Dressed up, dressed down

Blazer: £159, And Other Stories (sold out in this colourway but navy is still available here). Jumper: Arket (old but do check out their knitwear selection as it is superb). Trousers: Cos (old but they always do similar version, these here are very similar). Bag: Sandro (old). Shoes: LK Bennett (old). Photographs: Eva K Salvi.

(I have worked with Arket, And Other Stories and LK Bennett within the last year but this post isn’t sponsored in any form).

I haven’t actually done a bog standard outfit post in a while. The truth is that I have stopped buying as much. I am trying my hardest to buy well thought out, longer lasting pieces, that’s not to say anything I bought before wasn’t right – I still own it, but I no longer need a pink sequin skirt as I have one which makes me smile, and I’m now thinking about the longer, bigger plan.

In the past, I probably have got caught up in the whole buy, buy, buy mentality, and as someone whose job is essentially to ‘test’ trends and edit the High Street it can become hard to know where to stop. So please know that even if I sometimes have a lot of clothes, it is in no way a reflection of what ‘everyone’ should have or something people feel they need to keep up with. With that said, I am doing less outfit posts in general, less shopping stories and more just showing nice outfits I have put together of things I love with existing pieces from my wardrobe. Hopefully providing some useful styling tips along the way.

Currently, I’m wearing a lot of the Scandi brands: Arket, Cos and And Other Stories in particular have my heart right now and the kind of ethos I am into. I am looking forward to seeing the Everlane store when we go to New York next month, and generally, I feel I have finetuned my shopping experience into buying less but better.

I am so in my comfort zone here: a blazer has been a key piece for me since I started working in magazines, I was always a fan of pairing with jeans and a loose tee, the closest I ever got to nailing that awkward ‘smart/casual’ dresscode.

I should probably mention this blazer is supposed to be oversized (I’m wearing a size 10). And I personally love that about it.

It’s the new way to wear tailoring and, if you’re bold, cinch it in with a waisted belt.

But for me, now, I’ll just keep it simple with some tailored trousers. I am such a ‘denim by default’ person and often forget I can wear different trouser shapes – when I had Peggy I had to say goodbye to a lot of my jeans due to my changing body shape, so I invested in a few well-cut pair of trousers in my new size. It felt liberating not being reminded of my unzippable pairs of jeans hanging in my closet and now I only reach for pairs that make me feel good yet comfortable. I have only ever really owned a few pairs of trousers, and they have mostly been from Cos – I just find the fit and quality to be right for me.

The idea behind this outfit post was how I generally dress for different occasions – I don’t. Usually, if I’m in town and have a work event (note: it’s rarely seeing friends or going ‘out out’ in my evenings – most of the time sadly, it’s work events that fill my nights, and I see friends on weekends) I am that person who carries heels in her bag, but I will mainly keep the outfit the same.

For me, it’s important to have a wardrobe that’s versatile – I wear the same thing to a meeting as I would to see friends, hang out with Peggy, or go to dinner. I don’t have a work/weekend wardrobe really (although I do have a drawer of favourite joggers that I love to wear around the house).

Blazer: £159, And Other Stories (sold out in this colourway but navy is still available here). Jumper: Arket (old but do check out their knitwear selection as it is superb). Trousers: Cos (old but they always do similar version, these here are very similar). Bag: Sandro (old). Trainers: £85, Adidas.

Mostly, I will wear trainers for meetings, I am always swiftly walking and getting the tube for meetings, I am too impatient to wear heels. And I am lucky enough that footwear isn’t an issue for most of my work (unless it’s dinner at Annabel’s! But I have only been fortunate to be invited there once, and was made to change my shoes before entering – thank goodness for my bag of heels!).

I love how just one shoe change can have such an impact on an outfit – sometimes it really is just about changing your mindset to dressing. Most outfits in our wardrobes can be adapted by changing just a bag, a bright lip colour, a different pair of shoes – and that’s far easier to carry around than a new outfit!


  1. Could not agree more! For years I’ve been trying to buy less but better, and this year I’ve been very strict about implementing that (only one piece of clothing + one accessory or small thing per month). It makes me think so carefully about which pieces are really worth keeping, and which brands are worth supporting.

    As a result I’ve been doing far less outfit posts too (and when I do post an outfit, that’s not usually the subject of the post), and instead focusing on wearing and showing things that are true to my style and life – whether that piece is 2 weeks old or 10 years old.

    Personally, I love that when you do post an outfit it’s often a mix of things I know you’ve owned and loved for years put together with new trends you think are worth investing in, and you show how you can effortlessly team all these things together. I can always count on you for some everyday wardrobe inspiration!

    Briony xx

  2. Hi Alex
    Love all of your work
    This article hit a nerve with me – I too love fashion and have a LOT of clothes, shoes etc. I’m about to change jobs and start a stylist business myself (finally). This will mean no shopping for a while, as money will be tight – My question to you is:
    When in an industry, where fashion, trends and style are important, how do you stop shopping for a while ??
    I’d love you advice, maybe even a post on this

    1. oh it is definitely about mixing things up, and having the confidence to realise that not having the ‘new’ and ‘now’ doesn’t define you as a stylist – it’s about how you wear it xx

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