Today we introduce a new feature to the wedding blog, one we’re calling the style profile. I don’t know about you, but I love a bit of people watching (er, hello Instagram?) and always want to know more about the personalities behind the pictures. My go-to-first-features in the glossy mags I read are always the pieces delving behind the scenes in a fashionista’s wardrobe, so we decided to ask some of the top bods in the wedding industry to spill the beans on what makes them so damn cool. Our first #stylesuperstar? Why, it’s only our own Rachel.
rachel parry: editorial & events, Brides Up North.
I get to share an office, event space (and party time) with this chick, who combines her high street staples to cute and gutsy high fashion effect. Ever worried about what to wear in the morning? Rachel’s made my getting dressed anxiety about a zillion times worse. On the plus side, she’s here to share her secrets – and bridal picks – with us lesser mortals. Lets hope some of it rubs off!
How would you describe your nine ‘til five style and what are your key work wardrobe pieces?
rachel says:They say pain is beauty to me comfort is key, so while I like to make an effort, sport the latest trends and enjoy that feel good factor of wearing nice clothes, where possible I also like to be able to do simple tasks, such as walk, speak and eat, without being restricted by my outfit choices. A designer shop owner once told me to invest in key wardrobe staples and that there is nothing wrong with sticking to black, so particularly in the autumn/winter months a good pair of black skinny jeans and a midi skirt will feature heavily and can be easily mixed with various colours and trends. I like to dress up simple items such as checked shirts, jumpers and plain shift dresses with a statement necklace and cool ankle boots. Of course more striking and sophisticated options are on hand for client meetings, business lunches and events. Finally the essentials – coat and bag. For the office a smart mac and bottomless shopper bag are never going to let me down.
What would you wear for a night out drinking cocktails with the girls?
Always an absolute nightmare for me and I’m often one of those that will try on everything in the wardrobe before going back to the very first item I tried on. Again I have the staples – a trusty pair of ripped skinny (makes for more edgy evening wear), a pair of leather-look leggings and a leather skirt. Depending on my mood I’ll either stick to my beloved monochrome palette and team a grey/black/white top or shirt with a staple bottom half or mix it up by adding some colour and pattern. If the venue calls for it I’ll pull out a dress or playsuit – again as it’s evening opting for a little pattern or colour to hopefully turn a few heads. If I’m keeping the outfit simple I like to accessorise with bolder options in shoes and bags. A pair of black killer heels can always also be found in my cocktail hour wardrobe.
What is your favourite high street store and online shopping site?
What girl doesn’t love Topshop – right? Though it’s predictable I like that Topshop always carries a wide range of trends on its rails meaning you can usually find something to suit your taste. I find the fit and quality good (not to sound like a Lorraine Kelly but these things are important). Plus, as well as their clothing I really like their make-up range – bonus! Online wise it would have to be ASOS, again perhaps a little predictable but the range of brands is great and they seem to always have promotions and sales on which means you can bag a bargain or two.
What colour features most in your wardrobe?
As previously mentioned I find it difficult to tear myself away from a monochrome palette and so I’m instantly drawn to anything black, white or grey – so much so that a friend has compared me to Simon Cowell (though my waistline is a lot lower). I think it’s because I see them as more classic pieces that can easily be mixed and matched with other items in my wardrobe. Where colour does appear it’s usually in pinks and green. I am trying to branch out more though, particularly with the warmer season on the way – watch this space!
Who is your favourite bridal gown designer?
This is a toughie, with Jenny Packham, Claire Pettibone, Hayley Paige and Maggie Sottero all strong contenders though currently I would have to say Stephanie Allin. I love how she can do beautifully detailed and simple designs that are equally stunning. So some days I’ll dream of saying “I do” in her gorgeous slim-line Honour design, complete with floral corsage sash, then other days her Bardot princess gown with dreamy tulle skirt is top of my list. I don’t think I’m controversial enough to don her Garbo jumpsuit for the big day though!
