Best fashion boutiques in Surrey ~ The Style Guide with Jo Khan
PUBLISHED: 21:45 25 September 2012 | UPDATED: 05:10 08 October 2014
Welcome to our monthly fashion column with Surrey-based style guru Jo Khan, featuring everything from the best of the county's boutiques to helpful shopping tips and where to find vintage treasures.
Abridged versions of Surrey Life's monthly The Style Guide column below.
As part of The Style Guide, Surrey Life honours a local fashion boutique for its individuality, philosophy, range of services and customer care every month. If you would like to nominate your favourite fashion boutique for a mention in this column, whether it’s clothing, accessories, or lingerie, please contact us by e-mail at email@example.com
Jewelled at 89 High Street, Godalming GU7 1AW. Tel: 01483 869838 / www.jewelled.co.uk.
Over the years, Jewelled has developed a strong and loyal client base, with customers travelling from across Surrey and Hampshire for the team’s exclusive designs and exceptional service.
In this enticing little jewellery shop, all items are made in the workshop on the premises by founder Jane Taylor and fellow goldsmith Nicola Franklin, who both studied at the Surrey Institute of Art & Design, and these talented ladies have developed a style that has become the distinctive trademark of the brand.
The three main lines comprise the Silver Collection (including their popular mini stacking rings); the TaylorMade Collection (one-off and limited edition pieces designed by owner Jane); and then Commissions (which include engagement rings in platinum with diamonds and bespoke fitted wedding rings).
Prices inevitably vary for one-off commissions but for everyday silver jewellery, one can expect to pay around £70 for a pair of drop pearl earrings or £135 to £395 for a cocktail ring. The mini stacking rings retail from £75 to £95.
Providing a warm welcome to all customers, old and new, the team celebrated their 10th anniversary in business earlier this year.
Richard Mark at 13-14 Wallington Square, Wallington, Surrey SM6 8RG / www.richardmark.co.uk
A family-run business, Richard Mark in Wallington is owned by husband and wife Tony and Pat Rowland with son Mark having joined the team in recent years. On a daily basis, the store is managed by long-serving general manager Jeremy Sandford, who is on-hand every day to ensure customers receive the best personal service and advice.
The double-fronted store consists of a retail department offering casual wear from Lacoste, Rockport, Lyle & Scott and Paul & Shark, as well as formal suits, jackets and trousers from Germany and Italy, whilst the hire department caters for evening dress and formal hire.
The current best-seller is their range of ‘Oscar’ shirts by Swedish brand Oscar of Sweden. The sole Surrey stockist for these exclusive shirts, priced from £95 to £110, Tony Rowland says they’re among the best shirts ever made, due to the quality of fabric, the cut, the buttons and the lining.
Meanwhile, the formal hire department, featured on BBC 3’s Don’t Tell the Bride two years ago, continues to be hugely busy, with the wedding season now in full swing! Another fantastic accolade is that in the space of a few weeks, they have dressed three recipients of awards from HM the Queen at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle – Alan Woodiwiss MBE, Andrew Colver OBE and Eric Nicholls MBE. This is an amazing achievement for Richard Mark and deserves recognition – well done!
Fenez at 69 Castle Street, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7LP. Tel: 01252 716731 / www.fenez.co.uk.
Catherine Fenez recently celebrated their 50th anniversary in business, and continue to offer their customers the excellent service they are so well-known for. Managing director Sarah Webster is proud of her loyal clientele and stocks designs and brands that will always be befitting for them. Appealing particularly to women aged 40 and over, this lovely boutique offers both smart-casual wear and selected items of occasion wear.
Popular brands include Marc Cain, Gerry Webber, Joseph Ribkoff, Cruise Wear, Gold and Repeat Knitwear, but there are many others in store to browse. They also stock the increasingly-popular and well-fitting Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, which are available in a variety of sizes and priced from £132 to £160. Generally, most items are available in sizes 8-16 with some being stocked up to a size 20 and prices fall into the middle to high-end price bracket. However, one can pay a relatively modest price of £45 for a T-shirt and there is a vast range of accessories to choose from too.
