Q&A with Melbourne Stylist Sally Mackinnon - Styled By Sally

Q&A with stylist Sally Mackinnon

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 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, but 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, blazers & pointy toe shoes. I have about 35 pairs of jeans (yes!!) and my favourite style is a high rise straight leg. Blazers just complete any outfit and I have a quite a collection of these too 😉

Q: What’s your most recent splurge?
A: The fabulous blue pants I’m wearing in this pic! They are Toga Archives and I scored them half price online. So they could have been more of a splurge actually… 

Q: Favourite designers or stores?
A: I love Australian designers and my faves are zimmermann, Strateas Carlucci, Lee Mathews, Camilla and Marc, Scanlan Theodore and bassike. I also love a good logo tee and London brand être cécile are the best. The cool Scandinavian brands like Ganni, Totême and Acne appear high on my ‘wish list’. I also shop at Witchery, Sportscraft and Sussan for inexpensive fashion and classic pieces.

Q: What wardrobe staple could you not do without?
A: A good crew neck white tee, and possibly my white trainers. 

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 love watching someone’s reaction when they look in the mirror and see themselves looking completely different (i.e. better) I enjoy making people’s lives that little easier by teaching them how to look and feel their best 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 it’s enjoying brunch with my husband at a local cafe on Bourke Street, having a foot massage (perfect after a long week on my feet) and an afternoon movie (or Netflix) and popcorn at Kino Cinemas on Collins St. We still buy popcorn and bring it home!

Q: What are your top 3 styling tips for women or men?
1. Women, dress to show off your best bits and the parts of your body you like rather than focussing on covering up or hiding what you don’t like. 

2. Men, don’t forget to think about your shoes! Shoes can make or break your outfit. 

3. Wear what makes YOU FEEL GOOD. Trust your instincts… if you feel great in something then it’s probably right for you. If you feel uncomfortable, self conscious, old, daggy, frumpy or just ‘blah’ TAKE IT OFF!

Q: Minimalist or hoarder?
A: I might have a lot of clothes but I definitely lean towards being 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 is a classic but I think A Star is Born may be my new fave.

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: Not really! I’ve become a massive stalker of people on Instagram ~ @tineandreaa @pazhalabi @lisafolawiyo @nettiwebber @style_by_aggie @kaity_modern @lisa.aiken @brittanybathgate @tashsefton My biggest inspiration is often everyday people. 


The simplest way to look your best.

Online Stylist