Who Inspires You? – Fashion Edition

Words by Milla Foster

When asked who has had the biggest impact on my sense of style, I pondered over my former extremely impressionistic adolescent years. Was it one of the celebrities from the glossy magazines that were cut out and adorned my teenage bedroom walls? The feminist noughties icons of Elle Woods and Cher in Clueless that flaunted on my TV screen? Or was it the social media influencers that inundated my Instagram feed? After a brief reflection, I suddenly realised that my fashion influence stemmed from closer to home, in my older sister Sophie. Growing up in my house the age-old quote ‘mother knows best’ was inverted to ‘older sister knows best’. Mum and dad went to her for computer advice of technological substance, but I and my twin sister went for clothing guidance and gossip.

Style advice from Sophie, aka the Anna Wintour of the Foster household, held the utmost importance when it came to the all-important non-school uniform days in secondary school. It would be a battle of the fastest, and sometimes the sneakiest, between my twin sister and I of who asked Sophie to borrow her Levi jacket first. On many occasions, tiptoes were required to gain access in ‘borrowing’ her clothing, with presumptuous consent, but this evidently led to a lot of arguments and an industrial lock being firmly placed on her door after a few guilty run ins in the hallway. Being three and half (yes, the half matters apparently), her hand-me-downs were treasured like gold dust. Her Urban Outfitters filled wardrobe was a beacon of glory for a teen in the 2010s, and the subject of envy of all my friends at school. I fully blame her for my long-held Urban Outfitters addiction that has created a false sense of reality regarding what is an accepted price tag. Her ‘advice’, warranted or not, holds a high degree of authority in my female-dominated household, and if you are lucky enough to get a nod of approval, then you can be confident that your outfit is good. She has taught me about the importance of cultivating a strong collection of basics that will go with everything and to avoid passing fashion fads like the plague.

As I got older, I like to think my style was a product of my own personal fashion evolution but, the monochromatic rails, mini handbag collection, and even the type of hangers suggest otherwise and attain a strong reminisce of Sophie. Growing up in an all-girl house there was never a dull moment, whether it be an argument over stolen shoes, blasting music or the doorbell signifying another clothes delivery had arrived. Silence was a strange unacquainted with concept.  A ritual that frequently occurred was all of us convening in one bedroom to replicate the Sex in the City scene when Carrie purges her wardrobe to an eager audience deliberating whether to keep or toss certain items. I think having a brother would have very much ruined this dynamic and possibly would have changed my style completely. Without an older sister who teaches you how to pluck your eyebrows, or curl your hair? Looking back retrospectively, I would have been completely clueless about fashion without her influence. To prom I wore her earrings, her heels, and a dress from ASOS that she chose. It was a dress that I would have never chosen myself and was very different to the status quo prom cliches, but I loved it. Her eye for design and high-quality clothes, cannot be faulted. In recent years, being identical sizes in shoes and most clothing has been extremely useful and encouraged a more democratic clothing swapping process among my sisters and me. In the next chapter of my post-university life, I will undoubtedly gain inspiration from her 24-year-old matured wardrobe. Her extensive assortment of handbags, sterling silver rings, and chic coat collection will be the next subjects of awe.