Art of Style

Get dressed with Tamu McPherson

Jamaica-born, Milan-based photographer, writer and editor TAMU McPHERSON expresses herself with colorful, fun and fearless style. This is how she does it…

From statement outerwear to clashing prints, the “adventurous” street-style star isn’t afraid to try new trends


“My style is adventurous, I love trying new trends. When it comes to putting a look together, I always start with a great piece that I am super-excited to wear, and that dictates the rest of the outfit. I’m constantly on the lookout for statement accessories, particularly earrings and hats because my hair is so short. There are so many designers I love: Gucci, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Proenza Schouler, Ellery, Rosie Assoulin and, of course, Miu Miu and Prada – Miuccia always delivers amazing shoes. I have go-to pieces that I wear every season; it’s because of these ‘essentials’ that you can still identify my touch and get a sense of my personal style from every outfit, even though they vary wildly. I am risk averse in every other aspect of my life but fashion should be about having fun – if people laugh at you, who cares?”


“When it comes to hair and beauty, I am super low-maintenance. I wear my hair short because when it’s long it requires so much effort. I wash my hair with co-wash [conditioner only], not shampoo, and I only use three products in it, which I mix myself – coconut oil, castor oil and jojoba oil. I find a long bath is one of the best ways to unwind – I make my own lavender salt wash with sea salt and essential oils. I try my best to only use natural products where possible; Tata Harper’s eye serum and Vintner’s Daughter are on my wish list right now.”

McPherson keeps her daily makeup and skincare routine simple, but indulges at bathtime


“I think it’s really important that you actually wear everything in your closet. For two years I suffered with really stubborn creative block. At the time I was moving to a new place from an apartment that I’d lived in for ten years, so I had to purge a lot of my stuff – that process was really life-changing. De-cluttering is so important; all that extra stuff had really been weighing on me. Of course, there are some special pieces I have held on to, like an amazing pair of plaid 3.1 Phillip Lim pants and a white cotton summer dress that is so simple but I just love – I’ve had it for over 14 years.”

The photographer plans her Fashion Month wardrobe with meticulous detail


“During Fashion Week, my look changes depending on what city I’m in. It’s not that I wear different pieces, I just put them together in a totally different way. I feel like in New York you can be as funky as you want because it’s such a gritty city, then in London there’s this kind of English eccentricity that I like to play with; in Milan I tend to go for a more elegant look; and when it comes to Paris I’ll become my most minimal self and build a look around one incredible statement piece. I am very thoughtful when it comes to packing – I even take pictures of the finished look in advance so that I don’t have to give it a second thought once I’m there. I wouldn’t say I feel any pressure to ‘dress up’ – these are actually the clothes I live in. For example, I have an amazing sequin dress by Ganni that I’ve been wearing weekly in totally different ways.”


“My mother planted the seed for my love of fashion, but my Italian mother-in-law is also hands down one of the chicest people I’ve ever seen. I’ve noticed that Milanese style has really evolved over the 14 years that I’ve been living here. When I first arrived it was extremely formal, but e-retailers like NET-A-PORTER have really changed the way women here dress by giving them so much more access to new designers like Rejina Pyo and Rixo. That, coupled with the emergence of exciting locally grown brands like Attico means Milanese women have started experimenting and having fun with their look.”

The people featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown.