Tag Archives: style_inspiration

London Fashion | A Chat With Chloé Marlow

Marlow London | Interview with Chloe Marlow | Miranda's Notebook | London Fashion

Chloé Marlow is the founder of the London-based luxury accessories brand, Marlow London, where she sells her beautiful  scarves and bags. I first discovered Chloé’s designs at an A Luxe Story event last autumn and instantly fell for her fun, fresh approach to fashion. A Luxe Story regularly hosts pop-ups featuring up-and-coming designers, and another pop up event is taking place in Hampstead until 14th May (details here). I highly recommend dropping by if you’re in the area, as there are some fabulous designers represented, including Chloé!

Marlow London | Interview with Chloe Marlow | Miranda's Notebook | London FashionChloé Marlow

Marlow London only launched last year, but it has already attracted a huge amount of success, and I’m sure Chloé will keep on going from strength to strength. I managed to have a chat with her about her experience running her own company so soon after graduating and what it’s like breaking into the fashion industry today.

Marlow London | Interview with Chloe Marlow | Miranda's Notebook | London Fashion

What made you decide on a career in fashion?

I was very lucky in that I always knew what I wanted to do. I recently found an old diary that I wrote when I was 14, and I’d scribbled all over it that what I wanted to be when I grew up was a fashion designer. I don’t think I ever wanted to be anything else.

You only graduated very recently! What led you to create Marlow London?

I graduated from Central Saint Martins last summer. I never anticipated that I’d launch an accessories brand so soon after graduating! It all came from my final year project, where I was looking at luxury branding and luxury marketing. I’ve always been inspired by luxury brands and the way they represent themselves. I decided I wanted to create a modern-day classic luxury brand.

After graduating, I began apprenticing in a studio, and at the same time I began freelancing for quite a big online fashion retailer. I was meeting talented crafts people at the studio, and I was asking them questions and learning from their experiences, and at the same time I was getting firsthand market research working with the luxury brands I was fascinated by.

Marlow London | Interview with Chloe Marlow | Miranda's Notebook | London Fashion

Did you do any business studies before launching Marlow London?

No, I’ve never studied business; I’ve always been really creative. I didn’t really know what I was doing – I had to learn from other people. At the studio I apprenticed at, other artists were starting their own business, or had already been running one for a while, so I was asking them about stockists and costings. I was learning about how to work out the costings of a product from a piece of leather and working out how you can tell how many bags you could make and how much each square meter would cost. So I was learning as I went along. Some people might say you should get more experience, but I personally believe that if you want to do something, do it, and learn as you go.

You have quite a tongue-in-cheek approach to fashion. What is the message behind your designs?

I really enjoy merging fashion and art and to have a real context behind every piece I make. With this collection, I was really fascinated by luxury branding and marketing and by what makes an object valuable, be it the name, the craftsmanship, or the branding. I believe that throughout history wealth has been portrayed by what you’ll wear and what you won’t, and I don’t think today is so much different; people want the latest trend, the coolest brand, the limited edition. My collections aim to question these ideas and people’s perception of what is luxury in humorous ways.

Marlow London | Interview with Chloe Marlow | Miranda's Notebook | London Fashion

So what does luxury actually mean to you? How do you like to inject a little luxury into your everyday life?

I think luxury is about exclusivity – something that not everyone else has. It’s also about the longevity of an object and the craftsmanship that goes into making it.

My day-to-day isn’t that luxurious! I’ll wear anything baggy, anything comfortable. I’m usually sprawled out on the floor, wearing two coats because my office is so cold! When I do go out, though, I always make an effort. I’ll take my time choosing my outfit and getting ready, and to me that really is luxury, as I’m treating myself.

What do you think are the top 5 items any woman should have in her closet?

It’s always good to have a flattering pair of jeans that fit really well. You need a good LBD – you can’t go wrong with that! A statement bag never gets boring and goes with every outfit. A tailored jacket too, as that makes you feel like a girl boss! And then my fifth choice would be an accessory like a scarf. I wear oversized scarfs, and a lot of the scarves in my collection are oversized. You can wear them in so many different ways and they really make an outfit.

Marlow London | Interview with Chloe Marlow | Miranda's Notebook | London Fashion

What have been some of the highlights so far in your career?

I’m still at the beginning of my career, but first would have to be the evening that I told my boss at the studio that I wanted to quit, and that I wanted to become their client. That was the first step in really becoming my brand, so that was pretty huge! It took a week of my pep-talking myself to do that! Then, the evening I launched my website, it crashed due to too much traffic, which I didn’t anticipate, and my web designers didn’t anticipate it either, so that was a great feeling. Finally, getting my first stockist (Young British Designers) after being in business for less than 6 months was a real highlight.

