Reflections on a life in style with fashion influencer and Just Add Style brand champion Michelle Abbott.
Please introduce yourself
Hi, my name is Michelle. I’m a 51 year old married mum of two gorgeous boys. I’ve had an Instagram account (@maison_abbott), for around six years now which is my creative space, and somewhere I can express and explore my absolute love of fashion and style. I do work – I’m a lawyer and head up a legal service, so my Instagram life and work life are very different! I originally wanted to pursue a career in fashion design, but life look me down a different path and I ended up in law, which has been my career for the last 30 years.
How do you describe your signature personal style?
I like to think of myself primarily as a lover of classic style – yet I’m also a bit of a fashion chameleon – I don’t want to stick to one style or dress in a consistent look, (or dress for a certain age!) – although I do have my ‘go to’ outfits for those days when I don’t have time to think. I dress depending on how I feel on any given day, I don’t like to plan too much and prefer to just pick an outfit in the morning. I think the common thread for my personal style is to always wear what makes me feel good. If you feel confident in an outfit it will shine through – and we shouldn’t limit ourselves to a particular look, or be afraid to try something new. I like quality pieces (often buying preloved), but I absolutely love the High Street and independent brands for items to mix into my existing wardrobe. That’s one of the wonderful things about Instagram – it’s an amazing resource to find new undiscovered brands, collate ideas and inspiration which you can adapt to your own life style. I think I should mention my life long addiction to handbags – I have a bit of a collection – all of which I look after with a passion – a great bag can really lift an outfit – as can a beautiful silk scarf.
Who’s style are you inspired by? In real life or online.
I find inspiration in lots of places. Instagram is obviously a wonderful forum to see how other women put outfits together, as is Pinterest, but I still love a good old fashioned magazine (I’ve bought Vogue ever since I was 15), from which I soak up lots of ideas for future reference. Style icon wise, I adore the timelessly classic style of Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, the unique quirkiness of SJP (whether as herself or her iconic character Carrie), and I find French women have a wonderfully elegant relaxed glamour which I just adore.
If you had to pick your favourite piece from the Just Add Style luxury silk scarf collection, which would it be and why?
Ooh, tricky one! Each piece is just beautiful, and quite simply a piece of wearable art. These are pieces to treasure forever and hand down to future generations. I love that about truly classic style. I absolutely adore the London Fashion silk square which I have, and it always adds that perfect finishing elegant touch to an outfit. It’s also extremely versatile – I tie mine in lots of different ways depending on the look I want to achieve – not to mention how fabulous it is worn in your hair or as a headscarf.
How did you become a fashion influencer?
It kind of happened in an unplanned and organic way. I absolutely don’t think of myself as an ‘influencer’ but I do love to share my style and ideas on my account and hope that others can be inspired even if that’s just to wear and enjoy their clothes rather than save them for that elusive occasion. We should all feel our best every day – we deserve that. I originally started my account to post my daily outfits, thinking that if I could perhaps attract a few followers, I might start writing a blog. However, Instagram as a platform has changed dramatically since I started my account, and I found I could say what I wanted to say on my posts – and now of course stories are a wonderful medium to get a message across to compliment and expand on a post.
Which three Instagram accounts do you currently love and want to recommend?
When I open the app to have a scroll through, I always want to see what Joanne Hegarty (@thestylistandthewardrobe), AnnMarie Gee (@catwalkgee) and Jacie Duprie (@jaceyduprie) are wearing. They are all responsible for purchases I have made on the back of seeing them wearing something! There are so many fabulous accounts though – I also always love Sam’s style from @kensingtonpilates – she has a wonderfully relaxed chic style, and Caroline @carolinesstylehacks (instantly love her whole wardrobe) – but I could go on for ages about the great accounts out there which inspire and influence me on a daily basis! As you see, I found it hard to stick to three!
Follow Michelle and her fabulous modern, elegant style @maison_abbott