A tailoress is on-site to take care of any alterations (at an extra charge) and coffee and newspapers are available for customers and their husbands who tag along!
Our reader nominated this charming boutique for their personal service and relaxed approach and Sarah and her staff pride themselves in allowing the customer to browse and shop at their leisure, with no pressure to buy. Well worth a visit!
One Forty at 140 High Street, Cranleigh GU6 8RF: 01483 272627 / www.oneforty.co.uk.
A hidden gem in the heart of Cranleigh, One Forty is a veritable treasure trove of items all under one roof, with an excellent choice of home-ware, including designs by Emma Bridgewater, Foosey by Avoca and Linum, plus carefully selected books, stationery and baby gifts, alongside a gorgeous range of clothing.
The ladieswear section at the back of the store features brands such as Great Plains, Noa Noa, Myrine & Me, Sandwich, Seasalt, Ti Mo and Out of Xile, and personal shoppers are always on hand to help in pulling outfits together. There is a good collection of footwear, too, including the popular plimsolls by Ruby & Ed, plus an interesting range of jewellery. For example, one of the collections by Kate Hamilton is made from old tins, although you would never know it!
Amongst the menswear range, which consists of Tommy Hilfiger, Cottonfield and Matinique, there is also an array of truly individual men’s gifts to choose from – certainly worth a trip prior to Father’s Day on Sunday June 17! Gifts are well-selected and red letter days are available to purchase for loved ones as well as One Forty’s Bespoke Experiences such as personal shopping or afternoon tea in their very own café upstairs.
On that subject, the café appears to be a favourite with families enjoying a leisurely brunch and the old-fashioned afternoon teas with vintage crockery are hugely popular with locals.
Throughout the store, the staff are helpful and friendly and I defy anyone to leave without a purchase of some sort!
O’Keefe, 11 High Street, Esher, Surrey KT10 9RL. Tel: 01372 4602000 / www.okeefefashion.com
Previously located in Weybridge, O’Keefe opened their new larger store in Esher three years ago, which provides a spacious, warm and welcoming environment for customers to browse and buy their original, quirky and always super-stylish clothing.
Owner and buyer Janine O’Keefe truly understands her customers, and this is evident with her loyal clientele, who return time and time again for her expertise. Carefully chosen brands include Day Birger et Mikkelsen, Boss Orange, Almost Famous, 2nd Day, Maison Scotch and Marilyn Moore, and there’s a fabulous collection of shoes and accessories, too (see a lovely pair of their court shoes on the right).
Being a family-run business, Janine is supported by husband and financial director Stuart Dewey and the rest of the team includes store manager Lou Scott and shop assistants Helen, Rebecca and Ruth. They are all extensively trained in the art of personal styling as on-going staff training is something that Janine is very passionate about and, in turn, staff are encouraged to contribute new ideas.
A great deal of thought and effort has gone into ensuring that the customer has an enjoyable, relaxing time in the store and Janine and her staff pride themselves in taking a low-key approach to shopping….there’s always a friendly smile and offer of help or a coffee and you certainly won’t feel intimidated in this lovely boutique!
Budda ‘n’ Spice at 15a Church Street, Cobham, Surrey KT11 3EG. Tel: 01932 868934 / www.buddanspice.com
A refreshing and funky boutique, Budda ‘n’ Spice opened in March 2011 and is the answer to many Surrey mums’ struggle to find unique, stylish and trendy clothing for their children locally.
Co-owners Jodie Wood (daughter-in-law of Jo Wood) and children’s stylist Charli Hooper combined their passion, flair and knowledge for stylish baby and children’s wear and envisaged a place where children could feel at ease and be themselves while parents could source clothing and accessories not available on the high street.
The specially designed graffiti wall is a real hit with children as they have the freedom to draw and write all over it with the pens provided. They are also encouraged to play and run around the shop freely and it’s plain to see that every effort has been made for it to be as inviting and fun as possible, from the sweet machines to the racing car that they can ride around the store! The designated changing cubicles for ‘Babes’ and ‘Dudes’ is yet another great touch.
