style insider – lynne meek
The latest installment of our ‘Style Insider’ segment features personal stylist Lynne Meek, a firm fixture on the Tunbridge Wells High Street and champion of shopping local! We’re talking wardrobe essentials, what’s hot for AW15, and what’s not! Read on to find out more…
Tell us a bit about your personal styling business Styling Matters?
I’m a full time personal stylist with my business Styling Matters. Based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, I work with clients over a wide area including Kent, East/West Sussex, Surrey and London. I also have clients who travel here from the West Country, East Anglia, Hertfordshire and from abroad to see me. Much of my time is spent editing wardrobes and going on personal shopping trips with men and women. However I also provide a range of other services including image consultancy, colour/shape/style consultations, styling for photographic shoots, private styling parties, styling events with retailers, public speaking/styling demonstrations to groups of women, image workshops, organising and styling fashion shows, styling up existing wardrobes and dressing for events. Never a dull moment!
You had a big career change with personal styling, in what way have the risks of doing this paid off?
It was a huge career change! After nearly 30 years being employed in the corporate world and helping to run other people’s businesses I decided to start my own business in a completely different field. And in the worst recession we’ve had since the 1920’s! A bit mad really, but I was approaching 50 and it was a now or never moment. I had to fulfill my creative potential or I would burst! With the amazing support and encouragement of my family and many friends and local contacts I have honestly never looked back. I feel really blessed to be doing something I absolutely love and yet I’m able to make a difference to other people’s lives.
Who is your ideal client?
Hand on heart I don’t have an ideal client. I have so many different clients, men and women, in a wide range of ages (12 to 80 so far), with a wide range of budgets, and they are all special in many different ways. That’s the pleasure of my job and I learn every day from their differences. I guess if I could choose an ideal quality for a client to have, it would be for an open minded, positive attitude. From that place there is no end to what we can achieve together.
What are the key pieces for AW15 that you want in your wardrobe?
I’m already working on building some key pieces for my AW15 wardrobe – there are so many gorgeous things in this season’s collections to choose from. On my wish list is a long gilet, a piece of shearling, block heeled ankle boots, a jacket, high-waisted leather trousers, cashmere knits, silk shirts and, my personal signature accessories – a statement scarf or necklace.
What is your favourite piece from the Bod & Ted AW15 collections?
Gosh hard to choose, as there are so many beautiful things. I’m going to have to choose two! Firstly, the wonderful and oh so comfortable H by Hudson Riley suede ankle boots with double side zips. And secondly, the Custommade blue Sysser jacket. A deceptively simple jacket that is perfect in so many ways.
What are your favourite and least favourite trends for AW15?
My favourite trend this season are all the gorgeous fur/shearling/leather jackets, coats and gilets – and the more colourful the better. If I could choose one thing to have in my wardrobe it would be a 70’s inspired patchwork shearling jacket. (Well a girl can dream can’t she?) My least favourite trend is cropped wide leg trousers/culottes. I just don’t think they’re very flattering. I believe that it’s always best to dress in clothes that flatter the individual’s body shape rather than buy something just because it’s in fashion.
What are your wardrobe essentials?
I am a huge advocate of a capsule wardrobe and I work on this concept with all my clients. In my own capsule wardrobe I always have a flattering pair of dark fitted jeans. Other key pieces are silky tees and tops in different colours, ankle boots, jackets (the more the merrier), cashmere jumpers (so light and so warm), and lots of great accessories.
What are your biggest shopping tips for all those ladies (and men!) out there?
Working with men and women can be different in some ways, but the main issues are the same for everyone. The most common problems are lack of time, life changes, loss of confidence, changing shape and a great hoarding instinct. My top tips are to really understand the best colours and shapes for you (not your friend, Mum or the shop assistant), not to buy something in desperation (due to lack of time or because it’s cheap), and to focus shop with your capsule wardrobe in your head (that way you know it will work with lots of items you already have back home). Finally, shop for the best you can afford – you’ll really notice the difference in how you look and feel and your clothes should last longer too.
Who is your fashion icon?
My all time favourite is Olivia Palermo who rarely puts a fashion foot wrong. She’s very beautiful and has access to the world’s best designers, so that helps of course! I also really admire Rita Ora’s style. She doesn’t always get it right, but I love her brave use of colour and pattern, strong sense of her own style identity, her versatility and sheer joy of fashion. It’s rare to see such confidence in someone of her age.