Which celebrity’s style do you admire?
The main reason I watch Made in Chelsea (honestly) is to crush on the female stars’ wardrobes. Though she’s now left the programme, I’m an avid follower of Millie McIntosh via her blog and Instagram. I also enjoy a lot of what Louise, Rosie and Lucy wear on the show and so also style stalk these ladies on Instagram. I like that they’re all classy dressers but adapt their look to work certain trends as well as their own unique styles. For similar reasons I’m also a fan of Lauren Conrad, Rachel Bilson and Fearne Cotton’s getup.
Clockwise from top left: image source| image source, photography by Erin Hearts Court| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| images source, photography by Krista Leigh Hurst Photography
If you were currently planning your wedding what would be your top picks in terms of styling, attire, accessories and blooms?
At the moment I would sum my wedding lust list up as ‘pretty, petals and pizzazz’ as I’m obsessed with pastel shades, fabulous blooms and glitter. All these would help make up my styling with a pastel colour or two providing the backdrop, then glitter accents added for sparkle and glamour along with flowers – lots of flowers! I’m particularly loving peonies at the moment, I find their blousy appearance incredibly romantic, particularly in playful tones of blush pink and peach. As someone who is always looking at gorgeous wedding gowns it would be difficult to pinpoint exactly what attire I would go for but I’m really loving dresses with stunning back detail at the moment by designers such as Claire Pettibone and Hayley Paige. For wedding shoes I think it’s nice to have something to fit in with the theme and perhaps something a little different to what you would normally wear which is why I’m particularly fond of Charlotte Mills’ Andrea heels. For my maids it would have to either be full on sparkling gowns or sweet flowing pastel dresses, in which they would all look and feel gorgeous. Another important part of the wedding for me would be food and drink as I love both and think it’s a great way for a couple to really inject some of their personality into the big day. I’m crazy for naked wedding cakes adorned in pretty flowers so that would be top of the list. I think a cocktail hour with his and hers choices of drinks picked by the bride and groom is a great icebreaker and cute styling addition when executed in striking glasses. I’m also a fan of street food ideas such as sliders and tacos, particularly for outdoor laid back ceremonies.
What areas of a wedding would you splurge on the most and why?
Up near the top of the list would have to be photography. I absolutely hate having my photograph taken to the point that my boyfriend only has about two images of me on his camera roll – however your photos are your lasting memories of the big day and therefore in my eyes a photographer is well worth splashing the cash on. I also think the style of photographer you pick can help capture the feel and theming of your day bringing it all together. Again as a foodie and lover of wine, cocktails and gin, the food and drink would be another splurge area as well as the entertainment to make it personal, ensure guests have a great time and to make the day memorable to all.
What do you tend to wear when relaxing at the weekend?
Leggings are literally my best friend. At one time I would only associate the garment with slobs or children but I can honest say I couldn’t live without them when it comes to kicking back. They are incredibly versatile so at a weekend if I’m chilling out I will often wear with an oversized checked or denim shirt and then layer up with a cosy knit and if I’m heading out throw on a pair of boots. Also when indulging at the weekend an expandable waist is much appreciated!
Where would be your dream honeymoon destination and what top five items would you pack in your case?
Due to one reason and another I’ve not been abroad for the past two years so I’m literally gagging to get on a plane and head in pretty much any direction so long as there is sunshine at the end of it. Though secluded destinations such as the Maldives and the Seychelles are particularly popular with newlyweds, I think I would like a little culture/adventure mixed with some relaxation. So for me it would have to be a romantic break to Sorrento in Italy (which my parents rave about) so I could enjoy the culture, food and scenery or an American road trip. I’ve done areas of California and Las Vegas but would love to return to The States to make more memories – and who better to share them with than a new hubby? Top five suitcase items for either destination would be sun cream (I’m fair), Ray Ban sunnies, a trusty pair of denim shorts, bikini (or five) and a good book (the majority of reading fiction is done on my holidays).