Does it ever feel overwhelming when things are happening so quickly for you? How do you manage to stay calm?

It can feel very overwhelming! I’m very lucky that I work with my mum, and I bring her along to meetings. She’s always there to support me, and she’ll take some of the load off when I’m struggling to do everything all at once. My mum’s very creative, and I think I get a lot of my creativity from her.

Marlow London | Interview with Chloe Marlow | Miranda's Notebook | London Fashion

What would your advice be to someone wishing to pursue a career in fashion?

It’s a very competitive industry, which I learn more and more. There are so many talented creatives producing so many incredible things. You need to find your niche, and when you do you need to be determined. A lot of people may say you’re aiming too high, or that you can’t do something, but if you know what you want to do, do it and aim high. I’d also say get as much experience as you can. My whole way through university, I interned in every break I had, and I was very fortunate to do that. Networking is really important too; it really is the contacts you make and the genuine relationships that you create with people in the industry that matter.

Marlow London | Interview with Chloe Marlow | Miranda's Notebook | London Fashion

Thanks so much again to Chloé for her fabulous answers to my questions! If you’d like to see more of Chloé’s fun creations, check out her instagram feed. You can find Chloé’s beautiful scarves and bags on her website or at Young British Designers.

Don’t you love Chloé’s designs? Which piece would you most like to own? Are you tempted to drop by A Luxe Story pop-up in Hampstead?

Note: All photographs in this post courtesy Marlow London

 

 

5 Step Guide to Building A Capsule Wardrobe

signs of spring – this month’s blog theme – a reminder of our book club title – spring cleaning and sorting -capsule wardrobe guide

Welcome to March! I’m thrilled to see the first few hints of Spring in London; the tree opposite my flat is burgeoning into blossom, and I look out for the golden piles of daffodils at the florist next to my local tube station every morning.

With the start of Spring, there’s always a feeling of freshness and renewal in the air. It’s a time to sweep away the physical, as well as metaphorical, cobwebs; to take stock of your home and fill it with a renewed sense of energy after the inertia of winter. Although I’m no minimalist, I do think March is a good time of year to consider your surroundings and have a thorough declutter. This month’s theme on the blog, then, is devoted to home-making, and you can expect some related posts and podcast episodes centred around domesticity in the weeks to come.

Also, don’t forget this month’s Book Club choice is Longbourn by Jo Baker, which is also in keeping with the domestic theme. Longbourn tells the story of Jane Austen’s fictitious Bennet family from the point of view of their servants. I’ve started it and am thoroughly enjoying it already, so please do read along if you can as I’d love to hear your thoughts on it too.

For the first post of March, I thought I’d offer a guide to starting a capsule wardrobe. It always feels good to have a thorough sorting at the start of Spring, and these are the steps I used myself when I had a huge closet clear-out in January. I hope you find them useful if you’re inspired to take stock of your own wardrobe and make time for a bit of Spring sorting and cleaning.

1/ Make sure a finely-honed wardrobe is what you want.

This is key. If your heart isn’t really in it, then no matter how much you think your closet should be neater, you’ll never be willing to be ruthless in your sorting. Check in with yourself and make sure that a pared down, simpler wardrobe and style is really what you want. It’s ok if you are happier with a lot more choice and a full-to-the-brim closet (we can’t all be Marie Kondo, after all), but then you have to move on and realise a capsule wardrobe probably isn’t for you.

If you feel that a thorough sorting of your clothes is just what’s needed, though, then here are some great resources to get you fired up and reaching for the bin bags:

++The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo. Definitely a little eccentric (I consider it part of the charm!), but I love how Marie Kondo encourages a no-guilt attitude to letting go of your possessions.

++ L’Art de la Simplicite by Dominique Loreau. This book will make you want to make everything in your life a little (or a lot) simpler.

++ Dominique Davis’ e-guide to building a capsule wardrobe. Dominique does a great job holding your hand through what can be quite a traumatic process, and she feels like a friendly big sister by your side, urging you on with practical advice. Of course, you can also listen to my Tea & Tattle interview with Dominique for some capsule wardrobe inspiration as well.

++ Un-fancy blog. This blog is perfect for inspiration on making the most out of every item in your closet and re-mixing and matching pieces to create great looking outfits.

2/ Define your personal style.

Before starting the clear-out, it’s essential that you’ve a clear idea of your personal style and what types of items you want in your capsule wardrobe. It makes the sorting process much easier, as you’ll be far less likely to be tempted to keep clothes that clearly fall outside of your capsule wardrobe parameters.

