12 Advantages of Fashion Boutiques

Fashion Boutiques seem to be popping up everywhere these days. This is partly because women all over the world are choosing to shop at small Fashion Boutiques instead of their larger, more generic high-street cousins. And most fashion boutiques wouldn’t have it any other way! In fact, most of them don’t even aspire to cater to a large, mainstream audience, as it would take all the fun and excitement out of boutique fashion.

Boutique Fashion is all about discovering hidden styles, reinventing lost trends, and creating timeless collections. To illustrate just how unique this experience is, we’ve put together a list of the top 12 advantages of shopping at fashion boutiques. Enjoy!

1) You get the attention you deserve

From the in-depth personal attention in store, to the detailed and always useful blogs online, Fashion Boutiques are all about providing the best service and putting you at the middle of it all. Whether it’s second opinions or wardrobe suggestions, these are experts who have real experience and a passion for the brands they stock. At Colmers Hill, we build up relationships with our regular customers. This helps us to shape our buying of future collections using the knowledge of what you favour or would like to see. This kind of responsive personal service is something the high street shops can never replicate.

When you come to our boutique you will also benefit from a personal stylist as the team at Colmers Hill have a keen eye for what suits different shapes and sizes and what’s in store that will work well together. Regular customers also know they can trust in our honest opinions, again sadly not always a given.

2) Interesting Brands

How often do you bump into a traditional, hand-crafted Indian clothing store when walking down a typical English shopping street? We know, not nearly enough times! With small Fashion Boutiques, however, you are guaranteed to find eye-catching and out-there brands.

Take Yavi, for example, a brand that we’ve recently added to our own collection. Using
ancient Indian hand-painting techniques and luxurious materials, like velvet and silk, they have created a stylish collection of traditional clothing, with a modern, oriental twist. These are real works of art and have a unique and inspiring story that really shines through the entire design process, adding a whole other layer of personality to your clothes!

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Hand printed silk dress at Colmers Hill Fashion

See a beautiful video showing a Yavi craftsperson demonstrating the traditional printing process of fabric.

 

3) Brands that don’t define you, but compliment you

In my opinion, one of the biggest advantages of boutique fashion brands is that their clothes allow you to really express who you are. How can you show your individual personality by wearing something plain or on every high street? Or something your neighbour might also wear?  And who wants to turn up to a wedding wearing something someone else is wearing? Where’s the fun in that?!

4) Sustainable & Environmentally Friendly

It’s no secret that high-street shops manage to keep their prices down by lowering
manufacturing costs, exporting work overseas and using cheaper, non-renewable materials. Boutique Fashion shops often take a different approach, however, turning the emphasis from quantity to quality.

Many boutique brands are environmental pioneers and use techniques and materials that aren’t harmful to the environment. Owen Barry Bags, for example, only use locally sourced trimmings and other environmentally friendly materials, along with their carefully selected British and European skins, showing that you can be environmentally friendly and trendy.

5) Made in England

Boutiques are often champions of UK plc and search out the growing number of labels that are not only designed in the UK but also manufactured here. We are great believers in this and have selected labels like Out of Xile, One Life, Retuned for this very reason.

6) Good Fits = Good Self-Esteem

We often get a lot of women desperate to find solutions to recurring fitting issues. “My legs are too short for mainstream jeans,” is one we get a lot. Sadly, more than 43% of women admit that they would skip going to the beach or the pool because of body insecurities or wardrobe doubts. Well, with small Fashion Boutiques you can rest assured that you get a unique fit that allows you to accentuate your figure and not hide it. And, by the way, while we’re on the subject of trousers, we simply must highlight Robell and That’s Me trousers. These ultra-durable, high-quality trousers offer an almost tailor-made look that is accentuated by their innovative use of materials. This makes for an incredible flattering and naturally thinning design, giving you the confidence to wear what you want, when you want.

7) Perfect for vintage, retro, or unusual styles

If you’re looking for niche styles, then Fashion Boutiques are perfect for you! We even had our own retro-themed photoshoot to show off Dorset’s Retro Revolution last year, which was a lot of fun and really showcased how versatile these clothes can be. Looking for a 1940s flowery shirtwaist dress? Step right this way! With exciting British brands like Retuned Style and Collectif consistently paying tribute to their vintage design roots, you can rest assured that there will always be a boutique shops with that ultra-feminine, highly-stylized, retro look that you’re after.

