It might seem like the ultimate glamorous job, but working as a stylist is tough. Behind every glossy mag shoot or e-commerce look, there's a hive of activity, and stylists are the worker bees at the centre of the action. Not only do they have an encyclopedic knowledge of the latest trends and the know-how for putting together an outfit, but they also have an ability to read the minds of consumers and know exactly what aesthetic or theme will convince us to reach for our credit cards.
Back in February at London Fashion Week, I was chatting to a stylist who works for a big e-commerce site. She revealed that there was one particular shoe style her fellow stylists were nabbing for their clients, resulting in their bosses having to impose a limit on their usage. If that's not enough praise, I don't know what is. This conversation inspired me to ask five other stylists which pieces they were obsessing over—the winning items that end up sneaking their way into every shoot.
It might sound unimportant, but if you think about it, these stylists are doing all the hard work for you, putting new-in buys through their paces. The result? Dresses, bags, jackets and jewellery that are guaranteed to give you serious mileage for seasons to come—say goodbye to annoying return policies. Scroll down to see and shop their edits.
Lauren Douglas, Personal Stylist
This Paisley knot-front shirt looks really premium and is great styled with high-waisted, wide-leg jeans.
The Cancun acrylic half-moon bag is a perfect summer bag option that elevates any look from jeans and tee to a wedding-guest dress.
This style hangs so beautifully and has great movement, plus the shoe options to wear with it are endless.
My clients love tortoiseshell at the moment. These are really versatile, plus the low block heels ensure the whole look doesn’t appear too done.
These straight-leg jeans really do suit everyone, and this new shade is a hit with my clients.
Seun Ogunsola, E-Commerce Stylist
When styling this season I've found myself reaching for neutral-toned bags, as they're easy to style from day to night. Whether it's the By Far Rachel bag or this beauty by Rejina Pyo, a mock-croc bag will definitely add some spice to your closet's life.
A trench coat is one of the few items of clothing that can transcend seasons. For that reason, it's the perfect go-to styling piece, especially during transitional weather. When styling into your wardrobe, think simple Audrey Hepburn Breakfast at Tiffany's. One too many accessories and you might end up serving Inspector Gadget vibes!
Chunky sandals are excellent for styling, as they go with literally everything from contemporary suiting to double-denim looks to prairie dresses. They pretty much are a stylist's dream! If you're like me and your budget doesn't quite stretch to Chanel, these Doc Martens are a perfect alternative.
I've been having loads of fun layering tops when styling; they're ideal for peeking out under leather shirts, cool dresses and the item of the moment: boilersuits. This Acne Studios turtleneck is a great choice for layering but can also stand strong on its own. Just remember to wear the right bra underneath (or not… #FreeTheNipple?).
For me, no outfit is complete without a splash of gold jewellery. I myself love to layer up multiple gold necklaces and earrings, but when styling for e-commerce clients, I like to keep it simple. I often reach for Alighieri gold plated jewellery, as they're very versatile, but these Chan Luu pearl beauties are also a firm fave. A great touch to complete any outfit.
Olivia Stoddart, ASOS Magazine Fashion Editor
A double-breasted oversized blazer is a great layering piece, and adds structure to denim, dresses and skirts. It also adds a cool '80s edge to cycling shorts.
Beaded mini bags are a summer favourite of mine, and this particular style gives you the perfect pop of colour and is great for a festival or to see you through wedding season.
A classic gold hoop can lift any outfit. I use them to add interest to anything from activewear to occasion wear.
This '90s-style cami slip dress is extremely versatile. For casual styling, throw on a hoodie, roll-neck or chunky knit and trainers, or add some barely there heels and a gold bangle for a classic evening outfit.
These clear block-heeled mules are simple yet impactful. The Perspex design gives them the flexibility to pair with pretty much anything in your wardrobe.
Hannah Lewis, Stylist
I've always been a big fan of mules—both for work and on a day-to-day basis—and these Gianvitos are my favourite. The thong shape makes them feel slightly cooler, and the bare heel means they're super flattering because of how they lengthen the legs.
Shorts are a key styling item this season, but if there's one pair I've reached for the most, it's these. They're high-waisted, and the loose fit and long-line leg make them feel really '90s.
Medea has quickly become a favourite brand of mine, and I'm obsessed with the simplicity of its shopper-style bags. They really elevate a look, and I've found that the white one will literally go with everything, making even a slouchy tee and cycling shorts feel cool.
If I could style this Chloé tank with everything, I really would. It's the perfect summer shape and fabric that looks exceptionally great with tailoring or denim.
I am most certainly amongst those who say snake print is considered a neutral, and, in my opinion, it can really bring a beige look to life. The By Far Rachel bag is the perfect '90s shape that sits well when worn on the shoulder or held.
Megan Reynolds, Market Director at MatchesFashion
We're seeing a move towards dressing up even in fabrications with a laid-back reputation such as denim. With endless styling options and longevity to last through multiple seasons, there's no better duo than this Gucci look.
Women in fashion are moving away from trends and focusing their shopping lists to pieces that will withstand the test of time while offering just enough of an edge. Gabriela Hearst does this so well, and her classic shirtdress with a corset detail will be lived in and loved for years to come.
The Fall season ahead challenged our definition of luxury in many ways, including by offering classic shapes in unexpected ways like leather, which is a trend that is sure to never go out of style.
From summer wedding season to winter holiday parties, I've found that occasion bags with the ability to spark both conversations and joy are the best plus-ones.
The movement towards flats is undeniable, and our feet couldn't be happier. I'm wearing this adaptation on the school shoe trend with everything from Breton stripes to miniskirts. I'll be transitioning them into the fall with cute socks.