When refining your personal style, I think it’s a good idea to create a Pinterest board (it doesn’t have to be public – mine is currently private!) and to start to build up a collection of images that match the type of style you’d like to develop. Also key to this process, is to think about your lifestyle: do you realistically ever iron those cotton blouses? How many party dresses do you actually need, or, alternatively, do you in fact use any of your ‘loungewear’? I, for instance, realised that I love to wear comfortable, practical clothing a lot of the time, so I kept a lot of my jumpers, denim shirts, breton tops, jeans and trousers. These are the kinds of clothes I like to wear when I’m working from home, but I also realised that I needed slightly different outfits for when I’m teaching in schools and also for when I attend blog events or go out in the evening. This realisation brings me to the next tip….

3/ Think about the different types of capsule wardrobes you need.

This suggestion was one of the most useful hints I took away from my interview with Dominique. She said to think about having more than one capsule wardrobe, depending on your lifestyle. So, for instance, you may want a capsule wardrobe for work as well as weekend wear (and adjust the size of each according to what you wear most).

As I said, I have 3 capsule wardrobe categories: teaching, home and blog / evening wear. Thinking about the type of clothes I wear and use the most really helped me to be especially strict about not keeping too many clothes, like evening dresses, that I wear only a few times a month. I have to admit, I’m currently not too fussed about sticking to an exact number of items in each capsule collection; I’m just happy that now all seasons of my clothes fit together in my wardrobes and drawers. As long as that continues to be the case, I consider that I have the right amount of clothing for me.

4/ Set aside two whole days and get someone (non-judgemental) to help you.

It’s surprising how long a thorough sorting of your closet can take. Make sure you clear a weekend from any other distractions, and (so you won’t drive yourself insane debating whether you really do need one more black top, or if you’ll regret getting rid of it later) make sure to ask someone close to you to help and who won’t raise any judgemental eyebrows at the number of ballet flats you happen to own (cough).

5/ Plan what to do with the clothes once you’re finished sorting.

It’s to easy to pile everything you don’t want into bags, feeling virtuous at how much you’ve managed to wean out of your closet, but then promptly forget about it all and never quite manage to get to the charity shop for a drop-off. Make sure you don’t fall into this trap by carefully planning how and when you’ll get rid of your discarded clothes and try to clear everything out of your home as quickly as possible.

Will you be doing any Spring cleaning this March? Are you tempted to pare down your closet and create a capsule wardrobe? I’d love to hear how you get on if so!

T&T 05: A Chat With Monica Welburn

A Chat With Monica Welburn | Tea & Tattle Podcast

I’m very excited to announce the 5th episode of Tea & Tattle Podcast! Click here to listen.

This week, I am joined by the fabulous fashion and lifestyle blogger, Monica Welburn of The Elgin Avenue to discuss Monica’s career as a full-time blogger. I’ve been a fan of Monica’s blog for a long time and very much enjoy the mix of fashion, lifestyle and wellbeing content. I was fascinated to hear how moving out of London helped Monica to grow her blog and her tips on finding a group of like-minded entrepreneurial women.

This episode is great for people who are interested in the blogging industry, building their own business, or considering a move out of a big city.

Happy Listening!

Christmas Party Style For Your Fashion Personality

English Rose Party StyleThe English Rose
florals, lace and feminine silhouettes

Option 1 (Debenhams – on sale) / Option 2 (Alice and Olivia)/ Option 3 (Topshop) / Option 4 (Ted Baker) /  Option 5 (Pretty Little Thing) / Option 6 (Quiz Clothing)

Remember the Style Personality Quiz I designed, telling you whether you were a Minimalist, English Rose, Bloomsbury Babe, Parisian, or Boho Wanderer? I had so much fun coming up with that Quiz, and I’ve wanted to do a few more posts around those style personalities for a while. Here, then, are some suggestions for Christmas Party Dressing for each category of style. Whether you’re an out-and-out Parisian, or a mix of English Rose and Bloomsbury Babe, I hope you enjoy browsing through these fashion boards.

minimalist_partydresses

The Minimalist
pattern-free, elegant colours and sleek lines that scream fuss-free sophistication

Option 1 (Zara) / Option 2 (Agnes B) / Option 3  (Whistles) / Option 4 (Simo) / Option 5 (Ted Baker) / Option 6 (Alice and Olivia)

bloomsbury_partydresses

The Bloomsbury Babe
retro, quirky and fun-loving

Option 1 (Coco Fennell) / Option 2 (Joules) / Option 3 (Lindy Bop) / Option 4 (Orla Kiely) / Option 5 (H&M) / Option 6 (Zara)

parisian_partydresses

The Parisian
classically elegant, luxurious and confident

Option 1 (Ted Baker) / Option 2 (Alice and Olivia) / Option 3 (Kate Spade) / Option 4 (Sandro) / Option 5 (Reiss) / Option 6 (Zara)

boho_partydresses

The Boho Wanderer
free-spirited, flowing lines and colourful patterns

Option 1 (Laura Ashley) / Option 2 (Maje) / Option 3 (Coco Fennell) / Option 4 (Whistles) / Option 5 (Anna Sui) / Option 6 (Topshop)

Which fashion choices speak the most to you?

button_teatattle

T&T Episode 4 | Our Lives in Clothes

ourlivesinclothes

It’s Tuesday, which means there’s a new episode up on Tea & Tattle! I think this one could be my favourite episode so far and am so excited to share it with you.

