The Best Womenswear Boutiques in Central London
London’s shopping landscape can be overwhelming at times, with new additions to the portfolio popping up every week. From global designer labels to unique independent stores, we’ve rounded up the best of the womenswear boutiques in the city centre.
Look closer at the stores in the Kingly Street shopping district in Soho, and you’ll discover OTHER/shop. This hidden gem is just a stone’s throw from Puma and The Kooples, but it’s far less mainstream and far more likely to stock that longstanding wish-list piece you’ve been searching for. Other’s own label is made in the U.K. and presents a defined, androgynous aesthetic with a sizeable unisex offering. They also boast a careful edit from Aries and Peter Jensen. Expect pieces that showcase acute attention to detail, craftsmanship and creative flair with an underlying focus on wearability. Interiors are clean-cut with an industrial side–a look in line with London’s edgy fashion reputation.
The closest thing to a concept store you’ll find from a stand-alone brand, you could immerse yourself for hours at Acne Studios in Dover Street Market without buying a thing (though it would be challenging). Fans of the brand will feel instantly at home; the interior is designed with just the right amount of blank space, and minimalist rails showcase the label’s signature denim, Scandi-chic basics and oversized outerwear. There are angular wood tables, undressed staircases and the odd art deco chair, and the first-floor outdoor terrace might tempt you to escape for a bit from the hustle and bustle of the iconic shopping street below.
The rise of MATCHESFASHION.COM has proven to be something of a marvel as of late, but the beauty of stepping away from the website and into a store is that you get a feel for where it all began. Marylebone High Street is home to one of a handful of beautifully curated, carefully bought into brick-and-mortar stores. Designed across two floors with men’s and women’s designer labels, it’s as much an education on current trends as it is a shopping experience. Eclectic with a nod to elegance, expect a statement, fashion-focused edit and an array of luxury accessories to boot.
With roots in London and a loyal fan base this side of the Atlantic, it seems only right that Victoria Beckham’s L.A.-founded namesake label should have a prime location on Dover Street. Sleek and sophisticated silhouettes and minimalistic colour blocking slot seamlessly into the three-story building’s modern architecture, and the two aesthetics create a consistent message. Whether or not you intend to buy, Beckham’s store is well worth the visit. You’d be forgiven for thinking you had stumbled upon a contemporary art gallery, as there’s plenty more to see than the collection itself.
Bringing its Parisienne sensibility to the centre of London, Sandro is the last word in effortless chic. Oversized cashmere knits, wide-leg tailoring and boxy shirting in classic, neutral hues epitomise the collection. Each piece works with the next in perfect harmony, so outfit building becomes a breeze. The store interiors mirror this pared-back look. Staff are welcoming without being pushy and help provide inspiration by embodying the brand and perfecting the art of everyday dressing. If you’re looking to build your capsule wardrobe, make Sandro your first port of call in London.
Selfridges & Co.
There’s nothing you can’t find in Oxford Street’s most iconic department store. From evening gowns to loungewear to the perfect gift, this historic building houses enough options to ensure you have choices. Marble flooring adorns the newly revamped accessories hall, where a perfectly-placed champagne bar sits amongst Loewe and Gucci. Contemporary clothing lie next to women’s footwear, and luxury labels, such as Valentino and Giambattista Valli, have designated floors, so navigating is surprisingly easy. As much a lifestyle brand as it is a shopping destination, visit the rooftop restaurant, or book in for a make-up consultation. Also, be sure to browse the window displays, especially around Christmas.
La Perla is famed for their unique and overtly feminine approach to lingerie design. At the store in Burlington Arcade, there’s something of a fantasy about the collection. Showcasing the label’s signature slip dresses, sultry underwear designs, lingerie-inspired swimwear and, perhaps most surprisingly, a newly launched ready-to-wear series, it’s a true representation of the brand’s varied offering. Staff are not only knowledgeable about the collection, but are also expert bra fitters and will ensure any investment that you make fits perfectly to enhance and flatter your body.
Wolf & Badger
Wolf & Badger founders, brothers Henry and George Graham, opened their first boutique in Notting Hill in 2010 to provide more focus on up-and-coming designers. They’ve since expanded to New York and Mayfair, where they showcase some of the city’s most exciting emerging talent. The mission is simple; provide a platform whereby those new to the industry can thrive and reach new consumers. The result is a beautifully diverse and eclectic selection of labels and products brought together by shared positioning in the market. Visit the art gallery in the basement (also for private hire), where the work on show is on consistent rotation, much like the fashion upstairs. Wander the space and pop to the Raw Press juice café for a quick refreshment en route.
Wolf & Bader, 32 Dover St, London, United Kingdom, +44 020 7229 4848
Chanel is the ultimate in aspirational branding, and the London flagship store is a must-visit luxury boutique. A presentation of the fashion world according to Karl Lagerfeld, this 12,600-square-foot, three-story space is a true work of art centred around an installation by artist Jean-Michel Othoniel, a nod to the label’s French heritage. The store houses ready-to-wear, fine jewellery and beauty collections, but there’s a focus on accessories, with innovative presentations, such as a wall designated just for silk scarves. Make your way around the store using the floating staircases, and immerse yourself in the world of Chanel, where the fusion of fashion, art and design comes together beautifully.
The Cambridge Satchel Company
There’s something admirable about a brand set on creating a single product well, and The Cambridge Satchel Company is exemplary in its field. A classic accessory reworked for modern day, the recognisable leather designs bring nostalgia to accessorising. Launched in 2008 at founder Julie Deane’s kitchen table, the brand continues to communicate a homely and personable message. Each piece is handmade in the U.K., and the two-story Covent Garden store also houses a workshop where shoppers can watch their pieces being embossed with their initials or a quirky symbol to add a bespoke final touch to their investment.
London looks so beautiful in the sunshine. If you are in London today make sure to come and visit @coventgadrenldn and @7dialslondon areas. We are taking part in the Seven Dials #fashionfeast. Head into our Shorts Garden store to get 20% off all full price products, plus special gift with purchase. See you there! Image: @coventgardenldn