Eve Thomas, styling director at THEOUTNET.COM spills all on her favourite designer bargains, style secrets and beauty must-haves. Get ready for the inside scoop right here…
You are the Styling Director and a brand ambassador for the THEOUTNET.COM. Could you tell us about your work there?
As the Styling Director, I oversee the fashion and styling across the website. I also work closely with the online styling team who are responsible for putting together over 300 outfits a week on the models photographed for the website. It soon became apparent that when styling, the looks we wanted to create were using the same key wardrobe staples to pair with fabulous catwalk items again and again. These staples were often selling out, so in September 2012 THEOUTNET.COM created its own exclusive label, Iris & Ink, to combat this issue and give customers the opportunity to shop a head-to-toe look. Iris & Ink comprises styling essentials such as cashmere sweaters, silk shirts and leather pants as well as fashion-forward, contemporary designs such as vinyl-panelled bomber jackets and crombies. I work closely on the range and I’m excited that Iris & Ink has added leather accessories to its offering this fall.
What is your daily schedule like?
Busy! My schedule varies daily depending on which projects I’m working on. I may be editing a rail for an upcoming photo shoot, on set for a PR lookbook photo shoot or meeting with new photographers for future creative projects. Other times I may be briefing the Iris & Ink team on the key pieces, colours and silhouettes that the label should be referencing in upcoming collections. I often meet with our buying and marketing teams to look at new products coming into the business and discuss ways in which my team can support this on the site over the coming months. No two days are ever the same, which is what I love most about my job!
For anyone who loves fashion, you have the dream job. How do you manage not to spend your entire salary on THEOUTNET.COM?!
I must confess that a fair proportion of my salary does go back into THEOUTNET.COM – certainly more than I care to admit to my husband! Working so closely with the products means that I get to see so many beautiful pieces before they go live. As staff I have to wait one week before buying a new item in order for customers to have the first opportunity to buy the piece.
What are the most memorable bargains that have been featured on your site?
My very first purchase from THEOUTNET.COM was a beautiful embellished Chloé jacket at 80% off. I love it as much today as I did when I first bought it! Other favourite buys include a fabulous macramé top by Marni, a signature printed Missoni cardigan and some stunning black lace heels by Valentino.
How has online shopping changed the way you dress and approach fashion?
I’m naturally a very quick and instinctive shopper, which comes from years of editing rails. I rarely set out to shop for anything specific and instead pick up pieces I fall in love with along the way. Online shopping has made this kind of browsing and shopping so easy. As I’m forever scrolling through product pages, I always filter by size to ensure I’m never disappointed to discover the item I want won’t fit me.
What are the biggest mistakes women make when getting dressed?
One of the biggest mistakes is when women play it too safe for fear of getting it wrong. Black, although timelessly chic, doesn’t suit everyone and it can also be very ageing. I’d suggest looking to neutrals such as soft grey, navy and blush tones as alternatives. A single pop of bright colour or print instantly enlivens an outfit and accessories are a fun and easy way to incorporate these into your look.
Do you have any rules when it comes to the way you dress?
The rules are there to be broken! I love red and pink together as well as navy and black. Fashion should help you express yourself, so have fun with it. I also encourage people to only buy things that they love and that are flattering. No matter how big a trend or how great the discount is, don’t buy into it if it doesn’t work on your body shape or with your personal style!
How has your style evolved over the years? What has changed and why?
I’ve got to know my body shape and understand what does and doesn’t work on me. I’ve also become a lot more confident in my own sense of style and I now have a bank of favourite silhouettes, colours and designers that I look to again and again. I love designers such as Peter Pilotto for their use of colour and print and Chloé for its chic simplicity. My wardrobe is a balance of both worlds.
What’s in your shopping bag for this season?
I’m currently eyeing up the Iris & Ink shearling coat and a pair of Charlotte Olympia’s signature kitty flats. I’ve fallen for the leopard print calf hair style and may just have to indulge!
What kind of combinations make you cringe when you see them?
I always abide by the rule when dressing of showing either legs or shoulders, never both at the same time!
If you could press a button and control everyone’s taste, what would you make people wear?
I’d want people to express themselves, enjoy fashion and have fun with it. If you feel great in what you’re wearing, the chances are that you’ll look great too!
What’s the one thing that you are waiting patiently from a fashion designer to discover?
A comfortable high heel. Many have come close but I’ve yet to find the pair I can stand in all day!
What kind of qualities do you look for in clothes and accessories? What’s the first thing you notice in a garment?
I’m a bit of a magpie, so colour and print are often the first things I’ll notice. Quality is very important to me. I’d rather spend more on one item that is well made and will last for years than spend the same amount on a handful of fast fashion items that won’t stand the test of time. Signature designs are always worth investing in. Look for pieces such as zigzag knits by Missoni, Stella McCartney tailoring and Marni accessories as they will never date.
What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?
One of my most treasured pieces is a Chloé wool cropped jacket with scalloped edges. It’s one of Phoebe Philo’s designs and one of the first designer pieces I ever bought. I also love my Chanel tweed jacket which I was lucky enough to find at a sample sale years ago!
Finally…any beauty tips that you would like share with us?
French pharmacies are a haven of amazing products at great prices. Every makeup artist I’ve ever worked with has had Bioderma Crealine Cleansing Milk in their kit and I use it every day. Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrate, also available in French pharmacies and on NET-A-PORTER.COM, is one of the best moisturisers I’ve tried. It sinks into the skin and provides a great base for makeup. I always stock up on both when I’m in Paris.