Styled for success: Karen Goodbrand
Personal stylist and fashion blogger Karen Goodbrand (a.k.a Mission Style) gives us an insight into her working wardrobe and discusses how becoming a mum has changed her style.
How did you become a personal stylist?
I have been a fashion blogger for years now and always had a love of fashion. I then trained with The Image Consulting Company to become a personal stylist and I’ve really enjoyed learning and growing into the role.
How would you describe your style?
My style has evolved since I became a mummy. It’s more practical but I still like to feel like ‘me’. I’d say I’m still on a journey to finding out who I am post-baby. I’ll always be reasonably smart, to a degree, though.
You’re a mummy as well as a stylist. Would you say you have a ‘mummy’ wardrobe and a working wardrobe, or do they merge?
I work full time in a corporate role as well as being a stylist and mum, and I often default to black when I’m at work. Everything I learnt when training a stylist has made me evaluate what I have and what I want, so I actually find shopping a lot harder now because I know a lot more and I am usually looking for something specific. I’m lot more discerning now – I buy less rubbish, I’m returning less and the items that I do buy, I really love.
I’d say my work style and what I wear at home are quite separate. I’ve tried to merge them occasionally, but I feel confident in each role wearing different things.
What are the items in your wardrobe that you couldn’t live without and why?
I have a few pieces that I constantly go back to. A striped top is very useful as I wear it with jeans, but equally I could wear it with leather leggings and dress it up.
Where do you shop?
I’d love to say everything was high end but actually I’m a high street girl at heart. I love H&M and I have a particular love of Spanish brands like Zara and Mango. Recently I’ve been trying harder to explore smaller brands and boutiques because I want to find things that are more original. When you shop on the high street, certain pieces will often become Insta-famous and you see them everywhere, so I am trying to find more original pieces that you won’t see everywhere as well.
What’s the best piece of style advice you’ve ever been given?
My nan used to work for Marks & Spencer and was the most stylish lady I knew. She used to do this thing called ‘the scrunch test’, where she would pick up items from the rail and scrunch them. She’d say ‘you don’t want to wear that, you’ll look like a bag of spanners in that’! It’s a true test of the quality of a garment if you scrunch it first.
The second piece of advice was something I learned on The Image Consulting Company’s personal stylist course, and that was about the relationship you have with your wardrobe. You need to love what you have in there and not just ‘make do’. Don’t just chuck things on, think carefully ‘how do I feel in this? when you put things on. It will make you feel more confident.
How do you plan your outfits?
I do it the night before – that’s the worst case scenario! I plan two or three days in advance if I have something coming up, but it can be up to six weeks in advance if it’s something important. I’m a planner – I’m little Miss organised! I do like to know what I’ll be wearing.
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Considering a new career? The Image Consulting Company offers a personal stylist training course, where you’ll learn everything you need to know to start your journey to styling success. The next course begins in September but places are limited – enquire for details.
Photo by Nina Allwood, Bristol in a Box