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About Us

About Us

Established over 90 years ago, Dorothy Perkins is now one of the biggest fashion retailers in the country, with nearly 600 UK stores and over 50 international outlets. Dorothy Perkins' ranges are updated weekly in store and daily online. The brand offers sizes 6 to 22, and a wide range of collections including Tall, Petite, Maternity, Lingerie, Shoes and Accessories. Dorothy Perkins provides affordable, feminine fashion and a shopping experience customers clearly love - a jersey top is sold every two seconds and the store has won numerous awards for its collections.

 

 

Customer Profile

With an age range of 25 - 40 years, Dorothy Perkins has the widest customer base of all our brands. The average Dorothy Perkins customer is in her early thirties and she's likely to be a busy mum or working woman. She loves fashion and takes a close interest in the new trends, but often doesn't feel able to carry off some of the latest looks. She's not always confident about her body, and doesn't always know what suits her, so Dorothy Perkins gives her fashion inspiration and advice. Quality, fit and price are all important to her.

 

 

Our History

Here at Dorothy Perkins we're proud of our great British heritage. As the country's developed over the last 100 years, so have we...here are a few of our favourite milestones:

1909

Dorothy Perkins begins life as Ladies Hosiery and Underwear Limited.

At the tail end of the Edwardian era, fashion is very segmented. Society ladies favour the glamorous 'Belle Epoque' look with it's S shape silhouette, corsets and voluptuous long skirts. The middle classes wear long skirts and high collared blouses with pins or ties, and the less well off wear shawls and simple, homemade clothes.

1919

Dorothy Perkins expands to 12 shops. The impressively priced five-shilling (25 pence) blouses and range of knitwear are introduced, laying the foundations of the Dorothy Perkins value for money proposition.

1920

The 'roaring twenties' or 'jazz age' begin. So too does one of fashion's most glorious decades. The Flapper girl is born - hair is short and sleek as are dresses. Now the bra has been invented it's worn mostly to flatten the chest, giving wearers the fashionable boyish shape.

1930

Hollywood arrives! As the movies take off so too does our enduring obsession with film stars and their wardrobes. Dresses become more streamlined, elegant and reach the floor as we try to emulate Hollywood icons such as Mae West and their hourglass figures.

1936

Edward VIII abdicates to marry Wallis Simpson and they go on to become one of the most stylish couples of the decade. Wallis is credited with the adage 'a woman can never be too rich or too thin'.

1939

The trading name 'Dorothy Perkins' is adopted, suggested by the wife of the director and inspired by the name of the classic rambling rose.

At the outbreak of the Second World War Dorothy Perkins is trading from 75 shops.

1940

Wartime fashion brings with it a more practical, masculine way of dressing as women take on men's jobs. Trousers, flat shoes, plain shirts and pinned back hair take over from the glamour of the last two decades. Due to rationing clothes are now mostly homemade.

1947

 

Fashion begins its recovery from world war fabric rationing with the advent of Christian Dior's decadent 'New Look' - tiny waists and big skirts that celebrate women's curves.

1950

 

The fifties bring with it a previously unknown invention - the 'teenager' is born. Jeans become hugely popular as do prints, polka dots and ponytails! Twirly skirts become the only thing to dance in to the new music, known as Rock 'n' Roll.

1960

 

Mary Quant introduces the miniskirt which becomes so loved that the British Society for the Preservation for Mini Skirts is formed. Op Art black and white patterns are big, as too is the flower power hippy look. The only real style choices for men are the designer suits of the mods or the leather look of the rockers.

1966

Dorothy Perkins opens its 250th shop, and there is now a Dorothy Perkins on most British high streets. Cash registers are also introduced in all our stores.

1969

BBC studio manager Susannah Simons changes television fashion history by removing her trousers in the studio when told, as a woman, she shouldn't be wearing them. Trousers become instantly acceptable!

Beginning a six year working relationship with Biba, Dorothy Perkins buys a controlling stake in the famous clothes company. Dorothy Perkins sells Biba make-up from it's own stores and funds the opening of 'Big Biba', an iconic store on Kensington High street complete with it's own roof gardens and pink flamingos!

1970

 

Lots went on in fashion during the 70's: hot pants, wedges, maxi dresses, kaftans, Afghan coats, bell bottoms and punk all came and went. And let's not forget John Travolta's white suit in Saturday Night Fever.

1977

 

Dorothy Perkins acquires its first store on the most famous shopping street of them all - Oxford Street, London. At 7,500 feet this store is now the largest Dorothy Perkins.

1979

Dorothy Perkins is bought by the Burton Group.

1980

The decade that taste forgot becomes the decade fashion refuses to get over as we continue returning to things like leg warmers, T shirt dresses, and power dressing. Big hair and New Romantics take off as does Diana mania as the princess becomes an international fashion icon. Glitz is everywhere...and the bigger things are, the better!

1987

 

The 'Secrets' lingerie and nightwear range is introduced in Dorothy Perkins and is an instant hit.

1988

The Dorothy Perkins Account Card is launched.

Thanks to boy band Bros, the Brosette look explodes - ripped jeans and puffa jackets with the band's logo on the back are everywhere.

1990

Fashion is significantly influenced by music - from grunge, to acid house, to 'Madchester', all the genres have their own distinctive looks. Combats temporarily take over from jeans and Minimalism, 'The Jennifer' (Aniston) haircut, Wonderbras, Chinese style dresses and shirts are all popular.

1993

 

The Dorothy Perkins 'Maternity' range is rolled out in selected city stores. The range offers expectant mothers fashionable, affordable and comfortable maternity clothing in sizes 8-20.

1994

We are one of the first companies to harness the power of celebrity by choosing Helena Christensen as the 'face' of Dorothy Perkins. Our strapline at the time is 'where you can afford to look good'.

1997

Yasmin Le Bon joins Helena Christensen as another 'face' of Dorothy Perkins.

1998

The Burton Group Plc becomes Arcadia Group Plc. Dorothy Perkins is now part of the same family as Burton, Evans, Hawkshead, Principles, Racing Green, Topshop and Topman.

The 'Petite' range is introduced into selected stores, offering women 5ft 3in and under a collection to fit and flatter them.

1999

An online shopping facility is launched at www.dorothyperkins.com where customers can shop Dorothy Perkins 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

2000

The noughties have been all about revivals. Vintage clothes are enjoying an resurgence, and trends as diverse as Boho, Military, Preppy and Tailoring have all been huge. Plus we've celebrated the return of the all-conquering jean!

2001

A 'Tall' range is launched in selected stores for women 5ft 8in and over, made up of specially designed pieces for the taller woman, as well as adapted trends from the core Dorothy Perkins range.

2002

Philip Green, owner of Bhs, purchases the Arcadia Group Plc.

2003

The Dorothy Perkins 15,000 foot flagship store opens on London's Oxford Street above Bond Street tube station.

2007

Today Dorothy Perkins has over 600 UK stores, 52 international outlets in countries including Spain, Gibraltar, Cyprus, Turkey and Singapore, as well as our largest store dorothyperkins.com