Olney has retained an  ‘independent’ feel, with unique boutiques and shops. For our retail therapy guide, we recruited designers to advise us on some of the best places to explore. First, Miranda Fountaine and Vinnie O’Riordan of MV Interiors write about what items are on trend for the home, and where you can find them  (and below we look at fashion and where to shop in Olney): 

“People underestimate the importance of their own surroundings. Seeing colour subconsciously lifts the spirits. If you mix in soft lighting, you help with the mood. Current trends for interior design are eclectic, mixing old with new and there is plenty of this to be found in any of the vintage and antiques shops.

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Surfaces are natural and organic. Metals come in all colours not just chrome or nickel, gold is being used in both interiors and is echoed in fashion and shoe boutiques. Textile designers are colouring old wall paper prints and fabrics, first we saw the brights; pinks, turquoise and oranges. Now the current trends of strong leafy greens, soft pinks and yellows. The grey trend is slowing but can be so easily mixed with these new colours and vibrant designs. To design a property to its full potential and create ambience, is a crucial part of our job. In your home it is essential for your own well-being. ”.

Many of Olney’s independent shops have a range of clothes, gifts and jewelry have items that demonstrate that interiors and fashion trends often merge. We gathered thoughts from a personal shopper and a retail buyer for some favourites (Click on the names to link to shop details):  

  1. Woosters clothing and accessories are the place we discovered a special shawl which stays on the shoulders for events, as well as gorgeous floaty continental designs which appeal to a devoted fan base. Whether it’s Ascot or something wearable for work, find Woosters on the Market Place.
  2. If you need shoes to match the outfit, Olney offers two great options: Bernadette Foster and The Factory Shoe shop. Both long-standing and popular Olney stores: people visit from many neighbouring towns. The factory shoe shop has a devoted local following for footwear of high quality, comfy and affordable. Other boutiques have been known to walk their customers around to Bernadette Foster’s shop to match her glamorous shoes to special outfits. Read Bernadette’s story here..
  3. Valeria C is a delightful mix of clothes, jewelry and gift: but it is a wonderful, wearable mix of brands, with great advice from the staff as to what suits you, or indeed ideas for presents. Tucked away in Rose Court, so please look at the map in their listing to help guide you.
  4. Noa Noa groups clothes and accessories into capsule form, allowing customers to easily find items which work well together, whatever the occasion. This shop might feature a popular brand, but the shop is owned by an independent and very experienced retailer.
  5. Boo gallery is mentioned in our hidden gems section, but if you want some individual jewelry – and to see items being made – this is the place to seek out truly original ideas.