Business of the Month: Uber Clothing, the hidden treasure in Margaret’s Buildings
Tucked away in Margaret’s Buildings near the Royal Crescent, Uber Clothing is an independent clothing store for men and women and has been a purveyor of beautiful clothes and accessories since 2005. It is co-owned by friends, Tanya and Angela, who have been friends for over thirty years, the business came from the pair selling clothes together in Camden Market in the early 1980s.
From London to the Royal Crescent…
These days you’ll find them in Bath selling classic silhouettes with a twist that can be worn for work, for play, this year or next. Strolling along Margaret’s Buildings, you’ll probably first notice Uber Clothing because of the window display – two mannequins – one in men’s clothes the other in women’s giving a taste of what’s in store. Uber’s customers come from a broad age demographic – there is something for everyone. An eclectic mix of contemporary clothes that you love and keep – no throw away fashion here!
Angela said: “We put a lot of time and effort into making our shop beautiful – Tanya was a stylist for over 30 years, so the atmosphere and merchandising of Uber is her passion.”
When you enter, the eye is overloaded with rails and shelves bursting with textures and colour. Stop – take a breath and start to slowly wander around. In this age of online shopping, it’s easy to click and collect, but at Uber we believe that shopping should be a joy not a rush – try something on, have fun, experiment. Have you ever considered your eye colour when choosing a hat for example? Looking for an opinion? Be prepared – it will be honest and you may not walk out with the item you intended but you will look amazing! If you want, Tanya will guide you through a personalised shopping experience taking into account your body shape, colouring and style. If she doesn’t think an item does you justice, she won’t let you buy it!
Scared of bumping into someone with the same outfit? Uber buyers travel far and wide to bring over 50 labels into the shop each season – no mass buying here – there is often only one piece in each size per colour – a time-consuming but truly individual approach. Something you won’t find if shopping in the larger chain stores of Bath’s high street.
Angela continued: “Hopefully people find our shop warm, welcoming and comfortable so they can take their time walking round and enjoy the whole retail experience. Every rail, every shelf is full. Each piece carefully sourced and chosen from Britain and across Europe.”
For men there are trousers and jeans from Italy, knitwear from County Donegal, tailored English jackets, crisp cotton Italian shirts, cashmere coats, Austrian footwear, ties, braces, scarves, socks, gloves and hats to suit all shapes and sizes. For women, there are dresses, trousers, jeans that make you feel sassy, tops, shirts, cosy cashmere, coats, jackets, hats, boots, shoes, gloves, socks, jewellery, bags and a myriad selection of scarves – from Italy, the UK, Spain, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria and Sweden.
Angela and Tanya love living in Bath
Despite searching far and wide for their merchandise, Angela and Tanya love living and working in Bath. For them, the best thing about living in Bath is the city’s size. They said: “Bath is a cosmopolitan city but feels like a country town – the best of both worlds! You can easily walk from the Royal Crescent at the top down to the Southgate Centre at the bottom, cars are not necessary! From most places in the centre, you can look up and see the surrounding hills and countryside – somewhere green is not far away.”
Because they love the city so much it’s hard for them to recommend just one day’s worth of activities, all the more reason for guests to keep coming back!
Angela said: “Firstly, whatever the season, if the sun is out there’s nothing better than walking around the Bath Skyline Walk – it’s a wonderful way to spend an afternoon and goes around the hill that the University sits on top of starting and ending off Bathwick Hill. It’s well signposted and only takes a couple of hours. Sometimes we finish off by coming down Widcombe Hill to get a well-deserved drink at the White Hart in Widcombe!
“But if I’m meeting up with friends for the day then we generally stay in town. We might start off with a late breakfast at the Green Bird Café in Margaret’s Buildings and then stroll downtown taking the opportunity to do some leisurely shopping. It’s a good way to keep an eye open for new shops as well – such as Gray M.C.A. in Margaret’s Buildings – a fabulous gallery of fashion illustration that’s on my list to show my friends next time we all meet up. If someone’s birthday is coming up or Christmas is looming, I also find this is the perfect way to keep an eye out for presents. We generally head towards Green Park Station, especially at the weekends as there’s an antiques market on a couple of Sundays a month, or meander through to Walcot Street. When we’re shopped out, we’ll then stop for tea and cake – Bath is full of fabulous cafes and we try a different one each time!”
Apart from Uber Clothing, you’ll find sixteen other businesses in Margaret’s Buildings, including three craft and art galleries, a jewellery emporium, a hair salon, a shop of crystals, an award-winning café, vintage & contemporary homewares, an antique bookseller, conservators and creators of extraordinary wallpaper, a bridal shop, original fashion illustration, a launderette, a beauty salon, vintage clothing and an Italian bistro.
“Now I’ve listed them I realise what an eclectic bunch we are and, like Uber, several of the businesses have been here for over 10 years – an unusual situation in today’s high street and one which speaks volumes about the passion and energy of the owners,” Angela said. “There’s a real feeling of community here – we look out for each other, combining forces to have flowers in the street in the summer and festive lights in December. Attracting visitors to Bath is always at the forefront of the news but we also couldn’t survive without the locals and Margaret’s Buildings is an area that’s popular with tourists and residents alike. Perhaps it’s due to the setting between Brock Street and pretty Catherine Place or perhaps it’s because Margaret’s Buildings isn’t a bland street with the same shops as everywhere else, but people stop and chat. You might not know everyone’s name, but you recognise the face enough to say hello. There’s something for everyone here and we feel lucky to be part of it.”
Make sure to visit Uber Clothing when you’re in town, you’ll be sure to have a warm welcome. Angela said: “We feel privileged to work here – I don’t where to start extolling the virtues of our street! Nestled between the Circus and the Royal Crescent, Margaret’s Buildings is a charming pedestrian street full of small, independent traders. No cars, no heaving pavements – there’s time to wander or sit on a bench, whatever takes your fancy.”