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The wardrobe mistress

When you've been in nothing but faded skinny jeans, oversized jumpers and Ugg boots for days in a row, you know it's time to call the fashion big guns.

Mullets, flares and Uggs are listed at Briton’s most common fashion mistakes. And while I don’t recall ever sporting a mullet, and I perhaps wore flares for only a short time, you’ll never separate me from my Uggs. Perhaps it’s the Aussie in me.

But since leaving my old job in well-heeled Kensington just before Christmas to become your work-from-home Muddy Surrey editor, I seem to have lost my style mojo. Lately my fashion diet consists of skinny jeans and a woolly jumper, with the occasional spicy injection of thick leggings and longer woolly jumper. It’s not exactly rocking, is it? Add hair that’s hurriedly scraped back in an unflattering pony, no makeup, and slippers (with holes in them), and you’re getting the picture. It ain’t great.

Time to bring the big guns in. Enter Elena Daniilidou, personal stylist, and founder of elenadaniilidou.comElena has been styling the women of Surrey for almost three years, having trained with the award-winning stylist Chantelle Znideric, from Westfield London’s The Fashion Lounge. Elena is passionate about fashion and style, but also about taking that style to the next level and embracing sustainable and cruelty-free fashion.

She offers an ethical and vegan wardrobe workshop, and a wardrobe detox. My wardrobe was in serious need of an overhaul, and I really needed dragging out of my style rut, so Elena booked me in for the wardrobe detox. Here’s a shot of the before and after.


The wardrobe detox workshop includes a personal style and colour analysis, a wardrobe de-clutter and the creation of a micro-wardrobe. Elena will then provide you with a personal report with useful style guidelines, a look book with the outfits she has created and a mini seasonal colour swatches wallet. She also suggests a shopping list of key pieces you may need.

She asks that you don’t wear make up, to give a truer indication of your colours, which are classified by season. I’m a winter palette, which means muted tones. Think England in January, and these sorts of colours (below). They’re quite gorgeous, aren’t they?

Moving from colours to body shape, we decided that I’m between an hourglass and a rectangle, leaning a little more towards the rectangle (I blame all those gastropub meals – the things I do for you eh!). Famous rectangles are Cameron Diaz, Nicole Kidman and Hilary Duff. I’ll take that!

The style advice for rectangles is to wear straight lines that follow the silhouette, try to create curves to draw attention to the waistline, and if you’re a slimmer rectangle, go for a shorter skirt.

And then we turned to the beast that is my bulging wardrobe. Everything came out of it, and Elena went to work putting outfits together. A lot of my clothes were already in the winter palette, so colour-wise I was doing ok. Style-wise, a few things had to go. Jeans that really weren’t the right shape for me, and anything that looked a bit worn was also cast aside. Shoes were a biggie. I have too many shoes (what can I say!) and many of them really didn’t have a place in my wardrobe. Boots with a broken zip, high heels that I’m *ahem* perhaps no longer able to wear with grace. Ballet pumps that had seen better days.



But lurking at the back, in a tatty old shoe box, I rediscovered a gorgeous pair of plum red heels that I’d picked up in Italy many, many years ago. I forgot I had them – and that’s exactly the reason Elena suggests keeping your shoes where you can see them. So out with the shoe boxes.

In fact, there were a few rediscoveries, and outfit combinations that I’d never even considered putting together. Elena suggested I put half of my wardrobe into storage, and to create in effect, two or three micro-wardrobes that I could rotate each season. Here I am with some of my “new” outfits.

She also left me with a list of things I might need to buy, including shoe and handbag racks, new pumps, a black handbag (I don’t own a black one!), control pants, a dark brown belt, a crisp white shirt (I don’t have one of these either!), mid-height jeans and a fedora hat (that last one is just because Elena thinks it’ll look cool and suit me!).

So see ya. I’m off shopping. 




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1 comment on “The wardrobe mistress”

  • Pauline Starkey March 15, 2016

    Loved reading this Amber, in fact I am enjoying reading all your reviews etc.
    Even if I don’t live in Surrey it’s still makes interesting reading and makes me want to visit some of the places.
    Hope your new venture is going well for you.

    Love Pauline.xx


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