In our first style-centric episode, Sophie and I discuss the important role fashion plays in our lives. We agree that the clothing choices we make often directly impact our experiences. To illustrate this, Sophie and I have chosen outfits from our childhood through to our late 20s that taught us an important life-lesson or gave us a significant insight into our own personality. For instance, I recall the ballet costume I wore that led to my first experience of fat-shaming at 8 years old, and Sophie relates her experiences reconciling her love for feminine dresses with her desire to be taken seriously in a rigorously academic environment.

We’ve shared photos of some of the outfits we mention on the podcast, so make sure you check out the blog post!

Happy Listening! 

A Chat With: Ella Gregory, Coco’s Tea Party Founder

A Chat With: Ella Gregory (Coco's Tea Party) | Interview via Miranda's NotebookElla Gregory, founder of the hugely popular lifestyle and fashion blog, Coco’s Tea Party

Last Friday, I was delighted to get the chance to sit down and chat with Ella Gregory, founder of the brilliant fashion and lifestyle blog, Coco’s Tea Party. I adore Ella’s blog and always look forward to seeing a new post from her pop up in my Bloglovin’ feed every morning. I think of Coco’s Tea Party as being the British equivalent to Cupcakes and Cashmere (another daily read for me), and I hugely enjoy Ella’s mix of fashion, travel, beauty and even dating advice. I had such a fun time chatting with Ella over a pot of tea at Quo Vadis in Soho and getting so many brilliant tips from her, including how she stays on top of a demanding publishing schedule, what it’s like to transition into full time blogging and so much more! For all of you who are  bloggers, or are interested in hearing a little behind the scenes of what a blogger’s life is like, I’m sure you’ll find this interview just as fascinating as I did!

***

MN: I read that you first started blogging when you were 16! How has your blog evolved over the years?

EG: It has changed so much! I’m embarrassed to look back at the old posts. I recently started a site audit, and I realised some of my first posts didn’t even have titles! The biggest way it has changed I suppose is that I’ve grown up: I was a teenager when I started Coco’s Tea Party, and now I’m 26. When I started the blog it was just a hobby, and I had no idea I’d still be blogging 10 years later, or that it would become my job. I didn’t even start it with the hope of that; I just did it as a creative outlet. I did know when I started that I wanted to study fashion journalism at university, and I wanted to work at a magazine, so there were motivators for me starting it, but I had no idea it would wind up as my career! Over the years, the blog naturally changed and grew, and I started to see the potential for it being something bigger than a side hobby.

MN: What made you decide to pursue blogging as a full-time career?

EG: After I graduated, I interned at Marie Claire magazine, but while I was there I realised I didn’t really want to work for a magazine, and I was having to turn down so many great opportunities that were coming from the blog. I remember one day getting my first ever email from Chanel; they wanted to do a breakfast meeting, but I had to say no because I was working. That same day I had en email from Channel 4 who were doing some research for a TV show, and again I had to turn down a meeting. I remember thinking to myself that maybe I should be pursuing opportunities with the blog, and that I could always try for another internship in the future if it didn’t work out. The team at Marie Claire were really supportive of me and gave me the confidence to take the leap.

MN: What was it like transitioning into full-time blogging?

EG: Before I went full-time, I was already earning money from the blog. At the time, I was working with an agency, and I’d been running display advertising on my site for about 6 months to a year before I went full-time. I was also making money through affiliate links and sponsored posts, so I knew I had a fairly reliable source of income coming from the blog already. I didn’t, then, have as much fear about earning money as I would have done otherwise. Having an agency and being able to dedicate my time fully to the blog meant that opportunities grew and progressed from there.

In terms of the day-to-day work, when I was blogging and still at uni, I would generally write and publish content on the same day. When I decided to go full-time with the blog, I thought I would have so much more time for producing content. In fact, I actually had less time, because I had more meetings and events to attend. It took a while for me to get into a routine, but then I started making sure I was writing content with a 1-2 day lead time before a post would go live. Now I work in a completely different way where I’m usually 2 weeks ahead with posts, and I have an editorial calendar so I have my monthly content planned out in advance.

MN: What would be your top tips for people who want to grow their blog? 

