6 Fashion Stars On The Moment They Nailed Style Confidence  

These are the style secrets they live by

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The most stylish people somehow manage to make everything look good, don't they? Whether rocking a blazer and jeans or the season's trickiest trend, it's the subtle details – like a clash of colour, or fit of a jacket – that makes every look unique to them.

The art of such confidence? Expert shoemakers Vagabond believes it's all about staying true to yourself. The brand's autumn winter 2017 campaign pays homage to self-expression and stars inspiring transgender models Hari Nef and Casil McArthur.

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To celebrate, we asked some of the fashion industry's chicest women about finding confidence in their individuality. Discover the inspiration behind their signature looks and the style secrets they swear by.

1. Natalie Hughes, Director of Fashion Digital

Natalie Hughes

"Working at NET-A-PORTER shaped my sense of style, not least because I had the opportunity to invest in some key designer pieces which are still wardrobe stalwarts today. I would describe my personal style as eclectic, bold and heavily inspired by the '60s and '70s. I'm definitely a maximalist!

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"For me, a midi-length dress and ankle boots are a failsafe combination. I have an embarrassingly large collection of midi dresses - some vintage, some high street - whereas I tend to invest more in fewer, better quality shoes.

"I suggest creating a Pinterest board and pinning images that inspire you. If I'm lacking in sartorial inspiration, I scroll through my fashion Pinterest board and something will spark an idea".


2. Hari Nef, artist, actor and model

"I'm a huge fan of this saying that I first heard from an acting teacher. It's: 'You are enough'. I think that we can often get in our heads about the things that we don't have or the way that we don't look or the money that we're not paid. I think it's really important to bring it back to yourself and understand that you have everything you need right here and you are enough. That's what I would love to tell people."

Hari Nef in the Vagabond AW17 campaign

3. Kate Blythe-Pearson, Global Content Director at MATCHESFASHION.COM

"I am obsessed with sharp-cut blazers and overcoats and find them empowering to wear. I've always loved the nonchalant yet sexy style of those effortlessly cool French women such as Jane Birkin, Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve, and more recently Caroline de Maigret and Emmanuelle Alt.

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"I've always loved fashion and have had a lot of fun with it, however becoming a mother when working full time meant that I needed a really edited, confident wardrobe that could take me anywhere. I always end up finding a designer that I love then repeat buying one of the pieces, as I know they will work back to my existing wardrobe and busy lifestyle with ease.

"Dress for yourself, not for trends. That's the most important thing. Choose silhouettes that suit your shape and don't just buy into something because everyone else has done. Don't be seduced by cult fashion buys if it goes against your natural sense of style. Be yourself as confidence is key to great personal style".


4. Stacey Duguid, Elle UK's Editor at Large and beauty columnist

"I suddenly realised just because I'm in my forties with kids, doesn't mean I can't express myself in new ways or wear things I've loved since my teens. I'm living life backwards – I've had kids late, my career is kicking off late – and my style is a reflection of that new found confidence. I used to worry what people would think.

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"Now I genuinely dress for me. Plus, and here's the best bit, I've never dressed for men – there's freedom in that! Start a scrapbook or Pinterest board of all the things you like. Discover the colours that really suit you. Set yourself a budget, then go buy a few new pieces. You don't have to spend a fortune, but you need to be patient: things won't slot in with your wardrobe automatically. Spend a few hours playing with what you already own, then add a few new pieces and see how you get on. Style evolves slowly, it takes time and effort. As for effortless dressing? Don't believe the hype".

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5. Navaz Batliwalla, freelance writer and author of The New Garconne: How to be a Modern Gentlewoman

Navaz Batliwalla

"I found my own sense of style in my fashion student years and early 20s. I think growing up in the post-punk era of the 80s and 90s helped, as there was a big street style and customisation movement where individuality was celebrated. It wasn't just about shopping and celebrity style. It meant you could experiment because everything was quite cheap.

"I would describe my look as 'garconne style', so a bit boyish with a mix of utilitarian and softer pieces in lovely tactile fabrics. Have a think about what you feel most relaxed in. Use that as your starting point and build from that.

"The reason people with great style look so effortless is that they're unencumbered with discomfort or self-consciousness. Another tip is to just make small, incremental changes - maybe introducing a colour or a piece of jewellery. These will give you the confidence boost to make bigger bolder gestures of self-expression".


6. Casil McArthur, model, artist and musician

"I feel the most beautiful when I'm wearing dresses and put on makeup. And I don't really care if people think that sounds weird because it's not. Clothing is genderless and I feel prettiest when I wear awesome, flowy dresses.

"I am a believer in standing up for yourself and what you believe in. I believe in fighting for yourself and fighting for the rights of others. You know? I believe in not backing down and not doing what people tell you to do that isn't good for you. And I'm a strong believer in self-empowerment. It's really important and it's very hard to find. But once you do, you can accomplish anything. Seriously."

Casil McArthur in Vagabond's AW17 campaign

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