3 rules for choosing what to wear, from Gwyneth Paltrow and Stella McCartney

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Anna Brech
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How to find that elusive capsule wardrobe piece that will stand the test of time

Part of the problem with today’s shopping sphere is that we’re just so saturated with choice.

As Stylist’s Alix Walker points out, we’re bombarded with options from all angles: from designer diffusion lines to YouTube influencers and  online flash sales.

It’s a nice dilemma to have, of course, but knowing how to identify a staple investment piece amid the cacophony ideas is an almost impossible feat. And that’s before you’ve even started on what to put on in the morning.

Luckily, Gwyneth Paltrow and Stella McCartney are ready with a little advice on how to cut through the noise.

The Oscar-winner and her designer best mate, whose friendship dates back to the mid-90s, have shared their style inspiration for wearable fashion in a new edition of Paltrow’s Goop podcast.

Stella McCartney and Gwyneth Paltrow, back in the 90s

It’s fascinating just to hear these two chat away in the vein of time-honoured mates, but all the more so because they broach a topic Paltrow says they’ve “oddly never talked about before”: McCartney’s designer business, and style for women. 

Talking about how McCartney was ahead of the curve when it came to wearable fashion, the two friends discuss what it means to feel good in what you wear. Here are the designer’s three go-to rules on finding what you like, and nailing that trend-proof capsule piece - as drilled down by Paltrow:

It must make you feel good

“Clothing is your friend. I want to feel confident and naturally sexy. When I started out in fashion it was less about how I wanted a silhouette to be, or a trend or colour, it was much more about how I wanted to feel. I work from the gut.”

It should feel natural

“I want to feel like myself. I don’t want to feel like I’m wearing something somebody else designed, and I didn’t have the confidence or security in myself to really say who I am. Some days, I want to reflect that I feel really good about my body, or good about how I look, or good about how the day has gone, and I want to be a little bit more, kind of, seen through what I wear. Other days, I want to disappear because I feel rubbish. I think that that’s human.”

Aim for timeless and sustainable

“Timeless design is important to me. I wear something I designed 10 years ago with something I just designed 10 minutes ago. And I think if they all have the same starting point [in terms of design approach], they integrate well into your life. I’ve also learned, actually, how privileged I am [when it comes to sustainable fashion]. I’m in a position where I can make choices, and I don’t have to compromise myself.”

Images: Getty 


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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.