EG: I find this question a little hard to answer because I started in such a different time, so what worked for me then and what I did probably won’t work for anyone now. I think the most important things are having a really clear vision and knowing exactly who you’re writing for. If people come to your site, and it’s really clear and concise, and they know exactly what they’ll get from it, then they’re more likely to return. It’s important to be really insane about quality control and make sure everything you publish is on brand, even if that means letting some good ideas go. Obviously consistency is important too. You don’t have to blog everyday, but it’s important to have regular days that you post.

A Chat With: Ella Gregory (Coco's Tea Party) | Interview via Miranda's Notebook

MN: How do you stay so organised? Do you have any productivity hacks?

EG: I’m naturally a very organised person; both my moon and rising signs are Virgo and Virgo are highly organised people, so I’ve got it double! I find I thrive in the kind of environment where I get to be disciplined and organised. Having an editorial calendar is key for me. I make sure I know what I’m going to be publishing when, and then I’ll mark when content needs to be written, as well as when it will go live. I have a separate colour coding for if I’ve written a post, but I still need to do photography for it.

In the last 6 months or so, I’ve started a system where I keep my to-do lists fairly short each day. Before, I would pile so much on, and then I found I never get through it all, and I would feel really unproductive. Now, I usually have two main things to do a day and then three smaller tasks. I’ll keep another to-do list throughout the day for much smaller jobs, like replying to an email or sending a thank you note, but for the bulk of work I do in a day, I try to keep my list to a maximum of five things.

MN: What does a typical day in your life look like?

EG: I try to have at least 3 days a week where I’ll work solidly from home, and then I tend to spend a couple of days in Central London for appointments and events. If I’m having a home day, I wake up really early. I’m usually at my desk ready to start work by 7.30am. I’m definitely an early bird, so I prefer to use the mornings to get the majority of my written work done, as I get a lot more distracted after lunch. I save lighter work for the afternoon, like creating layouts and image editing, and often have my music playing really loudly! By 5 o’clock I’m definitely done for the day. I’ve got really into going to the gym lately too, so I usually go for a barre or yoga class in the morning or circuit training or power plate in the evening.

MN: You must have seen so many changes since you started blogging! How do you stay on top of current trends and adapt what you do to the ever evolving nature of the blogosphere? 

EG: It is so changing! I think at the beginning, I was much more eager to stay on top of everything, and I still think that that’s really important – you don’t want to get left behind – that’s always a concern as the blogging world moves so quickly. I think now, though, I’ve got to a place where I’m really focused on personal growth and living a happy life (I love listening to the Lively Show podcast). I don’t want to stress myself out trying to be and do everything, because that’s impossible. I try to find the balance between keeping up to date with what’s current (and I read blogs and listen to podcasts so I know what’s happening), but also keeping the focus on what I feel is on brand for me. That means I may not be on every form of social media, but I devote my time to those I feel best fit my brand, like Pinterest and Instagram.

MN: What type of posts are your favourite to create?

EG: I love my 9-5 interview posts. I have a degree in fashion journalism, and I feel with these posts I really get to use a lot of skills. There’s the process of coming up with questions, and even just getting the interviews to begin with, as well as the interview itself and transcribing and forming it into a post after. It’s like putting a lot of pieces of a puzzle together, so I find them very rewarding posts to write. [I completely agree! – MN]

MN: Which are your favourite blogs?

EG: My favourite blog is A Cup of Jo, which may sound odd as it’s a bit of a Mummy blog, but I feel it really has a clear vision and identity, and I feel she’s done a great job at keeping true to that. I also really like Cupcakes and Cashmere; I look to it as another blog that has always stayed true to its vision. I like sites like The Every Girl and The Glitter Guide. Advice From a Twenty Something I really love at the moment as well. Monica (of The Elgin Avenue) introduced me to it, and it’s great. My favourite blog ever is Lainey Gossip, and I always link to it in my Weekend Reading List posts. I’ve always been into celebrity gossip, and I find her analysis is so good.

MN: As you’ve been blogging for so long, how do you keep fresh and inspired?

EG: Since I was young, all I’ve wanted to do is create content, and I think that’s my natural skill. Obviously there are times when I may go through periods where I don’t feel as inspired, but for the most part I don’t struggle to come up with content ideas. Some of those ideas may be rubbish, but I still come up with ideas, and I’m still able to publish a post every week day. This is where it helps to write two weeks in advance too, as –  if I do hit a road-block – then I can step away for a bit and take the time to source ideas and not feel pressured. I also keep a notebook where I write ideas down all the time, and so when I get a little stuck, I can look back through it for inspiration.

A Chat With: Ella Gregory (Coco's Tea Party) | Interview via Miranda's Notebook

MN: What have been the most exciting moments in your career so far?

