My Style: Jo Elvin

Portrait of Jo Elvin of Glamour UK

Portrait: Jason Lloyd-Evans

What are the rules in the way you dress?

I hate ever looking or feeling over-dressed. I'd always prefer to turn up somewhere and realise I'm a bit under-dressed. I go for easy, classic styles with a slight twist, so it might be classic-cut trousers in an odd colour, or jeans with an unusual shoe choice. One focal point with the rest quite understated is my usual formula.

Please describe your style in three words.

Preppy, relaxed, and experimental.

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

Over-thinking it.

Do you believe in role models?

Yes, but not slavishly. When I need inspiration, I like to check out Jenna Lyons's style but there’s no point trying to copy anyone's style. They have theirs, you have yours.

What are your favourite fabrics?

Denim and cotton.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

Generally I think it's a short skirt/dress OR high heels, I rarely see both together and like it.

Which city has the best-dressed women?

London, of course! ;-)

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

Somewhere between the two, which is probably a boring thing to say! Glamour's fashion director probably thinks I'm quite safe, but my nanny thinks my clothing choices are 'brave'.

Celebrities and style...

Has for the most part gotten way too contrived.

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

Trousers of all different cuts, crops, colours and prints.

A woman should always look…

Comfortable. Nothing looks good if you don't have that.

Who taught you what you know about style?

Various stylists I have worked with over the last twenty years.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

First, by having a focal point, like 'I want to wear THAT top or dress or something', and then quickly deciding what works with it. I usually make a rough plan about what I want to wear each day at the beginning of the week. Being organised is important because I have about twenty minutes to get dressed in the morning—in between preparing my daughter for school. Also, having work-related dinners in the evening means that I need to take different clothes to change into. I dislike spending ages in the morning deciding on an outfit, I prefer to have thought of it in advance and then just put it on.

What is your biggest regret?

SO many! But probably the flared trousers earlier this year that nearly killed me. I tripped up in them, and hit my head so hard on the road that I ended up in an ambulance.

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

It's not a test, there are many different ways to be stylish and it's about what you like and making clothes work for you. It doesn't have to be expensive at all. When in doubt, invest in the classics.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

A most ill-advised one of sitting on my iPad on a Sunday night, with a glass of wine in the other hand. My resolve to save money weakens a lot at that moment.

We will never see you wearing...

Mini skirts. Even when I was young enough, I've never had the legs. Sadly!

Which new designers do you follow and why?

I've been really interested in what Thomas Tait is doing. He really stands out as following his own path and I thought the tailoring in his recent show was beautiful.

Who is the most stylish person you have ever seen?

I never tire of looking at that picture of Jackie O in Capri, in her white cropped jeans and huge sunglasses. I think it may be the photograph that launched my obsession with both of those things. I would love to be that effortlessly cool looking.

What is the first thing you notice on a woman?

Her haircut, probably.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

My Yves Saint Laurent Le Smoking tuxedo. I still wear it a lot, fifteen years after buying it.

Which designer never fails to impress you?

Miuccia Prada and Christopher Kane. Both are amazing at being unpredictable and always reaching for new, unexpected ideas, from one season to the next.

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

I don't know about one item of clothing, but just make sure whatever you wear fits really well. When it comes to being stylish, that's half the battle won, right there.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

No, not at all. Sure there are times when I want to wear a pair of killer heels and just suck up the pain, but you don't have to be in pain to be stylish!

Who would you like to recommend for My Style?

Natalie Hartley, Glamour's fashion director. Dawn O'Porter, broadcaster, writer, Glamour columnist, vintage genius. William Banks Blaney, vintage expert.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

Just be yourself. A cliché, for sure, but sometimes it’s the hardest lesson to learn when it comes to getting dressed!

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