As Lockdown starts to ease, we caught up with Bristol based influencer, Lois Sterling to find out how she has navigated this tricky time and what kept her getting dressed…
Hey! How are you and how have you found the past 12 weeks?
Lois ‘’It has definitely been challenging hasn’t it but I try to stay optimistic. I always think that when things are difficult and they seem out of control, the worst thing you can do is be down about it.
It’s so crazy when I think back but honestly my first thought when we went in to lockdown was oh my goodness how am I going to get my eyelashes and nails done?! I think we all did that a bit. And then after a few weeks I think we all just realised what’s important and how lucky we are that we can basically still live normally. The most challenging thing was knowing that you were restricted but after that faded I think I’ve felt quite lucky not to be too badly affected.’’
While much of the country it seems turned to trackies and sports bras you have kept going throughout. What helped you to keep getting dressed?
Lois ‘’Doing social media throughout lockdown has actually keep me going, it’s the best escapism and I’ve probably spent more time on social media than ever before. I know there are bad sides to it but I’m happy to say I’ve had an overwhelmingly positive experience so far. Social media has really given me some much needed escapism during lockdown and that has made me want to keep posting and participating.
In the first 3 days of that first week of lockdown I did have a fleeting thought that maybe I should just curl up and wait it out but it made me feel so depressed. After that I picked myself up and went back to my normal routine.’’
What is a typical day like for you?
5.00 - Wake up
5.15 - Run to the park, do HIT workout and run home. This is my routine 6 days a week but it never gets easier!
6.15 – Health drink + Shower
7.00 – Get dressed, I will usually already have selected my outfit for the day. This is the outfit you will see on my blog, it’s the outfit I will wear all day.
7.30/8.00 – At desk to work on my other job, my recruitment business
12.00 – Lunch time walk with my boyfriend and take my outfit snap!
16.00 – Work on any other fashion projects like styling videos. I also use this time to plan by outfits and try items on.
19.00 – Grab a glass of wine or tea and do some emails, look on instagram or watch t.v.
22.00-23.00 - Bed time
How do you outfit plan?
Lois ‘’I’m naturally a very organised person who thrives off routine so I really love outfit planning. I hate the stress of not knowing what I’m going to wear in the morning! If I know a brand is sending me something then I’ll plan it in and think ahead about what I fancy wearing with it. Otherwise I’ll quickly go through my wardrobe and put something together.
I try to keep it simple with accessories and I wear a rotation of key shoes, staples that I can pair with everything. I always love the focus to be on my outfit. I also really love belts as I think they are great for transforming an outfit.’’
What do you do when it rains??
Lois ‘’I tend to have options with and without a jacket! And I always have a few shots from a previous day up my sleeve!’’
How do you think the fashion industry has changed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic?
Lois ‘’I have noticed that some brands are really simplifying their ranges toning things down to make sure its versatile and more trans-seasonal.
Brands are also really moving towards influencer partnerships and social media based marketing. I think they are recognising the value in that. I think social media is really helping to put brands on the map.’’
Obviously we can’t go in to stores but how have your shopping habits changed? have you been reaching for different items?
Lois ‘’Weirdly I’ve gone the opposite way to most and gone a bit more dressy! I feel my best in statement dresses accessorised down with more casual footwear like trainers or slides. Don’t get me wrong though, I still shop for comfort. I wouldn’t take the risk of buying something now that I can sit at my desk in or go for my walk in. I just want to wear stuff that I can wear all day without worrying but that definitely doesn’t mean that my outfits ned to be too basic.’’
Is there anything else you would like to see change?
Lois ‘’The big conversation is all around sustainability. I was actually having a conversation with my friend, who is also an influencer, just the other day about how we approach fast fashion. It’s a hard one because we all want to make good choices but that information isn’t always readily available. It’s a bit like years ago when the nutritional content of packaged food just wasn’t available. Now we have the traffic light labelling on almost everything! And that helps us to make informed choices about what we buy.
I am a fashion girl and have always loved buying clothes so I don’t think that is going to change but I do try to shop sustainably by making sure I only buy items that I’m really going to wear and love. When I’m finished with an item I make sure I sell it on or give it away so it goes to a good home.
I would also like to see a high street brands help us to make items relevant across seasons. We need to create clothing that we can wear for more than one season rather than seeing it just put into the sale and a new version created!''
What are the key pieces you will be shopping for this winter?
I always love faux leather pieces whether that is a trouser, skirt or boot. Any chunky knits!! I have all the basics but it would be quite nice to see some nudes and new neutrals. Denim is great for winter and can be layered really easily.
You have such a strong personal style and instantly recognisable images. What do you think the key elements are that have made your page a success?
Lois ‘’I would say making sure my outfit the most interesting item in the image! Sounds simple but I didn’t always to do this and I saw a real change when I changed that.
I also make sure that I engage a lot with my followers and others out there. I think this is so important to being successful on Instagram and I just want to be genuine. I think the more genuine the level of engagement and your ability to talk to people really impacts on how successful you are and how positive an experience you are likely to have.
It seems the future of fashion is for now, very much online. Do you have any tips on how to shop online most successfully?
Lois ‘’Before quarantine I tended stick with a set of brands whose sizing I was familiar with but since lockdown I’ve started working with a much broader set of brands. I always reference their Instagram when deciding who to work with. It helps me find credible and interesting brands who are partnered with other people I respect but it also allows me to check out who is wearing what and how they look in the clothes in more candid shots. That gives me confidence about the brand and also that the items will fit me.
I normally shop with intention rather than browsing for hours. That helps to keep me focused! I also keep a hit list of products that I’ve liked from peoples pages and then look them up. Finally, I always like to give myself a spending limit as I hate buying too much and having to send it back.’’
Lois wears our Spot Pleat Skirt in Monochrome.
Follow her amazing daily inspo @lois_la_mode - all images are Lois' own