Dresses seem so essentially British, don’t they?
Everything from pretty vintage print casual dresses to wear-anywhere classy shirt dresses and elegant evening gowns are all woven into what the world sees as British style.
Diana rocked dresses.
And so to does Kate Middleton.
Sadly, however, too many British dresses are now made – like most British fashion – a heck of a way from London or anywhere in the UK.
It means we’ve:
- massively increased our “clothes miles” which is a BIG baddie when we’re all trying to live more sustainably
- AND lost traditional pattern cutting, dress fitting and finishing skills from our towns
My great grandma was an expert pattern cutter in a blouse and dress makers and passed on her craft to my grandma and mother. Those special skills of properly fitting sleeves and bodices and collars and cuffs are disappearing.
But it’s not all doom and gloom for British dress makers though, as the Duchess of Cambridge showed with her choice of a Suzannah London dress – made in London – for Wimbledon this year.
And there are still British dress makers cutting and sewing dresses across the UK and not just in Kate Middleton’s price range.
I’ve got 25 British dress makers for you here to check out, offering a wide range of dress styles.
None of the dresses will be as cheap as high street, fast fashion churned out at crazy, planet polluting levels to clutter our wardrobes but when we chose to spend our money on a British made dress we use our purse power to:
- Invest in skills
- Bring back dress making jobs
- Slash our clothes miles
And our choice can inspire other British designers to bring dress making jobs back to Britain.
25 British Dress Makers
Casual & Floral Dresses
- Justine Tabak : gorgeous traditional Liberty, tartan and mill town inspired maxi dresses with a cool edge in cord, cotton and silk made in Whitney, Oxfordshire by the granddaughter of an East End tailor. £150+
- Community Clothing : good value classic shirt dresses with a contemporary cut made in the heart of Britain’s old textile industry in Blackburn.
- Brora : Scottish based Brora don’t make everything in Britain but these Liberty print, merino & cord dresses are British made. £140+
- Coco & Wolf : a tiny collection of simple Liberty print casual cotton dresses handmade in the old cathedral city of Wells in Somerset. £80+
- Coco Veve : simple wrap and halter dresses. Hand made in UK some from reclaimed vintage fabric. £90+
Formal & Business Dress Styles
- Elizabeth Martin : small simple collection of immaculately tailored dresses in Harris tweed made in Carluke, Lanackshire. £150+
- Katherine Hooker : crepe and wool dresses hand cut by experienced tailors and made in a London workshop. £500+
- Libby London : professional wardrobe essentials with timeless classic dresses especially shirt dresses and contemporary takes on traditional tailoring. Designed, made and finished in London. £150+
- Kotys : business dresses designed and made in London using natural fabrics. £300+
- Closet London : wide range of mid priced dresses including wrap and pencil skirt dresses suitable for the office designed and made in London. £50+
Party Dresses & Evening Gowns
- Klements : their seriously striking print dresses don’t fit neatly into any category. Made from fabric printed in Worcestershire and sewn in Hertfordshire you could wear them wherever you like.£270+
- Kitty Ferreira : luxe style dresses including their signature collared dress that could take you anywhere from smart office to party and evening wear. Designed and made in London. £300+
- Mya Rose : a small collection of high end dresses from a former Temperley London designer now based in Devon on the edges of Dartmoor. Designs can be customised. £500+
- Suzannah London : very high end evening and occasion wear the majority of which is made in London. As worn by Kate Middleton. £1,000+
- Zahlina White : swing and floor length dresses – including “Mommy & Me” versions – made from UK sourced fabrics. Based in Pinner, north London. £100+
Dresses In Natural Organic Fabrics
- Celtic & Co : winter warm sweater dresses most of which are made in Britain by a Cornish based company. £100+
- Colenimo : Irish linen, organic cotton and silk dresses made in Shoreditch workshop. £150+
- Nadinoo : wrap & pinafore Shibui dresses made in the tiny county of Rutland. £150+
- Kate Sheridan : pottery, pinafore & boiler dresses made in paisleys and cords. £160+
- Pajotten : fabulously simple cord and linen shift dresses made in Tenterden Kent including one in a real Meghan Markle green. £100+
- Ren London : beautifully natural but very feminine dresses made from cotton and khadi in London. £150+
If you’re looking for more organic clothing in natural fabrics do also check out this bigger list.
Vintage & Retro British Dresses
- Bombshell HQ : special occasion vintage style dresses for women with curves, designed and made in London. £200+
- British Retro : limited edition vintage reproduction dresses made in London. £50+
- Lady London : vintage style dresses the majority of which are made in London. £50+
- The Pretty Dress Company : wide range of dresses for occasions and office wear with a strong vintage vibe designed and made in Kent. £100+
I do hope this little less helps you find the right gorgeous dress for you. If you know of other British dress makers, please do shout.Original image: Marco Verch
Leave a Reply