Retuned Style Daisy & Gingham Print Dress at Colmers Hill Fashion
Retuned Style Daisy & Gingham Print Dress

8) Quality

As we mentioned before, quality materials and high standards often leads to exceptional
craftsmanship and beautiful finishes. This leads to timeless products that you can rely on for far longer than just a season. A great example of this is Godske, a now multinational Danish brand that never forgot its countryside roots and unbeatable quality promise. Their strict adherence to their own strict manufacturing guidelines really proves that quality is one of those things that smaller Fashion Boutiques and Boutique Brands simply never compromise on. Other favourites include Myrine and Elsewhere.

9) Unique Clothes

We went into this a little before, but it’s definitely worth expanding on. A recent survey showed that UK shoppers own over £10 billion of clothes they’ll never wear, something probably underlined by the frustration that many people feel over bad purchases. The main reason, however, is that we buy things that aren’t unique, don’t inspire us, and don’t push us to invent a unique wardrobe that really represents who we are. Although Fashion Boutiques don’t provide all the answers to these problems, they’re certainly a step in the right direction.

10) Supporting Local & Small Businesses

Nowadays, shopping local and supporting small businesses can be an incredible rewarding experience. Not only do they have more time and energy to make sure you’re taken care of, but it helps you to keep small businesses afloat, who often reinvest a large portion of their revenue into other local services and businesses. This means you can help your community flourish and pay tribute to local styles!

11) Discover New Styles & Brands

There’s nothing more exciting than finding a new brand that really works for you. Trust us, there’s plenty of gems out there. You just need to know where to look! Like a well-kept
secret, boutique shops often do a lot of the preliminary scouting for you, sourcing products and brands from all corners of the world and all walks of life.

12) From Follower to Trend-Setter

The beautiful thing about fashion is that everyone can be a trendsetter. Whether it’s fabulous dresses or cute little accessories, with small boutique shops you can be the talk of the town, wearing trendy clothing before they hit the catwalk!

Best of British: the best labels flying the flag for home-made fashion

Best of British Fashion

Fashion is big business in Britain, with consumers splashing out £27 billion on womenswear alone. And according to a recent report from Mintel, nearly 90 percent of UK adults are interested in buying clothes that have been manufactured in Britain.
Small but fashionably formed, the UK produces some of the world’s most creative and inspiring fashion talent.  We have namechecked some of the brightest and finest brands heralded for their homespun approach and endeavours to produce all their garments here in Britain.

Out of Xile

Established in 1983, Out Of Xile create womenswear for occasions, providing beautiful, flexible clothing to replace formality. Fabrics are a key element to every collection and where possible are made from natural yarn and dyed to create a tonal look – Out Of Xile is instantly recognisable for their unique colour palette. Dresses and separates can be mixed up and matched according to taste and create a flattering silhouette. Out of Xile is made in various places around the UK. See our blog on Out of Xile to read more about their fabulous creations and how they are made. Shop today.

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Out of Xile Crepe Twisted Hem Skirt and Lace Jacket

A Postcard from Brighton

A Postcard From Brighton is also not only designed in the UK but is actually made in England too, a rarity these days! Those clever people at A Postcard From Brighton use a unique vintage process which gives all their pieces a wonderful softness and look. Their styles are distinctive and instantly recognisable if you’re a fan and once you’ve owned a piece, you definitely want more. Their pledge is to keep the UK textiles industry alive and to have as small a carbon footprint as possible. The clothes not only feel gorgeous, they are super ethical too. Our next collection is due in early Summer. Shop today.
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OneLife

Best known for its summer collection which is made of 100% cotton, we love this range because it needs little care and it perfect for the holiday suitcase or your cruise wear wardrobe. Its collection is figure skimming and comes in a sumptuous range of hot and cool colours. Another designer fashion label which is designed and mostly made in the UK, OneLife is an individual look that is not found on the high street, suiting women of all ages and sizes up to Size 22. Shop Now.
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Owen Barry

As soon as you handle an Owen Barry bag, you will appreciate its difference. It has been hand cut and made by Somerset craftspeople from specially selected British and European skins. The trimmings have also been sourced and commissioned from environmentally friendly resources close to home; the inherent quality, timeless styling and love in every bag just shines through. Shop today.

