INTERVIEW

In Conversation with a Fashion Stylist

Sarah Clare, the blonde goddess behind What Sarah did…has been delivering style and fabulous brands from 4 Bancroft since November 2010. Her store came about because she’s a qualified fashion stylist who wants to share what she knows with as many people as she can. She’s handled the wardrobes of singers, actresses and playwrights while still managing to empower the women who walk into her Hitchin boutique everyday.

 

I chatted to Sarah on a warm summer evening over delicious French food to see what its like to be a shopkeeper of a much loved lifestyle store and synonymously deliver her knowledge as a qualified fashion stylist…

Why did you want to become a fashion stylist?
Having worked in the retail industry for some time I felt that there was an underlying need for women to feel comfortable in their own skin. I believe that the superficial world we live in dictates that our wardrobe choices make a huge impact on how we are perceived… rightly or wrongly it’s a fact. If you’re not comfortable, you’re not going to present your true fabulous self.  I strive to bring a newfound confidence to those I style and make everyone feel worthy and accepted. I trained and qualified as a fashion stylist so I’ve got the certificates to prove I know what I’m talking about but I also have the experience of encouraging women on a daily basis when they walk through the doors of What Sarah did…
 
 
How do you stay updated with current trends?
For me there’s an element of following trends but my priority is keeping in touch with our WSd customer. My mantra has always been ‘It’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it’. This belief doesn’t correlate with fast throwaway fashion where you buy a top for Friday night…and Friday night only! The advice I give and live by is to make clever investments that work for your lifestyle and that you can wear time after time. I don’t want to dress someone for one night out; I want to dress them for what’s going on in their world right now. Trends are there to work with, not live by. I buy each season to complement my ladies and to keep the store current but wearable. WSd aims to bring information, style and trends to you, taking the hard bit out of shopping while injecting fun!
 
What sets WSd apart from other fashion retailers?
 
We are totally honest with our customers and its honesty that customers return to first and foremost. It’s a harsh reality but too often we’re upsold lies for commission and fashion is falsely sold to us to get numbers in the till. Wsd is built on foundations of honesty- more often its not about what something costs, its about how it works for you and if its worthy of being in your wardrobe. As women we face so many adversities and our wardrobe should not hinder us from growing. Confidence is not an arrogance it’s a super power that we all have the right to own and yes once you *feel* amazing, you can do anything you choose. I’ve also trained my team about body shape, flattering cuts and colours and as stylists we’ll not only take all of this into account for every customer who seeks our advice, but we’ll also try to get an understanding of their lifestyle and interests so whatever we recommend is guaranteed to work for them. We get to know our customers and have running conversations with them- you can often hear us saying ‘That will go really well with that skirt you’ve got” or  “those shoes you bought last season will really work with that”. We can offer multiple outfit suggestions for each piece of WSd you buy, thus making it wardrobe worthy.
What services do you offer as a fashion stylist?
I offer VIP evenings in store, which is a great way to get the girls together as well as getting a professional fashion stylist to yourselves for a few hours. Play dress up, sip on fizz and shop ‘till you drop! You and up to 6 friends will have WSd HQ to yourselves with just myself on hand for advice, so the setting will be a tranquil hub in which you can discover your wardrobe needs.
 
I can also come to youa wardrobe edit is a relaxed way to re address your wardrobe to make it work for you and you alone. It’s fab, easy and not just about getting rid of what’s there, it’s about re discovery, ensuring you wear everything you have in your wardrobe and making it work for you on a day-to-day basis. 
 
We all have an unbalanced wardrobe, too many of this, nothing to go with that… During the edit, we discuss your body shape, any changes to your world that could affect your wardrobe, lifestyle and current wardrobe needs to figure out exactly what is needed in these areas… 
It’s a beautiful fact that we all have too many evening/going out outfits sat there like the ugly sister waiting to be taken from the depths of the wardrobe, whereas we have over worked work wear like Cinderella by day. So it’s a case of looking at day to day versus nights on the tiles and making each outfit work in several different ways to ensure its worthiness in your wardrobe. 
It’s a cool and therapeutic exercise to re work existing staple pieces that can perform year after year. My guidance just puts the confidence back into you and therefore your wardrobe and adding a few key pieces per season keeps it all current but still wearable. Reinventing pieces does this too and I give ideas on how to do so.  With a fresh set of eyes you’ll be surprised what you actually have hiding in there that’s wearable and on trend… 
We discard anything that doesn’t fit, is worn out, faded or you have multiples of. Be it to be offered to a friend, charity or re worked into something fresh, it’s not a landfill moment it’s an efficient way to wear all your purchases. Ultimately with my professional styling advice, we’ll use what’s there and works for your body shape, lifestyle and needs. It’s so therapeutic…I bloody love my job!
Once I’ve styled my customers (angels as I like to call them) on a 1-2-1 basis, they have me on hand to assist in the future. Prices are upon application and we can accommodate birthday parties at WSd HQ too! I’m also happy to research that special something that an angel may need for an upcoming event.
 
What can we expect from WSd in the future?
There’s loads to come! We’ve got some really cool projects in the pipeline that we’re so excited to share soon. I’ve been working on exciting styling developments too. Everything I’ve mentioned today is just the tip of the styling iceberg but gives an insight into the WSd ingredients needed to create the lifestyle cake (and yes we’re excited that Bake Off started this week!). There’s lots more on the horizon so watch this space and subscribe to the blog if you want to know more…
 

Rachel x

 

Thanks to Andrew Cotterill Photography for some of the photos on this page.   www.andrewcotterillphotography.com

Subscribe to our blog

Join our mailing list and get the latest blog post straight to your inbox

You have Successfully Subscribed!