Interview: Sarah Brewer
Sarah Brewer is from London with a love for vintage and fashion. I was lucky enough to have an interview with Sarah about her vintage style.
Hello! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. How are you?
Hi, thanks for asking me to be a part of this!
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I’m 1960s enthusiast from London and I make a lot of my own clothes using vintage sewing patterns. I’m largely self-taught, although I did complete a Savile Row tailoring course two years ago to fine tune my skills. My day job is at an asset management company in London - a world away from my Instagram!
Describe your style.
I guess you could say it’s mod as I definitely like to look sharp and well groomed, although it is a bit of a mix as some days I’m in a skirt suit and then other days I’m in knee high boots and a mini dress! I am very much inspired by the 1950s and 1960s though. I don’t want to look like anyone else so I mix vintage with handmade items, the odd high street piece and designer accessories.
When did you start getting into fashion?
I’ve always liked clothes but I really started getting into fashion when I left college and got my first job in central London. I was working in Mayfair at the time and probably spent most of my pay packet in Topshop at Oxford Circus! Whilst the central line is a nightmare it was great working up there as you literally have every shop you could ever want right on your door step.
Where are your favourite places to shop?
On the high street I love Zara, for shoes I shop at Ops & Ops, Rocket Originals and Ferragamo and for vintage I tend to buy online, through Etsy, Facebook or Instagram.
What inspired you to get into vintage fashion?
It was a combination of a lot of things. My parents have classic cars so I was always aware of that side of things, they don’t dress in vintage themselves but I grew up going to car shows and museums so I guess subconsciously I was inspired by that. Then when I was 18 I started getting into ska music and my boyfriend’s mate was a mod and I was fascinated by what he wore so started looking into all of that and it just sort of spiralled from there really.
Do you think it is an important aspect to make your own clothing?
Not necessarily, although it does help if you are able to do basic repairs. Being able to sew on a button and fix a tear or seam always comes in handy – especially with vintage clothing as you will have to repair stuff at some point and it will save you cash if you can do it yourself. I make clothes out of necessity really as I can’t always find what I want to wear. It’s not always the cheapest option as fabric can be expensive!
Do you have any tips for anyone shopping in vintage and charity shops?
Don’t be put off by how something looks on the hanger. Try stuff on and get to know what works for you, things that might look terrible on the hanger can look amazing on. You also need patience and need to be prepared to have a good rummage to find a gem!
Why do you think charity shops are an important place to shop for clothes?
It’s good for the environment and is also great if you are on a budget. People donate all kinds of things so there are always gems to be had if you look hard enough. The charity shops near me are not that great though so I very rarely find anything. I have friends in other parts of the country though who find amazing pieces.
Your style is very unique and wonderful; how do you go about styling different clothes?
Thank you! I just wear what I like really. I’m hugely inspired by the TV show Mad Men and just like to look polished and well put together every day.
How did you go about finding your own style?
Trial and error really. Over the years I’ve worked out what suits me and what to avoid. I love vintage fashion and get inspiration from film, TV shows, art exhibitions and old books/magazines.
Have you always been into fashion?
Yes, always! I can still remember my favourite outfits from when I was a child – some of them I’d happily wear now.
What new pieces have you picked up for this summer and autumn that we haven’t seen on your Instagram yet?
There are a couple of outfits I’ve made that I haven’t worn yet. I made a floral shift dress and skirt recently and will probably save the dress for Goodwood so you’ll see it then. Same goes for a suit I finished making last week and there are a couple of tops from Zara that I haven’t worn yet.
What are some of your current fashion obsessions?
I love Ops and Ops shoes, they’re so comfortable and go great with my shift dresses and 50s trousers. I am also always obsessed with Chanel, the classic flap is the ultimate bag for me, so chic and timeless, I just love it.
What are your favourite pieces of clothing?
I have a navy leather coat that I had made for me a few years ago which is definitely a favourite. I also just love shift dresses, they are my go to dress and favourite thing to wear.
What could you not live without?
Black liquid eyeliner and my GHD’s!
Do you have any career plans?
At the moment no, I like where I work and don’t have plans to change really. There is a part of me that would love to do something creative one day but I’ve yet to figure out what that is!
Do you have a favourite fashion magazine?
Where I work we are quite lucky and have free magazines in the lobby - I don’t really buy them otherwise. Harpers Bazaar is a favourite of mine. I do love high end fashion (mostly accessories) and I love the way they style their fashion shoots. They are celebrating 150 years of the magazine this year and so have been printing lots of old photoshoots and stories from the 50s and 60s which is providing lots of style inspiration for me!
Who was your first style icon?
I think Kate Moss was the first style icon of mine. When I worked in Mayfair I saw her once coming out of a jewellers on Bond Street, she had a big fur coat on and looked even more beautiful in real life. I love her effortless style; she looks great in everything.
Why has social media been an important platform for you to use?
Social media has been a great way for me to discover people with the same interests as me. Only a handful of my friends from school/college were into fashion like I was so it’s been great finding likeminded people all over the world who share my passions!
What do we hope to see in this up and coming year for your Instagram?
Well I’ll be going to Goodwood Revival in September so expect to see lots of that. I also want to get better at planning outfit shoots instead of always taking mirror selfies, we’ll see how that goes…!
Do you have any advice for anyone who would like to set up their own Instagram?
Don’t get too caught up in the whole algorithm thing just post what you like and have fun with it. It’s a great platform for sharing what you are passionate about.
What’s the best piece of creative advice you’ve ever been given?
To just go for it. What’s the worst thing that could happen? If it doesn’t work out at least you know you tried and if it does think how amazing it will be!