The Women’s Room fantasy store design

entrance of the Merci store in Paris

So, as well as designing the clothes for our fantasy TWR range, we thought it would be good to show you what the fantasy store might look like too, after all we have had many moans about who’s doing it badly and things that really annoy us so what would we really want out of a perfect imaginary shop fit?

Well first of all, we’d need a welcoming and beautiful entrance, one that that was difficult to go passed without just popping in to see what might be going on, so there would be flowers and greenery and a bench to sit on outside, where on sunny days on a quiet afternoon you might catch Jane and I sat having a quick cup of tea….

Then there’d be inspiring windows, but not just of clothes because we really want you inside to look at those properly, so we might try and excite you with an art installation, or perhaps make you smile with a joke or wow you with some great bit of furniture we’ve found at a vintage fair (we might have to sell a bit of vintage, just so we have an excuse to go to the fairs).

creative windows from the much missed Few and Far store

We fancy a big, airy light filled space that would also be cosy and comfy, in fact we’d probably have a big chill out area (luckily we’ll have a nice industrial size area to work with) where you could come and sit, perhaps work on the big central table (free Wi-Fi obvs) or just chat to us about sartorial problems you might have (there’ll be a lot of chatting, we anticipate). We’re aiming for a community gathering space that sells great clothes really, it’s quite possible we might throw the odd party.

We’ll get our favourite food and cake people to come in regularly to do pop up cafes and we’d play great music all day long, interspersed with interesting Radio 4 programmes (we’d stop every day for Women’s Hour and possibly The Archers, just so long as it wasn’t going through an annoying stage).

interiors from our favourite shops including Anthropologie, Merci, Tom Dixon, Kate Spade

The displays will be there to make you go ‘oh lovely!’ and highlight items you might not otherwise have found. There will be lots of discovering and moments of of joy as you find unexpected treasures. We might even have a few interesting pop up exhibitions so you learn stuff too, because shopping should be about having a lovely time, not about enduring crowds or being miserable. Retailers call this ‘dwell time’ and we want you to feel you don’t want to go home.

nice display ideas from Orla Keily, Alexander McQueen, Topshop and Merci

Instead of skinny mannequins we will have a styling area, where we will show you loads of ideas on how to wear what with what, this will change daily (luckily we have lots of helpers) and if you are still stuck for inspiration we will help you with our fantastically friendly, knowledgable and supportive staff (mostly over 35 years old and who understand a grown up body although we’ll have a few gorgeously inspiring young people too, to keep us modern). Our staff are stylish, but not scarily so, they are full of great ideas on what you might do to update your look (but wont cost the earth) and will never leave, so you know they will always remember you and what you like.

our fantasy shop assistants

There will be no crowded rails, instead we will have edited out the perfect collection for you, all put together so you can see how to wear it and we might even merchandise it so you can buy clothes for your real shape, so ‘brilliant clothes for those over size16’, ‘expensive classics that are worth investing in’, or ‘perfect for those who don’t like their upper arms’ and ‘clothes that work if you are under 5ft 2″. Lighting will be flattering and we will ALWAYS have your size.

nice interior and merchandising from Folk

For launch we might take some advice from our favourite fashion merchandiser Simon Doonan and merchandise the range under how you might like to dress if you were confident enough, such as ‘Glamourous Eccentric’ or ‘Tilda Swinton Chic’, since we will be encouraging you to experiment with your look and shake yourself out of any rut you might be in. Mr Doonan insists clothes should be about having FUN and we will be upholding this, As you get older you might want to update your style so we will offer a service where you and your friends can come in for a session with one of our nice staff on how to do this.

On the subject of style icons, we would have LOTS of images of our favourite dressers, such as Iris Apfel, Kristen Scott Thomas, Patti Smith, around the room with ideas on how you might adopt a little of their style.

Topshop’s personal styling changing troom

The changing rooms will be big, comfy, kindly lit and well staffed, so you can come out and ask advice, which will be supportively honest. We will provide tea and biscuits for energy, fans and cold water for the menopausal and phone chargers and instagram/twitter walls for taking snaps to send to your friends. Our in house seamstresses will be there to ensure everything fits right, because you know how important fit is to looking good!

You Look Good In That hangers from the Ace Hotel in New York

We will keep a complete picture record of your entire wardrobe on file so we can be sure to make any purchase work well with what you have at home. We will also suggest what all you over-horders you should chuck out! To keep things interesting and to encourage you back for frequent visits, we’ll have a nice big exhibition space where new designers, craft people with fabulous things to sell can create a pop-up store.

