style insider / paula fry

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This month’s style insider installment is all about one of our favourite fashionistas, Paula Fry. We love her Instagram so we were very excited to have her come into store and play with our current pieces! Paula is wearing the Rixo Mary-Kate Palm Print Blouse, the relaxed Marie Sixtine Bastian Pants and the very funky ASH Jess Slogan Trainers.

You used to run a successful pre-loved clothing shop in Tunbridge Wells. Tell us a bit more about it and how things have changed since you shut up shop?

Love Is Boutique was open for five years – a vintage and designer consignment shop – and was a lot of fun although hard work. We had over 4000 people on our database and a dedicated clientele  – lots of them became my friends and others still keep in touch with me via social media, which is lovely. I also made some great friends in the fashion industry through social media and I keep in touch with them too.

The boutique struggled to make me a wage once I had covered staff costs and bills etc so in the end, I was running it whilst working in the city (which became unsustainable and not very healthy). I didn’t have a proper break or time off for five years!  The city also felt like unfinished business for me, (I had left during the financial crash) so selling my boutique was the best thing I did. I’ve been back on the corporate ladder in the city for some years now, but I still dip my toe in fashion now and then – I write fashion articles for Huffington Post and Kent Women In Business, I use Instagram to post my outfits daily. Women ask me for style advice every day so I feel like I straddle two worlds sometimes!

You obviously have a love of fashion – if you could save three pieces in your wardrobe from a fire what would they be and why?

Given that I have some six double wardrobes, two chest of drawers and some attic storage, this question is difficult…
1. A vintage YSL black velvet tasselled skirt. A client brought this in and I couldn’t bare not to buy it. It’s incredibly delicate so I only wear it on special occasions and when I’m not drinking – I’m petrified of ripping it!
2. A silk hand made 1930’s dress. I bought this from an elderly lady who had been given it by her aunt – it’s in perfect condition! Again, I’m careful when I wear it but I feel like a million dollars when I do.
3. My red Valentino rock studs….. Or maybe my Sophia Webster Karina butterfly boots – can’t make my mind up!

What tips do you have for putting together interesting outfits whilst keeping them appropriate for your city job?

I could write a 40 page blog here to be honest….
I’m lucky that I work in fin-tech so if I’m based in the office that day, I can wear pretty much anything as long as I’m keeping my dignity! If I have no client meetings, I like jeans, a feminine blouse with a strong tailored jacket and either cool trainers or some ankle boots. I always have heels in my drawer at work – normally something a bit stand out. This makes me feel comfortable but put together and I can throw on the heels if I am called to a meeting at short notice. If I’m seeing clients this can involve trips on trading floors on investment banks, so I will tweak my outfit, either a dress (with bare legs and shoe boots to funk it up) or wide leg trousers and a silk tee, always with a good jacket. If my outfit is all black I will always wear shoes that have some personality or a bright scarf – I hate being dull! But I do sometimes scare the odd trader…
At work they call me Liberace – I am a consummate and diligent magpie. I have a whole jewellery wardrobe too.

What are the key pieces for SS17 that you want in your wardrobe?

I’ve already picked up some SS17 from the High Street and I’m currently waiting on a large drop I was lucky to nab from Victoria Beckham collection with Target – whether I keep it all remains to be seen.
My fave pieces so far for coming season has been wide legged, high waisted trousers, oh and ANYTHING by Rixo!

What are your favourite and least favourite trends from this season?

I am not a lover of the flat Gucci loafers with the furry insides I have to say but they are marmite! I love the current gingham trend I’m seeing on Instagram but I’m unsure I will be following that as it reminds me of my school shirt at high school! Ha.

How would you describe your style in 3 words?

Eclectic, mismatched and glamorous.

What are your wardrobe essentials?

Coats and Jackets! Leather biker – tailored jackets – cropped denim – navy blazer – colourful coats. Denim Jeans – skinny and boyfriend – in various hues. Leather jeans. A cracking pair of boots.

Who is your style icon?

I have two – Jenna Lyons and Iris Apfel. Love them both.
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Thanks Paula!

love bod & ted xxx

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