EG: There was the first season of fashion week that I did, when Burberry returned to London, and they invited me to the shows, and that experience was amazing! I’m not going to lie though, I think my biggest highlight was when Sarah Jessica Parker retweeted me and said I was adorable! I did a style post that was inspired by the opening credits of Sex & the City; I was wearing a tutu and did this shoot on Richmond Bridge, and there was even a bus behind me! I tweeted the post mentioning her, and the next morning I woke up and saw she’d retweeted it and replied to me. I was dying with excitement! Sometimes, though, just quite small things can be huge highlights too; like getting an email from someone saying I love your blog. One thing that people ask me about a lot is when I interviewed all three of the Kardashian sisters on Coco’s Tea Party (you can read Ella’s interviews with Kourtney and Kim here and her one with Khloe here). And last September Warner Bros. flew me to New York to interview Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro, which was unreal but incredible!

MN: I love your fashion posts! How would you describe your personal style?

EG: I feel my personal style is hindered by living in the UK! I always feel colder than every one else. In my ideal world, I’d live in a really warm climate and just wear a dress and little shoes all the time. I’ve actually thought about moving to LA or even Texas, where it’s even hotter! I prefer style to be as simple as possible: one great piece with nice accessories. I love colour and I love print. I like clothes to be vibrant and lift your mood, and I’ll tone things down with one solid classic piece, like skinny jeans or ballet pumps. My style is quite British, in the sense that I’ll take influence from anywhere, which I feel is a very British thing.

MN: I know you love to read! What books would you recommend for summer?

EG: I actually have a post going up about this [you can now read it here – MN]! But one book I just read is Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld, who is one of my favourite authors. If you’ve never read American Wife by her too then you must [noted! – MN]. Eligible is a modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice and it makes a great summer beach read. It’s definitely not her best work, but it’s still a really fun read.

MN: Finally, which women have inspired you the most?

EG: I think this is a really interesting question, because as I get older my inspirations change. When I was younger, I really looked up to Rachel Zoe, but though I still admire her I wouldn’t count her as a huge inspiration now. I still find Anna Wintour very inspiring. I love Mindy Kaling and Tina Fey too for their perspectives and the way they write.

***

Thanks so much again to Ella for such a fabulous interview! I’ve already started acting on her brilliant advice: my aim is blog on regular days from now on, and I’m determined to get more ahead with blog posts (even if it’s just a few days, rather than 2 weeks to start!!). What are your biggest take-aways from Ella’s interview? Will you be putting any of her wise words into practice, or has she inspired you in any other way?

You can keep up-to-date with Ella through her Blog, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

++ You may also enjoy my interviews with Nicola Williams, Alice Stevenson and Sophie Knight ++

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Style Personality Quiz

Visual Quiz: What is Your Style Personality?

I love thinking about fashion, and even more I love thinking about style. Personal style is so interesting, don’t you think? It says so much about a person. It gives a glimpse of their character, interests and lifestyle. Someone who has a truly cohesive style always manages to appear effortlessly chic: a common thread in taste and design runs through their wardrobe, making it easy to pull together a seamless outfit everyday.

Having recently undertaken a major wardrobe overhaul, I’ve been contemplating my own style and have tried to pin-point what types of clothes I particularly enjoy wearing. My goal is to have a wardrobe filled only with items I really love and that are representative of my own particular style. In thinking about style, I came up with 5 different ‘style personalities’ that reflect certain sartorial choices. Below, I’ve created mood boards that reflect each of the five. Which one (or mix of two or more) are you? Simply decide which board(s) you are drawn to most, then scroll to the bottom to find out which ‘style personality’ you fit! I’ll also reveal my own (I’m a mix of two). This quiz is hardly definitive (or scientific), but I hope it’s fun and provides a little insight into your own style preferences.

O P T I O N    O N E

Style Personality Visual Quiz: The Boho Wanderer Mood Board

O P T I O N    T W O

Style Personality Visual Quiz: The English Rose Mood Board

O P T I O N    T H R E E

Style Personality Visual Quiz: The Bloomsbury Babe Mood Board

O P T I O N    F O U R

Style Personality Visual Quiz: The Minimalist Mood Board

O P T I O N    F I V E

Style Personality Visual Quiz: The Parisian Mood Board

Ok, have you decided which is your favourite option? Here are the results!

bohowanderer

Happiest when exploring the world, you are drawn to comfortable, easy-to-wear clothing that you can throw in a suitcase, but that also has a touch of the exotic. Think brightly patterned maxi skirts and dresses, fringed bags, embroidered t-shirts, a floppy hat and suede boots. You accessorise with pieces of jewellery you’ve picked up from your many travels.

