Alexandra Fullerton is Fashion Director-at-large at Glamour magazine, author of How to Dress, super stylist, founder of The Daily Shoe and Fashion Week Queen. I worked under Alex as a freelancer when she was Fashion Director at Stylist magazine and always admired her dedication to the job, chic style and way with words. But how does a style guru, who writes books on how to dress, actually dress her daughter…
Hi Alex! As mentioned above you are the style guru of the moment but as this is The Little Stylist please can we quiz you on how you dress your daughter…
You’re too kind Charlotte!
Can we start with the basics? How old is Jerry now?
Jerry turned four in August.
And how would you describe her style? Do you get any input?
I wish… I do the buying of things and then try to get her to approve or not before I take the tags off. Invariably she promises to wear something and says she loves it, but when I suggest it, when it’s time to get dressed, there will be tears or a definite no. Jerry’s main consideration is comfort, or rather, how clothes and shoes feel on her – she once burst into tears because this adorable (expensive) and very winsome dress had bracelet length sleeves which she said felt weird on her arms so she simply couldn’t wear it. I felt like crying too. If I had to pin down a phrase it would be ‘pretty casual.’ Jerry does like girly elements (tutus, bows) but wears them in a very relaxed manner.
THAT Boden dress.
Do you have a favourite of Jerry’s looks?
This Summer she wore a delightful Liberty print sundress from Boden, which had a Peter Pan collar and neon stitching and smocking. A present from my mother, it was just what I would have bought her too.
And what’s Jerry’s favourite?
At the moment I think it’s her “Autumn dress” which is cadet blue baby cord with a star print. It’s Stella Kids from Bicester Village which we bought on a boiling Summer day and she wanted to wear immediately. Now it’s colder, it’s had lots of wear!
Where do you shop for kidswear?
Because I never know whether she will deign to wear what I buy I tend to go high street to stop expensive mistakes. H&M for t-shirts, Next have some pretty printed dresses, as does M&S. Zara is full of gems and whenever I’m in Paris I go to Monoprix for adorable Bonpoint-esque childrenswear.
For her birthday she’s worn Stella Kids every year – more accident by design – and I always get something special from Alexandalexa, La Coqueta or Melijoe for her to wear for Christmas and New Year parties.
What are Jerry’s wardrobe must-haves?
Dresses and more dresses. She doesn’t do jeans, trousers or leggings – even when we went to Giant’s Causeway on a blustery day and I begged her to wrap up warm and cover her legs, she still wanted to just wear a dress. She hates socks too. And tights? Oh, my goodness, winter is going to be tricky. And cold!
Dresses, dresses and more dresses.
Any special pieces or keepsakes in her wardrobe that you’ll treasure?
I kept so many pieces from when she was small I couldn’t even begin to list them. Now I keep ’special dresses’ and her christening gown was the one I wore – along with an heirloom bonnet and booties – and has gone back in its tissue wrapping until maybe she has her own baby…
Does Jerry have a huge wardrobe full of amazing clothes like we imagine you to?
I have a dressing room and Jerry often comes in for a play – although my make-up is more tempting for her at the moment… I’m quite happy that now she’s started school I will have less things to buy because she’ll be in uniform most of the time! Her wardrobe is actually quite streamlined.
And her shoes? You’re the founder of The Daily Shoe, is she a shoe-lover too?
Actually, my penchant for fancy shoes HAS rubbed off on her. Jerry LOVES shoes and helps me choose mine in the morning (which involves her wandering around in a glitter encrusted pair of Louboutin’s, usually.) Three weeks into school she complained that her lovely classic black Mary Janes don’t have bows or sparkles on them. Last Winter I had a voucher for Melijoe and bought a pair of gold glitter dolly shoes from Gucci kids with patent cherries on them and they were her every day nursery shoes. She was talking about them last week and reminiscing that she used to have a pair of shoes with cherries on!
Jerry in her first trainers!
Any children’s style rules you always adhere to? Now or when Jerry was a baby?
I don’t think you can have rules – when they’re little they’ll wear what you like which is a dream – and when they’re old enough to let you know what they don’t like, rules go out the window. Jerry was about 18 months and literally fought her way out of a pair of navy broderie anglaise dungarees and told me ‘No! Want comfy leggings!” I was devastated – but now I wish she WOULD wear leggings! Having said, that I really don’t like lairy logos or slogans for little ones, they’re too grown-up. I don’t like sportswear in general and Jerry doesn’t own a tracksuit… Nor is she allowed those hideous flammable dressing up things. If she wants to dress up she can borrow something of mine. And she invariably does!
What does Jerry think of your style?
The sweetest thing is when I have got dressed in the morning and she’ll say, “Oh you look lovely mummy” or “That’s a chic outfit.” So far, she’s a fan of what I wear, although I’m sure that will change!
How do you juggle work and motherhood? Any tips?
I think the best thing I did was leave my incredibly full on, full-time job as fashion director of Stylist in August 2017. I went freelance because I had a book to write but it’s been glorious to spend more time with Jerry, especially during her last year before school. Freelance offers so much freedom and flexibility although I couldn’t do my job without an amazingly patient husband and the incredible help from my mother who picks up a huge amount of childcare when I’m shooting or travelling. This job is never 9-5 but over the past year, building a portfolio career means I have time to devote to Jerry and can still continue working on my own terms which I absolutely love.
On Alexandra’s shopping list…