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Art of Style

7 members of the global NET-A-PORTER team on how they’re embracing the joy of dressing up

There’s no doubt about it: a stylish outfit can lift your spirits to no end and help you feel your most confident self. Get to know seven members of the NET-A-PORTER team as they share the ways they’re embracing the mood-boosting power of fashion – and the pieces they can’t wait to wear this season

Fashion

Alli, senior personal shopper, London

“In my line of work, I see the profound effect fashion can have on women’s lives, self-esteem and confidence every day. Even after the first few weeks of lockdown here in London, my clothes started looking terribly sad, sitting in my wardrobe, unworn and unloved, just collecting dust, so I started to dress up for my trips to the supermarket and DIY store – looking totally out of place, of course. When I look polished, I feel as though I can conquer anything the day throws at me – it’s like a superpower.”

“In my opinion, getting dressed up in a great outfit or treating ourselves to a fabulous new sartorial piece can be a form of self-love. For statement items, it’s difficult to beat brands like MM6 Maison Margiela – its designs are so avant-garde and always so much more intricate than they initially appear to be – or Ganni – its feminine and whimsical pieces are colorful, bold and perfect for channeling a modern prairie look. I’ve also been loving Bottega Veneta and Loewe’s handbags in recent seasons – their iconic designs are so much more than mere accessories.”

Ployphailin, personal shopper, Hong Kong

“During lockdown, I found getting dressed up in a proper look was one fail-safe way to bring joy to my days. Sieving through my closet carefully has really helped me take stock of the amazing pieces in my collection and get creative with my styling. One way I love to have fun with my outfits is by really thinking about the meaning behind each one and making it topical. For example, when Raf Simons joined Prada, I dug out a Prada skirt I bought quite a few seasons ago and paired it with a vintage tank top by Raf Simons.”

“I really believe that a great outfit can make you feel ready to take on the day. If I have an important meeting with my team or clients, I will always wear a fabulous look. As part of my role at NET-A-PORTER, I work closely with around 3,000 brands, and honestly, I love them all. However, if I were forced to choose, I would say my favorite designer has to be Peter Do. He creates such striking clothes, with a real emphasis on empowering the wearer. Even his most simple pieces could be considered directional because Do adds flair, even in the smallest details – this superb construction makes everyone who wears his designs look good and feel fantastic.”

Clemmie, buying manager, London

“I’m a big believer in the mood-boosting power of fashion. Throughout the last year, the designers we champion on NET-A-PORTER have continued to show beautiful collections, with joyful dressing being a key theme. For me, getting dressed up now means wearing something that I feel great in – whether it’s a statement piece by one of my favorite labels or an understated and timeless wardrobe staple. I love Paco Rabanne for more of an eclectic look, as it always uses interesting fabrics; Kassl Editions’ coats are a fashion-week staple for me; and, for accessories, Gucci has such great, classic styles in fun colors. And, of course, a bag by Bottega Veneta or The Row is always exquisite. I think the last year has made a lot of people realize they want to enjoy the clothes hanging in their closet while also making them work harder; timeless styles or statement pieces that make an outfit pop can be worn season after season.”

Hannah, fashion assistant, New York

“Clothes form such an intrinsic part of our identities. They say a lot about how we view ourselves and how we’d like to be perceived by others. That’s why I still make an effort with my daily outfits; not putting together a proper look makes me feel like I’ve lost a part of myself. It sounds trivial, but I think it’s important to make an effort, even when it comes to everyday errands like trips to the grocery store. I take full advantage of any excuse I can find to wear my favorite pieces.”

“It’s impossible to overstate the effect that a great outfit can have on how you feel. For New Year’s Eve last year, my roommate and I slipped on our best party dresses, accessorized with towering heels and ended 2020 on a high note. It had been so long since I had gotten glammed up, I had forgotten how freeing it can be to go all out with an outfit. I think the night would have had an entirely different tone – and been a lot less fun – if we had just been hanging out in sweatpants.”

Beth, director of public relations for the Americas, New York

“One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the last year is that dressing up isn’t something you’re required to do for other people – it’s something you can and should do for yourself. Even if I’m alone in my apartment for days on end, I will always make an effort to look good! I absolutely love dressing up for Zoom drinks with friends, calls with my team and even casual FaceTimes with my family. Putting together a chic outfit, even if I am just going to the market or to get a coffee, makes me feel happy and accomplished. As a director of public relations, I was going to events and dinners most nights of the week prior to lockdown.”

“In my eyes, each event required a new dress, a new pair of shoes, a new handbag – etc. I don’t think I will ever go back to that cycle. Nowadays, I truly understand the concept of investment dressing; I’ll be only be buying pieces that promise to work for years to come. Plus, when it comes to designers, I'm totally loyal; Khaite always hits that edgy feminine aesthetic that resonates with me. I’m also a huge fan of Stella McCartney, Les Rêveries, Ganni and Nanushka. Throughout the pandemic, I have been so impressed with how the fashion industry has shown such creativity and resilience. There’s a time and a place for big runway shows and presentations – and there’s also a time and appreciation for intimacy.”

Harriet, global head of styling, London

“London’s first lockdown started as I neared the end of a year’s maternity leave, so I was already fully entrenched in the loungewear movement, but for that very reason I was dying to get back to having a reason to dress up every day. I’ve always been a bit of a show pony and I like to wear outfits that are eye-catching. Due to the nature of my role, I am lucky enough to still be working in the studio a couple of days a week, which I love for many reasons (a change of scene and takeaway coffee – yes please!), but especially because it gives me a chance to plan and wear actual outfits on a regular basis. I always look to JW Anderson and Loewe for timeless pieces with a point of difference, and I love to mix masculine and feminine elements in my look. Of course, nothing says ‘let’s party’ quite like a pair of snakeskin pants, so this faux-leather pair by Gauge81 is going to be a go-to for good times in 2021. The ultimate lesson I think the fashion industry should take from 2020 is that loungewear is strictly for the comfort your own home.”

Carmen, assistant marketing manager, Hong Kong

“As much as I hope for daily life to go back to ‘normal’ soon – or some semblance of it – over the last year I’ve enjoyed the ritual of getting all dressed up more than ever before. On the rare occasion that I did have the opportunity to go out to dinner or attend an event I made sure to give myself at least 2 hours to get ready – no joke. I have a renewed appreciation for fashion and cannot wait to see what new trends emerge from the pandemic.”

“Honestly though, lockdown and working from home haven’t had much of an impact on my style as I have always valued quality and comfort. I am a huge fan of Andersson Bell, especially the brand’s latest collection – I love how playful and gender-fluid all their pieces are. When it comes to accessories, you can always count on Paco Rabanne’s chunky chain bracelets to add a little edge to any look. There’s no doubt in my mind that a stylish outfit can lift your spirits; a sharp look makes me feel like my most confident self, which is about so much more than fashion; how you carry yourself tells someone a lot about your character.”

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