'I've got less afraid of trying things as I've got older': Talking fashion with Millie Mackintosh

16th Apr 19 | Beauty

The ex-reality TV star and heiress chats to Prudence Wade about her style evolution, the trends she's loving and how she shops sustainably.

EE British Academy Film Awards 2019 - Arrivals - London

Millie Mackintosh might be best-known for her stint on the reality TV show Made In Chelsea, but since leaving the programme in 2013 she’s made a name for herself in the worlds of fashion, fitness and beauty.

Even though her eponymous fashion brand went into liquidation last year, Mackintosh is still a popular style icon with her 1.3 million Instagram followers keen to see what trends she’ll be wearing next.

Now, Mackintosh is auctioning off some of her own clothing and donating the money to breast cancer awareness charity CoppaFeel. “I chose things I felt for whatever reason I wouldn’t wear again, and I just wanted someone else to get to enjoy them,” she says, “and it’s great they can do good as well.”

Mackintosh has been honing her style over the years she’s been in the public eye, and as her family founded the Quality Street brand, you can be sure she’s got a lot to pick from in her wardrobe. As the 29-year-old has been rifling through her clothes, it seems like a good opportunity to chat about her fashion sense and what it means to her.

How she describes her style…

“My style is quintessentially British,” Mackintosh confesses. “But I like to mix different styles together. Whether it’s something really feminine with something a lot tougher or military-inspired.”

This could be anything from PVC trousers with a floaty blouse, to a floral dress with a leather jacket on top. But Mackintosh’s style can’t necessarily be summed up so neatly. “I love London and its clash of different styles and trends,” she says – and this eclectic mix is reflected in her wardrobe.

“I also love the 70s – it influences everything from my make-up, hair and clothes,” she says. “I just think you can never go wrong with flares – they will never go out of fashion.”

Fashion is a tough thing to pin down, Mackintosh says. “I don’t have the exact same style every day of the week. It depends on my mood, it depends on the occasion.”

What inspires her…

“I get inspiration from people watching, people around me, magazines and Instagram,” she says. At the moment, she can’t get enough of the colour matching trend. “I’m actually wearing all beige today, like a cappuccino,” she says, giggling.

Her advice if you want to try this trend? “As we’re coming into spring it’s really nice to wear pastels of all one colour. They don’t always have to be in the same shade, so you could wear, for example, all mint green, but wear one darker colour to toughen it up.”

A Simple Favour Premiere – London
Blake Lively loves a formal suit (Ian West/PA)

Mackintosh’s current style icon is actor Blake Lively. “I think she executes an outfit really well, she’s gorgeous and not afraid to try things,” she says.

The former reality star particularly likes how she styles “a dressed up suit” – which perhaps could have been inspiration behind the outfit she wore to her registry office wedding last year with Hugo Taylor. She wore cream trousers and a wrap top. which looked like a perfectly matching suit, all topped off with a Bianca Jagger-inspired hat.

How her style has changed as she’s got older…

Millie Mackintosh
Mackintosh’s style as come a long way since her Made In Chelsea days, pictured here in 2011 (Ian West/PA)

Mackintosh first shot to fame on Made In Chelsea in 2011 – a time still dangerously close to the Noughties, so looking back there are some seriously dodgy fashion choices made. The reality TV star cringes when she thinks back to her style eight years ago, saying: “It was just about wearing a tiny dress, the highest heels and all of the jewellery!”

At the age of 29, Mackintosh is more comfortable with her personal sense of style than ever before. “I’ve definitely got less afraid of trying different things as I’ve got older,” she says. “There might be a fashion rule a few years ago I would’ve followed, but now I might break it – you just have to try things. The first time you try you might not get it right, but you need to keep trying until you find what works for you.”

The importance of sustainability in fashion…

Celebrities from Rihanna to Alexa Chung are increasingly talking about their love for vintage clothes as we all become a bit more aware of the impact our shopping habits are having on the environment. Mackintosh is doing her bit by donating her clothes so they don’t end up in a landfill, but she’s also partial to some pre-loved clothing herself.

“I like to buy vintage and often swap things with friends,” she says. “I think you can find such great things and really unique things.”

She also takes note of the eco-credentials of the labels she buys too – “I like brands that use recycled fabrics like Reformation, which I’ve loved for years.”

Mackintosh also aware of the more serious issues at play. “I’m definitely more conscious of sustainability and the huge issue of clothing waste now,” she explains. “I think in the last year people are really starting to talk about it which is great, but there’s obviously still a lot to do to improve the problem.”

Mackintosh is auctioning a number of items from her own wardrobe and consumers can sell their unwanted clothes directly to Patatam too. All proceeds go to CoppaFeel. Auction ends April 21 2019, visit www.patatam.co.uk/auction/milliemackintosh.

© Press Association 2019

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