Friar Street in Worcester UK is centuries old and is a long medieval
street now full of cafes, restaurants, appealing clothing, jewellery and objet d'art shops.
If you walk the length of this interesting street you are sure to chance
upon one of my favourite fashion clothing shops in Worcester UK - the
fashion boutique is still called Lynne Craig and was originally named
by Lynne who retired in 2007.
Since 2007 it has moved from strength to strength under the new
ownership of Becky Sutcliffe. In January 2012 this small boutique offering
style without the attitude was awarded 'Winner of the Worcester BID Customer
Service Assessments January 2012.'
The new owner Becky Sutcliffe a former fashion buyer has continued to expand into new lines whilst retaining old favourite brands. Rachel, Sally, Jo and Annabel are the assistants
working at the shop.
Every season Becky updates and improves the selection making it easier
for you to shop with confidence. Colours at Lynne Craig for Summer 2012 include
papaya, cobalt, jade and pinks offset with tones of dune, blush and silver. The new collections Becky has added include Maxmara Weekend, Bernshaw, Stills, La Bottega di Brunella, Crea Concept, Camela Me,
Elemente Clemente, Lauren Vidal, Sarah Arnett,
Marina Avraam, Arianna, Nanette Lepore, Sonja Marolin.
Becky stocks desirable dresses to suit all occasions. When the TV series
'Mad Men' took hold of women's imagination, dresses became hot pieces in the
fashion wardrobe again. Katya Wildman's Bombshell dress the
must-have 'it' dress of the
Mad Men fashion moment
has been part of the stock Becky has offered to customers in the past few
years. Read more about
the Bombshell dress below.
At Lynne Craig you will find dresses by Helene Berman and Bernshaw.
The banded Body Con Bernshaw Mistresses dress - has been a must-have in many
Left - BBC TV Series 'Mistresses' Wearing The Bernshaw Dress Collection.
There is also Ella Boo - a collection of marvellous race day dresses. With
Ladies Day events becoming the norm at every racecourse you are sure to find
the little number that suits your special occasion.
Becky has exceptional buying skills and she continues to pursue a buying
strategy of timeless, understated and enduring fashion. For summer 2012
Becky has selected tactile fabrics with lightweight knits, cool linens, and
exquisite silks in all the latest fashion colours in both warm and cool
Old favourites like Marc Cain, Sarah Pacini and Paddy Campbell, mean
interesting choices plus appropriate solutions for every fashion need.
For seasonless dressing designers Crea Concept, Elemente Clemente and Camela
Me offer a mix of knit and linen.
Then there is Backstage who produce
easy linen pieces and is a brand always on my shopping list. If you prefer the
contrast of relaxed laid back linen looks then read more below
for the Joanna Lumley Nile look.
There are also coloured tights by Jonathan Aston, coloured leather
gloves by Dents, and Crumpet cashmere as well as other small accessories
that complete an outfit. Silk scarves, belts and bracelets all add that
Lynne Craig Ambience
Becky's stock at Lynne Craig is likely to best suit 'the snappy, but
relaxed dresser,' with clothes 'for any occasion to
think the clothes at Lynne Craig have a continental feel and are
without doubt for the discerning, well travelled woman who is seeking
something different, fashionable and which makes her feel special.
That woman will find versatile items that always
get compliments whether the items selected are for everyday wear, a summer
barbecue, an important social function such as a wedding, a Christmas or New
Year party, or for Ascot. Ella Boo dresses which are currently stocked
are perfect for that race day dress.
The typical customer may like, for example, designs with a Mediterranean
touch. The relaxed easy lines of La Bottega di Brunella pieces in
contemporary eco feel fabrics may suit your style more.
The (winter) shop rack shown left is typical of the above average carefully
selected stock. You will find colour, but also good expensive looking neutral
tones in line with the latest
Pantone colours always on offer.
Colours at Lynne Craig for Summer 2012 include papaya, cobalt, jade and
pinks offset with tones of dune, blush and silver.
Whenever I visit the Lynne Craig shop for a quick browse I have sleepless
nights immediately after, thinking how I must get back for another 'proper shopping'
visit very soon! Believe me each shop in Friar Street will tempt you
to stop. When you are there, you can also check out Emporio Armani, with a large range of designer
fashion brands. If you love gems and gemstones check out both Anja Potze -
Jeweller and nearby
Mark A Linley Jeweller - these are all great shops within 50
metres of each other.
A visit to Becky at Lynne Craig is always something of a surprise, because not only do
the clothes selected always have a quirky, but fashionable edge, but the
stock moves rapidly. The fashion choices always have an
unpredictability that instantly captures your attention and wows you at the
same time. When I saw the Bombshell
Dress further below I just had to go back and get one.
slip dress shown right has a fascinating shaped bulbous bubble hemline. The
spaghetti straps make it an outfit that would work on several levels for
evening, or it could easily be dressed down for daytime with this natural
looking fine linen knit. Such is the classiness and forward looking nature
of the stock that the outfit shown left was actually an image I took in
2006. Now tulip and bubble hem skirts are everywhere, but the stock in Lynne
Craig has always been full of new stylish pieces before the average high
street fashion shop has them.
