Stella McCartney is a household name for a reason. The seasoned fashion designer has spent 18 years building a sustainable clothing empire whose stylish pieces are beloved by eco-conscious fashionistas and the average consumer alike. Some of her vegan items, such as the Falabella bag, have even reached cult status.
Around PD headquarters, we love spotting celebs sporting Stella McCartney on the red carpet, repping consciously crafted clothing while doing so! While Stella McCartney items have always been out of my price range (alas, I don’t have the wardrobe budget of an A-lister!), I have long admired the distinctive contemporary feminity of McCartney’s brand. Fortunately for admirers like moi, McCartney isn’t shy about sharing her tips for looking incredibly stylish, regardless of what you spend on your clothing.
Stella McCartney’s Tips for Dressing Like Your Own (Eco) Style Icon
McCartney spoke with Porter magazine about how to dress better, and offered advice for really honing your look while fighting the good fight—and they’re downright inspiring!
Being who you are = avoiding “trying too hard.”
“My mum was my big inspiration. She had the coolest sense of style—it was a true reflection of her not giving a shit what people thought and, being the wife of a Beatle, I think that’s very impressive. I have an allergy to people trying too hard, I can tell immediately if someone is in what they want to wear or what they think they should wear. So I admire women who have a real level of honesty through the clothes they put on.”
Do you have someone in your life who really owns and embraces her style? (Is that person you?)
Conscious consumption is the foundation of elegance.
“Buy things that you can wear more,” she urges. “They say that fast fashion is worn a maximum of three times before it’s thrown away—don’t be a part of that. I understand the financial implication and the desire to want, want, want, but try to slow it down if you can, ask questions beyond that moment of want and try to buy things that do more for you. Think about having a core to your wardrobe that you can penetrate with highlights.”
Tip: As someone who is on a budget, I’ve learned that even though I can’t always afford the sustainable version of something (though that’s changing as more brands catch on!), I can still shop for things that last. For example, I assess the stitching (does it look sturdy? or is it already losing threads?), the cut (is this something that will maintain its shape after multiple washings?), etc. Next, I take care of my clothing as if it was something precious from a luxurious line. These are great ways to cultivate a wardrobe of items that will last you more than three wears—and probably more than thirty!
Embrace your power as a consumer.
“It’s so empowering right now to be a consumer; this is the time to get your rights back. Right now, if I didn’t only wear Stella McCartney I would be writing letters to the big houses and asking questions, challenging them about how they make their clothes and seeing if they answered back. Why would you part with thousand of [dollars] for a handbag without asking questions?”
Currently, consumers do have more of a voice! A brand’s social media presence presents another opportunity to engage in (civil) discourse about that brand’s ethics and practices. Chances are, other consumers have the same questions and concerns as you and may chime in to second your ideas.
On a lighter note, explore unique combinations to keep your look fresh.
“I wear our menswear all the time,” McCartney says. “My wardrobe, and my label, is based on masculine and feminine, and the sweet spot where they meet. I’m all for a pretty slip dress, but I would wear it with trainers or a man’s blazer over top.”
Another element to play with is the balance of high and low. So, for example, if you’re working on incorporating a few truly classy items into your wardrobe but don’t want to part with the fast fashion you may have collected over the years, see if the two can work together. Perhaps that pair of luxe, sustainable sandals will look gorg with that dress you got at the mall a while back. Or those sustainable diamond studs? Wear them with a graphic tee and distressed jeans. Just have fun!
What are your favorite fashion tips?
Get more like this–sign up for our newsletter for exclusive inspirational content!
Photo: Stella McCartney via Instagram