To celebrate the opening of non-essential shops on high streets up and down the country as of 12 April, we asked you, our readers, to nominate your favourite independents as part of our retail campaign, Save Our Shops. And because the high street has suffered considerably since the start of the pandemic - combined with the fact that it is women's jobs that have been hit the hardest - there's never been a better time to look through our directory and shop local. Without further ado, here's our A to Z (well, almost) list of the best boutiques around the UK.
We all know how difficult it is to find the perfect pair of jeans, and to Adele L. Crombie, that became the raison d’etre behind ALC. Her denim boutique is a curation of the best brands in the business, while her team are experts in solving ‘denim dilemmas’.
Amélie’s Follies, London
Amélie’s Follies, a lingerie shop in Wandsworth, has managed to pivot to appointment-only bra fittings during lockdown, and still has a beautiful range to browse online, whether you’re looking for fashion or function in the underwear department.
Abi Dee’s Aura is a womenswear boutique that stocks a clutch of elevated high street brands, such as American Vintage, Second Female, Mos Mosh and Ichi, to help your wardrobe look that little bit different.
Bernard Boutique, Surrey
Bernard Boutique, established in 1969 by husband-and-wife team Helene and Barrie Rapaport, has done all the hard work for you, gathering together the cool-girl’s favourite brands (Ganni, Arizona Love, Faithfull The Brand, Hereu and Maria Black) under one roof on Esher High Street.
Bod & Ted, Tunbridge Wells
Tunbridge Wells’s Bod & Ted, run by a mother-daughter duo, is the place to find something a bit off the beaten track.
B The Lifestyle Shop, Newbury
B is all about celebrating women - ‘B Kind, B Happy, B You,’ is its mantra - and its pleasingly affordable edit can’t help but raise a smile.
South of the river stalwarts, with one shop in Forest Hill, one in Beckenham, Bunka is a one-stop-shop of delights for mum, dad and baby.
Cashmere Goose, Hampshire
Despite its characterful name, Cashmere Goose stocks much more than just knitwear, with an impressive range of homewares and gifts as well as plenty of ideas for your ‘wear-forever’ wardrobe.
Cavells specialises in womenswear and countrywear - perfectly if you’re planning a staycation around our green and pleasant land this summer - with a roster of brands that includes American Vintage, Second Female, Leon & Harper and Lily & Lionel.
Chloe James Lifestyle, St Albans
At Chloe James Lifestyle, owner Donna Nichol is all about giving customers bang for their buck, with an affordable edit that includes ear cuffs from Scream Pretty, denim from Mos Mosh and hand-held fans (great for a heatwave) from Khu Khu.
Collen & Clare, Suffolk
Collen & Clare is part of the furniture in Southwold, its home for two decades, with everything from tie-dye shirt dresses and basket bags for her, and plaid shirts and utility shorts for him.
Brighton is home to one of the country’s best boutique high streets, and Covet, founded by Lyn Aveyard, has been a jewel in its crown since 2003.
Crane & Kind, Sidmouth
Sidmouth’s Crane & Kind, a family lifestyle store that’s painted a postcard-perfect pink, is just as bright on the inside as it is on the outside, with kidswear that is unparalleled in the cute department.
D.A.Y. Boutique, London
Three sisters, Disha, Apee and Yukti, are the brains behind D.A.Y, hence the name, and from its stylish edit across womenswear and menswear, prove that excellent taste might just be genetic.
Diverse is a family affair. It was founded in the ‘80s by Gabrielle Parker, who opened a tiny shop beneath her flat, and the reins are now held by daughter, Saskia Lamche. Expect all kinds of gorgeousness from mid-market brands such as Isabel Marant Étoile, YMC and A.P.C.
Domino Style, Stratford-Upon-Avon
Domino Style, from owner Abigail Edmunds, is all about helping shoppers find the joy in clothes, whether it’s slipping into a leaf-print dress after months spent in sweatpants or buying a tailored pair of denim shorts for a summer spent in pub gardens.
Dragonfly Boutique, Hebden Bridge
If you’re starting to think about your wardrobe for summer 2021, Hebden Bridge’s Dragonfly Boutique is an excellent starting point.