Retuned

Retuned Clothing is a British designer label which has its roots in retro and vintage styling. Retuned create feminine dresses that are made to flatter petite and curvy sizes and their styles are very distinctive. The Retuned dresses come in a range of plain colours and bold prints and are often playful in their styling. Again, Colmers Hill Fashion has chosen the brand because it is designed and made in the UK. Shop today.
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In recent years, fashion has been one of the industries that have set its sights on the bigger, international picture, and it is now a truly global business that should not have to shift into reverse and become focused on only the home market. It has long been thought that fashion can only benefit from the rich mix that different nationalities bring to the table. But that is not to diminish the great fashion stories that this country has to offer, both well-known and under the popular radar.
If you like the above or are looking for that new Spring/Summer outfit then visit: https://www.colmershill.com or if you are local come and see our shop – Colmers Hill, Manor Barn, Manor Yard, Mill Lane, Symondsbury, DT6 6HG

How to Ditch Summer Body Image Issues and Shine

Summer is tantalisingly on the horizon! But not all of us are rejoicing. Many women I know and work with are experiencing bathing suit anxiety. We feel incredibly self-conscious about our bodies regardless of our size or shape.

A recent survey found, 43% of women missed out on going to the pool or beach because they didn’t like their appearance! That’s right 4 out of 10 of us are skipping summer fun, denying ourselves pleasure because of Bad Body Image.

And that was me too on a recent holiday … only running to the swimming pool cloaked in a towel when I was sure no-one else was around!!

If you have body image issues, the chances are, you’ll cower behind a big sunhat and entertain negative thoughts. Here’s the secret to feeling great this summer: Stop focusing on changing your body and start focusing on changing your body image.

Forget high-street shops

There’s nothing wrong with chain stores, but they won’t feed your soul. The clothing that will raise your self-esteem, if you have issues with your body, is likely to come from boutiques, vintage clothing stores, or off-the-wall shops, the type where you can find unusual, interesting outfits that grab your attention. These sorts of shops tend to know their stuff and will help you find styles that will flatter you and help you feel less self-conscious. Your first instinct is to hide when the summer approaches, but you will change your mind if you dress in ways that reflect your attractive nature. 

Uncover who you are

Many people emotionally freeze, regardless of the heat, when the summer arrives. They don’t like the thought of stripping off to reveal a swimsuit or wearing shorts and a tight tee shirt. Telling them to throw caution to the wind and let it all hang out won’t work; they will still feel uncomfortable. However, if this sounds like you, you don’t have to face your fear because you can meet your joy instead.

The real you is attractive and fun-loving, you don’t want to hide or worry about being judged about not resembling the physical ideal when dressed in traditional summer garb. There are plenty of ways to dress that will flatter you and suit your inner nature. Think, ethnic chic, and hand dyed cotton fabrics, or geometric shapes, diagonal lines and sharp outlines. Whatever you prefer, you can find clothing and accessories that help you shine from the inside out, revealing your true personality.

Mix and match

Shopping is fun, but you may not need to splash out on new clothes if you are creative with those you already own. People often have wonderful outfits in their wardrobes, which they’ve never put together. The clothes you usually wear in the summer might help you feel more attractive if you match them differently. Try clothes on that you haven’t worn together before. Also, wear them differently. Layer thin clothes, and wear items that drape, cross over, or can be hitched up to reveal layers underneath. Add a hat, scarf, sunglasses and a bag, and carefully select necklaces to add a creative touch.

Don’t fear summer fashion; claim it, design it, and wear it stylishly with confidence. Most importantly, don’t focus on your flaws, highlight your personality with your clothing and you will shine.

Visit Online Fashion Boutique Colmers Hill Fashion to see how you can shine – https://www.colmershill.com/

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Spring Fashion Show on the Catwalk

Who doesn’t love the Spring?! Okay so it’s been a bit slow in coming this year but it heralds a new start and a fresh look. And as the primroses and daffodils start to burst into flower, we are making big changes in our Dorset fashion boutique at Symondsbury Manor Yard, near Bridport.

Each year for the past three years, we have put on our biggest of fashion shows to welcome in the new Spring Summer fashions at Colmers Hill Fashion. It’s a time to celebrate casting off your woollies and dream of slipping into something altogether brighter, more colourful and less somber. Don’t get me wrong, I love winter clothes, but it’s time to move on!

