As fashion writers, the BRICKS team are frequently on the other end of a question that never fails to stump us: How did you find your sense of personal style? Whether it be among comments on social media posts or mentioned during run-ins on the street, the conversation surrounding fashion has undeniably shifted from trend-led tagging and forecasting to more considered thoughts on how to develop a lasting style language, and with it a life-long wardrobe of loved pieces.
And while there’s no doubt that the industry’s new focus on up-cycling and reselling is a huge win for the future of fashion, I’ve found myself dumbfounded on more than one occasion when asked how my personal style has come to be, as if I’d stumbled across it like a set of lost keys or a misplaced phone, ready-made and waiting for me to arrive.
In fact, finding your style is an iterative experience that represents your identity’s evolution. My personal style is the sum of where I’ve lived, what I’ve done and who I’ve spend time with, as much a part of me as my knee or my elbow. As a disabled person, my access needs are a usual first consideration with my clothes, and over time I’ve come to understand when I need to step outside of my comfort zone and when I can prioritise comfort. And undoubtedly, my increased confidence in both my personal and professional life has had an impact on which outfit I choose each morning.
Professionally, my team at BRICKS has been responsible behind my style evolution. I rely on our Whatsapp group chat for many things, and look to my team of close friends for style advice and support when styling for client meetings or events. But above all else, the versatile nature of our roles at BRICKS – whether we’re working as editors, writers, producers, videographers, hosts or models – serves as constant inspiration to try new things, to take risks and to not to take ourselves too seriously.
Below, find some of the BRICKS team’s go-to outfits for our eclectic work days.
For her office day look, BRICKS founder and Editor-in-ChiefTori West says she’s inspired by the magazine’s branding. “I am obsessed with colours and for the last couple of years I’ve had a big obsession with black and lime green together,” she explains.
“I don’t tend to find lots of clothes that fit my body type so I rely on customising my clothes,” Tori adds, “I got this blouse from a charity shop, and it was oversized so I cut it cropped and left the raw hem. The tie was also a charity shop find, and then I paired it with these pinstripe trousers to add a more tailored element to the look. I am neuro-divergent and I find it really difficult to sit in a workspace when my clothes feel uncomfortable or restrictive, so that’s why I decided to pick this oversized office-style look. I can also struggle with expressing my femininity through my style and definitely prefer leaning into more traditionally masculine styles and shapes when I’m in professional settings.”
BRICKS Contributing Editor, Liza Bilal, similarly chooses to reinterpret traditional workwear pieces. “My office look is a mixture of new and thrifted items – the second-hand white dress shirt paired underneath an inexpensive halter top feels reminiscent of more traditional office wear,” she says. “However, the leopard print midi skirt from the high street and the vintage leather jacket bought second-hand from St Peter’s Hospice highlight elements of my own personal style – bold and just a little bit tacky.”
She adds, “Likewise, the handcrafted green earrings from Lobe Designs add a pop of colour to an overall muted palette and the Converse Run Star Legacy trainers make the look more fun and laid back. Letting my personality shine through in a professional setting is so important in me feeling seen by colleagues and I love doing this through small stylistic choices.”
Letting my personality shine through in a professional setting is so important in me feeling seen by colleagues and I love doing this through small stylistic choices.
For Deputy Editor Madeline Reid, her office look is an extension of her continued style evolution: “When I first moved to London to study fashion, I already had a restricted idea of what the industry cohort would wear – all black, a silhouette of luxury fabrics and logo-emblazoned accessories, paired with and a gloomy look on their face. I could see many of my peers trying to adopt this aesthetic, but for me it felt more natural to reject it altogether. I donated all of my black clothes in an instant, committed to a new life of colour, and haven’t looked back since.”
“For my day-to-day style, I like to work around one piece I’m especially loving or inspired by. Today, I went for my vintage orange kilt – I found this on Brick Lane a few years ago and love how bright the colours are in comparison to traditional tartan. It’s got these stripes of fluorescent pink and green running through as well as grey, making it super easy to pair with colour-blocked garments,” Madeline says. “I chose a loose, oversized green shirt and paired a vintage tie to add an on-trend item. The shoes from Converse are great because they’re comfortable for my early-morning and late-night commutes, and allow me to be versatile to face new challenges every day.”
“For my on set look, I paired a striped denim top with some olive drab cargo trousers that come with a matching detachable mini bag,” Liza explains. “The wide-leg cargos are perfect for this environment as I could be moving heavy equipment or running around managing people and I need my bottoms to be comfortable as well as durable. Plus, the large pockets and detachable mini bag come in handy for carrying all my essentials: phones, pens, duct tape, you name it.”
She adds: “The navy denim top matching with the denim Converse adds a stylish flair. As I’ll still be in a client-facing role while on set, feeling confident as well as comfortable is going to help me work my best.”
Lunchtime Dog Walk
BRICKS’ unofficial mascot serves as inspiration for Tori’s next look. “Often on my lunch break, I have to take my Pomchi, Prada, for a walk which is great. I love having my walks allocated whether that’s on my mornings or evenings walking to and from the office or during my lunch breaks. I have an anxiety disorder and scheduling mandatory breaks from work has been really beneficial for my mental health,” she says.
I love representing smaller, independent brands in my outfits where I can as knowing who made your clothes and where they come from is so important, and makes for a great conversation starter.
“I got the jacket gifted to me recently during a trip to Copenhagen Fashion Week which has this wonderful print that makes it really easy to style. I love representing smaller, independent brands in my outfits where I can as knowing who made your clothes and where they come from is so important, and makes for a great conversation starter. I paired it with my baggy jeans and easy Converse trainers for comfort and to keep warm, as neither of us particularly enjoys spending time outside in the cold. Prada is rocking her hand-crocheted jumper I learned to make myself– I think she’s more stylish than I am!”
“At the moment I’m obsessed with revisiting styles and trends I wore in the 00s and I love Beabadoobee’s style, so I wanted to use that Y2K inspiration,” says Tori. “I’ve only recently started wearing skirts and dresses in the last year, but I love this denim midi skirt which was my first Vinted purchase. I’ve fluctuated in size over the last couple of years and I love the skirt’s additional denim panels in the back as it makes the size adjustable.”
Tori pairs her denim skirt with a turquoise top, sheer, white knee-high socks and a silver cross-body bag. “The top was gifted from one of our clients, and I just love the colour at the moment. I accessorise for a little Y2K-infusion, and I love that this look is casual with the trainers but also feels a bit sexy,” she explains. “I really love pairing the Converse with this look as it’s perfect for a date night with the heart embroidery and chain detail. I don’t like wearing heels as I care about comfort too much, so these platform trainers are ideal for me.”
As it is February, Madeline is preparing her outfits for London Fashion Week. “Dressing for Fashion Week can feel like an impossible task, as of course, you want to look stylish and on-trend, but you also are going to be working, running across London all day, right?” she says. “My rule is to prioritise comfort over style, and easily coordinated two-pieces like this denim set is a no-brainer. I love that the wide cut of the trousers and oversized fit of the shirt feels very fashion-forward, but still feel really easy to move around in, whether that’s squeezing on a tightly-packed front-row bench or rushing from one show to another.”
“This is also why flat shoes are an absolute must,” she stresses. “I’ve made the mistake [of wearing heeled shoes] before and have barely lived to tell the tale, so looking ahead to AW23 I will definitely sport a pair of trainers. I really enjoy wearing these Converse with the split-leg jeans as it creates a peek-a-boo effect with the chains on the high-top trainers, while providing plenty of ankle support for stomping around on hard pavements all day.”
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