The life of a boutique-owner is generally a happy one. People visit, buy pretty things that make them feel good, and leave with a smile on their face. Well, that’s how it happens 99% of the time, so we thought we’d take a light-hearted stroll through a few scenarios which make the lot of a boutique-owner not such a happy one.

Sizing Discrepancies

Imagine you’re a size UK16. You would expect to be the same UK16 whether you bought from Wallis, M&S, Next or White Stuff. Sadly, this is not the case and you can easily find yourself taking three different sizes, even from the same store. Add European sizing to the mix and confusion reigns, as there is no standard conversion. There’s French sizing, Italian, Spanish & Dutch, and although they’re all different, they use the same numbering system. I’m not surprised we’re confused. My advice – always try it on.

This Season’s Colour

You’ve bought the magazine, you’ve seen the eighteen year-old in full make-up under studio lights look wonderful in it, and you’re surprised to find that ‘this season’s colour’ does nothing for you. When the manufacturers are marketing shades of puce and vomit, it makes me wonder what went wrong during production! The right colour can really make an outfit, and you ought to choose the colours that suit YOU. It’s a very personal thing and, as your colouring changes with age, so will the colours that suit you. Try different colours, have fun with your fashion, and don’t be dictated to by a magazine.

Bingo Wings

We all have things we dislike about ourselves, but the upper arms are the most reviled part of the body, if my customers are to be believed. If I had 1€ for every lady who told me she hated her upper arms I wouldn’t need to run a boutique for a living. I have news for you, ladies. No-one is looking at your upper arms! We’re all too busy worrying about our own foibles to notice yours.

‘Have you got this in navy?’

There are some colours that come and go with fashion, and navy is one of them. There’s lots of it around at present, as there has been for the past couple of seasons. That’s great news for me, as it suits me far better than black. But I know that soon – it might be this season, it might be next – it will die a death, so I am stock-piling now. If you find good shoes and handbags in navy, or classic pieces, grab them now, as you don’t know when you’ll see them again.

‘He won’t like it.’

You look good in it. It fits you well, the colour suits you, and I can see it’s making your heart sing. Your friend is looking on enviously, and my other customers are coo-ing at you. You look happy. Until you realise your hubby might disapprove. It makes me want to growl! Wear the dress, sister, and hold your head up high!