Knit by Cat Deeley for Winser London - The exclusive Style Agenda

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Knit by Cat Deeley for Winser London - The exclusive Style Agenda

Knit by Cat Deeley for Winser London - The exclusive Style Agenda

Cat Deeley, 44, lives in London with her husband, (broadcaster and comedian Patrick Kielty) and their two young sons, Milo and James.

How would you describe your everyday style?

“I’m constantly messy, these days. As a mum of two little boys, I always have mud, porridge, gravy or chocolate on me. So, there is a constant consideration about what can be thrown in the washing machine: I don’t want to be precious about being hands-on with them, whatever they are doing, so I go for practicality and easy neutral colours.”

If I am doing the school run, I throw on workout gear, normally in tonal shades such as grey, white and black, so I don’t have to think about co-ordinating colours. I love Stella McCartney for Adidas, or Under Armour. Once I’ve done school drop-off, then I can do a dog walk, or yoga, because I am dressed for it. I love to have stylish outer layers, whether that’s great knitwear, a jacket or coat, that I can throw on over jeans, joggers or leggings if I am going out, so I look polished without a second thought.”


 When you are doing something more than those everyday errands, do you have a style handwriting that is recognisably “Cat Deeley”?

No. I like to play with clothes! I’ve always loved fashion and putting clothes together: my wardrobe is like Pandora’s box and very magical because there are so many looks in there. I have High Street and vintage, plus showpieces by Dries Van Noten, Isabel Marant, Matthew Williamson and Tom Ford for Gucci – and I got married in an Alexander McQueen shipwreck dress.

Some days I want to be floaty and floral, and dress as an ingenue, and other days I want that Debbie Harry rock chick vibe: all leather mini dress, chunky boots and tons of attitude. And I think that whoever you are, you dress for the occasion and the mood you are in: for instance, I would wear different outfits for an event in my capacity as a UNICEF Ambassador, to meet my publisher (Cat’s children’s book The Joy in You is published by Random House), for a date night, to go dancing with my girlfriends, or for a school thing. What’s important is that you feel empowered and are comfortable and confident for whatever it is you are doing and have the appropriate suit of armour.

Tell us about your collaboration with Winser London?

When Kim approached me, I was so delighted because I love the ethos of a brand for women who are interested in fashion but have rejected the concept of disposable style. She has had such an amazing career working for some wonderful brands and really cherishes beautiful garments that are made to last, and that shows in what she is doing with Winser London – and is absolutely my philosophy when it comes to buying clothes.

It was fun to talk with her and the design team about my favourite pieces in my wardrobe and share why they work for me. Since moving back from LA to London, I had rediscovered all those knits that I could wear in the place of a jacket or coat. One of those was a beautiful, grey cashmere poncho from Winser London that is fabulously versatile, and I can throw it on over all sorts of things and looked ‘dressed’. We wanted to create a handful of luxurious, timeless British-made knits that reflected that idea and fitted with my own aesthetic and need for practicality as a busy, working mum.

I’ve done an oversized, cosy cardigan with pockets for credit card, a mask and hand sanitiser (or whatever else you need with you!), and my own, updated version of the Winser London poncho, with a focus on texture, that I can throw on over my yoga gear to meet a friend for coffee. There’s a chunky sweater with a big, statement neck that you can wear instead of a jacket or coat and makes you feel like you have made an effort even when you’re in leggings and your hair is twisted up in a scruffy bun. The colour palette focuses on easy-to-wear neutrals, such as oatmeal, grey, navy and black and threw in a bit of neon for a pop of colour.

What are your must-have accessories?

Since I became a mum, I don’t change up my accessories much on a day-to-day basis. I used to have the time and energy to look at whether a particular bag goes with an outfit, but now I can’t be doing with swapping out the Percy Pigs and the hand sanitiser and the Lego all the time. I love a really chic Celine or Chanel bag, but I have discovered that with two young boys, my everyday grab bag has to be a cross-body style, so I can hold their hands, strap them in the car, wipe their faces, or whatever else needs to be done.


How do you approach dressing for TV work?

When I first started presenting SMTV (a popular Saturday morning TV show that Cat co-hosted with Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, aka Ant & Dec) in the UK in the late nineties, I had a stylist. Then, when I went to America I couldn’t find anyone that clicked for looks I needed for the show that I was doing (Fox TV’s So You Think You Can Dance), so I started sorting my own wardrobe for that. US and European styles are different: Americans love a more put-together look, but I prefer a looser aesthetic.

When I host shows, I know what the set and the lighting will be like, whether there are stairs to navigate, how long I will have to wear heels or what sort of microphone pack I need, so I dress accordingly. I’m long in the tooth and know what suits me and what works for me to do my job.

I enjoy styling myself because of that and I find it takes less time, because I don’t have to schedule fittings with a stylist and approve everything.

What about those big red carpet events and awards ceremonies?

I do, though, use a stylist for big event dressing, because it just isn’t possible to do that yourself these days. We need help with those Monster Dresses we wear for the Emmys (Cat has been Emmy-nominated five times and has won a BAFTA and two Critics’ Choice TV Awards), the Golden Globes and such like, because you have to ensure you aren’t duplicating what someone else is wearing and that everything is right from every angle. 



How do you keep fit and look after your wellbeing?

I walk the dog every day, but I’ll always find an excuse to put formal exercise off. During lockdown, like so many people, trying to keep several plates spinning at the same time was a challenge – I definitely smashed a few metaphorical plates on the floor! Once I am doing it, though, I love it and it feels good, so I remind myself of that if I need motivating.

I’ve tried gyms, aerobics, Pilates, running and all sorts, but over time, I have found that yoga suits my body: it makes me slow down mentally and physically and breath. I love being outside, so when I can, I do my yoga in the fresh air. There are so many factors in life that are constantly changing, so you have to be prepared to adapt to your circumstances and fit something in with family life and work commitments, and not get too stressed if it’s not a strict routine.



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