In the second instalment of Irish Tatler's In Her Closet series, celebrating style-savvy Irish women, we chat to London-based fashion blogger and events planner Jessica Garland Blake (@ihavethisthingfor).
What’s the one phrase that would sum up your sense of personal style?
Unique? Man Repelling? Adaptable? I think I dress depending on my mood...and the weather!
Tell us about your shopping habits. What kind of consumer are you?
I'm definitely conscious, I do really think about a piece before buying it. What else can I wear this with? Will I still be wearing this next year, the next five years? Sometimes I buy a piece, try it on at home with other things in my wardrobe and if it's not working, I'll return it.
READ MORE: In Her Closet, Ruth Walsh
As a person who is followed for their style on Instagram do you feel a duty to have ethically informed spending habits?
This is something I mean to be more vocal about. If a dress is under £20 someone is getting cheated – the women who are making it. In a time when people are saying how they want to empower other women, and that we should all be feminists, I think you need to put your money where you mouth is and really look at where your clothes come from.
Likewise, do you feel a pressure to dress in a ‘good’ outfit when you know you’re going to be taking photos?
I think about locations and lighting and then think, 'Oh, I haven’t worn this in a while, this would work well. I like to think about ‘head to toe’ so the shoes and jewellery I’ll be wearing too. I don’t feel pressure, I shoot when I can, I don’t post everyday so I’m not constantly creating content so I feel it’s bit more natural for me.
How has living in London shaped your sense of style?
I think perhaps people take more risks with their fashion to stand out. Plus, there’s a really multi-cultural influence here that I have been influenced by. There are so many nationalities in London and they each bring their own style to the city. Also, the anonymity of the big city, and the melting pot of different cultures encourages people in London to take more risks with their fashion. And then the shops, I think, can take the risk of buying in ‘quirkier’ brands.
Tell us about the best investment but you've ever made.
I went to a Matches sample sale years ago and bought a Yves Saint Laurent cream pussy bow blouse that was marked down from £1,000 to £150 – I was student and working in a restaurant and I knew it would break the bank but I knew it would be worth it, and it was!
Where do you gain inspiration for your own look?
I LOVE Leandra Medine from Man Repeller, she says she never wears her outfits the same way twice which I think is a great motto. I think instead of buying new outfits for the Friday drinks just rework something you already have. Another blogger I adore is Nina Suess, her style is so
Where do you consider to be your destination for a guilty pleasure shop, when you’re looking for that fast fashion hit?
I always have an updated wish list on Matches Fashion and Net-a-Porter, but I’m not lead by trends, I look for pieces that I will have for years and that I can work into my wardrobe and these two places are my faves. Back in Ireland I always try and get into Bella in Blackrock market, Patricia who runs it has such a good eye.
What’s your dress up vibe right now?
Something that’s comfortable, comfort is key! But also something I can wear during the day for work and then add a pair of heels and big earrings to dress it up for later.
Roughly, how much would you estimate you spend on clothes per month?
It really depends. I didn't buy much in the last two months because I was saving up for a pink quilted Vilshenko shirt and the day I bought it it went on sale, so I also bought a pair of black tapered Toteme trousers. December was a bit of a hit to the wallet and I would say I spent about £700.
What is your lazy day look?
Baggy trousers, trainers with a thick sole so it feels like your walking on marshmallows and a cosy oversized jumper.