Where better to go next with Sisters with Style than to give it a go with my very own sister, here we are: Rhian is 23 and works for a British heritage designer in head office, writes at The Hart Blog and lives in Shoreditch. I am 27, live on the other side of town in Little Venice and work in marketing for a pets' website. We're both Londoners born and bred. This is a meeting of minds...
Rhian and I at a Topshop event in April 2012
Do you both have a defined style, or do you change season by season?
Anna: Defined-ish. I’m probably a little more polished than Rhian, in the nicest way possible. I work in Shoreditch now, and always think I need to stop by her house and change into something more suitable of hers! She did the same with my wardrobe when she had a Fashion Week party to go to…
Rhian: I can’t afford to change season by season!
Anna: Same here actually, that’s probably why our overall look never changes! Saying that, now that I have some money to play with (compared to student days) I am far more economical in the way I shop. I used to shop by occasion, now I think more about how often I'll get to wear something.
Rhian: I’m not very refined in my style, and prefer to look slightly scruffy – like I’ve not made an effort, rather than looking too ‘done’. I’m also quite minimalist and tend to buy essential pieces each month – trying to get quality over quantity.
How has your style changed over time?
Rhian: Drastically. Before I was particularly interested in fashion, I was at University and lived in preppy clothes. Only when meeting people who were at the other arty University that studied fashion etc did I really start to take interest in the fashion industry. I’ve not looked back!
Anna: I forgot about your Abercrombie obsession! I really wasn’t bothered about fashion at all – I took Rhian’s lead with that. It’s only inthe last couple of years since I started the blog, that I’ve become more interested. I can remember Rhian talking about things like ‘September Issues’ and ‘resort collections’ and not have a Scooby Doo what she was on about!
What influences both of your styles? Do you influence each other’s choices?
Rhian: I love people watching...
Anna: It can be quite irritating, we’ll go for coffee and she just wants to sit in silence and stare at people in the street…
Rhian: I really enjoy looking at street style and the small details people make that can change a whole outfit. Working in the fashion industry you get to see some amazing clothes, so it helps to get inspired! I have certain ‘icons’ where I follow their style religiously though…although their clothes budget is far bigger than mine!
Anna: Our icons are probably the same people, but we’ll like something different about their outfits…
Rhian: I don’t think we influence each others style, we have very different styles. She normally says that’s hideous when I show her something in a shop... but I buy it anyway!
Anna: I’m pretty sure we buy stuff just to prove a point sometimes with each other, ‘It WILL look nice, and I WILL wear it’ type thing…
In Paris, at the Eiffel Tower (the red hair was a momentary lapse in consciousness)
What are your wardrobe staples?
Anna: I reckon we’d be quite similar here…
Rhian: White, navy and black are my go-to colours. But in general, I feel most confident in black jeans, ankle boots (I have five pairs…) and I always have my Barbour to hand. It’s really old and scabby, but I love it.
Anna: Same here, except for the Barbour. I live in my trench coat (a gift from Rhian). We both love our Bretons too.
What items of clothing make you think of each other? Is there a particular outfit that stands out?
Rhian: Not really, but I guess something Peplum stands out in my mind because you wear so much of it
Anna: Ha! For you I think of silk shirts, funky glasses and your Barbour!
When you shop together, where are the first places you visit? Would you pick the same things out?
Rhian: Zara probably, or Topshop. We rarely pick the same things out unless we're after wardrobe staples. We have body shapes which determine a lot - and our style is so different. But we are honest in our opinion, so I don’t mind in saying, ‘I don’t like it, but it would like nice on you.’ If it won’t look good, I’m quick to say so! Harsh but true.
Anna: I appreciate her honesty though, it’s very helpful. We both have boyfriends who make pretty good judgements. It’s crazy how different our body shapes are considering we are sisters. She’s 5 inches taller than me, and our general in-and-out bits are completely the opposite... We shop a lot online too, send each other links most days.
If you were to be dressed by one designer for the rest of your life, who would you choose? Who would you guess the other would decide on?
Anna: This is a good question for Rhian…
Rhian: All French fashion houses have me spinning. Celine, Chanel, Chloe, Isabel Marant… the list is endless. My favourite is Isabel Marant, she is nailing it at the moment. But for the rest of your life… that’s hard. I don’t want to be wearing fringed jackets in my 80s (or maybe I do, who knows). If I had to choose, I think it would be Chanel: trends fade but style doesn’t.
Anna: Ooh yeah, wasn’t it YSL who said ‘fashion fades, style is eternal?’ Maybe I’d pick him. I’d probably go British – it would be a Stella McCartney or a Jonathan Saunders – I’ll never get bored of those prints.
matching waterproof onesies in Italy (cool) / sisterly love in Greece
Do you have any particular ‘fashion memories’ with you own (or your sister’s) style?
Rhian: Only bad ones from when we were little and our parents made us dress to match!
Anna: Mum swears she never matched us up, but we have the photos as proof! We’re 5 years apart and with completely different colourings. It was guaranteed that one of us would look ridiculous in an outfit that the other looked fab in – thanks, Mum! I do remember a rather special pair of orange Calvin Klein jeans I bought from TK Maxx that I was extremely proud of. Rhian always wore scrunchies in her hair, right on the top of her head...
If you could get away with it, what items would you pinch from each other’s wardrobes?
Rhian: Probably her Maje leather jacket, it’s beautiful.
Anna: To show how different we are though, I chucked out the shearling collar on it – for her that was sacrilege! Rhian gets to go to some amazing fashion sales with her job – I’d be straight after her Aquascutum white tuxedo, and her Equipment blouses… Oooh and her Jaeger handbag, lush.
Rhian: Leather is a big one, and it suits my style nicely. The baroque thing… so not me, but it would be great to get an embellished clutch. Also cut trousers with loafers – definitely my thing.
Anna: I’m going to brave the jacquard trousers… Just need to pick my moment! I am very happy peplum is sticking around – and my friend gave me an amazing cocoon coat a couple of years ago, I’ll be wearing that a lot.
Read more Sisters with Style interviews here.
South Molton St Style