Jo Glynn-Smith, Retail Development Director of Harper's Bazaar UK. Jo has over 15 years of experience in the fashion industry and is a leading authority on wardrobe consultancy and “the imperfect science of how dressing well for work can positively shape your future”.
How would you describe your own style?
I would say that I try to keep it simple and chic and buy only a few ‘fashion’ pieces each season to update – these tend not to be obvious designer fashion pieces as they only last for a few months. I hate having a bulging wardrobe, so I give it a good cleanse every season and get rid of things I just don’t wear. I tend to spend money on key pieces like coats (of which I have many), bags and shoes - and everything in between is a mix of brands, from high street to high end. White shirts, Breton tops and wide leg trousers or jeans are all key to my wardrobe. This season I am obsessed with polo necks, channelling a sixties Audrey Hepburn style!
“Dressing well can positively shape your future”, is your tagline. Share with us your top 5 tips for work wear.
The more research I do, the more I am convinced that dressing well and making the most of what you have makes a huge difference to your confidence, which in turn drives everything else. So, 1. Understand your body shape and be honest with yourself. Don’t dress for the size you want to be, dress for the size you are. 2. Buy clothes that fit and compliment you, forget what the size label says. 3. Maintain your wardrobe like a car. Keep it clean, pressed, replace buttons, check hems, etc. 4. Create a personal uniform of 10 or so pieces that can all interplay in one way or another – you will be able to put together more looks than you realise! 5. Don’t over-style; too much jewellery, crazy tights, mad heels, too much make-up will distract from what people really want to see, which is ‘you’. Clothes should complement and enhance you and what you have to say, not act like a fancy dress costume.
Executive Retail Director at Harper's Bazaar is an amazing role, what has been the absolute highlight so far?
It’s difficult to pinpoint a highlight, what I would say is that I am so lucky to have such a varied career. From presenting Shop Bazaar TV to writing for the magazine and online, to organising or hosting a whole range of events, every month is different. I get to meet so many interesting and creative people and fundamentally always keep learning, that’s what I love.
What is your advice on how to build a wardrobe cleverly and for longevity?
Buy quality, classic staples and build the fashion pieces around them: a blazer, a white shirt, a black trouser suit, V-neck cashmere jumper, etc. I invest in these timeless classics first, look after them (good hangers, well maintained etc.) and fill the gaps seasonally.
We know you have our Silk Back Cardigan and Jumper twin set, which you love, do you have any other favourite Winser London pieces?
I really like the Milano Jacket, it’s great to find something smart that you can travel in, but feels like tailoring. I’m a big fan of the Shirt Dress, long or short, you can do so much with a piece like this, it’s a completely versatile staple and so flattering.
What is the most rewarding part of working as a personal stylist?
I tend to work more corporately these days, helping whole businesses develop their staff dress or uniforms, but when you work on a personal level, it gives you a real chance to get to know someone. Through building a wardrobe, you feel like you are making a significant difference to someone psychologically and helping them build confidence and ultimately driving success.