I think it's fair to say that the shop Lynne Craig specialises in
unusual, individual fashion pieces for relaxed dressing. Outfits can
easily be dressed up or down by adding or subtracting the other fashion
pieces or accessories on offer, or by wearing your own very special pieces of
The handbags are from Marc Cain and
Orla Kiely. Hats are by Sarah Crozier,
Quill & Capeline. But Becky is adding and updating stock ranges
constantly so a visit is always a fresh experience. When you see something
you love, but in a small size always ask if they have a larger one for you,
because so often as if by magic they produce a bag from the stockroom and
out slips your size.
In the shop you will find that materials ooze quality and have a
beautiful handle so this in itself makes what at first glance might seem a
relaxed piece feel and look extra special to those who know their materials.
I especially like the trans seasonal materials used by La Bottega di
Brunella as some of their fabrics are 50/50 mixtures of wool and linen, or
90% wool and 10% Lycra adding warmth with comfort.
Without doubt the quality of a wool knit, silk jacket or linen item will
speak for itself. I know from personal experience that the linen items
by Clemente and
Backstage launder well. They will wash
easily and be suitable for many occasions.
Designer Brands at Lynne Craig
The labels Becky Sutcliffe selects for her boutique Lynne Craig engender instant respect and
these clothes quite simply feel good when you wear them. Choose from
fashion collection lines by Marc Cain, Oska,
Backstage, Sarah Pacini, Krines, Sylvia Heise, Crea, Gabi Lauton, Annette Gortz, She's So, NYDJ
Tummy Tuck jeans, Ghost, Fenn Wright Manson, Lezley George, Jovani,
Privatesachen and Paddy Campbell. Specialist knits such as merino tops are by She's So and
other knitwear is by Karen Cole. Tummy Tuck or Trussardi Jeans offer a
great fit with a fine gradation of 1 inch difference between sizes. Becky's
jeans for summer 2012 are the magic jeans by Michele - using the
tummy tuck idea.
The emphasis is on being able to choose from clothes lines that
flatter the female form and make the person feel good in a relaxed, but
cutting edge way of dressing. I particularly like the figure
flattering cut of the Marc Cain trousers with cashmere and the Mark Cain
silkier summer pants. Whilst the She's So Knits are impressively understated
and always scream that hidden message that decoders understand - quality.
Frequently She's So knitwear uses the Plating knit technique whereby a
second yarn encases the first yarn in a stitch and this can be used to
create a very subtle, sometimes reversible colour change. The plating
technique also produces a stable knit suitable for more structured coats,
yet still easy pieces.
Whether spring, summer or autumn 2012, carefully selected trousers,
dresses, skirts and tops
are all in the top fashion colours at Lynne Craig.
Limited numbers of each style are purchased so bumping into yourself is
much less likely than when you buy at a department store. Tell Becky
or her staff what you seek and if you need advice they will guide you to
items that will dress up, or dress down your selection, ensuring you find
that special outfit whatever your requirements.
added bonus of shopping in a smaller shop like this, is that when you are
half dressed an assistant who knows her stock, who is nearby, not miles away,
and truly happy to serve you, will try to find a style or size that
might just be the item with which you walk out of the shop.
All the garments at Lynne Craig are contemporary, but often with an unusual kooky twist
that catches your attention. This knit top shown left is an example of
the unusual pieces stocked. Sizes range from UK size 8 to 18, but a few of the looser cut garments (which I have noticed sometimes
have a Japanese feel) are capacious and on occasion would fit a size 20.
Like Becky Sutcliff, the assistants at Lynne Craig are
experts in their field and easily able to instantly style one piece with another
and show you how versatile a few pieces can be. Teamwork ensures a balanced choice of designer collections,
all something different than the mainstay fashion ranges found in
many department stores.
Lynne Craig Ltd., of 25 Friar Street Worcester stocks the Bernshaw collection designed by Sara Brett.
It consists of fashionable,
glamorous ladies evening, occasion and party wear for a diverse age group.
Bernshaw has been established for over 65 years and is still producing
cutting edge fashionable dresses, combined with classic inspired designer
wear, well known for its versatile and trend forward key looks.
The signature look for this collections is that of a
classical, demure yet feminine look, which still offers versatility within
each of its core pieces.
Key styles range from banded fitted dresses, long sequined all over
styles, as well as its consistent long draped ruched jersey dresses of
different lengths and cuts which maintains Bernshaw's handwriting.
Colours at Lynne Craig for Summer 2012 include papaya, cobalt, jade and
pinks offset with tones of dune, blush and silver.
With such an extensive collection,
Bernshaw captured the body con trend in a collection that offers
something for everyone. I have one of these tuck banded dresses and like
the Bombshell dress above this is another range that knocks your body into
curves and a Mad Men hour glass shape. That tucked trademark fabric is very
forgiving over lumps and bumps. The actresses in the TV series the
Mistresses are wearing the 2010 Bernshaw Collection above right. That rich blue
and singing burnt orange are still hot colours for 2012.
In fact Tangerine Tango is Pantone's Colour of The Year 2012.
This Bombshell Dress shown right in fine cotton and covered with a
50s/60s style ditzy print of wild strawberries is typical of the Notting
Hill yummy mummy must-have 'it' dresses
that are knocking women into curvy hour glass shapes.
I liked the Bombshell Dress so much when I saw it and tried it on at
Lynne Craig earlier in the year, that I had a sleepless night and had to go back and buy one the
next day. A good shapewear control body, bustier or a strapless bra helps attain
the perfect support for that film star shoulder line. When I returned to the
shop I went wearing a body so I had a good idea of the final look I might
The most important factor in buying from a boutique like Lynne Craig is
that I got personal assistance from Rachel and her comments both negative and positive
were helpful. When a different Bombshell dress I tried in the same
size did not fit snugly, or look as good, it was invaluable to have an
The cut of the drapery is impressive enabling the picture neckline to be
adjusted to reveal even more shoulder. You can also arrange this
Bombshell dress to show no cleavage or plenty of it. This must-have
dress does of course focus on the cinched waist and doing it up is an
exercise in breathing in (that's my excuse anyway!), but because of the
shirred side bodice panels it sculpts and moulds to your body.
TV Cook and Food Writer, Nigella Lawson reportedly spent £2,000
buying some 12 variations of these Bombshell dresses in different colour
ways for her holidays in the Hamptons. Clearly she has over the years been
inspired by old and new screen sirens like the
Mad Men Joan
Holloway bombshell. Read more on the
Mad Men page.
Joanna Lumley dresses in total contrast to the Mad Men look, but she
looks wonderful and knows how to dress to suit her style, age and activity.
Her recent series which travelled through the Nile and Egypt lead to
fashion columnists being inundated with requests from women for information about
the lovely relaxed clothes she wore.
I'll tell you a secret, you can get just the kind of linen pieces Joanna
wears at Lynne Craig. The day before I bought my Bombshell dress I had also
bought a totally different look. Every year I add one main complete outfit
to my linen 'holiday/very hot day/holiday' collection. That day previous to
my Bombshell purchase I had bought some Backstage linen trousers, fitted
panelled vest top and
knee length Nehru shirt dress all in sapphire blue. Each piece will
mix well with existing white, pale blue, lime linen, navy linen and red
accessories I already possess. This is investment dressing at its easiest.
This brand washes well and I love it. I find it perfect for sightseeing
holidays as the linen is good quality, tends to drop out overnight if hung
up, just enough to breathe enough new life into a piece to see another day
casual or dressed up. These linen pieces look simple, but the cut on
Backstage linen items is superb. Importantly each season items are tweaked
to have this years fashion edge. If one style of top or trousers does not suit
you, there possibly is another type on the rail at Lynne Craig that will
flatter your body shape. The shoulder cut is finely honed and enhances
the neck and armscye rather than make you look square and larger than you
are as some chain store linen pieces often do. Each separate I bought
costs between £90 and £120. This is wash and wear summer investment dressing
at its easiest.
So give Becky and her staff at Lynne Craig a try. You will find the items
you buy will outlast several seasons and more importantly you will be on
trend, look and feel terrific. Just wait for the compliments to roll in.
Becky Sutcliffe is the owner now of the Lynne Craig clothes shop above.
It is still trading under the long established name of Lynne Craig and is very easy to find in Friar Street
Worcester UK. This is a Worcester city-centre location with a car park
very close by and a Vue multi screen cinema about 80 yards away. The
location is just around the corner from the Shambles back
entrance of Marks and Spencers and the lengthy Friar Street is parallel to
the Shambles area. The Lynne Craig shop is also about 300 yards from
Worcester Cathedral and the latter is close to the Royal Worcester Factory
and Glasshouse restaurant of Shaun
The shop is also about 600 yards or so from Worcester Foregate Street Rail station.
Friar Street is the same street that hosts the annual
Worcester Christmas Fayre.
If you are visiting Worcester Cathedral, home to the tomb of King John of
Magna Carta fame, you may soon afterward find yourself very easily wandering
toward Friar Street so take this opportunity to browse the lovely stock and
make your day out even more special.
See Marks and Spencer New Spring Collections online
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