Today we are joined by Joey Taylor, the creator of fashion blog, Northern Magpie. I had the pleasure of working with Joey a couple of years ago, she is a fellow designer and a fellow northerner, hence the name Northern Magpie. Needless to say we clicked straight away and I am really happy to say we are still good friends. We have enjoyed many a in-depth chat about all that is good and bad about the fashion industry, and I can say that she has truly been an inspirational influence.
No one can deny that this woman has style in spades and we want to learn from her. Joey has been kind enough to agree to collaborate with us sharing some of her fashion advice. Often seen contrasting her fun and vibrant outfits against the urban background of London, I could easily spend hours scrolling through her content. Joey provides the honesty I crave from a blog. Not only giving us outfit inspiration, but also tips on how to get the most out of our purchases and even talks about the days we all have when we just don’t feel all that.
Reading up on Northern Magpie recently a couple of articles caught my attention. The first talking about “being in a style rut” the second talking about getting back to her true identity after a period of getting distracted.
This is a topic we have wanted to talk about for a while, because this is the basis of what slow fashion represents. Finding your style, what works for you and ultimately what makes you happy within yourself. Although Northern Magpie is a style blog, we think Joey offers a very honest and authentic insight into all areas of fashion blogging. She works hard to be true to her own aesthetic and loves outfit building, reworking old favs and being just generally creative. Something I know we can all respect and wish to replicate.
This is a blog post taking a different outlook, reminding ourselves why we are having this sustainable fashion conversation in the first place…because we love fashion. We care about our image and we want it to be the best it can be. We want our image to represent who we are and what we stand for.
ITE: It is so great to create a post with you Joey, you know we love what you do! Tell us how would you describe your relationship with your wardrobe?
NM: Thank you for wanting to collaborate with me. My fascination with clothes started long before NM was born. From an early age I loved clothes and would buy fashion magazines tearing out pages of cool photo shoots and pinning them up for inspiration. Back then I had no concept of how to style myself, it was all about flirting with fast fashion. In university times I wore the most colourful pieces and wore so many different trends that even I didn’t know what my style was! I think you have to go through your experimental stage with your wardrobe to find out what you really love. At that time the wardrobe I had built for myself was all about trends, bold colours and lots of clashing prints. It wasn’t until I started NM and started to analyse my outfits that I realised I wanted to build a wardrobe that could be worn year in year out. A wardrobe to me is a journey, nothing is set in stone and your taste changes so it’s just knowing what fits with your shape.
ITE: Haha, I get you, I had an 80s phase, lets not talk about that. Tell us more about Northern Magpie and what inspired you to begin blogging?
NM: As I already worked within the fashion industry as a designer, I always took advantage of the time we had to research the catwalks and high street for new trends. I couldn’t always use this information within my design work so I decided I wanted to cover trends that I loved in the form of a blog and Northern Magpie was then born.
ITE: Sometimes you really do just need a creative output. It is great you can do that with your blog.
You are great at putting outfits together, What are your go to pieces when you just want to get dressed and go, your old reliables? And do you have any tips on experimenting with outfit building on those days when you feel you “have nothing to wear?”
NM: Aw why thank you! Of course I have fail safe pieces I turn to when I really just can’t be bothered thinking of something to wear. Every time without fail it is a trusty pair of jeans! Jeans are my number one favourite piece and the most versatile piece in my wardrobe. I wear them with plain t-shirts, going out tops, oversized knits, shirts… I could go on and on. My top tip is don’t buy designer, head to the high street to shops like Topshop, Urban Outfitters and & Other Stories, the quality is good so they last years and they affordable. Also always check in thrift stores for vintage Levi’s and if you see a pair that fits, BUY THEM.
ITE: I used to have an old pair of Levi shorts that I wore until they were literally falling apart at every seam. I miss them. RIP.
When you talk about shopping you often talk about buying mindfully and investing in key pieces even in the sales, we love this mentality, tell us more about why you think it is important to shop with purpose.