We hold the annual Spring fashion show in the glorious Symondsbury Tithe Barn attended by around 180+ people. Raising money for Weldmar Hospicecare, this year’s show raised a staggering £3,250.00 through ticket sales, auction and raffle bringing the total raised to just under £10,000 for the last three shows.

The Colmers Hill Spring Fashion Show is hosted by Graham Barton of Clive Emson Auctioneers and better known for his appearances on BBC Homes Under the Hammer. In addition this year, we welcomed Lindsay Punch, professional stylist, to talk about the fashion trends for the Spring Summer 2018.

The buzz is palpable as soon as the doors open, not least amongst the models and backstage crew who have spent weeks planning the event. The barn itself is beautifully dressed with lots of zesty lime green and cream floral displays, lanterns and fairy lights. The models have all been pimped and preened by The Shed Hair & Beauty Boutique and are sipping Prosecco backstage for Dutch courage.

We opened this year’s show with a fantastic “Vogue” dance to get us into the mood performed by triplets, Megan, Emma and Victoria and then the new season’s clothing range got it’s first outing on the catwalk.

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Our ranges include both casual and special occasion wear from designer labels including: Out of Xile, Myrine, Ralston, Cotton Brothers, Sandwich Clothing, Bariloche jackets amongst others. Many of these collections are now online at http://www.colmershill.com.

Take a look at a few of photos below and watch the VIDEO by following the link … with thanks to one of our lovely customers for offering to compile the video.

 

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Credits: Simon Emmett Photography

6 Winter Fashion Tips from Colmers Hill Fashion

Practical Winter Fashion Tips For Women

As a woman, does the onset of winter send shivers up you not just because of the cold but because it makes you feel unsure style-wise? During the summer, it’s never too hard to find a pretty floral top and cropped trousers in your wardrobe as you head out for a movie with your friends. With temperatures suddenly falling, winter demands very warm clothes, but in the rush of keeping yourself warm, you will start running low on fashionable looking outfits.

However, this should not make you resigned to wearing unstylish clothes just for the sake of keeping warm. Winter demands creativity as far as dressing up is concerned. You will need to stay warm and at the same time look stylish. Here are some great winter fashion tips from Colmers Hill Fashion.

Choose your fabrics for warmth

Wearing clothes that will keep you warm and toasty depends on what fabrics and knitwear you choose. If you’re looking for a jumper, ones that have cashmere, mohair or lambs wool will obviously keep you warmer. But they don’t have to cost a fortune! Colmers Hill has large range of cashmere/wool mix jumpers from Luella which cost from £59 in a variety of colours and styles.

Luella cashmere mix star jumper from Colmers Hill Fashion
Luella cashmere mix star jumper priced £59. There are lots of different styles on colmershill.com

Belt up your coat

A warm coat is a must-have in your wardrobe. Imagine how boring it can get wearing the same coat day in day out just because it is warm. Great fashion lies in variety and getting several stylish coats to get you through the winter will be a great idea. Consider belting some of your coats because you can achieve a whole new look. You can also play around with the colors; just because it is a cold and grey winter doesn’t mean your clothes don’t have to look the same. See Colmers Hill Fashion’s Coats.

Embrace the idea of layering

It’s no lie that winter can really get cold and often times that fancy coat and scarf won’t cut it. When the cold outside is really biting hard, piling up layers could be your way out. For instance, a long-sleeved blouse under a sweater and a coat will keep your body warm. You can also rock a pair of tights under a pair of jeans or a long pair of socks, forming a layer that will keep your legs warm as you go about your daily activities. Layering is normally popular when winter kicks in, since it’s a very effective way to provide your body with some much-needed warmth. Just make sure that you do your layering in style to avoid looking obviously overdressed.

Powder above the knee socks complemented by the Powder satin paisley scarf and suede gloves all available at colmershill.com
Powder above the knee socks complemented by the Powder satin paisley scarf and suede gloves

A Winter Hat For Elegance

A touch of style on your head with a great-looking hat will work in your favour this winter. With that elegant coat and those lovely boots that you are so proud of, all you need to be set to go is a hat. Look for one that captures attention from afar and makes a bold fashion statement. Check out Colmers Hill Fashion selection of hats.

