7 Pieces of Style Advice I’ve Learned in London

From designers, editors, students, photographers, models & even families waiting for their private jets…

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I posted a while ago about my fashion faux pas’ over the years (read here if you want a real laugh) and whilst it’s humiliating wonderful to reminisce it’s also good to share advice. Living in London I see well-groomed and well-styled women on the regular. Having worked at some of the top UK magazines and websites I’ve also sat alongside women wearing some of the most desirable looks, women who always look camera ready. The women (and men) dress well and even on a (rare) ‘off day’ they still have passers-by asking where pieces of their outfits are from.  I’ve said before that working inside Vogue House was a blast not just because of the amazing people but also because of the fashion (ahh, the fashion….).

Throughout the years I’ve enjoyed meeting designers, editors, students, neighbours, colleagues, photographers, models and even families waiting for their private jets (during my brief stint working at a private jet lounge ad agency). One thing’s for sure. I’ve certainly learned a thing (or ten) about style. So here’s the best advice I’ve been given and why they’re rules I stick to even today.

 

 

1. Because it’s in fashion…

Dressing for your shape is a principal style rule. Whilst I’m all for everyone wearing whatever they like without judgement, fashion teams know that style is about accentuating and dressing to flatter ones figure. Even if Parisian chic is a style you’re really into, a beret and thick framed glasses doesn’t work for everyone. I know that the PJ trend wasn’t designed for me (if you’ve a larger bust it can sometimes look a bit frumpy) and I know that showing off my arms isn’t usually a winning look for me (but hey I’m grateful that I have two arms). I like tailored, fitted clothes and whilst skinny jeans aren’t always my favourite, I know that culottes fit well and enhance my proportions. Feeling confident in what you’re wearing is much more stylish than anything that’s ‘in fashion’ will ever be. I once sat in a jet lounge and overheard a stylist talk to her client about a skiing wardrobe. Her advice? Those new Chanel ski goggles are fashionable but the Perfect Moment ones are much better for her face shape.

 

2.  Strategic dressing…

Showing too much skin? Wearing a clutch bag and then putting it on the floor to dance around it? Wearing narrow Christian Louboutin’s when you’ll be walking further than curb to cab? Think about the environmental conditions before you commit to an outfit. I’ve been to so many magazine parties where the women end up taking off their pinching shoes but those who are seasoned party girls will know to wear something comfortable. Years ago I’d think nothing of wearing my ‘new favourite’ tiny skirt with my ‘new favourite’ tiny top and huge heels. Just because something is ‘your new favourite’ doesn’t mean that all usual style rules go out of the window. Style the outfit according to what you’ll be doing, who you’ll be seeing and how you’ll be behaving. It’ll make for a better night out too.

 

 

 

 

3. Bargains…

Hands up how many of you bought things in the sale because “well I don’t LOVE it but it’s only a tenner now…”? Guilty. Squandered cash on bargain goods means less money towards those beautiful new Saint Laurent boots. Think before you spend your money.

 

4. Business of Fashion…

Do you own 4 amazing push up bra’s but only one t-shirt bra? 6 amazing CK cropped tops but no decent underwired? Underwear was designed for a reason and these days it’s too overlooked. Having a great pair of Spanx, a push up bra, t-shirt bra, cropped top and something lacy should be your core basics. Smoothing out your silhouette before you pop on that dress will elevate the final look no end. Likewise, don’t forget to invest in a good dry cleaner, tailor and cobbler. These investments now will reward your style.

5. Knock out shoe…

Good quality, classic shoes will literally last a lifetime with minimal cost per wear. Sometimes a black pump is all you need to style any outfit, eliminating time spent trying on multiple high street shoes. So many times I’ve travelled away with just a pair of trainers and my favourite Jimmy Choo Anouk heels because they literally go with everything. Jeans and a shirt? pair with my heels. Midi skirt and a jumper? Pair with my heels. Shorts and a vest? Pair with my heels.

6. Try it…

“That’s not my style”. Sound familiar? Often the best items I’ve bought are things I’ve rejected as “not my style” when seen on the hanger. Someone at ELLE once told me to take one extra thing into the changing room to try on, just to see what it’s like. I’ve always done so since. It’s true, it does make a difference. How d’ya like my new tartan pinafore?

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Customising

Great style is all about being you. Your own eye for how things pair together, your own take on the skinny jean, your own hair and beauty look. When I worked on The Times supplements I overheard someone say to always invest in your hair. It’s the one thing you wear everyday. It doesn’t have to stop there either. Creating a new rip in your favourite jeans, ironing on some studs to your old leather jacket. As I said in my previous post, fashion is just old clothes being made new again. A wardrobe update is easy to do when you’re a dab hand with a needle and thread. 9 times out of 10 I’ll take a top in a little at the sides or add on a new collar. I know so many creatives who will buy something from New Look and change the buttons just to style it a little differently.

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Earrings – Stella & Dot

Coat – Warehouse (other colours)

 

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