Fashion

The art of eclecticism

“I started blogging nine years ago when I was studying knitwear design at Nottingham Trent University. It wasn’t until I discovered blogs like Style Bubble and Style Rookie that I was really motivated to create my own, I Want You To Know. I’ve always loved fashion and was inspired by how people were using the internet to share their opinions on style.

My degree provided me with a point of difference, so I used that as a springboard and focused on knitwear. I’ve gradually grown my platform to concentrate on everything I’m passionate about; travel, lifestyle, racial identity and, of course, knitwear. Now I’ve turned 30, I know which styles I like – mix-and-match textures, bold colours and classics with a twist – and I’m quite experimental.

I began working with CollectPlus last year and I’ve written a guest blog on a variety of themes; everything from ‘My twentysomething wardrobe essentials’ to ‘Make-up for darker skin tones’. And because CollectPlus works with such a vast selection of retailers, it’s been easy to compile this, my pick of autumn style essentials.

I love discovering interesting independent brands, such as Uzma Bozai who designed this slogan sweat, which I found at John Lewis. My style is eclectic so I tend to gravitate towards unique, unusual pieces, like these embroidered boots, which I would wear with a skirt to give some distance between fabrics. And this French Connection tweed coat; from afar it looks like classic check, but up close, it has flecks of yellow, grey, white and red running through it. There’s so much colour, it’s elevated. I’d pair it with the slogan jumper.

Good basics are key but there are only so many you need. What I look for is an added element of interest. Many of the pieces I’ve used in this shoot are simple styles with a little twist. Most days I’m getting ready in a rush, so I focus on my outfit and finish it with low-key make-up. The Bareminerals lip colour in Moxie is one that I use regularly because it really suits my skin tone.

I find my outfit choices are important in autumn because it’s cold and it takes effort to maintain an interesting look. This is the time of year online shopping comes into its own. I like to try new pieces with my existing clothes to see what works together. I find high-waisted jeans, for example, stressful to buy in-store, but buy online and you can get them home and team them with tops and shoes to see what works. You can buy edgy pieces with confidence and really consider the looks you’re putting together.

The brilliance of CollectPlus is the convenience factor. I’m based in a co-working space, so I don’t want all my parcels delivered there as it means carrying them home. I’d rather use CollectPlus then pick up my packages from my local newsagent when it suits me. It’s easy to return items too if they’re not quite right. Style is about building confidence, and being brave enough to try more eclectic combinations. Fashion should be exciting; people want to be inspired by it, especially during the grey winter months.”

You can catch Kristabel on Instagram with the handle @iamkristabel.