In our Perfect Wardrobe series, we’ve featured wardrobes far more special and fabulous than my own. However after three years of living with a fairly basic Ikea wardrobe, I upgraded to a bespoke one by Richard Cullinan Joinery and I felt it was finally worth sharing with you.
I have never, ever in my life been an organised person. To this day I am one of the messiest people I know when it comes to cupboards and drawers. The only way to keep anything looking remotely tidy and shipshape in my wardrobe is if everything has a specific place and is easy to put away. When designing my wardrobe with Katie Cullinan, we did discuss not having doors, which would have made my narrow walk-in wardrobe feel substantially bigger. However, realistically there was no way for me to keep everything on display organised on a day-to-day basis, so I decided to keep the doors on. We wrestled a lot with the colour, but in the end the narrow dark space would stay that way even if it was white, so I decided to think of it as the inside of a jewellery chest. I took inspiration from a Persian rug my parents gave me and went for a deep blue-black called ‘Plimsoll’ from Paint & Paper Library.
Maxi and midi dresses make up the majority of my summer wardrobe. I wear them to everything from meetings to picking the kids up from school. They are ideal to throw on with a good pair of flats and feel dressed-up. This March11 dress is perfect for mild Northern European summers, the spring and even in the winter with boots, as it’s thick embroidered linen. The dresses are incredibly flattering on and seem to work no matter what your shape or height.
I tend to wear a lot of flats, so when designing my drawers I made sure I could fit in as many as possible. With slides I usually stack them on top of one another and I have a couple of very thin drawers just for those. Then I have some taller drawers to fit heels.
When it comes to hanging space I have to be a little stingy, so I took Laura’s advice and use thin felt hangers – they take up very little space and silk items tend not to slip off them. I hang according to garment, so dresses together, heavy knits, shirts, trousers, etc. I have a separate cupboard in my bedroom for maxi dresses, coats and jackets. If I were more organised I guess that could be a seasonal storage space.
These Gucci slides were a bit of an impulse buy – I struggled with the idea that they would be an forever item. However, I wear them constantly, as they liven up everything from a T-shirt and jeans to a summer dress. It’s annoying that the style has been copied everywhere and they seem to be ten a penny now. But it doesn’t make me love them any less, or feel like they were less of a great investment. I guess that’s how you know you found an iconic piece, despite it not being traditionally classic.
I use these jewellery boxes for displaying my more statement pieces and keeping them safe. I bought them a couple of years ago on sale from Cox & Cox – they still make them, or you can get similar at West Elm. I like the way the brushed brass and glass give a bit of vintage feel, but they’re also practical because I can see what’s inside without having to rummage.
After our interview with Nicky Zimmermann last August I have become a bit obsessed with her brand. In the preview sales this summer I managed to nab a couple of pieces, one being this polka-dot dress with a 30% discount. For me, a good summer dress needs to have sleeves, as I hate having my arms on show. It’s also more office-appropriate for when I need to look formal at corporate meetings.
My underwear drawer always drove me insane. A mix of tights, socks that didn’t match, and I could never find the bra I actually wanted. Buying a drawer organiser and boxes to keep everything in its own section has made the world of difference. Now, even if I don’t get time to fold everything, I can at least dump them in the right compartment so everything is easier to locate.
I only recently took the plunge and got my ears pierced, so wearing earrings is still a bit of a novelty. I find big statement pairs like this beaded J Crew pair can transform anything fairly basic like a denim shirt dress into an exciting outfit. I now own a fair few, despite the fact that I only end up wearing them for a few hours at a time.
Leather leggings are on my top five things I would say any woman should own. I wear them consistently from September until April, even sometimes on cold May days. Joseph do the best ones we have found – comfortable, stretchy and chic. You can wear them with everything from a cashmere jumper to a broderie anglaise blouse; flats or heels. They are a wardrobe wonder.
Hands up, my shelves only look like this about four times a year when I do a tidy or a clear-out, which is why I need doors. I do try to keep pieces together, though – bags on the same shelf, T-shirts on another and long-sleeved T-shirts on another. Then jumpers are ordered by colour and jeans by shape. That way even if I get desperate and need to shove something on a shelf, I still know what is where. The Cowshed diffuser makes it smell spa-like and all my clothes smell divine too.
I used to keep my fine jewellery in their separate boxes, but I could never see what I had and would often forget about the odd piece. Now they are all housed in Stackers trays, so I really see what there is and never have to spend hours on a tangled necklace. My other accessories, like sunglasses and belts, are kept together, to help me remember to actually put them on.
This Céline mini luggage bag was my 30th present from my family, and it’s one of my most treasured possessions even though it’s taken a few knocks. I think it’s one of the first ‘investment’ pieces I have owned and kept hold of. There is something to be said for giving your children a gift worth keeping when they are old enough to really appreciate it.
Ninety per cent of my wardrobe is bought with a discount or on sale. I am a real bargain fiend. I bought these on the Matches preview sale after eying them up for a couple of years. I love the colour; I think it will go with most things in the winter and summer. I also opted for the lower heel height, as I know that will mean that I can wear them more.
When it comes to editing your wardrobe, it definitely helps having everything at a reachable height. I designed my wardrobe so that the storage that I won’t need to regularly access (high-summer clothing, wellington boots, etc) is right at the top, while the pieces I wear day to day are at my fingertips.
Everyone always talks about the versatility of a little black dress, but I think a little white dress is even more useful. I bought this Queene and Bell dress years ago and cost per wear it’s been one of my most successful summer buys. My favourite way to style it is with my red Aquazzura pom-pom sandals.
The display element of my wardrobe was a way for me to showcase my most-loved buys or my most recent ones. It adds a treasure-chest feel to my wardrobe and is really handy for just grabbing something off the shelf, too.
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