Pandora Sykes is a constant source of outfit inspiration. Ahead of her trend presentation with Personal Shopping at Topshop Oxford Circus this Friday, we caught up with the journalist, stylist and podcast co-host to talk about summer’s key looks, personal style and her love of sweetcorn fritters…
How would you describe your style in three words?
Eclectic but specific.
What are your favourite trends of the season and why?
I love all the gingham and checks – they’re a trend, but also timeless. And I love trench coats – there’s a great one at Topshop – because they’re such a classic choice and look great over anything.
What is your advice for following trends?
I’ve learned more and more as I get older not to just buy into a trend for the sake of it. It has to suit me, firstly; it has to fit in with the context of my wardrobe, secondly. And it has to be something that I am not going to go ‘off’. I shop a lot of vintage because not only is it inherently cheaper but I like taking something ‘out’ of the cycle and I enjoy the fact that vintage shopping isn’t trend-related.
Who are your style icons?
I love the style of Alexa Chung, Giorgia Tordini, Leandra Medine, Pernille Teisbaek and the models Vera Van Erp and Maria Palm.
What are your top styling tips?
I like to add a pair of big chunky gold earrings most days (makes a T-shirt and jeans look much cooler, and can edge up a slightly more ladylike look) and when I wear trousers, I like to add a statement logo belt. I’m also very into scrunchies and sheer socks.
What are the key things you consider when styling other people?
Don’t over do it. Whilst your styling is the sartorial fragrance of you, think about that person as someone other than you. What works on you may not work on someone else.
How did you get into the industry?
I always wanted to be a journalist. I never intended to go into fashion – more and more it came into my consciousness. I’ve always loved clothes, but I’ve also always loved social commentary and pop culture. I’m so pleased to host The High Low, a news/pop-culture podcast with my fellow writer, Dolly Alderton, because it satisfies something that sits alongside my love of fashion and design.
I actually don’t blog anymore. My website is an online portfolio, hosting my work as a freelance journalist for various publications and the latest episode of The High Low. I do a bit of styling and consulting but when I left my role as Fashion Features Editor and Wardrobe Mistress columnist of The Sunday Times Style (which was very sad!), I decided to focus as much as possible on writing, and the podcast. I adore writing, I have since I was tiny, and I want that to be my focus. I have a list of publications I’d love to write for and I’m just trying to get better and more established. My favourite things to do are celebrity interviews – I love getting in to someone else’s psyche. And I’m hella nosy!
What are your favourite hang-outs in London?
In no particular order: I love Bill Granger’s restaurants (the sweetcorn fritters – I die, in the proverbial sense); the best meal I’ve ever had is at the Indian restaurant Gymkhana; I love my local pub, The Hillgate and also Portobello and the Golbourne Road (for the cafe’s and vintage shopping); Chiswick because I’m obsessed with The Old Cinema, an upcycled and second-hand furniture store; Columbia Road Flower Market, although it’s hellishly busy; and literally anywhere that does good gyoza and/or a nice Hendricks G and T.
What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
I love Bubbleology. Watching them make it really should put me off – my husband has to leave the shop – but I’m hooked on the tapioca bubbles.
Pandora Sykes exclusive trend talk takes place at Topshop Oxford Circus on Friday 26 May, 18:30 – 20:00 – buy tickets here.
Not in London? Shop everything Pandora is loving at Topshop right now here…