Catering for ages up to 14, they offer something for most budgets, from the reasonably priced to the higher end brands. Local celebrity mums such as Louise Redknapp frequently shop at Budda ‘n’ Spice for brands like No Added Sugar, Molo, Dandy Star, Mini Rodini, Scotch Shrunk for boys and Scotch R’Belle for girls. It’s easy to see why it appeals to both parents and children and is fast becoming a firm favourite with more local mums wanting something a little bit different for their kids!
Club at 83 High Street, Esher, Surrey KT10 9QA. Tel: 01372 469262 / www.clubesher.com
Owned by Carly Parker, wife of England and Spurs footballer Scott Parker, Club opened its doors to the public in 2007. Carly has been known to have a flair for fashion, and so this was the perfect way to demonstrate her passion for style and trends.
Upon entry, the boutique is welcoming, with a minimalist style in black and white, and has an inviting atmosphere, due to the friendly staff. The store is run by manager Natalia McCarthy and it is clear that team spirit and shared passion for the collections is key to the staff’s close relationship. They all have a say in what will appeal to their customers.
Designs are sourced from London and Paris directly by Carly and stylist Emma Thatcher and Club epitomises trendy chic for all ages. Best-selling designer brands such as Isabel Marant, Balmain, Alexander Wang and Victoria Beckham are popular with the local yummy-mummy clientele, professional women looking for trendy weekend wear as well as local celebrities such as Louise Redknapp, Frankie (The Saturdays) and Abby Clancy, to name but a few.
“Our customers don’t only come here to shop though,” says the manager of Club, Natalia. “Some just come in for a chat and a coffee!”
Although many of the collections are high-end at high-end prices, Club also caters for a lower end budget with diffusion lines such as Isabel Marant Etoile and Victoria by Victoria Beckham.
For the busy working woman, private appointments after hours are available and preview sales and fashion shows are held regularly to showcase collections.
Lawn & Voile, 62a West Street, Dorking, Surrey RH14 1BS (tel: 01306 889067 / www.lawnandvoile.co.uk)
Launched last April, Lawn & Voile was created by co-owners Carolyn Russell, who is also the designer of the store’s collections, and Paul Saunders.
This is a place for those who appreciate good quality, natural fabrics such as lawn, voile, raw silk, organza, muslin and wool. The collections are designed with timeless style in mind and achieving a simple, effortlessly stylish look through cleverly, layered free-flowing pieces. Colours are muted and natural, using organic dyes, and are versatile enough to complement an existing wardrobe.
The owners have gone to great lengths to work with the right manufacturer and have chosen an institute in India that helps local women to improve their lives and their communities. Lawn & Voile are proud to be working in conjunction with such a good cause and helping to make a difference.
In addition, the store actively encourages the recycling of clothing and will value your previously bought items, with used pieces then resold at prices that reflect their quality, thereby reducing the cost of your next purchase. On average, you can expect to pay £45 for a top and £80 to £100 for a fully lined silk dress, with items available in sizes 8-16.
Westwood Rocks whose flagship store is based at 16 Tunsgate, Guildford, Surrey GU1 3QT (Tel: 01483 532635 / www.westwoodrocks.com)
As well as its flagship shop in Guildford, Westwood Rocks has three other stores across Surrey, located at Farnham, Godalming and Reigate, and this month they have been nominated for their huge talent for creating unique and beautiful jewellery.
Designer Lauren Westwood recently celebrated ten years in business and, with her team, still travels all over the world to source gemstones for creating limited edition, handmade jewellery that exudes luxury and style.
The boutiques are filled with delights and everywhere the eye turns, it is drawn to an exquisite rainbow of colours. Brightly-coloured ribbons strung with freshwater pearls and sparkling gemstones in the prettiest of designs adorn every corner. It’s like being a child in a sweet shop! There are collections for women, men, brides and all sorts of fantastic gifts.