Powder Pom Pom Beanie Hat coupled with the Powder Tess Poncho, both available on Colmers Hill Fashion
Powder Pom Pom Beanie Hat coupled with the Powder Tess Poncho, both available on colmershill.com

Let the boots do the talking

Without a great pair of boots, you are not ready for winter. Boots and the winter season are like bread and butter. They work together perfectly. Look for lovely looking pairs of trousers to wear with your boots for that stylish winter look.

Finish Up With A Scarf

Scarves add a brilliant and great finishing touch to most winter outfits. Get creative with the way you wear your scarf. Creativity will definitely ensure you look classy and stylish during the winter. Colmers Hill Fashion Scarves.

It’s pretty evident that you can look classy and stunning during the winter and at the same time keep warm. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to give up on fashion and style. All those tips given above will absolutely help you look elegant and rest assured you will look stunning.

Powder Maggi which comes in a range of colourways on colmershill.com
Powder Maggi which comes in a range of colourways on colmershill.com

Razzle dazzle them this Christmas

The festive season is upon us and we are revelling in our party wear. Everything we love about winter fabrics is here: velvet, cashmere, lace, sparkle and shine. We’ve done the hard work for you and you’ll find dresses and separates which are individual, pretty and stylish. No need to pound the pavements or stress about what to wear, just browse our new collections and be inspired! If you need guidance and advice, feel free to call us or email us; we’d love to help.

Our style masterclasses with Lindsay Punch have confirmed a common worry about dressing appropriately for our age and not looking like ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ – yucky expression. Such is our dread of being judged that we are almost in danger of going the other way and blending into the background.

We say, if you can’t have fun with fashion at Christmas, when can you?! It doesn’t need to be a comedy jumper; you can look fabulous, festive with quality clothes that express your personality and make you stand out from the crowd.

Have a snoop through our selection box of party outfits. We’ve grouped them in descending order of bling, beginning of course, with the sparkliest!

Full-on glamour

If you want a real showstopper, look no farther than Darling’s Renee dress. This is truly a work of art: beautifully embellished with silver and bronze sequins and embroidery. The style is simple and classic, a mesh bodice and fully lined below with a soft taupe fabric.

Darling Renee sequin dress available on www.colmershill.com priced at £135
Darling Renee Sequin Dress £135

Collectif’s gold star dress is like a beautiful foil-wrapped chocolate: gorgeous on the outside and pure quality on the inside. Its fit and flare style holds you comfortably in all the right places.  Appropriately named Trixie Atomic – you will look and feel like the biggest star in your personal galaxy.

Collectif Atomic Star Dress £59 available on www.colmershill.com
Collectif Atomic Star Dress £59

Midi skirts are still a big trend and Cotton Brothers’ gold pleated skirt has an urban  sophistication and is flattering and easy to wear. Team with a simple black jumper from Darling or a beaded vest top by Myrine.

Cotton Brothers Gold Pleated Skirt £55 available on www.colmershill.com
Cotton Brothers Gold Pleated Skirt £55

A sprinkle of stars

If full on glamour isn’t for you, take the bling down a level with separates in rich patterns, metallic and a dusting of diamante.

Robell trousers look and feel great and inspire any number of party outfits. We have a gorgeous range of printed trousers new in, such as the silver jacquard print or the black rose print.  Balance the bling with a soft cashmere knit from Luella or Cocoa.

Robell printed trousers available in black or aubergine £75 available on www.colmershill.com
Robell printed trousers available in black or aubergine £75

Alternatively, we have the Darling Ana cigarette trousers which come in a smart, textured patterned fabric. Team this up with a simple ivory top or a thin knit.

Darling Ana Cigarette Trousers £79 available at www.colmershill.com
Darling Ana Cigarette Trousers £79

A sparkly poncho instantly puts you in the party mood. Malissa J trimmed ponchos were a massive hit last year and their new styles are equally tempting. Alternatively, go with   the metallic trend with a Cotton Brothers gold or silver shift top. Wear with plain skirt such as the Cotton Brothers pleather skirt.