There will also be a space for clothes swapping. We know that since you have been buying clothes for many, many years, you have a wardrobe FULL of stuff you don’t wear anymore. You are most welcome to bring items into the Swap-Shop to see if someone else wants it, we’ll invent some sort of credit system so no money will be involved, you’ll just pick something else you like from the Swap Shop.

the gloriously floral Visionary Boutique store

For those of you who can’t visit, we’ll come to you in a mobile pop up store as often as we can, with an edited selection of clothes we know you’ll love.

Dogs will be very welcome.

Did we miss anything out?

19 Comments

  • gillian taylor says:

    I am already forming a fantasy queue outside the fantasy shop!! If only all these things could happen in the real world. Having sizes in stock is a particular bugbear of mine and was the department I worked in at M&S and speaking from experience they just didn’t like putting the staff and effort into stock accuracy and avaliability. I do hope some wonderfully loaded person is reading this and decides to invest in all your wonderful clothes and ideas – now wouldn’t that be grand??

  • Trisha says:

    Inspiration, style, wit and common sense. No wonder your blog is my first port of call each morning. Jane and Amanda, we love you very much!

  • jud devey says:

    i’ve just fainted with longing at the prospect of all this

  • Helen says:

    … what else? Well, for me, great disabled access. Tho’ I suspect you’ve got that pretty much covered too: the principles (at least for mobility impaired, like me) are all there: wide, generous doorways; lots of seating (and chairs in the fitting rooms?); assistants who embrace diversity and understand that our bodies change… and are happy to bring stuff to you. Lovely!! And, I know it’s ‘niche’, but if you ever want to curate a rail on ‘wheelchair/walking stick style’, then look no further!

  • sarah says:

    Is business listening to this?
    May I gush along with Trisha, that you are my favorite morning thing.
    (except for the dogs) AND my husband!

  • Amanda says:

    Helen there will be LOTS of space to allow those with mobility impairment to get everywhere and rest up (with biscuits and tea) when it all gets too much. Thanks for the nice comments ladies, we appreciate it, it definitely keeps us going! Now, off to design our new beauty extension area……Ax

  • Sara says:

    The shop is the retail personification of your blog! I love it of course. I want to buy presents for my friends and family at this lovely place, so I would like help with this and a gift wrapping corner, where you can choose to pay someone else to wrap or simply buy the wrapping and do it yourself.

  • jane says:

    I am actually weeping at the thought of this. How can we make it happen.
    Jx

  • Claire says:

    I dream of working and shopping in such an inspirational environment, especially with your positive dog code. Hope some investors are listening up.

  • notsurebut says:

    As a person who loves clothes but loathes shopping this sounds like heaven, build it they will come! Also could I have a job there please?

  • Amanda says:

    notsurebut, yes we’ll be advertising for staff on the blog first, obviously, you’d be most welcome and Sara there will be a HUGE stationery and gift wrapping area, (with many lovely notebooks) where we will hold masterclasses on how to wrap like the Japanese and make lovely pompom ball bows. Vintage ribbons anyone? A

  • cathy says:

    What an inspired idea to keep a complete picture record of the customer’s entire wardrobe on file, so purchases work well with what’s at home. Will the mobile pop-up store be coming to Dublin soon?

  • Gwyneth says:

    Can I be your Saturday girl?

  • Andrea says:

    Can you please open a second store in Manchester for all us Northerners!

  • freethequay says:

    love it all. except the dogs and r4 policy! please also swap books and mags as well as clothes. and post one item a day that you sold and how good it looks on your customer to keep us all inspired… I would work for you for free if I could!

  • Helen says:

    Love it! Could you also add a capsule make-up collection, maybe a mini beauty therapy eyebrow and nail bar – just so we could all complete our look perfectly. We can but dream…

  • Jill D says:

    Simply gorgeous

  • Louise says:

    Opening date?
    What else…..well as it’s a fantasy shop it would have a secret walled garden, lovely windy paths box hedges and glorious flowers, somewhere to sit and cool down, a half covered area for when it rains, an area selling lovely potted plants or if this is too ambitious a yard type space like the one at Spazio Rossana Orlandi – with some great outdoor furniture, Rupert Blanchard if we’re keeping it British but Piet hein Eek’s outdoor tables are amazing…..

  • Jane says:

    Oh yes all that and more Lousie! I LOVE Rossana Orlandi J x

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