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

Aagh!! What’s the dress code for Wimbledon, Ascot, Glyndebourne..?

If you are going to any of the big society events such as Glyndebourne, Wimbledon, Ascot, Henley etc and you need help, do not worry. Desist from stress. We have rifled the Colmers Hill Fashion rails so you don’t have to. You can look fashionable, whatever the occasion, whatever the weather. There’s no need to sacrifice your comfort by freezing, boiling or being uncomfortable all day.

In short, whatever the ‘appropriate attire’ or dress code, ladies, we can work it to our advantage!

And she’s off! Outfit ideas for Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot is a fashion event. Forget about the horses. The enclosure you go to dictates how much you should dress up. Warning: this is not dressing up in a humorous way. The website clearly states ‘fancy dress and replica sports shirts are not permitted’.  Oh right, we’re not going then …

Smart, fashionable trousers are ideal for the turf. Steer clear of linens that turn you into a crumpled paper bag by lunchtime. Our deck trousers can be worn capri style with pretty flats or full length with a heel, depending on your height. The stretch keeps you comfortable and holds its shape all day. The cut is very flattering madam. Choose from lovely summery colours – aqua, hot pink or dusky pink or play it cool with black. Wear with a Darling top, for example the Dion pearl trimmed top or Dottie jacket with its beautiful embellished buttons.

Darling Dion Top in ivory available at Colmers Hill Fashion
The pretty Darling Dion Top with pearls detailing on its tiered hemline
Darling Dottie Jacket in white worn with the Darling Marion Dress in Navy available at Colmers Hill Fashion
Darling Dottie Jacket worn with the Darling Marion Dress available at Colmers Hill Fashion

If you need to wear a hat, a dress and jacket are a good team. Our Eucalyptus tea dresses such as the Rosa navy floral are gorgeous prints in styles that flatter all ages. Team with heels or flats, with a pretty Out of Xile vintage tulle edge cardi. They are great for any formal occasion and happily dress down with a denim jacket on another day. Our favourite milliner Fiona Baker makes headpieces to order which will slip into a small bag if the weather turns iffy.

The Rosa is floaty chiffon tea dress by Eucalyptus with pretty cap sleeves and a contrasting tie belt available at Colmers Hill Fashion
The Rosa is floaty chiffon tea dress by Eucalyptus with pretty cap sleeves and a contrasting tie belt

It’s your advantage: what to wear at Wimbledon

Wimbledon is more smart casual but it’s a challenge for spectators, not just the players. When you’re seated for long stretches, swivelling your head from side to side, you need to be comfortable. And if you plan to be on the Centre Court, or TV, you need to look good.

Spectators are sitting ducks if it gets really hot or cold, so a longer skirt or a print culotte such as our Darling Hilda culottes are practical. Wear with flat ballerinas or a heeled sandal.  Layer your top half to give you options if the weather changes: the simple ivory Darling Quinn top and a cute Friday on My Mind honeycombe cardi will be perfect. Take a big statement tote to keep your day’s clobber in. Alternatively, check out Myrine’s Anna floral tunic or Amele maxi dress – super comfortable and sooo pretty!

Myrine Amele Ankle Dress with pretty floral print available at Colmers Hill Fashion
Myrine Amele Ankle Dress with pretty floral print
The pretty cotton Myrine Beth Dress with its crossover straps on the back available at Colmers Hill Fashion
The pretty cotton Myrine Beth Dress with its crossover straps on the back

Fortissimo belissimo: look gorgeous at Glyndebourne

If you’re going to the festival at Glyndebourne, full evening dress is The Thing. Enter stage right Out of Xile. Their lovely dress and coat combinations will really make you look and feel the part.

Out of Xile Reversible Dress in Marine Blue from Colmers Hill Fashion
This is a clever reversible Out of Xile dress so you can have a totally different look for two different occasions.

Out of Xile’s outfits are superbly cut and the fabrics have a beautiful evening-y subtle sheen. A dress and coat in their uniquely dyed fabrics are the most versatile combination and will keep you warm. There’s no need to spoil the whole effect with a massive puffa – take a Luella cashmere wrap/poncho instead. Great jewellery and an Owen Barry metallic clutch will finish off the outfit perfectly.

Va va voom: glorious Goodwood style

Go faster with our range of retro dresses which are perfect for Goodwood. Polka dots, florals, geometric designs: take your pick. Our new Collectif dresses in black or red spot or red cherries are real show-stoppers. The Eucalyptus Gillian dress is a beautiful modern vintage design in a subtle shade of blue or make a statement with the stunning Lily May dress in red and white floral. Alternatively, if you want to channel your inner Avenger, Desigual’s Hello dress is the bomb.

The retro style Eucalyptus Lily May Winter Rose Dress available at Colmers Hill Fashion
The retro styled Eucalyptus Lily May Winter Rose Dress

 

To keep your look authentic, make sure to choose retro style accessories such as a pretty Josephine hat in natural and blue linen with silk roses.

If you are going to any society events, we hope you have a great time. If we can be of any more help do email usfind us on Facebook or call 01308 426517.

One to one service and styling advice come as standard, for all our customers at Colmers Hill 🙂

Out of Xile: Turned out beautifully

For the mother of the bride, seeing a son or daughter getting married is one of life’s most emotional moments. There’s a whole mix of feelings and memories – it only seemed yesterday when you were struggling to change their nappy! Now, you’re the watching them create a new life and family of their own.

Out of Xile Boucle Dress and Coat in Deep Sea Blue
Out of Xile Boucle Dress and Coat in Deep Sea Blue

 

30 years of gorgeousness

Big moments require something special to make you feel your best. Out of Xile has risen to the occasion for over 30 years with its unique style, proudly made in England, combining beautiful fabrics, bespoke colour dyeing and fabulous, flattering cuts.

Out of Xile Windsor Stripe Dress and Coat
Out of Xile Windsor Stripe Dress and Coat

Of course, you don’t have to be mother of the bride to wear their designs. Maybe you ARE the bride? Congratulations! Maybe you’re off on a cruise, going to a graduation ceremony, attending a memorial service. There are many special occasions that require Just The Right Thing.

Out of Xile is one of our favourites for just the right thing. There’s just nothing that this family firm of designers doesn’t know about fabric, colour, cut and the female form. They don’t follow fashion, they set their own trend, based on us, their customer. For example, we like a dress with shape but we don’t want it sticking to our bodies. We like a bit of weight and swing in the skirt, which needs to be a good length. We like the fabrics to look gorgeous and yet feel comfortable with a bit of stretch. We’re often not keen on our knees and upper arms, so a bit of coverage there is required. We like a bit of quirkiness and individuality. It’s nice to know that there’s a limited production run, so when it’s gone, it’s gone.

Out of Xile Jacquard Chenille Coat over a Crepe Hitch-hem dress
Out of Xile Jacquard Chenille Coat over a Crepe Hitch-hem dress

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