Wardrobe Watch: Fashion Pearls of Wisdom

Your favourite fashion-savvy people share their wardrobes and their style wisdom. 

Pearl Westwood is a 29-year-old fashion blogger from Manchester, UK. Three words? Vintage. Vivienne. And an-eye-for-unbeatable-quality.

"A typical summer look." - Vintage dress and cherry shoes

Is there anything in particular that influences the way you dress?

History is something which inspires me; I am fascinated by the history of fashion and style. My favourite designer, Vivienne Westwood, uses a lot of historical references in her work which gives her an edge that other designers do not have. She not only uses historical pieces for inspiration but also reworks historical cuts into modern masterpieces. I would say my friends also influence my style, as I shop and buy different things depending on which group of friends I am with.  I love going out with my ‘Westwood’ friends, we are all slightly obsessed with the Dame and love going out dressed head to toe in her designs. It is great fun seeing how differently we wear things too as we all have very different styles.

How would you describe your style?

And for winter? - Black trousers and her favourite leather jacket.

My style changes a lot between summer and winter. In winter I like to wear dark colours, black and grey with deep jewel tone accents, I love heavy fabrics and layer faux fur, leather, tweed, knits and boucle. I also adopt a sharper style with lots of tailoring and trousers. Whereas in the summer I like nothing better than a great full skirted dress, you can find really beautiful vintage ones. One thing that I am never without, no matter what season, are some sky high heels. I collect jackets and am lucky enough to have some incredible ones, but my favourites are my leather jacket by Ann Demeulemeester, my grey Chanel boucle and a red vintage chiffon jacket with intricate gold and black beading.

How often do you go shopping – and where?

I am always shopping, it is an addiction hobby! I love scouring vintage stores (Cow is my favourite and eBay) and my favourite designer boutiques (Vivienne Westwood, Chanel, Selfridges). I tend to stay away from high street stores as I can’t stand to waste money on bad quality, but if I do need something I will go to Zara. I much prefer vintage bargains or saving up for a quality designer piece. Of course I love to shop for myself but I have an online vintage store http://www.shopstreetstyle.com so I am always on the lookout for beautiful pieces to fill it. Nothing makes me happier to see someone wearing one of the pieces I have sourced.

"Perfect for running around in everyday....they're such good quality and they last for years" - Vivienne Westwood Heels

I’ve got no idea!! Probably one of my scraggy old t-shirts or a pair of jeans. Oh no wait actually it is my original Chanel 2.55 handbag, which is around 60 years old now. I feel so lucky to own something Coco Chanel herself designed; she was such a strong, influential woman. I still love Chanel, Karl Largerfeld is amazing, but Coco was something else. I wrote an entire post on that bag so I won’t go off on a tangent here about it, but yeah I think it should be in a museum not swinging off my arm!

And the newest?

A Vivienne Westwood black pencil skirt, with a quirky series of panels on the back that hug your tush, it is classic but certainly not average! I have been after the perfect black skirt like that for ages so was really pleased to find it on sale for £60, you would pay that for Topshop.

"My last big splurge...so beautifully made and a real statement too!" - Jacket by Vivienne Westwood

Designer all the way!! I would say my wardrobe is 50% designer 40% vintage and 10% high street. I really hate the high street, I know that sounds snobby but I cannot stand wasting money, which is what I always feel after a high street buy. Knits always bobble, dresses always fray, trousers lose their shape etc. I have a few basics from Zara, which I think is probably the best value for money, and I always by my tights from Primark (my dogs are forever laddering them) but that is about it. If you shop smart you can buy designer on the same budget, scouring sales and outlet stores such as TK Maxx. I also champion vintage, you can buy a gorgeous vintage 80s dress for £20, which will be either a lot cheaper than the high street (Topshop, French Connection etc) or the same price (Primark, New Look) but it will be 100 times better quality and no one will ever have the same dress!

If you could give one piece of fashion advice, what would it be?

"My favourite high heels!"

Have fun! Fashion is just like dressing up when you were a kid, enjoy it and don’t worry too much about getting it right! That and hunt out the best quality you can find for your budget – you will never regret investing in something that will last you a life time.

What is your earliest fashion memory?

The first pair of shoes I fell in love with were a grey pair of Secret Key shoes from Clarks, when I was about 5. They had a clear section in the heel with a picture in it and a crystal on the front. My mum says I refused to take them off even for bed, I would struggle to pull on my PJ’s over them, she had to sneak in when I was asleep to take them off.

What made you want to start blogging, and why do you love it?

I just love fashion, wearing it but also writing about it. It is great to be able to share this passion with like minded people and of course meet so many new friends along the way.

Pearl Iridescent Sequin Vintage Jacket - "I fell in love with it the moment I saw it and wore it home....a great vintage sequin or beaded jacket makes any outfit special."

How do you try to keep your blog unique to you and your style?

My blog is unique because it is about me, so it could never be anything else! I know many bloggers do outfit posts and things but each one is unique as everyone has such different tastes. Another key part of my blog are my fashion history pieces such as a post on the Chanel 2.55 handbag. I also write posts on how to spot designer fakes which so many people have emailed me to say I have helped them, there is no better feeling than knowing you have helped others.







And her wardrobe itself?

“A stash of black trousers, some colourful vintage shirts, some Vivienne Westwood on the left and my big fantasy (faux) fur chubby on the right.”

Check out Pearl’s blog at: http://fashionpearlsofwisdom.blogspot.com/ 

Rachel xxx

Do you want to be featured on ‘Wardrobe Watch’? Just drop me a quick e-mail to watchthisplace@hotmail.co.uk telling me a little bit about who you are and why you’d like to be featured. Simple, right? :)

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