At Links, our directory is pure gold – a curated selection of the absolute best, meticulously tried and tested for all your PA, EA, and Office Management needs - personal and professional! As the season begins to change and many wave goodbye to the concept of fast fashion, join us for an intimate look at one of our newest entries, Bella Hignett, founder of Bella Hignett Styling.

Bella, let us start with your mantra ‘buy less, choose well and make it last’. What drove you as a stylist to come to this conclusion when working with clients?

We have to buy less - the environmental impact of fast fashion and endless purchasing is proving to be catastrophic! We don’t need lots of clothes - we ideally need a capsule wardrobe of pieces (20 or so) we wear time and time again that work for all occasions, that we can then build upon depending on season and event. Last year I set myself the challenge of only buying 12 items (underwear and socks didn’t count) which was hard but we don’t need all of these clothes - it’s ok to wear outfits on repeat. We also need to be very aware of our fabric choices.

Do you see a lot of PAs and young professionals these days being slaves to fast fashion? Why do you think that is?

I do see lots of PAs and young professionals purchasing fast fashion for several reasons - the first being that it is affordable and the second being that we think it is acceptable to be seen in different pieces all the time. It does not help that we see influencers and celebrities promoting and wearing un-sustainable fashion brands. I would like to stress that it really doesn’t matter if we wear our clothes to death!

Most of our community thinks hiring a stylist is very expensive. How can your services be accessible to a wide range of salary brackets and what guarantees a fantastic return on investment?

It is not as much of a fortune as many think! A stylist should have a wealth of experience at their fingertips so it’s money well spent. I'm offering 20% off in February and March on all of my styling services, plus a free consultation so feel free to drop me a line.

What are some of the biggest fashion mistakes you see PAs and EAs make today?

I think PAs and EAs often think that by buying lots of competitively-prised and badly-made fast fashion items means they are saving money but it couldn’t be further from the truth! Investing in some good quality pieces that are tailored properly in better fabrics will save them so much more in the long-run. Buying gorgeous classic elegant pieces will never go out of fashion and if you are into buying trends then buy them sparingly as they go out of fashion moves fast. A lot of the fabrics that fast-fashion garments are made of are so bad for the environment as they don’t biodegrade.

Work attire in the office has changed over the past decade. We have gone from super corporate to more relaxed smart casual attire across a wide range of industries. Where do you draw the line when it comes to being experimental with outfits in a professional environment?

Since COVID-19 the dress-code in the workplace has changed dramatically. Long gone are the days of power skirt-suits for women and ties for men. Smart (clean!) trainers are now a possibility, as is leather and in some cases, smart jeans! Flip flops, crocs and shorts are a no-go in the summer and very shorts skirts and hot pants have always been inappropriate. Cycling gear is a definite no, as is leggings and dungarees!

What are some of the biggest names you have worked with before?

I work with all genders and ages from a wide variety of industries. I do dress several presenters and actors for the red-carpet but don’t like to name them unless they give me permission! I have also helped dress minor royals working in conjunction with some brands. But mainly my clients are working professionals.

You have been featured in various press and media including Good Housekeeping and Metro. What sets you apart from other stylists?

I have had quotes featured in several national papers and glossy mags which is always a bit surreal. I’m keen to help these journalists with their articles - I used to work in PR so know how it works! - and so they approach me. I think I’m down-to-earth and intuitive so I can sense how clients feel when they come to me and I do my utmost to make them feel relaxed and ensure they have a good time.

What 3 essential items must every PA or EA have in their wardrobe?

The 3 essentials I think every PA and EA should have in their wardrobe is:

  • a really good tailored blazer
  • a fabulous long classic overcoat
  • a beautiful, plain tote
  • a gorgeous pair of tailored trousers

What are some of your favourite stores and why?

My favourite boutique is KJs Laundry in Marylebone and I love Arket for basics. I also love my local vintage store, Restore, in West London.

If you could choose anyone, dead or alive, who would be the dream to dress and what would you do for them?

Without a doubt I would have liked to dress Caroline Bessette-Kennedy. It doesn’t get better than that! I think we have quite similar styles!

Is there a favourite book you are reading now that you can share with us?

I have two books on the go at the moment - 'How They Broke Britain' by James O'Brien and Justine Picardie’s ‘Coco Chanel’.