New boutique offering preloved wedding dresses and occasion wear attracts customers from across Sussex and Hampshire

Immaculate wedding dresses and occasion wear at a fraction of the price are available at a beautiful new boutique in Ferring.

Vanity Flair Boutique, at 4 The Pantiles, Ferringham Lane, offers new and preloved wedding dresses and occasion wear in a wide range of sizes, and sales are commission based.

Owner Caroline Turner is a former retail manager and trained wedding fitter who took the opportunity to open her own shop when the former Beauty First salon became available.

She has lived in Worthing all her life and found the shop ideal for her boutique, having space for occasion wear on the ground floor and an area suitable for wedding dress appointments on the first floor, plus plenty of storage space.

New and preloved occasion wear is available to browse on a walk-in basis, while new and preloved wedding dresses can be viewed by appointment only.

There is a lovely private area on the first floor for brides-to-be, with a changing room and separate area for her and a bridal party of up to four people to see the dresses on.

Caroline said: "The dresses come in immaculate and it is nice to be able to help the brides. I have got some new stock, like sample dresses from wedding boutiques, but most people have been buying the ones that other people own.

"It works like a dress agency, on a commission basis at 50 per cent, and we price it together, depending on the condition, the make and the age.

"Some of the preloved dresses have never been worn. Brides change their minds and due to Covid, people didn't get married, or they changed shape or the wedding was in a different season.

"People know it is not going to be a situation where you can have something in a different size. We are off the peg but we have a good choice. We always make sure we have a good range of styles and sizes from 6 to 24. I would say 80 per cent of the brides who have come here have found a dress.

"We have had a lot of older brides and some have chosen different colours or occasion wear. There is also a range for the mother of the bride, which has been popular as there is nowhere else locally to go. There is nothing here above £250 and a lot of it is new, with tags."

Caroline has previously run her own cleaning company and says she has always been good at organising and running a business. The wedding dress prices do not go above £1,500 but Caroline said it is rare to have anything above £1,000.

She added: "We only take dresses that are immaculately clean and damage free, and we have decided to accept dresses that are a maximum five to six years old.

"We keep people's items for a maximum of three months and there is always new stuff coming in, so the stock is constantly changing. There is a range of prom dresses and cruise wear, plus heels and bags. Shoes range from £10 to £100 depending on the brand.

"People have come from all over Sussex and Hampshire. They can pick up something special but a lot cheaper. It is a good service and there is no pressure. People can go away and think about it."

Vanity Flair offers preloved wedding dresses, mother of the bride outfits and evening wear for any occasion. It also stocks veils, headpieces, hats, fascinators, shoes and clutch bags.

The shop is open Tuesday to Friday 10am to 4pm and Saturday 9am to 5pm. The bridal floor is by appointment only, telephone call 01903 249201.