Writer Esther Walker is a bit of a girl crush for us all at the office. She’s funny, fabulous and knows how to rock a dress. We met up with her to discuss the stylish/practical axis and picking sides in the shoe vs handbag war.
If you had to list 3 must have items in your wardrobe what would they be?
A denim shirt, a grey or navy sweater and a white t-shirt.
Can you remember your first item of clothing that made you feel like a grown up? What was it?
My sister had a pair of electric blue sandals – the strap was in a kind of zig zag pattern (it was 1986) and they were the most chic, beautiful things I’d ever seen. I finally got my hands on them when I was ten but they were too big so I put them away, waiting for my feet to grow into them. But they never did, because my sister was a size 6 and I’m still, 25 years later, a size 5. Still, they were mine, I owned them – and they made me feel like I’d arrived.
Do you have any major style faux pas?
So, so many. I have never been naturally stylish. If I think very hard about what to wear I can pull together something that looks good, but it always requires thought, I always need inspiration. It’s why I’ve taken to wearing a lot of gym kit during the day – you can put it on without thinking about it and it is, technically, a “look”. I raid Sweaty Betty and Gap once a year for essentials. I’m still toying with the idea of spending £82 on a pair of Lululemon leggings. I can’t decide whether it’s good sense or just the end of days.
Is there an piece of clothing you’ve always wanted to own? Why?
I’m so fickle when it comes to this kind of thing – the item I’m really crushing on changes daily. This last winter I have most felt the absence in my wardrobe of a smart navy blue overcoat and will definitely get one for AW17. Navy is basically the most useful colour there is. At this precise moment I really, really want one of those super-smart parkas – like from Canada Goose? It’s been so cold and my Gap long puffa jacket really needs to be taken outside and shot to put it out of its frumpy misery. But Canada Goose jackets are about a million pounds and it’s about to be Spring. I mean, in theory. One for the Christmas list I guess.
Would you say you are a shoes or bag girl?
I try not to be either. I am wary of that thing that can happen where you just endlessly buy shoes and bags but barely use any of them. I now have a ban on buying new bags and I rotate the ones I already have. Perhaps once a year I will ask my husband for a really special one – this Christmas I got a dark grey Saint Laurent bag, because I didn’t have a single tote bag in my whole collection. The same goes for shoes – if you’re not strict about how many you actually need it can get out of control. Having said all that, if I had to pick a side in some sort of shoe/handbag war, I’d rush more quickly to the defence of a Chloe Drew bag than a pair of Louboutin boots.
Do you have an all time favourite style purchase?
About two years ago I bought a pair of Acne boyfriend jeans. They were incredibly expensive and quite an extreme shape. But I utterly loved them and wore them all the time and will probably wear them all the time this summer, too. It was the first time I’d bought something expensive that was stylish but also incredibly practical and great for
gooning around with the kids in. Sorry one more: a few years ago I asked for a pair of Jimmy Choo studded spike heels for my birthday and I treasure them like they’re made of diamonds; I keep the shoe trees in and shut them up tight in their special blush-pink box with “Jimmy Choo” written in gold on the lid. No-one is allowed to touch them
except me and they get compliments everywhere they go.
All images shot at the amazing Le Coq, where we would eat every lunch for the rest of our lives if we could.