History of The Dresser

*Please note: The Dresser's retail store in Connaught Village, London W2 2BS has now closed  - due to 'end of lease' in January 2022.

We are now operating through our online store @ www.dresseronline.co.uk Email: thedresser@mac.com



The Dresser – Designer Resale Shop first opened its doors in London's Connaught Village in 1986 by ex-music business, turned stylist, Sally Ormsby.

Over the years, The Dresser was acclaimed as ‘A gem of a second hand boutique,’ and is now recognised as one of London’s leading designer pre-loved consignment agencies specialising in high-end, contemporary and couture second hand designer women's and menswear for resale.

Over the years, Sally has built a loyal clientele of fashionistas including magazine editors, stylists and even some celebrities who use The Dresser’s service to consign gently worn (and some unused) high-end designer clothes and accessories, on a 50/50%  sale-or-return commission basis.

The shop has an ever-changing, eclectic mix of pre-owned and some vintage womens / mens designer labels, including: Chanel, Dior, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Fendi, Versace, Gaultier, Pucci, Chloe, Bottega Veneta, Marni, Stella McCartney, Isobel Marant, Alice Temperley, Cavalli, Marc Jacobs and many more. All in great condition and selling at a fraction of their orignal costs.

There is also a menswear department stocking high-end contemporary designer  labels fro resale including: Versace, YSL, Gucci, Dior, Prada, Brunello Cucenelli, Lora Piano, Burberry etc…

The Dresser also has a successful e-commerce online site: www.dresseronline.co.uk  where fashion conscious, savvy shoppers visit the store’s website worldwide, seeking to buy authentic high-end designer secondhand pieces online.

Be sure to keep an eye the website: www.dresseronline.co.uk for hand-selected pieces from our stock that can be purchased online . You can also follow social media pages on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter @dresserlondon.

Also check our ‘Archive’ online to see examples of pieces we stock and accept for resale at The Dresser.

Charity and Fundraising

‘The Crossroads Antigua Foundation”. 1999.

In 1999, Sally Ormsby donated her shop premises at The Dresser for three days to host her first ’Celebrity Clothes Fundraising Sale’ for the ‘Crossroads Antigua Foundation’. A non-profit alcohol and drug addiction treatment centre in Antigua, founded by Eric Clapton.

Celebrities and designers who kindly donated their designer outfits with signed photographs to The Dresser for ‘The Crossroads Fundraising Sale’ included: Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach, Rod Stewart, Kiki Dee, Lulu, Joanna Lumley, Kate Moss, Jonathan Ross, Trudie Styler, Mick Hucknell, Roger Taylor, Davina McCall, Bryan Adams, Griff Rhys Jones, Jools Holland, Frank Skinner, Joan Collins, The Duchess Of York, Twiggy, Marie Helvin, Vivienne Westwood, Jimmy Choo and Sir Paul Smith amongst others.

The three-day event was a great success and to date Sally continues to raise funds at The Dresser for her chosen charity: Eric Clapton’s addiction centre ‘The Crossroads Antigua Foundation’.


‘Gildas Club Cancer Trust’. 2001.

In 2001 The Dresser held its second ‘Celebrity Clothes Fundraiser Sale’ with proceeds of sales going to the U.K centre of Gildas Club Cancer Trust.

The charity was set up in London by Kate Carr, a former editor of the Sunday Times Magazine who has since sadly left us after her own battle with cancer.

Gildas was originally founded in the U.S by Gene Wilder in memory of his wife Gilda Radner, who died from ovarian cancer in 1989.  Free support centres were set up offering support for both those living with cancer and their family and friends.

Once again a host of celebrities and designers were happy to donate a signed designer outfit to resell over a two-day fundraising sale at The Dresser for Gildas Cancer Trust. Hello magazine featured a two-page spread on the event.

Celebrities and designers who donated designer outfits for the Gildas fundraising event at The Dresser included: Pierce Bronsan, Kate Winslet, Rachel Weiss, Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Eric Clapton, Sadie Frost, Meg Matthews, Ruby Wax, Stella McCartney, Yasmin Le Bon, Jonathan Ross, Nigella Lawson, Jemima Khan, Louise and Jamie Redknapp amongst others.

‘K.I.D.S.’ Charity. 2003.

In 2003 The Dresser, worked in conjunction with the girls from The Cross shop in Holland Park, helping to co-ordinate a huge fundraising sale at The 21st Century Theatre in Westbourne Grove with the proceeds from their sale going to KIDS U.K charity.


‘Father & Son’. Mens Cancer Charity at The Marsden Hospital – Versace Samples Fundraising Event.  2019.

In 2019 The Dresser in conjunction with Daniel Marks@ The Communication Store, donated it’s shop premises and held a three day Charity Fundraising Sale exclusively selling Versace Women's and Menswear samples, donated from Versace in the US, Italy and UK .

The event was a great success and raised £28,000 over the three day samples sale  – with All the proceeds going directly to the ‘Father & Son Mens Cancer Charity’ at London’s Royal Marsden Hospital



Lockdown 2020.

Bonhams Charity Blue Auction. For NHS Charities 2020.

In 2020 during the Coronavirus pandemic – The Dresser donated a fabulous outfit to Bonhams to auction, on behalf of Joanna Lumley, which was tailor made for her by Jean Paul Gaultier to wear at the premier of ‘Ab Fab The Movie‘.

All the proceeds raised from the auction of Joanna Lumley’s outfit at the Bonhams Blue Charity Auction, were donated directly to the NHS charities.


Ask to join our mailing list for updates and sneak peeks! Please forward any enquiries to: thedresser@mac.com

*THE DRESSER RETAIL STORE CLOSED DUE TO 'END OF LEASE ' IN JANUARY  2022. WE NOW ARE ONLINE ONLY @ www.dresseronline.co.uk.  Email: thedresser@mac.com