile sell out really quickly, and my customers like to wear them as a co-ord, which looks cool. The trackpants are a bit more formal so can be worn day or night. Elizabeth and James has a great pair of wide-leg trousers (£295) that are popular, in a light chiffon silk mix. They really embody that kind of oversized, relaxed look. Danse Lente bags are also a big seller for us, especially the Phoebe style (£375), which is a neat shoulder bag. Business has been good, the Sale period has obviously been really good for us, and I’m currently sorting out my website, which will go live soon.
Victoria Suffield, owner of The Hambledon in Winchester
The Symbol top by Bellerose (£140) is a lovely riff on one of their classic pussy-bow designs but in a crazy fabric and cute edging. It’s a shape that our customers are familiar with so has been very popular. There’s a real buzz around Shrimps. The Betsey jacket (£425), a fake leopard cropped style with blue fake fur collar, has sold really well, as it hits the sweet spot of being pretty, mad and wearable. The Vacaville cardigan (£145) from American Vintage is an item that our customers will buy multiples of. It’s a long coatigan in very easy colours, so it goes with everything. Business has been okay: sales have held up in our Sale, which has done fantastically well, and it’s been very nice to buy a lot of pre-collections so that we’re not desperately stalking every delivery.
Holly Hensler, retail assistant at Gas Station in Kent – branches in Oxted, Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells
Superdry is probably our biggest seller – not so much the classic pieces that everyone’s used to, but the non-logo pieces, particularly the plain, round-neck knitwear (£45). Long-sleeve basics from Dex have also done well, with cold-shoulder styles (£35) very much on trend. Ichi casual dresses (£50) are quite versatile and able to transition from winter to spring. They’ve been a favourite with all ages. Business has been all right, but it’s that quiet period where we have a lot of spring stock in, but the weather is freezing. The high street has taken a battering over the past few years, but we’re doing okay.
What's selling now: womenswear