From London in the UK comes Rebecca Ffrancon, a graduate of the Academy Professional Image and Image and Colour Consultant who shares her tips on building a more stylish and colourful wardrobe on her blog and Instagram.
1. What is the secret to great style?
I think it’s all about understanding the huge role your personality plays in your style, and also evolution. I started my style journey with your Evolve your Style programme before moving on to 7 Steps and then the Personal Stylist training, and it really is all about finding out what your own “rules” are – and then breaking them to your heart’s content! It’s also about experimenting, and not being afraid to make mistakes.
2. What is the one thing you would spend a lot of money on?
I’d really only spend a lot of money on a designer handbag or a leather accessory like a belt or wallet that I know I’d love and use for years to come. I think we all covet certain designers and for me, it’s Gucci and Chloe.
3. What is the one thing you wouldn’t spend a lot of money on?
Never say never, but I try not to spend money on occasion wear that would only get worn once (as a wedding guest, for example). I think there is generally more awareness of the amount of landfill that is created by the industry and everything I buy now is far better considered than it used to be for this reason – as well as wanting higher quality pieces that will last for years. There is also the option of renting occasion wear, which I think will be a growing trend.
4. What are your top tips for looking stylish when travelling?
Choose a colour palette (red, white and blue is a good one) and pack only things that go together. Take a large cotton scarf in a pattern that complements everything in your travel capsule. You can use the scarf to stay warm on the flight, as a sarong, turn it into a kimono for the evening, and it will lift a plain outfit and means you don’t have to pack so much. I also only ever take a pair of smart but comfortable gold flat leather sandals with me that I can wear day and night – who wants to wear heels on holiday? A good mani-pedi is also essential!
5. What’s the secret to looking polished?
Aside from hair and makeup, I think it’s all about accessorising and making sure your outfit has a focal point. Good quality shoes and handbags are also game-changers.
I have been obsessed with the Chloe Marcie bag for about 3 years now, it’s definitely something I’m saving for! I was delighted when I tried the medium one on and it was too large for my 5’3” frame, so I don’t have quite as much to save up!
7. Do you have a signature piece or style?
I’m definitely known for my love of colour (yellow and red in particular) and leopard print. I’m still quite partial to a Breton stripe, but I feel its label as a Mum uniform has made it slightly less appealing to me for now. But I’m sure we’ve just temporarily fallen out and I’ll be wearing Bretons and red lipstick well into my 90s.
8. What’s your secret to making yourself stand out?
Definitely finding out what colours suit you and not being afraid to wear them! Wearing colour can lift your mood and those around you – I get stopped in the street by people telling me I’ve brightened up their day just by wearing a colour!
9. What’s your favourite short cut to style?
If I’m stuck for inspiration, I either dress from the shoes up (I do have a lot of options there) or keep it simple and add a third piece, such as a blazer, scarf or interesting jacket/cardigan.
10. What’s the worst current trend?
I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the tie-dye trend, but I have seen some very well executed pieces in Zara so I never discount a trend, as it can grow on you! I wasn’t keen on the bum bag/belt bag trend to start with, but if I had a defined waist, I’d definitely be eyeing up the Gucci belt bag!
11. Who are your style icons?
Sienna Miller, Sarah Jessica Parker (well, Carrie Bradshaw) and I’m completely obsessed with Jenna Lyons too.