Eighty Seven, Derbyshire
Amy Cook’s boutique is a three-floor haven for all the brands she’s discovered on her travels. From Yerse’s tie-dye sweats to pleated cross-body bags by Nice Things, you’re guaranteed to come across something surprising every time you visit.
Fabric, Old Amersham
An old coach house is the setting for Fabric, a womenswear boutique that opened its doors last summer, in the chocolate box town of Old Amersham.
Feather & Stitch, Richmond
Specialising in a stable of brands from France and Denmark, including Stine Goya, Cecilie Copenhagen, Munthe and Des Petits Hauts, Feather & Stitch’s perfectly-sized edit will make new season shopping a cinch.
This Devon independent cares about its customer feeling good on the inside and out.
Found, a stone’s throw from Bath’s Pulteney Bridge, is a real gem that prides itself on being part of its street’s community of independents. We’re obsessed with its sock drawer and claw clips.
Fox + Feather, Bristol
Located on Bristol’s Gloucester Road, which boasts a famously long stretch of independents, Fox + Feather is not to be missed. As well as a cheerfully bright edit of womenswear, its homeware selection is seriously on-point.
This family-run boutique has a beautiful range of jewellery, from Cabbage White, Decadorn, Emma Fox, Nahua Hora and Joanli Nor.
Iris & Violet, Stamford
If you need interiors inspo, and want something that strikes a point of difference from everything on Instagram, Iris & Violet’s homewares section is a great place to start. Its knitwear, like this cosy violet cardigan, is also top notch.
Jane Davidson, Edinburgh
Jane Davidson founded her eponymous shop in 1969, and it’s now run by her daughter, Sarah Murray. Stocking designers such as Huishan Zhang, Nanushka, Solace London and Roland Mouret, who the boutique actually introduced to Scotland, it’s got everything you need for your re-emergence wardrobe.
The husband-and-wife team behind Javelin, Jeremy and Joanna Clayton, have made it a high street fixture for three decades in Suffolk, with one shop in Bury St Edmunds, and another in Sudbury.
Katie & Jo, Fulham
Katie & Jo caters to the customer who has a finger on fashion’s pulse, but is still much more interested in personal style.
Kiti’s selection is unrivalled for cool-factor, from Ganni’s tees, frill-collar blouses and bucket hats, to Ba&sh’s wear-with-anything denim overalls.
Last Night I Dreamt, Nottingham
Jewellery boutiques don’t come much more highly recommended than Last Night I Dreamt, the so-called ‘mini Liberty’ of the East Midlands.
Lewis Yates, Essex
For more than a decade, Lewis Tweddell has been bringing an eclectic mix of womenswear and menswear brands to his loyal clientele in Essex.
Love Lucy Boutique, South Manchester
Lucy Whitehead founded her eponymous boutique in 2013, personally picking everything that graces its shelves.
Lowie, a sustainable womenswear label, is the brainchild of Bronwyn Lowenthal, who grew up on the island of Tasmania. From the age of 12, she was enrolled in sewing classes, working with her neighbours’ cast-offs as her raw materials. Fast-forward two decades, and she now has design studios in Brixton, Herne Hill and Crystal Palace, making colourful clothes with sustainability at their core.
Lulu & M, Dundee
This Broughty Ferry gem, established by Lucy and Mhairi, has a particular focus on British and Scandi brands.
Made The Edit, London
Made The Edit is a sanctuary of shoes (yes, really), specialising in footwear from heritage and artisan makers.
Morgan Clare, Harrogate
As well as Bettys, Harrogate boasts Morgan Clare, a womenswear boutique that brims with the coolest mix of brands (Joseph, Ulla Johnson, Re/Done, Acne Studios) and makes leaving empty-handed almost an impossibility.
No 3, Maidstone
Lorraine Miller’s lifestyle boutique has seriously wantable edit from brands like Hannoh Wessel, Maison Anje, Vic and Bert, and East by East.
Nestled in Salisbury’s St Thomas’s Square, OSO, along with its online store, The Rose, has a lovely (and look-twice) edit of womenswear and accessories.
