3 minute masterclass: Alice Olins, co-founder of step up club

ashling chats to alice olins, co-founder of the step up club

The Step Up Club is shaking up how we look at our careers; it’s here to celebrate women, whatever their job. Founded by Alice Olins and Phanella Mayall Fine, their aim is to make us feel empowered and boost our skill set.

One half of the inspiring duo, Alice, is a freelance fashion writer and a brand consultant; she’s worked for most of the country’s leading fashion mags, broadsheets and weekend supplements including Marie Claire, Red and The Times. Having recently partnered with Karen Millen to give women the confidence to be our best self, she also understands the power of dress.

“Fashion is one of my languages. I think in clothes and have memories in outfits, it’s just part of me; of who I am.” – alice olins

What you wear can effect how you feel or act and create a picture of who you are both in our careers and personal lives. But how to start? Alice is here to help.

Alice Olins’ 3 steps on dressing for success

1. build a uniform

Take time to think about your uniform; not in a literal sense, but work out the styles and shapes that fit with your life, body and personality. My uniform is basically jeans and a blouse (add or subtract heels, depending on the event) and lots of print. I love long, flowing dresses, and definitely piggyback on passing trends. But unlike when I was younger, these are subtle toppings, rather than die-hard devotion. Essentially, always stay true to yourself (a metaphor for life too?!) and have fun.

2. don’t restrict yourself by age

Style is about attitude; I’ve always had a fascination with older women who pack a fashion punch. In fact, the older you get, the more legitimacy you have for some bonkers style choices. I refuse to age quietly…. my large and varied earring collection, my leopard print addiction and the number of stupidly high heels that I own, are all testament to this.

3. find fashion role models

No one is the finished article; we all take inspiration from others and that’s totally fine. Rather than comparing yourself to other women and feeling bad for not having the right body/life/handbags, take these women at face value and simply enjoy pinching a few style tips. Fashion is about having fun, don’t use it as a gun against your own head for not doing it quite right.

Ashling McCloy


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