Fashion advice from J.Crew's Jenna Lyons... and from me

14:38 Martha Mathews 0 Comments

I just stumbled across this piece from November 2013 on The Guardian's fashion blog. It has some interesting advice from Jenna Lyons, creative director of the iconic American brand J. Crew.

My favourite: "But we're not about clothes you buy because they're on trend, we're about beautiful pieces you buy because you want to wear them every day."

Trends are great - especially when you're a teenager and want to fit in. But it's so much more interesting to define and express your own personal style, and to do that, you'll want to build your own collection of beautiful pieces.

So, my own mantra goes something like this:

If you absolutely love it, buy it

This comes with a couple of provisos. If it costs so much that you'll end up being evicted - leave it behind. If it costs a small fortune and you have nowhere to wear it, wish it well and go on your way.

You can always look for it on eBay , The Outnet, or later.

I'll never forget the amazing, pleated red silk Alberta Ferretti dress I tried on in Rome, way back in 2006. Alas, it cost almost €1,000, and with a paltry pay cheque and no hot dates on the horizon, I reluctantly put it back on the hanger.

I learned a very important lesson that day: only travel to Italy when the sales are on.

I also found where there's an Aeffe outlet store. If you're really nice to me, maybe I'll tell you about it some day. 

Possibly the dress that got away, via

There's no excuse for a friend of mine, though. She didn't buy an Antonia Campbell-Hughes coat which was on sale, on grounds of financial prudence. Boo. (Yes, before she was an actress, ACH was a designer, and an amazingly gifted one at that.)

Luckily, she learned her lesson - I never let her forget it - and didn't let this beauty from Anna Sui get away.
Dress by Anna Sui

This classy and elegant dress was the last one left in Anna Sui's flagship Greene St store. At 70% off, it was a bargain, but still needed some thought before purchase.

Deal clincher: when I asked "what if someone you hate buys it?"

I like to think so, anyway.