They also offer a bespoke service where you can design your own dream piece of jewellery – and you can even book a Westwood Rocks party (materials, snacks and drinks included), a hen party (with champagne and cupcakes) or a children’s party (pink fizz and sweeties).
Anna Boutique, 44 Hill Rise, Richmond, Surrey TW10 6UB Tel: 0208 948 0199 / www.annaboutique.com
A unique fashion haven for distinctive casual daywear and ‘one-off’ individual designs, the Anna Boutique in Richmond delivers elegant Italian fashion and accessories to women of all ages.
There are many unusual designs here that you simply won’t find anywhere else and some are created solely for the boutique. Predominantly sourcing pieces from individual and up-and-coming designers in Italy, they also stock well known brands like Pinko and Liu Jo. Prices start from £170 for a dress and sizes range from 8-14.
Owner Anna Streck is passionate about helping her customers create a wardrobe for every occasion on a realistic budget and offers styling advice as part of the Anna Boutique shopping experience.
She replenishes stock daily and the constant stream of ever-changing designs is what keeps her customers coming back for more. If, like me, you gravitate towards unique fashion pieces, then the Anna Boutique is certainly worth a visit. It’s been in business for 27 years and it’s easy to see why!
Ben Vestito, 58 High Street, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 8BL Tel: 01932 854505 / www.benvestito.co.uk
Launched in February of this year, this stylish fashion boutique stocks an extensive range of casual daywear and business suiting, featuring brands such as Brax, Fenn Wright Mason, Gerry Weber, Olsen and Repeat.
They have been nominated this month for their dedication to eco-friendliness, as not only does their power supply come from 100 per cent wind turbine, but even the paint on the walls, the lighting and the reusable and recyclable packaging are all kind to the environment. They also support local fashion talent by regularly showcasing the works of students at nearby Brooklands College.
Also, for denim-lovers out there, you’ll be pleased to hear that Ben Vestito stocks the revolutionary LA brand ‘Not Your Daughter’s Jeans’. The ‘lift-tuck’ technology and premium stretch denim makes you look slimmer, feel sexier, boosts your curves and makes your legs look longer no matter what your shape or size! Well worth the investment, expect to pay anything from £90 to £159 for a pair, which come in an astonishing range of sizes (6-18) and a choice of three colours (indigo, blue/black and black).
These are a Ben Vestito best-seller and it’s easy to see why!
Top Drawer at 7-8 Angel Gate, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4AE Tel: 01483 537539 / www.topdraweruk.com
Offering a gorgeous selection of lingerie and swimwear, Top Drawer stocks over 15 brands including Marie Jo, Prima Donna, Fantasie and Freya.
The one-to-one fitting service is simply superb and the helpful staff will offer their expert advice on swimwear and shapewear too.
There’s also something for all shapes and sizes at Top Drawer (sizes range from 28-44 back and A-I cup) and the high quality means that their pieces have longevity, maintain their shape and still look gorgeous over time.
Expect to pay anything from £30 upwards for a bra and £70-£80 for a matching set.
Lily & Bow, 98 High Street, Esher, Surrey KT10 9QJ Tel: 01372 479797 / www.lilyandbow.co.uk
Best friends Therese Walker and Debi Oliver launched their chic boutique Lily & Bow in May of this year.
Their philosophy is to ensure that their products are of high quality, are responsibly sourced and are produced in a safe working environment where workers are paid a fair wage, and they are committed to supporting local suppliers.
The boutique offers a fabulous selection of elegant and casual daywear and stocks well-established names and ethical brands such as Kelly Hoppen, Masai Clothing, People Tree, Bailey and Stewart & Brown. Along with REN beauty products, Lily & Bow also offers a range of beautiful and unusual belts, bags, scarves and jewellery from local suppliers Aspira, Lynn May and Linda MacDonald.
The store lay-out in itself is pretty impressive with its clever use of lighting, mirrors and glass and the split-level structure offers lots of space in which to browse. Once you’ve shopped to your heart’s content, why not indulge in something naughty or nice at Lily & Bow’s very own coffee shop, located at the back of the store. What more could a girl want?