If you’re looking for style inspiration and love classic pieces with a modern twist, a touch of sparkle, beautiful skirts and gorgeous blouses, then Wellies & Champagne is the Instagram feed and blog for you. Founded by the lovely Sara, a former fashion buyer who lives in Derbyshire with her husband and two children, her feed is a lesson in pretty, witty dressing, and naturally we wanted to find out more…
We love your Instagram feed. How long have you been posting for?
I started my Instagram feed in April 2016. At the time, I was following other fashion and style accounts and thought that I could start my own! I have always enjoyed gathering inspiration, never tire of identifying current trends but crucially I want to see how best these can be combined with my existing wardrobe. I aim for a balance of new trends and classic style – it’s also not realistic to constantly buy new items!
We are also both big fans of Instagram. Who do you love to follow?
My favourite feed, by far, is @thefrugality. Alex Stedman’s style is effortless and so wearable. I also love the fact that her style is affordable and accessible. @erica_davies is another one of my favourite feeds. She has a great eye for style and colour and she’s also a fellow leopard print and Breton stripe fan. She also has a great talent when it comes to interior design inspiration. Joanne Hegerty @thestylistandthewardrobe is another favourite. I love the way she mixes high street with designer fashion and her sense of style always looks classic but modern at the same time.
And you now also write a blog….
I started the blog as an extension to my Instagram feed. I had begun to receive lots of positive comments on my fashion related posts and thought that a blog would give me an additional platform to describe how and where to find perfect items of clothing to create a stylish and wearable wardrobe. Being able to ‘shop my instagram’ has been a great feature to allow viewers to rapidly link to the websites selling my favourite pieces. This completely fits with the increasing trend of fashion shopping online. Ultimately, if I can provide a little bit of inspiration or advice that helps others feel stylish then I count that as success.
Before you were a blogger, you were a fashion buyer, please can you tell us a little about that?
After qualifying from university with a degree in textile design, I worked as a buyer for a major high street retailer for ten years prior to becoming a full time mum. Giving up my career was a hard decision to make but the right one – I wouldn’t change it for anything. Now that my children are that bit older I find that I have more time to get back into fashion via my fashion and style blog.
As a buyer, the most satisfying thing was seeing the range that you and your team had developed laid out in the shops and selling well. Being at the heart of fashion for me was a dream job and one that I would recommend to anyone who shares similar passions. The stressful elements of the job come from working to tight deadlines and being able to adapt quickly to the demands of a fast changing environment. At the same time, these aspects also made the job exciting. The other element of a buyer’s role that I particularly enjoyed was scoping out the latest fashion trends, deciding which were appropriate for incorporation into my range, and then translating designer fashion into clothing that was suited to the high street.
How would you describe your style? ….
My style is definitely more classic than uber-trendy. Obviously I love picking up on key trends each season but I also believe you have to wear what suits you, your shape and what you feel comfortable in. Style is all about looking good but also feeling comfortable and confident in what you are wearing. Over time I’ve built up a wardrobe of classic pieces that I will wear time and time again but I inject newness with bursts of colour, prints or slogan pieces. For me the key to making an outfit look good is choosing the right shoes and accessories … they really can make or break an outfit!
Who are your Style icons and why? ….
My all time favourite style icon is Olivia Palermo …. need I say more!
What is your ‘go to’ outfit?
If in doubt wear stripes! That is my motto and pretty much sums up ‘my go’ to outfit. Breton stripes teamed with boyfriend fit jeans, a blazer and a pair of Converse or leopard print shoes. The thing I love about stripes is that they go with almost everything and can be dressed up so easily. Add a touch of leopard print and a splash of red and you’ve got one of the easiest to wear yet stylish outfits.
Where do you like to shop?
I love the high street, especially Zara, HM and Monsoon. I’m a big fan of NEXT when it comes to shoes. I don’t think they can be beaten on style and quality at affordable prices. When it comes to online shopping Boden is a must for injecting colour and pattern – especially stripes. I think they offer the best choice of Bretons anywhere.
