White Rose is a fashion boutique with a conscience. Its chic duck-egg blue/green exterior, street-sign, authentic wooden floors and impeccably stylish stock are definitely reasons to visit but when you do part with your cash for a fantastic clutch bag or box-hat, your money is making a difference. Starting with a trip to Rwanda in 2008, the devastating effects of the genocide in 1994 became the motivation to make regular and sizeable donations to the Aegis Trust to rebuilt lives and reinstall peace. Named after a student Nazi resistance group from the 1940’s, White Rose opened in 2009 and has raised over £45,000 for the Ageis Trust selling high-quality recycled fashion and continues to do so today.
The majority of the clothing in White Rose is day-wear at its best. Cotton sundresses with tiny straps, pleated jersey skirts, lace blouses, belts and a well-stocked shoe rack downstairs, offering staples in comfort and style for spring and summer. It’s a subtle mix but the clashing floral prints, 80s inspired dresses and handmade, vintage inspired necklaces are the perfect resources for layering. The range on offer addresses more original and eco-friendly options to add to your wardrobe, steering away from basic mute colours and encouraging you to mix it up in the name of charity.
Additionally, accessories have been the selling point for a vintage shop in the past but White Rose offers something different. Catering to the well-dressed woman, summer heels, formal headwear and small evening handbags stacked on a white-painted wooded bookcase verify White Rose as the perfect place for formal accessories. I mourn the loss of genuine dress codes at formal events within a university environment so a few purchases from here can’t go wrong, adding the refined touch needed for sophisticated and modest ensembles. Three wide brimmed hats, in pink, navy blue and caramel, with netting covers on the crown and tulle corsages are fit for Ascot and the black and pearl studded velvet clutches are perfect for formal engagements after university.
I’d be a fool to not mention the handbag selection at White Rose. Immediately greeting you , stacked in a striped deck chair is a selection of clutches that are transferable from day to night with most outfits. Choices included a red snakeskin clutch with a sliver buckle, a coffee-coloured round clutch with a black leather bow and a lime-green gingham clutch with illustrative design printed on a cotton base. The designs don’t necessarily jump out at you but rather subtly contrast against modern ensembles because of their dated designs; a refreshing change in the statement, oversized clutches I’ve been encountering recently.
Whit Rose is a shop with a heart and that’s evident from any purchase made here. The clothes are items that are to be bought, worn and loved for years to come; free from a snotty reputation and always comfortable. Apart from the adorable tea-sets sold alongside dancing shoes, perhaps what I like the most is the sense of shared appreciation – everyone here volunteers in aid of two great causes, a love of style and to make a contribution to build a better world.