My Style: Janet Sahm

Portrait of Janet Sahm

Photo: Courtesy of Janet Sahn

We will never see you wearing...

Anything super low, super short, or super tight. Not because it reveals too much, but because it reveals too little.

Please describe your style in three words.

Feminine, adventurous, conscientious.

What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?

We all have a deep and inherent desire to look and feel beautiful. But, an easy mistake we can make is to conform to the pressure to fit into a trend or piece of clothing that ultimately doesn't reflect our full selves.

Do you believe in role models?

Absolutely. Women — friends, family, and colleagues — inspire me daily. A truly good woman can raise up others to be the best versions of themselves just by her presence.

What are your favourite fabrics?

Anything that floats and drapes around a woman; crêpe de Chine, silks, soft cotton, paired with something a bit sturdier to give structure, such as denim.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

With beautiful works of art, the eye is drawn across the masterpiece as a whole, so it is also the case with good fashion: we are drawn to see the whole person. I'm not a fan of anything that draws attention to just one body part.

Which city has the best-dressed women?

I don’t think that’s a fair question! Location has nothing to do with how well women dress. I’ve seen some of the most inspiring styles from the smallest of towns.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

How about conservatively bold? Or, boldly conservative? I really believe fashion has the ability to speak volumes about who we are and who we want to be. Particularly as women, we have a choice to relay our sense of worth through the way we dress. So, I’m careful about what I choose to wear.

What are the rules in the way you dress?

I’ve set a few standards and boundaries for myself when it comes to what I will and will not allow. Generally, I hope to wear clothes that compliment, rather than compromise my dignity as a woman. It’s incredibly freeing to have parameters in regard to revealing clothing. Boundaries and rules breed creativity and cultivate personal style.

Name one garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?

Jackets. Throw one over any ensemble, and you look “pulled together” with the greatest of ease.

A woman should always look...

Self-possessed. By that I mean she knows herself and carries herself with dignity and ease. It’s not just about exuding confidence and wearing whatever you want. Rather, it’s being aware of how your clothes affect everyone you come in contact with. Fashion doesn’t exist in isolation.

Who taught you what you know about style?

I think I took it up on my own. Since I was a little girl, I’ve sketched dresses from my imagination and taken inspiration from time period movies and books. As a visual person, I keep my eyes open to the design world and to the movements and trends that are happening on the street.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

Completely based on my mood. Come morning, I love the drama of not knowing what I’ll wear for the day. I pull one piece out of the closet and create an entire look revolving around that focal point.

What is your biggest regret?

Wearing clothes that make me feel self-conscious about my body. Pulling up a top, tugging down a skirt, and feeling uncomfortable is just not worth it.

The three essential things a woman should know about style are...

Don’t take fashion too seriously. Be adventurous and try something new. Never force yourself into a trend for a trend’s sake.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

I have to admit, I’m a bargain girl. Every time I step into a store I beeline towards the sale section. There’s something thrilling about scoring an amazing deal, as if you discovered a treasure.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

Sophie Theallet. Her SS13 RTW line was modern, fresh, and utterly feminine.

Who is the most stylish person you have ever seen?

No one person comes to mind, but more of a combination of women I’ve seen throughout my life, from my grandmother and mother to women on the street who have put together something completely new, fresh, and ingenious.

What is the first thing you notice on a woman?

Her presence and demeanour. Honestly, the clothes just highlight what’s already there.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

My mother’s 1970s orange and olive green floor-length wrap skirt, crafted by my grandmother and namesake. Also, a black leather jacket given to me by Elle’s senior fashion news editor during my time there.

Which designer never fails to impress you?

Nicole Miller. It’s a delight to see what she comes up with each season. The colours, patterns, and silhouettes are always imaginary yet practical. You can tell she designs for the woman’s body.

One article of clothing that a woman needs to pay close attention to is...

Rather than just one article of clothing — how about the overall fit?

Is comfort an enemy of style?

Comfort should never be at the expense of style, and style at the expense of comfort.

Who would you like to see next in œMy Style€?

Jessie Artigue of Style and Pepper!

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

“Be who you are meant to be and you will set the world on fire.” — St. Catherine of Siena.

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