How do you dress for a night out?….
At the moment, I would opt for denim flares, heels, a blazer and camisole top. Denim flares are an extremely flattering fit and elongate your legs perfectly if worn with heels. A statement clutch bag and earrings are always a key part of my evening outfit. If it’s for a more formal occasion, then I love a statement maxi skirt or dress. I try to buy things that don’t solely have a daytime or evening purpose and can be worn in several different settings. The key to making your wardrobe work is knowing how to style a piece so that it can work just as well in the day as it can at night.
Heels or flats?
I’d have to say flats … having two children and a dog means there is a lot of running about and flats are far more practical! I love Converse Allstars, in fact I’d be lost without them. They are so versatile that I practically live in them. I wear them with jeans, skirts and dresses so they would definitely be the most hard working items in my wardrobe. Leopard print and sparkle is also a weakness of mine when it comes to shoes …. I don’t confine sparkle to the evening either. I love wearing denim with sparkly shoes in the day, it can’t help but cheer up any outfit. My favourite pair of shoes is a pair of ‘glitter d’orsay heels’ from Jcrew, a luxury purchase but they put a smile on my face whenever I wear them, and they get a lot of compliments wherever they go!
Do you wear a lot of jewellery?
When it comes to jewellery I think it pays to invest in some timeless classic pieces and then shop from the high street for those quirkier statement pieces. I’m never without my Tiffany silver bow and heart bead bracelets. I also love the classic Elsa Peretti heart necklace which I tend to wear most days or the Oliveleaf pendant necklace. Statement earrings are a must have in my jewellery drawer and they really can be classed as transformers to any outfit. My current favourites are by the jewellery brand Olly M. The range has a subtle charm about it and each piece creates a statement but with extreme elegance, and they look that little bit different.
Are you a bag girl?
When it comes to bags I normally opt for a crossbody bag – my favourites are my monogrammed walnut cloud bag from the Cambridge Satchel Company that goes with literally everything, and my red ‘Willow’ bag from Aurora London – if you haven’t got a red bag you are missing out. A red bag works perfectly alongside Breton stripes and is an easy way to add colour detail to an outfit.
What are your favourite trends for Autumn? ….
Cord is making a very welcome return and I love it …. I’ve fallen in love with my recently purchased pink mango cords and judging by the reaction they received on IG I’m not alone in that. I’m also loving velvet when it comes to shoes … not that practical in the winter but velvet shoes take colour so well and look gorgeous worn with denim.
What are the last three things you bought? …..
Polka dot crepe midi dress from H&M (sold out)
What’s on your fashion wish list – in reality and dream land?
I was bought a Gucci belt for my birthday in soft pink and I’ve worn it almost every day since… so I’m thinking a black one might be just as useful! As much as I as my Converse, they aren’t really suited to the wet so I’ve got my eye on some GoldenGoose trainers.
If money was no object then I think the new red Teddy Bear Icon coat by MaxMara would feature high on my wishlist; I love their Camel coat too.
Makeup and skincare, what are your must have products when you get up in the morning?
My makeup essential is Decleor’s Micellar cleansing oil. It leaves my skin so clean and incredibly soft. I follow the cleansing oil with Decleor’s Hydra Floral white petal skin perfecting concentrate and the hydra floral anti-pollution hydrating fluid SPF30. I use their Aurabsolu eye contour cream which is great for giving a hint of a glow around your eyes – perfect if you haven’t managed a full 8 hours sleep but need to look like you have!
I’m a big fan of Bobbi Brown makeup and have been since I first used it on my wedding day almost 15 years ago. The products I can’t be without are the Skin foundation SPF15, the new Full Coverage concealer, Smokey Eye mascara and their amazing longwear cream shadow stick – and a touch of bronzer to give a healthy glow!
You can read Wellies and Champagne here.
You can follow Sara on Instagram @welliesandchampagne.