MalissaJ Diamante Raining Beaded Poncho £55 available on www.colmershill.com
MalissaJ Diamante Raining Beaded Poncho £55
Cotton Brothers silver top £45 and pleather skirt £45 available on www.colmershill.com
Cotton Brothers silver top £45 and pleather skirt £45
Cotton Brothers Sequin Stripe Top £45 available on www.colmershill.com
Cotton Brothers Sequin Stripe Top £45

Understated glamour

If you are looking for low key impact check out Myrine’s beautiful Jupiter spot dress in mulberry or navy. This dress is classically Myrine: combining flattering style with an imaginative spot print with subtle sparkle.

Myrine Jupiter Polka Dot Dress £101.50 available at www.colmershill.com
Myrine Jupiter Polka Dot Dress £101.50

Cotton Brothers black crepe and velvet blouse is beautifully luxurious and very classy. Team with a black or green pleather skirt by Soaked in Luxury, or go for black supersoft faux suede trousers by Robell.

Cotton Brothers Semi Sheer Top with Velvet Neckline £55 available on www.colmershill.com
Cotton Brothers Semi Sheer Top with Velvet Neckline £55

Red is always a winner at Christmas; try this deep cherry Collectif dress, which is so pretty and festive. It will take you everywhere you want to go.

Collectif Delphine Swing Dress £69 available at www.colmershill.com
Collectif Delphine Swing Dress £69

This is just a snapshot of what we have online. In the shop you will also find lots of Envy and Treaty jewellery, Powder accessories, plus quality shoulder and clutch bags to complete your look.

Now, surely it must be time to put something fizzy in the fridge…

Happy shopping!

 

 

We won!! Colmers Hill Fashion named UK online boutique of the year

Colmers Hill Fashion wins Best UK Online Boutique for its website www.colmershill.com
The badge of honour!

You could have knocked us over with a feather when the phone call came in saying that  www.colmershill.com had won Best UK Online Boutique category of The Boutique Awards, hosted by The Boutique Hub.  Surprised, shocked, proud, happy – yes, all of those.

 

The team (especially Penny because she does most of the work) hasn’t stopped smiling ever since. When Penny set up the business two years ago, she only had £5,000 to invest. All the money went on stock and she had to do everything herself – even really horrible things like SEO. She  built the current website and worked hard to find low cost ways to get Colmers Hill on the map. 

 

What makes this a special achievement is also the economic climate. Apparently,  according to the experts, we’re in the midst of a ‘Retail Apocalypse’, which sounds really nasty. And it is, if you’re a big high street brand. On the up-side, it’s the small businesses like ours which are bucking the trend. You – our lovely customers are making this happen by buying local and choosing independent boutiques. Thank you so much! Please can you carry on?  

 

You can be reassured that this fame hasn’t gone to our heads. We almost forgot to write a blog about it because we’ve been unpacking, pricing and uploading gorgeous new Autumn stock from our faves Myrine, Luella and Out of Xile but also new labels Cotton Brothers, Soaked in Luxury and Ralston.

 

If you haven’t shopped online with us before, you’ll find the same friendly personal service and attention to detail that you’d get if you were shopping with us in person.

 

Next up, our Autumn round-up of what’s hot this month!

 

 

 

 

Colmers Hill Fashion Named As Finalist in Two National Awards

Colmers Hill Fashion www.colmershill.com is proud to announce that they are finalists in the 2017 UK Boutique Awards. The business, based in Symondsbury Manor Yard near Bridport, Dorset has been nominated in two categories: BEST UK BOUTIQUE and BEST ONLINE BOUTIQUE.

Colmers Hill Fashion named as finalist for two awards: Best UK Boutique and Best UK Online Boutique in the 2017 Boutique Awards
Colmers Hill Fashion named as finalist for two awards: Best UK Boutique and Best Online Boutique

The boutique is one of five finalists in each category, selected from over 4,000 nominations internationally. The winner will be the business which achieves the greatest number of votes. So far, the Boutique Awards have received over 157,000 votes internationally.

We are thrilled to be finalists and so grateful for our customers’ support,” says owner Penny Callaghan. I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has voted for us so far,”

It would be another feather in Dorset’s “golden cap” to win this award, especially as we’re up against some very well-established national names!”

This is the first year of the UK Boutique Awards. Colmers Hill is up against businesses including boutiques based in Brighton, St Albans and Berkhamsted.

