style insider / millie coates aka the style phoenix
We welcome back our Style Insider feature! This months feature is about the beautiful Tunbridge Wellian Millie Coates who recently started her own personal styling business. We chatted about her work life and her SS19 must-haves.
Millie is wearing the Fabienne Chapot Mia Dress in Peach and Orange
Tell us a little bit about being a lawyer and personal stylist
It’s pretty non-stop and the two worlds couldn’t be more diverse! I work 4 days a week as a geeky finance lawyer in the City, and squeeze in my styling career whenever physically possible. I’m constantly trying to keep the plates spinning, but I love the styling so much, I always make time.
I qualified with a Distinction from The London College of Style in February, and my little business, The Style Phoenix, has been growing steadily ever since. I love people and making a difference, hence my desire to become stylist. I have the privilege of being let into people’s lives to help them feel fabulous and renew their confidence, as well as doing what I do best… shopping and putting outfits together. The styling doesn’t feel like a job – it’s a passion.
For now, I’ll be lawyering and styling (and rearing my toddler twin boys!) but we shall see what the future holds. Watch this space!
How would you describe your style in 3 words?
Fun, colourful, quirky
Millie wearing Stine Goya Camilla Silk Dress in Palazzo
What are the key pieces for SS19 that you want in your wardrobe?
Well I’ve just bought one piece from Bod and Ted that I’ve coveted for months: the pink and red Hayley Menzies duster cardigan, covered in leopard print and leopards. It’s dreamy and find myself grinning at it (is that weird?!).
I also have my eye on the stunning multi coloured Rixo Gio Micro Tulip midi dress. It’s been in my online basket for months, but I’m slightly scared to press “buy”, as I’m reluctant to buy anything I don’t think I’ll wear time and time again.
I’m still after the perfect white shirt. Crisp cotton in a boyfriend cut. I’ve got a few in mind, but can’t choose! It’s such a wardrobe staple that I must get it right.
What are your favourite pieces from the bod & ted SS19 collections?
Where do I start?!! I adore all the Hayley Menzies pieces, and I would love the Leopardess Shirt Dress which has a similar print to my duster cardigan.
I’ve totally fallen for the Stine Goya Camilla Silk Dress in Palazzo – the print is stunning and so unusual and feels gorgeous to wear. Given this dress is my namesake, I should get it, right?!!
I was immediately drawn to the Lily and Lionel Cougar Rae dress (photo below). My mantra is that you can never have too much leopard print – it’s my favourite “neutral”.
I adore the Fabienne Chapot Peach and Orange dress. Such a stunning print and colours, and there’s so much material in the skirt that it feels super luxurious and swishy.
What are your favourite and least favourite trends for this season?
I adore fun clothes with personality, so loved seeing all the bright colours (especially the neons and corals), bows, frills, prints and tie dye on the catwalks and now in the shops. Summer, for me, means dressing in bright, happy and vibrant outfits. All the cute accessories out there are fab too, including headbands (Anthropologie have some epic ones, especially the David Bowie number) and oversized statement hair clips.
I’m somewhat baffled by ugly shoes. Clunky dad trainers and sandals… what?!! I’ve got quite big feet for my frame and have spent my life trying to make them look smaller. So the thought of paying for shoes that make my feet look like bricks is beyond me (ha ha!). Some people can pull them off, though. Just not for me!
What are your wardrobe essentials?
My leather jacket, bought second hand from Fash Reboot and my canary yellow mohair Mango coat – I’ve not taken it off since I bought it.
My Topshop faux leather jeans, bought for £5 in the sale – they go with everything and are my go-to trousers.
My white leather Marks & Spencer Chelsea boots. They go with everything and I wear them most days. Also my Veja trainers – blooming love them, and essential with all the dashing around I do.
My Blank heart sunglasses. They’re the YSL dupes (I can’t justify the price tag as I always loose or break my sunnies) and I love them – perfect for hiding my tired face and always attract lovely compliments.
Who is your style icon?
Kate Moss – always so chic yet quirky and individual. She looks fantastic in everything, even if it’s a white tee and jeans. In 2000, I bought the Alexander McQueen “bumster” jeans after seeing them on Kate. I wore them to death until they fell apart. My adoration started there.
What is your most lusted after item at present?
Other than the array of dresses in Bod and Ted (!), a quilted yellow Sulpice Saint Laurent bag. I can but dream…. (maybe a good 40th present next year (husband, if you’re reading this)?!!).
Check out Millie’s style via her Instagram – _thestylephoenix_