Dress Cheshire: A slice of heaven in the heart of Prestbury - Hannah Shaw Image Consultant
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Dress Cheshire: A slice of heaven in the heart of Prestbury

Dress Cheshire: A slice of heaven in the heart of Prestbury

With a new Autumn/Winter season upon us, there’s no better excuse for me to talk about some of my favourite little boutiques.  As a Cheshire image consultant, I love discovering new local businesses to refer my personal styling clients to based on their style personality, lifestyle and budget and over the next few weeks, I will be sharing the places I find myself visiting over and over again.

I love to support local Cheshire businesses, both in my home town of Knutsford and afar, and it’s great to have a selection of really wonderful boutiques locally that not only have a wide choice of stock, perfect for my personal styling clients but also offer a truly fantastic shopping experience.

‘The Dress agency of Cheshire’

I couldn’t start this blog series without shining the spotlight on one of my most recent discoveries, Dress Cheshire in Prestbury village.  At almost a year old, it’s a heavenly dress agency where fashion lovers can buy, sell and share their love of labels. Owned by Christine Colbert, Dress Cheshire was born out of her own frustration of loving to shop at dress agencies but finding it a little off-putting having to rummage through rails and racks of clothes to find any hidden gems.  Wanting to create a more luxurious experience, she opened the doors to her luxe boutique last November and I don’t know how Prestbury, or indeed Cheshire, ever did without it!

Not only can her customers browse her rails with ease and at a leisurely pace but any ladies wanting to see a return on a loved fashion investment can also sell their clothes and accessories via Christine.  What’s wonderful about dress agencies is they give one person’s pre-loved items a new lease of life ready for another fashion lover to discover and restyle – and I love that.

 

Entering the boutique, you’ll see exactly why Dress Cheshire is a firm favourite of mine to refer to my personal image consultant clients whether that’s after a style consultation, wardrobe optimisation, part of a personal shopping session or ‘just because’.  It’s two floors of luxury brands and fabulous high street fashions, with perfectly organised rails and shelves of clothes, accessories and shoes. It’s wonderfully laid out and the pieces Christine sells are not only fashionable but also timeless and classic too.

Covering all the bases with tops, dresses, bottoms, coats, accessories and more, you could spend a day flicking through the rails and discovering the high-quality pieces Dress Cheshire has on offer.  When your arms are full and you’re ready for your to try them on, you’ll head to a dressing room (to be envious of for your own home), a plush corner of the boutique with sumptuous seating for the rest of the girls to sit on and help you with your outfit dilemmas!

What’s great about Dress Cheshire is that it doesn’t just stop with the clothes.  Christine runs regular style workshops in the boutique where her customers can come and learn a little bit more about what does and doesn’t suit them – and I’m really excited to be involved with these events.  As any of my clients will know, being a personal image consultant is more than just a job to me, it’s a passion and I’m really happy to be helping ladies select clothing choices for their personality, body shape and colouring, as well as being on hand for shopping advice.  You can find more details about the events on the website www.dresscheshire.com.

 

A little for me…

Of course, no visit to a boutique is complete without a purchase – or two!  I did treat myself to a couple of items from Dress Cheshire when I last popped in.  Within the rails I found a gorgeous leather skirt from Reiss – brand new with labels on! – and I was happy to see it was less than half the original price.  Some gorgeous new black western style boots from Malene Birger also found their way into my bag and I’m just obsessed with the flattering V-shape cut they have.  I’m always so pleasantly surprised with the items I’ve found and it’s inspired me to optimise my own wardrobe and pick out pieces for selling – if it’s not been worn for two seasons, it’s off to Dress Cheshire!

Why pre-loved?

Dress agencies may be a brand new concept to you, and whilst it’s clear to see there are boutiques with really beautiful items, I’ve got a few more reasons to share with you about why you might want to explore the world of pre-loved clothes.   A few years ago, you’d be forgiven for thinking the more fashionable amongst us didn’t shop for designer pieces with slashed prices – you’d expect to see arms full of Selfridges and Harvey Nichols bags. There was definitely a stigma attached to buying second hand.  Even now, you might have an image of a rail full of tatty clothes at the end of their life in your head but, in reality, you couldn’t be further away from the truth. Dress agencies are very particular about what they accept – and pay for – into their boutique and in somewhere like Dress Cheshire, you’ll only find items that have been cared for extremely well.

If you still need a little extra push to get yourself through the doors, then here’s some real incentives!

It’s great for the environment.  In a time where we’re so conscious about helping the planet, it’s important to realise the impact buying new has.  Fast fashion is one of the biggest culprits and keeping up with trends that may not even suit you has a knock on effect.  Helping the environment while treating yourself seems like a perfect idea to me and shopping at a dress agency allows you to do this.

It saves you money.  Perhaps the most obvious reason for buying pre-loved is it making a smaller dent in your bank balance.  Just because an item is cheaper doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful and you can use the money saved on something else or maybe just use it as an excuse to buy two pieces for the price of one!

It helps support local businesses.  There’s nothing I love more than buying local and when you purchase something from a small business you know you’re directly supporting that individual.  We have so many lovely independent boutiques in Cheshire run by some fantastic people, so why wouldn’t we want to buy from them?

It helps you create your own unique style.  As a personal stylist, I of course, love to keep up with the latest fashions but I also know that they don’t suit everyone.  Discover your style personality and search for items in dress agencies that suit you and you won’t look like a carbon copy of everyone else either.  There’s some truly wonderful items to be found and picking timeless pieces for your capsule collection will mean they are truly investments you can wear for years to come.

It’s not just second-hand items.   Did you know that a lot of the stock in a dress agency is brand new?  We all have items hanging in our wardrobe that we’ve bought and never worn and you’ll find rails and shelves full of pieces with their original tags on at a bargain price.

It’s fun!  With dress agencies getting stock in daily, there’ll always be a new piece for you to find and who doesn’t love shopping?  Have a bit of ‘me’ time, visit your favourite boutique regularly and play dress-up with their new items before purchasing a little treat.

It’s getting something nice and giving something back!  Getting money back for your past season items is a great way of generating a little extra income, dress agencies allow you to sell your items and see a return on your fashion investment.  And in Dress Cheshire’s case a small amount of the profit made from the sale can voluntarily be given to Caudwell Children, their chosen charity partner which provides life changing support for disabled children and their families who have to cope with life limiting illnesses every day.

With some fabulous little boutiques all over Cheshire, there’s no excuse to not pop in and see what pre-loved items are on offer. You can visit their website or give them a follow on Facebook or Instagram to see the latest collection.

Get in touch…

If the thought of shopping on your own is overwhelming or you don’t know where to start with buying items that suit you, then get in touch with me and we can have a chat.  From colour consultations to personal shopping, I offer a wide ranges of services designed to help you with your personal style and there’s nothing I love more than helping, women and men, feel like the best possible version of themselves.

Hannah x

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