style insider – katherine sims
This week we spoke to the lovely Kate Sims, founder of Gradient Creative and Consulting. This American in England is all about elegant separates and basics with a twist, and she may just have a slight grey jumper habit. Find out more about her take on US vs UK style, her wardrobe essentials and what her favourite pieces from the new collections at bod & ted are!
Tell us a little bit about your business Gradient Creative and Consulting?
Gradient is a boutique digital marketing agency focused on storytelling. My background is in creative writing and I fell into writing for social media whilst in college in Boston, Massachusetts. Gradient launched in 2014 and it marries my love of digital content with creative storytelling. We work with artists, entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized businesses to help them share their stories and work through social media, blog posts, photography and video.
You’re originally from the US, what do you find the main difference in UK vs US style to be?
Oh goodness, it’s so difficult to generalise but I’d say that men dress better in the UK than they do in the US, which is the first thing I noticed after moving here. My working theory is that British men learn how to wear a suit whilst in school so they’re more comfortable in tailored clothes that actually fit their shape than their American counterparts.
As for women, I think women in London and the South East have a great ability to pull casual and dressy elements into the same outfit. In the States we’re a little more rigid about our dressed up and dressed down styles, but there’s a fantastic ability to blend the styles here. Since moving to the UK in 2012, my own style has become a lot more casual (mostly because I don’t drive and have to walk everywhere) and luxury knits, sturdy denim and durable shoes are my jam.
How would you describe your style in 3 words?
Black, White, Denim. Basically anything goes as long as it falls within one of those colour categories. (Oh but I do have lots of grey, too!)
What are the key pieces for AW15 that you want in your wardrobe?
I’m keeping my eyes out for a really interesting pair of black boots, but am letting the universe present them to me because I’m not decided on what I want. I’m also in the market for a motorcycle jacket and am pulling together the courage to knit a Wool and The Gang jumper pattern that I’ve had for ages and just haven’t gotten around to doing. As with every autumn, I’ll probably scoop up some cashmere tops with interesting cuts to keep me warm but on point when the days get cooler.
What are your favourite pieces from the bod & ted AW15 collections?
I’m not allowing myself to buy any more grey jumpers BUT I am totally tempted to pick up the 360 Sweater Dip Cashmere Pullover and the Skull Cashmere Absinthe Sweatshirt. (Told you I have a type!) I’m a huge fan of Nobody Denim and am thinking about getting another pair of Cult Skinnies in black for running around town in this winter. Lastly, I just bought the Becksondergaard T-Ethnic Cape and I’m obsessed with it. Until it gets really cold, I’ll be wearing it over everything.
What are your favourite and least favourite trends for AW15?
I’m really into a slight flare and am loving my pair of boot cut Nobody Denim that I scooped up in a bod & ted sale earlier this year. The cut makes my legs look about a mile long and pairing them with my everyday basics has reinvented my wardrobe in a really fun way. As a lady who loves elegant basics, I’m not so enthused with all the loud patterns and prints that we’re seeing around. I don’t see them looking fresh for longer than a season or two so I’ll steer clear of them and stay in my wheelhouse of black and white.
What are your wardrobe essentials?
I lovelovelove a sheer(ish) shirt. American Vintage makes great semi-sheer super-soft knits that work really well for layering– I have the tanks, t-shirts and long-sleeved cuts and wear them all the time. I also love a skinny dark denim that I can throw on with my Mizunos when I’m running into town and want to look dressed but don’t need to look on point. My other wardrobe essentials are Nars lip pencils (lip colour makes a helluva difference to a look) and my Czech & Speake Rose Cologne. Scent brings a whole new element to a look.
Who is your style icon?
She’s 25,000 times cooler than I’ll ever be but I love Alison Mosshart’s style and the way she always looks perfectly undone. I also have mad love for Tilda Swinton and how she can wear anything whilst still looking exactly like herself. On a more real-world level, I like almost everything Kelly Framel of The Glamourai wears and I shop a lot of her looks online. When I’m older, I hope I have the style and stature of Angelica Houston– hopefully I’m getting there one grey t-shirt at a time…
A girl after our own heart, thanks Kate!