To celebrate the fact that my favourite dress shop in my idilic hometown of Canterbury has just launched an e-commerce site so you can now all shop there without having to come and visit (though, I really think you ought to do that too - you can check out somewhere on my every growing list of 'Places To Eat In Canterbury' while you're here), I thought I'd reintroduce you to Armoire, or as it is know to the locals: 'The Little Dress Shop'.
Run by the absolutely lovely Sophie, assisted by her mother and her adorable baby daughter from the very first time I stepped into the shop a few months after it opened right around the corner (with my arms full of clothes we had borrowed for a charity fashion show at school) from my school gate I knew it was going to be the beginning of a very long love affair with the place.
Aside from owning may dresses from Armoire over the years (Sophie stocks brands such as Orion, Soolee, Darimeya and Mina) I regularly stop by for a chat on the really compfy sofa to flick through magazines and chat for a while, and I filmed in the store and pulled dresses from there when I was filming with Channel 4. It is also one of the places I always make sure I take my girlfriends to check out when they come down to visit.
Before I show you around the shop, you can find it on Palace Street, by the Mint Yard Gate of Canterbury Cathedral and around the corner of the main Cathedral gate. (After you've been to Armoire, I suggest you pop around the corner to Sugar Boy which is the very picture of what a traditional sweet shop should be).
I've always loved the decor in Armoire, but my favourite part of the shop has to be the beautiful fitting room with the heavy pink velvet curtains (pulled back on a crystal holder when the room is not in use), wall to wall mirrors, antique chair and coat stand for the things you are trying on and thick layers of white tulle on the back wall.
All the jewellery in Armoire is unique and handmade, mostly by local artists, and really unique so perfect if you are looking for something just a little bit different. It all suits the style of dresses Sophie has in stock, so if you are dressing for an event you'll be sure to find something to go with your dress purchase.
As well as dresses, jewellery (and most recently adorable baby clothes) in the store you can also find the occasional beautiful piece for your home like boudoir mirrors and antique chairs upholstered with fun and beautiful fabrics.
Last year she got these beautiful silver vintage charm pendant necklaces in stock, and I'm still not entirely sure why I have not treated myself to one yet!
The newest addition to the store are these amazing and adorable bath cupcakes that look good enough to eat from LOved Essentials - they come in these lovely fold up boxes so I will be keeping these in mind the next time I'm looking for cute little thank you gifts for my girlfriends!
Do you have any favourite independent little shops in your hometown you have been visiting for years? To get updates from Armoire, be sure to like their Facebook page!