englishrose

An eternal romantic, The English Rose is drawn to all things feminine. Florals, lace and bows all find their way into your wardrobe. You swoon over the latest Kate Spade and Needle & Thread collections every time, but as well as heels, you also own a pair of wellies and enjoy taking long tramps through the countryside. The English Rose loves pastel hues and generally keeps makeup fairly light: you like a soft, natural look over a bold red lip.

bloomsburybabe

Drawn towards everything vintage, the Bloomsbury Babe’s go-to look is a floral tea dress and cardi, or trousers, a tweedy blazer and a big scarf. Mary Janes and loafers make up almost your entire shoe collection, and you think a book is often the best accessory. You enjoy pops of colour, often veering towards the unusual (mustard yellows, emerald greens and burgundy reds). Bloomsbury Babes love scouring charity shops for great retro pieces, but also keep their noses pressed against Orla Kiely‘s shop window. You love a bright pop of lip colour and a winged eye-liner to complete your vintage-inspired look.

theminimalist

As a Minimalist, you can struggle the most with fashion, sometimes feeling you’re not particularly fashionable, or that you’re more of a ‘tomboy.’ In fact, you have a very defined sense of what you like; it’s just not always well reflected in the fashion industry! Minimalists prefer calm, muted colour palettes and are often drawn towards monochrome looks. You delight in fuss-free dressing and are most inclined to a ‘uniform’ style, generally made up of of white / black / grey t-shirts, jumpers and denim shirts paired with jeans. For formal occasions, you opt for a simply cut, elegant dress, or pair a silk tank or blouse with your jeans and heels. Besides the odd striped shirt, you are rarely drawn to pattern and opt instead for solid colours. Minimalists prefer few pieces of (non-glitzy) jewellery and the very basics in make-up.

theparisian

The Parisian loves classic items with a twist. You have a taste for the luxurious, and your idea of a perfect outfit generally involves a tuxedo blazer and a Chanel bag. Audrey Hepburn is your idol, and you’re always on the lookout for a really great pair of capri trousers to pair with your ballet flats. Although you love classic, timeless pieces, you also enjoy having fun with fashion and delight in little details that complete an outfit:  a silk scarf tied around the neck, a perfectly angled beret and shoes with a fun print. Your go-to makeup look is either a dramatic smokey eye or a bold red lip.

***

Which style personality do you identify with the most? My dominant choice is definitely ‘The Parisian,’ with ‘The English Rose’ coming in second place. This realisation has helped me clear out even more from my wardrobe (no more suede, fringed bags for me!).

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Style Profile: The Hemsley Sisters

Hemsley & Hemsley | Melissa & Jasmine Hemsley Style Profile

Part of my Style Profile series

I adore the Hemsley & Hemsley sisters, Melissa (left) and Jasmine (right). They first introduced me to the concept of spiralised butternut squash and courgette (which I’ve been using more and more lately in replacement of pasta and am loving). The two sisters, originally from Surbiton in greater London, have forged a remarkable career for themselves in the food industry, and I’m sure their sparkling personality and brilliant sense of style – along with their cooking skills! – have something to do with that. I’ve admired the sisters’ impeccable style ever since first discovering them, and I had so much fun pulling together this Style Profile.

++ The Hemsley Sisters Style Profile ++

*Who: Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley.

*What: Home cooks specialising in nutrition-packed, tasty food. Authors of the cookbooks The Art of Eating Well and the hotly anticipated Good + Simple (realised 25th Feb in the UK).

*Style: Although both sisters have a different individual style, they both share a love for bold prints and bright colours.

*Shop: J Crew for classic pieces and fun coloured shoes to inject a little of the Hemsley girls’ style into your own wardrobe.

*Eat: Get your spiraliser out and whip up some courgetti and sauce.

*Do: Embrace your inner Green Goddess and grab a juice in colourful Neal’s Yard, before heading to a market to pick up some fresh fruit and veg.

++ Get The Hemsley Look ++ 

Below, I’ve summed up some aspects of the sisters’ style that I love and can be used to inspire your own wardrobe in time for spring!

Hemsley & Hemsley | Melissa & Jasmine Hemsley Style Profile 1/ sunglasses 2/ red lip kit 3/ coral lipstick

Melissa in particular tends to rock a bright lip, but it looks great on Jasmine too. A bold lipstick choice is perfect for when you’re keeping the rest of your look fairly minimal.

Hemsley & Hemsley | Melissa & Jasmine Hemsley Style Profile 1/ plaid pumps 2/ floral skirt 3/ Liberty print bag

The Hemsley girls love a bright pattern, and I fully applaud the element of fun they inject into their style by reaching for unusual colour choices and pretty patterns.

Hemsley & Hemsley | Melissa & Jasmine Hemsley Style Profile 1/ Shirt 2/ Bucket Bag 3/ Cuff 

Much as they enjoy making bold choices in fashion, Melissa and Jasmine also know how to pull off effortless casual style, sporting crisp shirts and neutral colours.

