What Katie Wore – the Q&A

Lovely Joe and Katie from Whatkatiewore.com agreed to be grilled by me about Katie’s challenge – to wear a different outfit every day for a year – while Joe documents it on their blog.

Katie, when did you first discover fashion?
K: I think I’ve always had a bit of a thing for it, even when I was really wee. One of my earliest memories is sitting on the floor of my mum’s bedroom and watching her choose which shoes to wear; she keeps all her shoes in their boxes, and knows each pair by name – I’d suggest names to her from the floor. And she also laughs at the memory of me refusing to wear anything other than one of my Laura Ashley dresses to nursery – I think I was the only wee girl in the sandpit in a floral party dress!

You have such a colourful, exuberant look (so nice to see in grey old London), how do you choose what goes with what?
K: Hmm, I really don’t know. Generally it starts with one thing I want to wear and then I add other bits and pieces to make up the outfit, but other times it’s just a random assortment of brightly coloured things pulled together by a piece of jewellery or silly tights! I’m really anal when it comes to my wardrobe – everything is sorted by colour which I suppose also helps me pull things together.

Your look is totally unique which is quite a feat these days! How do you do it – do you ever make your own clothes?
K: I’m a bit of a hoarder! A lot of the things I wear are things I’ve had since school, or they’re my mum’s – and most of the other bits that aren’t are from TK Maxx, junk shops or sample sales. I like to rummage around for a bargain! And Joe, my family and my friends know me very well – they’ve all contributed lots of things to my wardrobe. I’d love to make more of my own things – I make jewellery and accessories, but my making of clothes normally just stretches to me using safety pins to transform the shape of something (the kilt I wore on Burns’ Night for example).

You seem totally open-minded – is there anything you wouldn’t wear?
K: I don’t think so – although I don’t really wear much black, so maybe black head to toe?

Would you be willing to share your top five shopping haunts with us?
K: TK Maxx, TK Maxx, TK Maxx, TK Maxx, TK Maxx…! Seriously though? I’d say an out-of-town TK Maxx, Tabio (rainbow tights emporium), Tatty Devine, any number of sample sales on or around Brick Lane, and can I say TK Maxx again?

How do you feel when you get approached for pictures by streetstyle bloggers?
K: Embarrassed!
J: It’s hysterical sometimes. We’ll walk down Brick Lane at the weekend and often there will be a queue of people waiting to take Katie’s picture. Now when people ask to take a photo, we can just give them a link to the blog!

How did the idea for the different-outfit-every-day challenge come about?
K: Everyone always says that they don’t think they’ve ever seen me wear the same thing twice and they always think I must have the biggest wardrobe in the world, but since Joe and I moved in together, my wardrobe has shrunk to about a third of what it used to be (seriously) so this is kind of a challenge to see just how many different combinations I can put together.
J: Katie was complaining that I never wrote her love letters (since we live together I don’t have much opportunity to do so!). I thought that perhaps the blog could be something akin to a year-long love letter.

What’s the hardest thing about the challenge?
K: Joe not wanting me to wear the same item in the same month – that was never part of the original rules!
J: Finding time to post each day. Also, if I haven’t posted anything by lunchtime, I start getting emails to [email protected] telling me to hurry up and post so they can see what Katie is wearing today.

What’s your best tip on ringing the changes to a worn-it-before outfit?
K: Wear a statement piece of jewellery (the bigger and brighter the better) and add some brightly patterned tights – no-one will even look at the rest of your outfit then!

Where did the tights obsession come from?
K: I really don’t know, it might be because I never really seem to wear trousers (throwback to those childhood tantrums perhaps?) but it’s probably because hosiery adds another option for colour and pattern.

Joe, do you fight over wardrobe space?
J: Maybe a little bit. We didn’t know how we were going to manage when we first moved in together – Katie needed to get rid of about 3 double wardrobes full of clothes just so both of our stuff could fit into our new place. I think we’ve pretty much reached capacity now – if anyone buys a pair of shoes we need to decide what to throw out to make room for them.

Joe: Does Katy filch your things as well?
J: It’s first-up, best dressed at our place. I sometimes wear Katie’s jewellery and Katie will wear anything of mine that takes her fancy (and invariably, my clothes always look better on her than me).

Do you really think you can keep this up for a whole year?
K: I hope so – I’m sure Joe will invent some sort of forfeit if I don’t!
J: I’ve already thought of loads!