Colmers Hill set up at Symondsbury Manor Yard two years ago in August 2015. The shop and website www.colmershill.com specialises in introducing quality fashion brands from the UK and Europe to their customers. The ranges are chosen for their unique and individual style, from casual to smart-casual wear. Customers like it for its relaxed, homely atmosphere and honest advice if wanted.

Why personal fashion style is all about meat and potatoes!

This blog is all about how to create the perfect wardrobe.  How you choose clothes that are useful and also inspire you. How to experiment with fashion and be more individual in your fashion style. How to avoid overdoing it, without playing it too safe?

Designer Michael Kors said: “70% of the clothes you own should be meat and potatoes. 30% should be icing and fluff—that’s color, pattern, shine, accessories.  Too many women get the proportions the other way round, then can’t figure out why they can’t get dressed.”

Erm ok, so let’s take a look at the meat, potatoes icing and fluff. Or maybe a more appealing metaphor is a cupcake: a perfect vanilla sponge topped with your choice of icing and decoration.

Best fashion basics

Two thirds of our wardrobe should be hard-working basics. These will be well-fitting, stylish and versatile.  For us at Colmers Hill, this would be our deck super slimming capris or full length trousers. Alternatively, Myrine Emil trousers.  Your colour palette will certainly include neutrals in both dark and light shades such as navy, petrol blue, black, charcoal, sand, silver, ivory, or white.  Choose shades that are the most useful for you.

D.E.C.K trousers (£59) coupled with the Cocoa 100% Cashmere Boxy Cardigan (£210.00)
D.E.C.K trousers (£59) coupled with the Cocoa 100% Cashmere Boxy Cardigan (£210.00)

Skirt basics include simple cuts and colours with enough detail to keep you interested and give you shape. A pencil skirt from Eucalyptus or a midi skirt from A Postcard from Brighton are also great staples.

Adding colour, pattern and shine

This is the icing and decoration on your cupcake. Detail on clothing is a very personal thing and everyone has their favourites as well as their absolute no-no’s.  Some of us love stripes and hate florals, others love florals but hate sparkle, another wince at a frill but love a pintuck – you get the gist. When it comes to sparkle and shine, some of us are happier with a muted metallic whilst others want the full bling – with extra bling.

When an item of clothing or an accessory appeals to us, it’s an emotional reaction. We don’t think too much about it. Enough to say, it gives us a lift. It’s great to express ourselves with the fun aspects of fashion.  We don’t need to take it too seriously but if you’re worried about overdoing it, stick to either sparkle or pattern but not both on the same garment. Many of us get stuck in a rut, thinking we can never wear florals or geometrics or diamante but keep an open mind and give things a try. We change as we get older and our fashion style needs to keep up!

Darling Quinn top (£35) from Colmers Hill Fashion
Darling Quinn top (£35)

Here are some of our very favourite ‘toppings’

Darling Dion top: lovely ivory crepe tops with pearl trim.

Cocoa pure cashmere jumper: amazing colour with a contrast trim and button back.

Myrine floral tunic top: an unusual wildflower pattern does all the work.

Out of Xile vintage tulle edge cardigan: gorgeous colours and just the right amount of lace.

Darling Fara top in duck egg blue: pleats along the hem and cuffs give this top a lovely swing.

Of course, you can switch things around and have your icing on the bottom eg our metallic print jeans and your cake on top with a simple ivory blouse from Darling.

Floral print stretch mid-rise jeans available at Colmers Hill Fashion £45
Floral print stretch jeans available at Colmers Hill Fashion £45 worn with a simple basic A Postcard From Brighton vest top

 

Since we discovered Michael Kors’s quote, we’ve all been taking a good, hard look into our wardrobes at home and working out how close we are to the 70% rule. Suffice to say, there’s work to be done but at least we’re heading in the right direction!

The next blog will be about Wardrobe Malfunctions. Yup – we’ve all been there.

Colmers Hill Fashion is holding its first Styling Masterclass in the Autumn with top stylist Lindsay Punch. The class will teach you how to put together a “meat & potato” wardrobe from the new Autumn collection at Colmers Hill! For tickets or more information see details on our Facebook Event Page.

Autumn Style Masterclass at Colmers Hill Fashion with stylist Lindsay Punch
Autumn Style Masterclass at Colmers Hill Fashion with stylist Lindsay Punch

Photography courtesy of Simon Emmett Images

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