Q&A with stylist Sally Mackinnon - Styled By Sally

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Q&A with stylist Sally Mackinnon

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Q: When did you first develop an interest in style and fashion?
A: Probably around the time I got my first Barbie! I had a huge fascination with Barbie and paper dolls. I loved dressing them up and creating my own fashion parades.

Q: Tell us a little about your professional background and experience
A: Many of my clients know that I used to be a Primary School Teacher. It’s something that I’ve never hid from clients (well perhaps in those early days when I was still teaching but had to pretend I was a very experienced stylist!) I taught for 13 years and for two of those – 2007/08 – taught for 4 days a week while I started up Styled by Sally. Within 18 months at the end of 2008 I resigned from teaching and went full time with my styling business. It was a big move but one I knew was going to work. Now 8 years on and I don’t regret it for a second.

Q: Favourite holiday destination?
A: Easy- New York. With the second being my little holiday house in Sandy Point, South Gippsland Victoria.

Q: Any fashion regrets or faux pars?
A: The thing about fashion is that at any time, what you wear is often a reflection of what’s in fashion. So at the time, we think we look great! On reflection, perhaps not so good. So no regrets as such but I’d have to say the 90s were pretty bloody horrible. I used to wear my younger brothers Levis jeans that were way too big for me but I’d pull them in the waist with a belt so there was all this gathering- this was not a good look. Also on reflection my deb dress from 1988 was pretty hideous- puffy sleeves and enough lace and fabric to make a dozen tablecloths.

Q: Describe your personal style
A: My style really can change day to day but I think essentially it’s a mix between minimal- edgy- modern- feminine.

Q: What are your favourite wardrobe items?
A: Jeans- I have about 15 pairs from classic blue skinnies to boyfriend, drop crotch to distressed.

Q: What’s your most recent purchase?
A: Celine sunglasses (bought in New York)

Q: Favourite designers or stores?
A: I love Australian designers and my faves are absolutely zimmermann, Camilla and Marc, Scanlan Theodore and bassike. Living in the CBD (and shopping for a living) and having all these stores literally on my doorstop is very hazardous! I also love Country Road and Sportscraft for basics and inexpensive fashion and classic pieces.

Q: What wardrobe staple could you not do without?
A: It would have to be my jeans.

Q: When you shop for yourself, what’s your decision making on a purchase?
A: 1. Will I wear it tomorrow? 2. What other pieces in my wardrobe can I style it with? 3. Do I REALLY need it? If I’m still not sure, I walk away and think about it overnight. If I wake up not thinking about it then I didn’t love it in the first place. If I wake up thinking about it, I’ll go back and try it on again.

Q: What do you enjoy most about working with clients?
A: I enjoy making shopping easy and fun. I enjoy watching someone’s reaction when they look in the mirror and see themselves looking completely different (i.e. better) I enjoy making peoples lives that little easier by teaching them how to dress and how to feel and look good in clothes.

Q: What do you love doing on your days off?
A: Would you believe, shop! I inevitably end up in the shops on my day off. Not always intentionally but again when you live in the CBD it’s hard to avoid. But generally its enjoying a late brunch with my husband at one of our local cafes, going for a long walk, and an evening movie and popcorn at Kino Cinemas on Collins St followed by a casual dinner.

Q: What are your top 3 styling tips for women or men?
1. Dress to show off your assets, don’t just cover up what you don’t like
2. You can shop in any store regardless of your age- it’s what you choose in a store that’s important
3. Don’t worry about accessories – get the basics right before you think about how to accessorise your outfit.

Q: Minimalist or hoarder?
A: Unlike the other 2 ladies Prue and Lore, I am a minimalist!

Q: Chocolate or cheese?
A: Used to be chocolate but as I’m getting older I’d have to say cheese.

Q: Favourite Movie?
A: Stand by Me

Q: What Sex and the City character most resembles your personality?
A: Carrie for her obsession of shopping and clothing, but Miranda for her sensibility and sarcasm.

Q: Describe your personality in 3 words
A: Loyal, driven, sensible

Q: Do you have any style icons?
A: I love J Crew creative director Jenna Lyons and Cate Blanchett and I’m currently stalking style_by_aggie on Instagram.

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