NM: In the past I’ve been a sucker for fast fashion, buying pieces that I would only wear once then they would sit in my wardrobe never to be worn again. This became so costly as the items I was buying didn’t fit into any style so I couldn’t just wear them again with something else. After starting Northern Magpie I quickly realised you don’t have to buy into every trend going, instead invest in your basics and then add trends that actually flatter your figure and fit with your basics. It’s about being mindful with style and money. Even in the sales I shop consciously, thinking what is missing from my wardrobe and buying pieces I’ve lusted over for a while.
ITE: Amen to that. I think considering purchases like that saves a lot of money in the long run. How do you think fashion and developing your own style affects your daily life?
NM: Developing my own style has helped so much with dressing from day to day. I’ve planned out my whole wardrobe so each piece, right down to my shoes can be worn with any look I put together. This has cut my time of pondering over what to wear each morning. It has taken me three years to build a wardrobe like this but it so worth it and very satisfying.
ITE: Being able to mix and match your outfits is great, I have found some fun combos recently that previously I’d never thought of, it makes me feel creative in a morning.
We love that as a style blogger you repeat items in multiple photo shoots. We have spoken before about the importance of buying clothes you want to wear on repeat. Is this something you enjoy doing?
NM: Yes totally! I love seeing style bloggers wearing items on repeat. It shows your audience how much you genuinely love an item and it’s proof you can recommend it anyone. Of course I have to be mindful that I am showing different looks each time I post on my Instagram and blog, but I still like to add in my favourite jeans or coat. This winter season it has been my camel coloured teddy coat. I’ve worn it everyday because I’ve loved it so much.
ITE: Having your own personal style takes commitment and focus, can you give us your best tips on how to buy true to ourselves to reach our style goals?
NM: I would say find the favourite item in your wardrobe and ask yourself why you love it so much. Is it the way you feel in the chosen piece or is it the way that it looks on? Find out why you love it and then invest in basic versions of it as building blocks and add in items around this building block, making sure it fits with others items in your wardrobe.
ITE: Great advise Joey. A big part of creating an effective wardrobe includes having good basic pieces, which are also becoming easier than ever to buy more consciously. Tell us how we can buy and use basic pieces daily to our advantage, and what investments we should be making?
NM: Basics are a massive part of my wardrobe, this includes jeans, plain t-shirts, jumpers, coat, ankle boots and sandals. These are my top 6 key basics to invest for basic building blocks in any wardrobe. For all of these you can find great quality pieces on the high street, if you can spend a little more but the key is to shopping around to find quality not quantity. Shop as if you were not doing this again for another year. I can’t stress enough quality is the key.
ITE: Agree 100% especially when you are buying shoes.
Is sustainable fashion something which you would like to incorporate into your platform more frequently? Do you think your reader would enjoy reading this kind of content?
NM: My readers love hearing about new brands so they would happily read about sustainable brands that I support. It’s all about how I would incorporate sustainable fashion into my current style, this is something I want to expand on more within my looks. I am already conscious about the toiletries I buy for the house, ensuring there are no micro-beads and using natural ingredients.
ITE: That is the key I think, incorporating it slowing and adding pieces where you can. Finally, tell us some gossip, do you have anything exciting up your stylish sleeves for the coming year, what is the future looking like for The Northern Magpie?
NM: I am really enjoying having some quiet time after a mad few weeks over Christmas but my next venture will be London Fashion Week which will feature heavily on my blog and Instagram. I always love seeing up and coming designer collections, the talent is very raw and beautiful.
Look forward to seeing the outfits you put together for fashion week Joey. I could keep chatting to you all day, thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions.
I love talking to Joey about clothes. She reminds me that creating a wardrobe is a fun thing to do, it is more than throwing clothes on in the morning to find you don’t like the result. It is a life choice to consciously build your wardrobe and enjoy the process and Joey makes all this seem possible to me. We love that as a style blogger she is open to the sustainable discussion. It is people like her who can influence our buying decisions so I think this is a really important part of the movement. Not by having to discuss why it is important to buy ethically (where you can) but by just letting your look do all the talking!
Thank you again for your time Joey, we wish you all the best for 2018! We have included some links to Northern Magpie throughout the article! To follow Joey’s journey and be inspired check out her website and follow @joeytaylor04 on Instagram.
Thank you as always for reading, let us know what your best style tips are, and if you have any thrifty advice in the comments, we would love to hear from you.
Into The Eco xx
Ps: Those boots though…