Fashion: Welcome back! Boutiques reopening now

Many of our much-missed boutiques are opening doors today and all of us at Velvet just want to say welcome back. While on-line has kept us going, it will be just lovely to visit our favourite shops – see you there. Here’s the latest info from some of our local fashion legends.

Elegant Atelier, Rose Crescent, Cambridge

“Wow what a rollercoaster the past few months has been, and we are so delighted to reopen our doors.We have procedures in place to make shopping in Elegant Atelier as safe as possible while maintaining social distancing which include appointment browsing. Our loyal followers have been amazing while we were closed, as well as buying online, social media has been really important and every message, like, share and comment has lifted my spirits on those darker days,” says Sinead O’Loghlen, who owns the gem of a boutique. “The real work starts now that the doors have reopened. To preserve the unique shopping experience in Cambridge and other similar towns and cities, we need to encourage our customers to come out,shop locally and support all our local businesses– otherwise we won’t survive.”

Elegant Atelier’s summer pick:

“My favourite pieces – during the lockdown jeans and trainers have been my go-to uniform,” says Sinead.

Baum und Pferdgarten Nikka Jeans, £11, and Air & Grace Navy Roxy Trainers, £159

Javelin, Abbeygate Street, Bury St Edmunds & Market Hill, Sudbury

“We are very excited to have opened again following government guidelines. Although there are some new procedures and precautions set in place to ensure the health and wellbeing of our customers and employees, the Javelin experience remains the same. Javelin is still the ultimate shopping destination for any fashionista,” says Jeremy Clayton, owner of Javelin.

See Javelin’s summer sale now on, with prices up to 30 per cent off in-stores and online at

Javelin’s summer pick:

Leo Bird Dress, £132, Javelin (36656226)
Leo Bird Dress, £132, Javelin (36656226)

Part of the new spring/summer Stardust collection, the Leo Bird dress was £189 and is now £132.30.

Martha V, High Street, Newmarket

Martha V will open from Tuesday 16 June and the team is offering appointment-only slots from 9am to 10am, which are 30 minutes each and limited to two customers in store. Apart from this slot, opening hours are standard and the shop will welcome two customers only at the same time; the shop will close every day between 1pm and 2pm for sanitising. Changing areas will be closed and the returns policy is temporarily changing to 14 days for full refunds.

Martha V’s summer pick:

“I’ve chosen this Joseph Ribkoff jumpsuit because it is made from quality jersey and is so flattering,” says Lara Kinnett, who owns the elegant Matha V. “It feels so lovely on. The team at Martha V are always lovers of a bit of animal print, but we particularly love this one by JR as it now matches our Frank Lyman masks which we will be wearing in store. Dress this up or down but feel amazing wearing it.”

Joseph Ribkoff jumpsuit, £278, Martha V (36656225)
Joseph Ribkoff jumpsuit, £278, Martha V (36656225)

Joseph Ribkoff jumpsuit, £278

Bowns, Magdalene Street, Cambridge

Bowns will be opening doors again with easy social distancing and an ‘entry’ and ‘exit’ arrangement. The boutique is also offering personal appointments to re-sort your wardrobe. For customers with special events on the horizon, there are tempting offers on ‘special occasion wear’ as well as a room dedicated to garments with a 30-50 per cent discount.”

Bowns’ summer pick

“This is a really fabulous fresh poplin cotton shirt dress which is so gorgeous to wear,” says Rosalind Bown, owner of the boutique. “What I love about this dress is that you can wear it exactly as in the photo with some simple pumps, or dress it up with wedges or smart sandals. It is not a difficult or loud colour and is completely timeless so will keep for years.”

Paul Smith cotton dress from mainline collection, £440, Bowns (36656228)
Paul Smith cotton dress from mainline collection, £440, Bowns (36656228)

Paul Smith mainline collection shirt dress, £440

Anna, Abbeygate Street, Bury St Edmunds

Opening doors and initially welcoming customers on an appointment-only basis, Anna has designed a Dressing Room feature on its website ( where you can fill a virtual basket before a form pops up which customers fill with their preferred time and date to visit the store. This approach combines all the stock from across six stores (the flagship store is in Bury) and everything is ready and waiting for customers at the arranged appointment. Encouraging customers to ‘try at home’, the boutique is offering a ‘no quibble 14-day refund policy’. See more details on the website.

Anna’s summer pick:

“We love Primrose Park London's Mia dress because it can be easily dressed up or down with the simple switch of a few accessories,” says Jade Brock, from Anna. “We love the mixed print and the striking colour combination of blue and pale pink. It also cinches in at the waist, highlighting the smallest part of your frame for a flattering silhouette.”

Primrose Park London Mia Dress, £224, Anna (36656229)
Primrose Park London Mia Dress, £224, Anna (36656229)

Primrose Park London Mia Dress, £224.25 (was £299)

Grand Arcade, Cambridge

Mango available at Grand Arcade, Cambridge (36656227)
Mango available at Grand Arcade, Cambridge (36656227)

Many of the Grand Arcade shops are opening, with extra measures in place, including a one-way system, safe queuing lanes, hand sanitising stations, and access to the centre from the car park at the Northside ground floor. Disabled access will remain unchanged from the Southside, and some cafes and restaurants will be offering takeaways, click and collect and delivery service. See more at

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