This is a classic proof that a last minute change in your evening plans can turn into the most inspiring event of the summer. It dawned on me as I sat down with a chilled glass of bubbly in my hand trying to take in the fact that I just had a nice chat with the one and only style queen and one who has been a favourite of mine for years, Lucinda Chambers. She is a legend in her own right and spent the last 36 years at British Vogue and is sadly due to leave the Vogue House alongside Alexandra Shulman this summer.
I’ll never forget the first time I met her at a Vogue event, what seems like ages ago, she was putting together an amazing outfit on a model and back then occupying only a little corner space with just a few people present, as she shared her tips and tricks and I can tell you, a trench coat tied as a skirt around the model’s waste never looked better! I followed her every move since, not just because she is an amazing person, but she is always full of fascinating styling ideas and her work for Vogue has been insanely inspirational. Through her, I learned to always have the basics – foundation of my wardrobe in simple colours that suit my skin tone and bring out my eye colour. And to then build on those and layer your outfit in a way that it makes your personality ooze out. And accessories – play with the earrings and scarves and bangles and be bold!
Still, all those years later, I have so much more to learn, but the basics stayed. This is also a great way to stay on trend, but create your own style in the process. Lucinda showed me to stick to what suits you (don’t buy high waisted jeans if you’re not comfortable in them or collared shirts if you prefer open neckline). Know what suits you and build on that. Play with handbags and tie your scarf around so the edges float as you walk and shape your outfit. Learn the importance of layering and play with texture (this is why I can’t do online shopping as much, because I love to feel the fabric and see how it falls and shapes around your body). Another thing I definitely agree with her on, is buy quality clothes as your base layer (meaning tops and bottoms) so it lasts and still feels the same after you wash it a few times. Don’t compromise on quality of those pieces and they will stay with you for longer and you will also wear them are often, because they feel nice on your skin or are more comfortable around your waist.
One thing I haven’t tried yet, is Lucinda’s idea of buying one size up, even if it’s a skirt or a white shirt. A loose fit proves to be more comfortable and you should never compromise on comfort. Because it will show and you will feel better straight away and feel the difference in your movement and enjoy the outfit more. I guess I still love my skinny jeans a bit too much, but do want to try it out.
But back to the event, a small gathering organised by Vogue at John Lewis (the venue – also referred to by Lucinda as the “mothership” as it’s location, so close to the Vogue House, guarantees you will see her there almost on a daily basis) was a great idea, as it’s probably going to make me go through my closet again this weekend and get rid of stuff I haven’t worn for a while (Lucinda does this every six months!) to make space for new additions. Lucinda shared some great tips on how to style an outfit and make it look your own by adding personal touches. She called her style eclectic, but it’s also very effortless and I guess she is just a natural in combining pieces you wouldn’t naturally think of at first.
Here are a few photos from the evening and I hope my post inspired you to do a proper summer clear out of your closet and acquire those new pieces you’ve been eyeing for a while!