Do you like the Hemsley sisters’ style? Who are your own style icons?

++ See my Style Profiles on Rachel Khoo and Ines de La Fressange ++ 

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Ines de la Fressange Style Profile

Ines de la Fressange Style Profile | Miranda's Notebook

I so enjoyed pulling together this second instalment of my Style Profile series, where I analyse the sartorial choices of my favourite style icons. Ines de la Fressange has long been a fashion idol of mine (and the rest of the world, it seems!). The former Chanel model is truly the epitome of Parisian chic, and is a brilliant example of uniform dressing.

Ines de la Fressange style profile

*Who: Ines de la Fressange.

*What: French model and fashion designer.

*Fashion Style: Ines’ signature look includes tailored blazers, skinny jeans, v-neck jumpers, stylish shirts and brightly coloured flats. She provides brilliant inspiration for uniform dressing: utilising only a few keys looks and pieces that form her signature style.

*The Style Factor: It would be hard to be cooler than Ines de la Fressange. Her style icon status comes not only from her amazing wardrobe, but from her lovely personality that radiates through her beautiful smile.

*Shop: Aside from perusing Ines’ own shop, you can incorporate some of her look into your own style by picking up skinny jeans from ACNE, basic tees and tanks from Le Petit Bateau, classic flats from Roger Vivier and fitted, cashmere sweaters from Eric Bompard.

*Eat: Channel your inner French woman and pick up a flaky croissant and strong coffee from your favourite cafe.

*Do: Ines’ style is always comfortable, as well as stylish: perfect for strolling around art galleries, hunting down London’s best independent shops or meeting friends for dinner.

Ines de la Fressange style profile

 

Should you wish to emulate parts of Ines’ signature uniform style,  I’ve broken it down into a few basic ideas and shopping suggestions:

Ines de la Fressange style profile1/ Dress 2/ Tank 3/ Blazer 4/ Shoes 5/ Lipstick 6/ Belt 7/ Sweater 8/ Clutch 9/ Jeans  10/ Bracelet

Are you a fan of Ines de la Fressange’s style? Would you be tempted to try uniform dressing?

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Style Profile: Rachel Khoo

Rachel Khoo Style Profile | Miranda's Notebook

I’m really excited to be introducing a new series to the blog today. Under my Style Inspiration section, I’ll be writing up pieces on my personal style icons. I’ve loved fashion ever since I was a little girl (and insisted on having a big say in what I wore each day!), but what I admire even more than beautiful clothes is an individual sense of style. To me, being stylish is about being completely comfortable in your own skin, and having the confidence to express your own personality through your choice in clothes.

First up in my Style Profiles series is Rachel Khoo, whose love of retro inspired outfits and a bold lip always makes her stand out from the crowd.

rachelstyle*Who: Rachel Khoo.

*What: food writer, chef, television presenter. Check out her amazing cookbooks here and new cooking youtube channel here.

*Fashion File: Rachel’s style is characterised by bold, colourful prints; retro inspired cuts that accentuate the waist (think belted dresses and high-waisted skirts); classic stripes; patterned scarves; bright cardigans; braided up dos and a striking red lip.

*The Style Factor: Rachel really has the ‘it’ factor when it comes to style. Along with her impeccable taste in clothes, she is also clearly an intelligent and warm-hearted person. I love the story of her moving to Paris with only £600 in her pocket, to work as an au pair and learn all about French patisserie at Le Cordon Bleu, determined to make her dreams come true. Clearly, the girl’s got grit!

*Shop: To get Rachel’s style, frequent the second hand and vintage clothes shops of London’s East End and Notting Hill. Buy your basics from Petit Bateau.

*Eat: Pretend you’re a Parisian and perch yourself at one of London’s fabulous wine bars, ordering a glass of wine and some nibbles. Some wine bars to try are: Sager + Wilde, Canela and The Remedy.

*Do: Take a leaf out of Rachel’s book and shop for fresh produce at your local market. In London, my favourite food markets are Borough, Maltby St and Broadway.

Below, I’ve compiled a couple of ‘lookbooks’ for outfits and occasions inspired by Rachel’s impeccable style.

lookbook1

Rachel Khoo Style Profile | Miranda's Notebook

 1/ Sunglasses. 2/ Dress. 3/ Cardigan. 4/ Espadrilles. 5/ Coat. 6/ Jeans. 7/ Top.

lookbook2

Rachel Khoo Style Profile | Miranda's Notebook

1/ Dress. 2/ Lipstick. 3/ Skirt. 4/ Lacy dress. 5/ Belt. 6/ Shoes.

Do you admire Rachel Khoo’s style too? Who are your particular style icons?

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