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Image / Fashion

Personal Style Files: Meet the sisters who both work in fashion but have totally different style


by Freya Drohan
10th Mar 2020

Instagram/Style Ignite

These Irish sisters have parlayed their love for fashion into careers in the industry, not to mention a successful joint-style blog


Anyone who has lived away from home can tell you how difficult it can be keeping up with what your family members are doing every minute of the day. But, despite living in different countries, County Louth-born siblings Ruth and Jane Flanagan manage to run and collaborate on their blog and Instagram account seamlessly.

Ruth (26) is based in London, where she works as a Visual Merchandiser at legendary department store Harrods. Meanwhile, Jane (29) is also pursuing a creative career as a Lingerie and Accessories Designer at Dunnes Stores in Dublin. Their approach is pretty genius, allowing the sisters to have a presence on both the Irish and UK blogging scenes and offering multiple perspectives for followers when it comes to how to interpret trends.

Here, they explain the style sensibilities that make them unique in their own right — although one quick glance at their cohesive Instagram account shows just how well their sophisticated style fuses together at the same time.

Ruth

What makes you excited about getting dressed in the morning?

I will instantly have a positive outlook on the day ahead when I get dressed. It completely changes my attitude and I achieve more in work when I am dressed well.

What’s your failsafe, go-to look for a day when you’re lacking inspiration?

It would definitely have to be a good blazer. You instantly look smart when you’re wearing a blazer, even if it’s just teamed with a pair of straight jeans, Converse and a t-shirt.

Last piece you bought?

I’m constantly surrounded by nice things at Harrods and I feel my “to buy” list only gets longer and longer! However, I’m really trying to cut back on my spending this year and only buying pieces I really need. My last purchase was at Christmas, which feels like a lifetime ago. I bought an All Saints coat which I had my eye on for a while. It’s quite versatile and is light, so I will be able to wear it into spring too.

What’s a typical ‘off duty’ look for you?

My All Saints leather jacket with a t-shirt paired with straight jeans. I have lots of different straight leg jeans but I am currently loving a black pair by Paige and then a light denim pair by Agolde.

First piece you saved all your pocket money for?

My YSL monogram college quilted leather satchel.

Where do you shop usually?

Zara and Harrods. This is on a monthly basis for sure!

If you have something big coming up, where do you look for a killer outfit?

Harrods, Brown Thomas, Kildare Village.

What do you do with your fashion purchases when you no longer need them?

I’ve been selling my preloved pieces on Depop and it’s been going pretty well. So far this week I’ve sold a gorgeous pair of crocodile leather biker boots and my Gucci belt that I bought in Browns Boutique in London last year. I can see a much younger audience like Gen Z shopping on Depop. They are clever shoppers and are always on the lookout for designer gear but at an affordable price.

Last outfit you’d wear on earth?

My day-to-day style is quite casual. I really feel my best though when I am dressed for a big occasion. I love occasion wear as you can have so much fun with it. I feel I’m most feminine when I am in a short dress and stilettos.

Best ever bargain purchase?

A Versace evening wear blazer that I got for £89 in a vintage store in Fulham, London. The cut on it is absolutely amazing and it has gorgeous velvet and diamanté buttons.

Favourite fashion memory?

It definitely would have to be my first Holy communion. I want to thank my mum Maggie for not making me look like a dog’s dinner on that day! I remember so vividly putting on a gorgeous pair of pure white satin pumps. I was so excited to wear them. I wore them at home around the house for weeks beforehand.  My dress was really different: it went straight down and had thin straps and lots of different layers of mesh paired with a cropped see-through jacket to match. I thought I looked deadly! To finish off the look, I got my hair twisted on either side of my head and tied back, pinned with gypsophila in my hair.

Designer you’d wear all the time if you won the Lotto?

Ralph & Russo, Elie Saab and Chanel.

Where do you seek style inspiration?

When I’m looking at clothes online, I’m really inspired by each brand’s online styling. In particular, I think Anthropologie nails it. Instagram is really big for us too. Also: shops in London, what people wear at events and travel.

Trend you’d never be caught dead in

We’re over polka dots now — they’ve been too overdone.

Trend you’d wear ‘til the cows come home?

Definitely the sage green colour trend and kitten heels.

One thing that’s been on your wishlist forever?

A good nude crossbody bag. I’m thinking about the upcoming garden parties, BBQs, weddings I will have. It will be a great investment.

Jane

What’s your failsafe, go-to look for a day when you’re lacking inspiration?

I have a lot of long, printed midi dresses that are just so easy to throw on with a pair of slouchy boots. You don’t even have to think about it.

Last piece you bought?

A gorgeous white Alpaca wool coat that’s has a tie leather waist belt from Jaeger in Kildare Village.

What’s a typical ‘off duty’ look for you?

I’m a loungewear lover: all I want to wear when I’m off-duty is a pair of leggings, a nice wool jumper and my trainers.

Where do you shop usually?

For high street, I shop in Mango, Dunnes Stores and & Other Stories. I would usually buy something every month — as soon as I get the payslip.

If you have something big coming up, where do you look for a killer outfit?

For special occasions, I look on Revolve, The Outnet and Brown Thomas.

What do you do with your fashion purchases when you no longer need them?

I have recently started selling my clothes at the Sustainable Fashion Flea market in The Workman’s Club which has been so much fun! It’s on the third Saturday of every month, there are some really great bargains.

Best ever bargain purchase?

In January I bought a pair of Mulberry camel flared trousers for €100 in Kildare Village. That was such a bargain; they are very much a strong staple piece in my wardrobe now.

Favourite fashion memory?

Mine would be an outfit I wore to my cousin’s wedding. It was a navy midi dress by Stella McCartney and it had cut-out embroidery panels in the skirt. I teamed it with a pair of nude Rockstud Valentino shoes and a navy Ferragamo clutch bag.

Designer you’d wear all the time if you won the Lotto?

Zimmerman, Isabel Marant, Johanna Ortiz and Ulla Johnson.

Where do you seek style inspiration?

I get inspiration from Instagram, travelling and styling mailers from ShopBAZAAR.com and Moda Operandi.

Trend you’d never be caught dead in?

I can’t stand the micro bag trend, I just laugh when I see them.

Trend you’d wear ‘til the cows come home?

I love long straight-leg leather boots with midi skirts and dresses.

One thing that’s been on your wishlist forever?

Suede over the knee boots by Isabel Marant.


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Read more: The fashion PR with a die-hard love for vintage