Founded in 2007, Pavilion is for the well-dressed woman (and man) who wants something a little bit different. Cue barbeque-ready maxi dresses (iBlues), chic shower-proof macs (Knowledge Cotton Apparel) and sweet striped jumpers (Sita Murt).
Piajeh has plenty to satisfy the re-entry side of your wardrobe, from its tinkling coin necklaces to its small but perfectly-formed selection of swimwear.
Quattro Rish, Reigate
Quattro Rish has one of the most wantable edits we’ve come across, from the drop-waisted dresses from Pink City Prints, to the optimistically-striped tote bags from Becksöndergaard.
Rocca Boutique, Harrogate
Established in 1979, Roxtons is an outdoor brand that has expanded to four shops across Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey, but it also has a great ‘off-duty’ edit, from the striped tees from Selected Femme, to the flower power bomber jacket at Scotch & Soda.
Sam Ubhi, London
As well as her own jewellery, which glimmers with hand-cut stones, Sam Ubhi also stocks a small-but-perfectly-formed edit of homewares.
The sustainable ethos behind Sancho’s, founded by two university friends, Kalkidan Legesse and Vidmantas Markevicius, was inspired by trips to developing countries like Ethiopia, where the pair witnessed the effects of fast fashion on both people and planet.
Sass & Edge, Winchester
Sass & Edge, a womenswear boutique in Winchester, has something to suit your each and every mood, from throw-on-and-go knitwear to soft leather sneakers.
Silks Boutique, Glasgow
Silks, a trio of boutiques north of the border, is a one-stop-stop for all your underwear, activewear and nightwear needs.
According to its website, Brighton’s Sirene is all about style not fashion. We’ve already book-marked this checked bucket hat.
Situated along the sloping high street of Lymington, Stanwells is the perfect stop-off before breathing in all that salty sea air. Essentiel Antwerp’s ruffled dresses, plus Hayley Menzies’s bobble cardigans, should be on your wish list for spring.
Stars & Stones, Grimsby
This indie womenswear boutique majors in mid-market brands like LoveShackFancy, and has a brilliant array of vegan soy wax candles.
Strange Ray Vintage, Fife
Brought to you by Rachel Valentine, Strange Ray Vintage does a brisk trade in vintage wardrobe treasures that will remind you of Stevie Nicks.
The Crop, Brighton
If your jewellery box needs an upgrade, The Crop’s impeccable selection from under-the-radar brands is guaranteed to prove tempting. Grainne Morton’s chandelier earrings, hung with precious stones and vintage treasures, are charming.
The Dressing Room, St Albans
Deryane Tadd is the sole buyer at The Dressing Room, whose new-in section boasts lapis jewellery from Anna Beck, light lace blouses from Rosemunde, and laid-back separates from Rails.
The Edit, Cheshire
Cheshire’s The Edit has a cosy-as-can-be range of loungewear sets to keep you going until 21 June.
The Pantry Underwear, London
As its name suggests, Eloise Rigby’s boutique is your one-stop-shop for underwear. We’re obsessed with its edit of jazzy jammies from Karen Mabon.
The Women’s Society Boutique, Hertford
Situated in the historic town of Hertford, this boutique is well worth a browse, whether you’re looking for re-emergence heels or a dress with big personality.
Nestled in the antiquing haven of Petworth, a historic village in West Sussex, Twenty has one of the best dress edits we’ve seen, from La Double J’s loud-and-proud prints to Goat’s cinch-waisted styles.
What Mother Made, Hackney
What Mother Made, a vintage-inspired adults and kids boutique, makes its clothes to order, cutting and sewing everything from its studio in Hackney, east London, to ensure as little as possible is wasted.
Wild Swans, London
With two outposts in London - one in Islington, one in Chiswick - Wild Swans, in our humble opinion, is one of the best places to buy dresses in the capital. We love the back of this pink frock from Résumé.
Wolf & Gypsy Vintage, Brighton
Wolf & Gypsy Vintage, as you might have guessed, has an expertly curated selection of vintage. As well as a jersey dress from Jil Sander, and a striped ‘80s blazer by Dior, there’s a lovely selection of embroidered collars made from vintage linens.