Chatter Frocks

YOU, ME AND RETAIL THERAPY

WENDY MACGREGOR, FOUNDER AND OWNER, FROCKS AWAY

We are all fashion conscious. We all want to be wearing the latest styles. We all read magazines and watch the latest films. We see the latest clothes from the catwalks in Paris. We see the film premiers and red carpets. And we all see Kate Moss wearing fabulous dresses. But do we all want to be the sort of woman that appeals to Pete Docherty?

Actually there is more to fashion than copying the latest styles. It's about feeling comfortable and feeling good. It's about clothes that complement us. It's about individual attention and about choice.

All too often designer clothes are about snatching the headlines and making the latest super model look good. Actually its not difficult to make Kate moss look good. But I am not sure that we would want to wear those clothes. Those short shorts and barely there tops.

This doesn't mean that we are reduced to mail order catalogues, Fenwick's and Next. what it means is selecting from various designers those styles colours and fabrics which enhance our shapes and lifestyles.

We, at Frocks Away, like to think we are above the rapidly changing street fashions and we are about genuine style. The appeal of a shop like mine is that we choose carefully from each collection and offer it in an interesting way with all the other makes complementing each other in one shop. We can help, the bit we enjoy, putting it together for, and with, you.

I have a business, three children a very busy husband and a social life. And I have to admit it does sometimes feel like too many balls in the air. However, it gives me a very realistic approach to women and clothes. I go through the same trials and tribulations, style dilemmas and will it/ wont it fit moments! I guess I am very typical of my customers and as such I am sympathetic to everyone who comes in to the shop for some retail therapy.

Retail therapy is of course not just about buying something new to make us feel good. But about an enjoyable experience when you might even engage in a useful conversation on education, doctors, good restaurants and the political dilemmas facing the Middle East. I am an ex dance and art teacher, indeed our staff include mothers, nurses, nannies, artists, students, ballerinas and clinical neuro psychologists. Between us we can usually deal with most requirements! We even have an in house specialist on fabric and their care, extremely useful, trust me!

I guess the only time we feel slightly on edge is when someone like Victoria wood comes in to kit herself out. We never know when we might appear in her next sketch! I am sure she has been in the shop when the ever hopeful customer who is absolutely sure she is a size 10 is trying to squeeze into that little number she plucked off the rail, and we have to use all of our 22 years of retail skill to persuade her that this year it's the slightly baggier, longer, more comfortable look. We call it size 14!

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