Inspiring women are go-getters. They make things happen. They live life with no regrets. They are learning about themselves and reaching their full potential. They are not afraid to take risks and just go for it. I talked to Donna McCullough from Sulky Doll about style and confidence.
1. Why do you think style is so important?
Style is unique to you, it is subjective but universal and you can admire another’s style without wishing to emulate it yourself. Your clothes speak a language and you are judged (rightly or wrongly) on how you look the minute you walk in a room, before you even open your mouth. It should form the essence of who you are and it absolutely doesn’t mean owning a load of designer gear or buying what everyone else is wearing on Insta, that, is the opposite of style as it isn’t unique to you and isn’t authentic.
Your style is a culmination of all that you love, are inspired by and your lifestyle choices and it should say as much about you as the car you buy, the house you live in. Your style evolves as you go through the life cycle but it should always represent you and who you want to be no matter what age, there’s a saying, “I’m much nicer when I like my outfit” and this resonates with me as I think style is hugely linked to confidence and self esteem. Interestingly, a lot of the women whose style I admire are in their 40s and I think this is largely due to a deeper sense of who are at that age and a confidence that you don’t usually have in your 20s. The legend Diana Vreeland, puts it best when she says “you gotta have style, it helps you get down the stairs, it helps you get up the morning, it’s a way of life, without it you’re nobody and I’m not talking about tonnes of clothes”.
2. Style is about finding your own way of “being”. How did you find yours? Any tips?
I think my style is very unique to me and the key is understanding what works for your body shape and colouring. I’m olive skinned and a petite hour glass so I don’t rush to buy any white maxi dresses as they wouldn’t play to my strengths. I think it is fun to experiment with fashion but understand that trend led pieces are not the be all and end all and buying at least one decent pair of jeans will serve you well.
3. What are the essential timeless wardrobe pieces every woman/mum shouldn’t be without?
As I’ve said, everyone needs an amazing pair of jeans to get us through, they can be dressed up or down and investing in a decent denim brand such as Donna Ida will revolutionise your wardrobe. My 10 must have items are; jeans, biker jacket, white vest top, sweatshirt, Denim shirt, pencil skirt, jumpsuit, taupe v neck cashmere jumper, tux jacket and statement bag. But each person has their own mini capsule wardrobe that is unique to them, I try to invest in classics, and often buy pre loved and spend less on trend led pieces, which won’t go the distance.
4. What are the absolute style/trend “crimes” which everyone should avoid?
Crocs are the only thing I really don’t get. I was aghast to see them in Christopher Kane’s LFW show last season. They are for Pre-schoolers only imo.
5. What services do you offer to women who need your help/lack confidence?
I offer a variety of services; wardrobe edits, styling days, capsule wardrobe build, event styling e.g. for a big birthday or wedding and personal shopping for very busy clients who don’t have time to shop. I offer colour and shape consultations with all of the above and provide look books and mood boards to help with putting looks together. I work a lot with SJ Froom, International Make Up Artist at Bare Minerals as her personal stylist and she has helped me understand how make up looks fit with an overall look so I often discuss this with clients. For many of my clients, both men and women from 17-70 it’s often a very emotional journey & I think having a therapy background has been a great advantage.
Credits: Photography courtesy of Donna McCulloch.