Stylist Lana Wilkinson has styled the likes of Megan Gale, Rebecca Judd, Anna Heinrich and Zoe Foster Blake, and in 2019 she launched her eponymous shoe brand—so, if anyone knows the key to great style it’s Lana. With the launch of her second shoe range this month focusing on versatility and multipurpose styles, I thought it was a great time to catch up with Lana herself to share her tips on how to achieve the one thing most women want: a truly versatile and functional wardrobe.
What’s the key to ensuring versatility with one’s wardrobe?
“My number one tip for ensuring your wardrobe has versatility, is to buy pieces that you can integrate and pair with three items already in your wardrobe. It makes the styling process far less overwhelming.”
What should women keep in mind when shopping if they do want a wardrobe that has longevity and versatility?
“If you want your wardrobe to stand the test of time, I recommend buying classic investment pieces that don’t go out of style. Staple items like a blazer, classic black pant or LBD and denim are always great go-to pieces, no matter what the trends are for the season. My wardrobe formula is quality over quantity, 80% classic / 20% trend-based.“
What are the most versatile style staples every woman should have in her wardrobe and why?
- A Pump Heel. They create the ultimate leg-lengthening effect, making you look feminine and elongated all at the same time. Total boss vibe too!
- Blazer. A Blazer is the ultimate wardrobe staple and has the power to make any outfit look more styled and put together. Blazers designed in a classic colour way (black, grey, camel or white) will always be a great investment that you will wear time and time again.
- Denim. Jeans that make you look and feel amazing will be one of the most essential pieces in your wardrobe. They can be worn casually with trainers or styled up with a signature pair of heels.
- Basic T-shirt. A good T-shirt is often overlooked as a key wardrobe staple. They can be worn in so many different ways and can be dialed up for day or evening. Again, in signature colour ways like black, white and grey – you can’t go wrong.
What are the 3 most versatile pieces in your wardrobe and why?
“I’m a sucker for a cool midi-dress. Pair it back in winter with a chunky knit, trainers, pump or boots or in summer with a pair of sandals or flats.
A must-have for me is a black blazer. It sure gets a big workout in my wardrobe! It is so versatile and perfect for layering, I can wear it with jeans and a t-shirt, or pair it with black trousers for a power suit look at work.
A good fitting pair of jeans are another versatile piece that serve me through the week and also on weekends. You can pair them with a knit for an off duty look or with heels and a structured top to go out at night.”
When it comes to shoes, it seems there is always an endless array of designs to choose from. What should women look for when it comes to picking shoes that will go the distance?
“I’ve found that shoes are such a personal fashion item, so I have a hard time advising women on what they should and shouldn’t wear. My main advice is usually to have fun with them and make sure you are comfortable. The aim of my shoe collection is to give women multiple options and fashion forward staples that they can wear again and again.”
What was the inspiration behind your new range? Why are they the kind of shoes that can be worn time and time again?
“My aim in designing my footwear line is to create versatile, fun pieces that you will feel great wearing. I have been inspired by utility and want to make sure that my customer can wear the pieces time and time again, not just for one season. The new collection features classic styles in versatile colours to make sure that my customer can get the most out of each piece.”
If you had to pick, which style in your new collection would be your go-to shoe?
“It’s always so hard to choose! At the moment I’ve been wearing the “Megan” (pictured above) to death as they go with everything and the heel height allows me to wear them all day.”
What should people scrimp on if they do want to ensure that their wardrobe is functional and wearable season after season?
“I always advise people to scrimp on basics like t-shirts and shirts, as these are the building blocks of an outfit but won’t add any wow factor to them. Uniqlo and Zara always have excellent layering pieces at an affordable price.”
Where do you think women tend to go wrong if when they look at their wardrobe they constantly think “I have nothing to wear”?
“I think we need to aim to reinvent our wardrobes more than we currently do. Instead of thinking that you need a completely new collection of clothes, try taking out your essential pieces and play around with them to find new and interesting ways to build an outfit. Styling my garments and accessories in different ways gives me extra wear out of pieces. I try to make my wardrobe habits more sustainable which results in less stress when I get dressed in the morning!”
What’s the key to classic, timeless style?
“Everyone has their own version of classic style as fashion is so subjective, however wearing tailored silhouettes and timeless pieces will ensure that your look has longevity. Try not to follow trends too closely as these tend to go out of style more quickly.”
What’s one thing you wish more women would do when it comes to their wardrobe?
“I wish that women would feel more confident wearing pieces more than once. This is something that we were told was a big ‘no-no’, however why shouldn’t we wear items that we feel great in all the time? If you invest in a piece that you absolutely love and look after it, it can last for decades, instead of just one season.”