Style My Wardrobe With Tamara Fulton

I’ve never worked with a stylist or personal shopper. Having worked in fashion most of my life, I’ve always trusted my own instincts and been comfortable with my own style, although I have often wondered what someone else might ‘do’ with me, style-wise.

In my year of Nothing New I was concerned I might get bored with what I’ve got, so when my friend, the stylist Tamara Fulton, offered to to come and give me and my wardrobe and me a mini style makeover, I jumped at the chance.

Tamara is an excellent stylist, she’s worked on a multitude of brand campaigns (I first met her after admiring one of her Toast shoots) and is currently goods editor for Hole & Corner magazine, but she also really enjoys styling private clients. She is calm, thoughtful and funny, so I knew that submitting to her outfit choices would be easy. Being comfortable with your style and clothes shows in your face, according to Tamara, but understanding what you want is not always easy. She works by gently nudging her clients out of their comfort zones in order to put together a better version of themselves.

We started by me sorting out my wardrobe running rails (I don’t have a posh cupboard) into categories, all the blouses /jeans/jackets together. As you may remember, I have quite a lot of clothes, some of which I don’t wear much. Everyone wants something slightly different from these sessions apparently, but I wanted Tamara to try and make some of my unworn items work harder, by suggesting new ways to wear them, and to help me ditch stuff that just didn’t suit me.

We went through every item, looking at silhouette, colour, fit and identifying clothes I no longer wore that much. Getting rid of problem clothes that don’t suit you can be hard, according to Tamara, there’s a lot of emotion tied up in them and cutting lose from ones you’ve out grown, have fond memories of or just can’t bear to say good bye to is tricky. Tamara suggests moving them out of sight as a first step. Pull out anything you can’t fit into or don’t wear and put it away. After a period of time (perhaps a year) go back to them and deciding their fate will be easier.

Tamara helped me ditch a few things, including a sweater that was too severe at the neckline (we talked a lot about considering necklines) and a gorgeous Miu Miu cocoon jacket that did me no favours at all (too much volume). We also reworked a kimono I bought in Japan but have rarely worn by putting a v neck gold top under it, rather than the navy T shirt I’d mostly opted for. The V neck seemed to control the volume better.

Tamara also played with layering prints and textures, so I had more options to consider .

It can be revolutionary to hear someone else’s view on how you look, we get so used to presenting ourselves in a certain way. When an experienced set of stylish eyes adjusts your view to make you look at how a colour does, or does not lift you face, you wonder why you didn’t see something so obvious before.

I look better in soft tones of camel, green, cornflower and pink, they lift my complexion, I’d never have worn them altogether, but when Tamara styled them into an outfit, they really worked on me.

I have an old Moroccan coat I love but never wear, Tamara suggested turning it inside out to use the softer floral colours and teamed it with a pink polo neck (vintage Jaeger, if it had stuck to making more of this type of thing Jaeger might not have gone bankrupt last week). It instantly felt more me.

Although I’m not buying anything, Tamara pointed out the gaps in my wardrobe and where I had repetition (ahem, probs too many jeans). I am short on pretty camisole tops to layer under shirts and necklines to add softness and simple tops like the Finery one I adore.

We talked through elongating the silhouette by wearing longer tops under short jackets, and using long necklaces to amplify that lengthening. We tried dresses over jeans, dresses as shirts – a winner for me – and talked about swapping accessories and handbags seasonally. I never think of using a lighter handbag in the summer, or just using some necklaces for summer or winter, but it can really change the feel of an outfit.

Finally, Tamara encouraged me to look at my shape differently. I’m not wild about wearing anything too fitted, but we put my beloved Katharine Hamnett vintage denim top with my Maison Martin Margiela jeans (a TKMaxx bargain) and I looked quite presentable.

‘You have a great waist!’, it was almost worth all the tidying up of my bedroom to hear this. Reassurance is half the battle with wearing a new combination, and having someone there to go ‘yep, that’s good’ is a real help.

Much to my surprise, I both enjoyed the experience and learned a huge amount, it completely opened my eyes to new ways to wear what I have. Tamara has a gentle, encouraging manner rather than being Trinny and Susannah-ish and I loved how she made me look at colour and silhouette with new eyes. If you think you might like to talk to Tamara yourself, contact her for a chat on what you might need on [email protected]

Photos from the day were taken by the wonderfully talented Maya Glaser.

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10 Comments

  • Tamara says:

    A big thank you Amanda and I’m so pleased that you enjoyed the styling session! Tamara XX

  • Sue Evans says:

    IF you ever want to sell that Moroccan coat — you have a buyer !! xx

  • What a great mix of colours and turning the coat inside out was inspired. Living in Glasgow i have a lot of coats…

  • Claire B says:

    How inspiring! Made me think about how I can re-work the clothes I already have – great post!

  • Sarah says:

    Great post, great tips and inspiration. A great idea for a birthday present…

  • Jan says:

    Thank you for such an interesting post. I think it’s very easy to get stuck in a clothes rut, to avoid moving out of your safety zone and to end up acquiring duplicates of safe garments. Like many folk I watched Trinny and Susannah back in the day and they did offer some good tips and sound advice but looking back there were too many rules that left little room for creativity. I remember one about never wearing a short skirt once you hit 30 (apologies if it was 35!). I first tried dresses over jeans/trousers a year or so back and love the look. It also means you get to wear dresses that otherwise wouldn’t see the light of day. A saw a women the other day wearing a pretty, floaty summer dress with a tweedy jacket and boots I thought she looked fantastic, the perfect outfit for a slightly chilly spring day.

  • Sue says:

    Such a good idea, Amanda. Love your jeans with the chopped off bottoms – please tell me you did it yourself? and the outfit with the silver Winser shirt, gold jacket and jeans looks great. Well done. I think your wardrobe is definitely superior to start with, though…

  • Amanda says:

    Thanks everyone for the kind comments, it was really great fun to do and very inspiring. Sue, will let you know if I’m ever ready to part with the Moroccan coat, other Sue, no those jeans are actually from Paige Denim, although I have other ones I have done myself, very easy to do. Jan, lovely idea wearing tweed with floaty floral, and have a great Easter everyone! Ax

  • Monix says:

    I’ll fight Sue for the Moroccan coat (and for the kimono)!
    That picture of you in the double denim – just amazing.

  • Beth Greene says:

    Your post showcases some wonderful styles & I am genuinely inspired! I’d just like add that if anyone is looking to buy cardigans online, I would like to recommend EvelynAndArthur.com/Discover-Newest-Planet-Clothing/. With so many planet cardis to choose from, you can up your style quotient & be a fashionista in no time.

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