Fashion and beauty insider Lucy McPhail’s keen eye for detail translates to forever footwear, borrowed from the boys tailoring and a decadent collection of totes …
Tales From My Wardrobe, a style series that explores the wardrobes of THE GLOSS community, is a love letter to the pieces we reach for again and again, the hard-earned investment purchases that make us smile with each wear and the items that supercede mere ‘clothing’ to carry memories and foster emotional connection.
Irishwoman Lucy McPhail is a strategy consultant at Space NK, the former executive vice president at Threads Styling, a global luxury fashion platform that provides e-commerce as well as a personalised styling service and, prior to that, she was an accessories and beauty buyer at Harrods. Naturally, this meticulous eye for detail carries over into her wardrobe, too. With a finely-honed bag collection and a penchant for statement coats by buzzworthy brands, McPhail’s wardrobe is a lesson in refined luxury. See her favourite pieces below …
Lucy pictured in her favourite Loewe overcoat, love-worn Chanel ballet flats and her investment Book Tote by Dior.
My favourite piece in my wardrobe right now is a black Loewe coat which was gifted to me by my friend Suresh. It’s a men’s piece that’s a couple of seasons old but it’s a perfectly snug fit for me and it plays into this season’s penchant for floor-grazing overcoats.
My Dior macro houndstooth Book Tote was a big purchase. I wanted a black bag but went for the newer, medium size which is a bit daintier than the large one. I usually invest in a new bag for my birthday every year. With handbags, I only ever invest in an evergreen shape or model so I know I’ll get years of use.
I purchased some Chanel ballet flats eight years ago for about £300. I wore them loads at the time and always took really good care of them (mainly by never wearing them in the rain and re-heeling them properly). They are on trend again and to buy them new (if you can get your hands on them) they would be about double the price.
Top and above: A Dior Book Tote sits next to a Goyard blue tote purchased in Paris; Lucy’s pavé ‘lips’ necklace that she never leaves the house without.
My most hardworking accessory is my blue Goyard tote. I love the colour and I’ve had it for ages. I never put it on the ground or overfill it so it’s as good as the day I purchased it (from Printemps in Paris). My Totême trench is also an incredibly hardworking piece.
I’m a big fan of Nensi Dojaka. I’m not so much lusting after a particular outfit – more, a reason to wear any of her pieces. Accessories-wise I would love a mini Kelly from Hermès in some sort of blue. It’s such a beautiful brand and the bags typically increase in value from the day you purchase (should you wish to re-sell). The craftsmanship and expertise behind each single piece is exceptional. It takes a couple of years of spending across the different categories to get a chance at purchasing a Kelly, though.
Top and above: Lucy’s Totéme trench has become one of the most hardworking pieces in her wardrobe artillery; a Loewe tank top purchased at Dover Street Market was a summer buy.
I’m not lucky with bargains per se but I have been lucky in my career to avail of staff discounts and sample sales. Sample sales are great for ready-to-wear but I’m not sample size, so I’ve never had much luck. I did get a baby pink Loewe puzzle bag for £200 a few years ago in a sample sale. I had a friend choose it for me – as he got there at 7am!
Menswear sales are great for finding hidden gems. Especially for things like knitwear, sweatshirts and shirts. I have some great men’s shirts from Tom Ford and Dior. Also, Dover Street Market in London has a superb edit. I purchased a Loewe tank top there over the summer that was sold out everywhere else. When it comes to the high street, I always find things in & Other Stories and Free People.
The most recent thing I bought was black Christian Dior DiorBobby butterfly sunglasses last month which I purchased on loyalty points from Liberty London.
The least ‘fashion’ thing I own are my dog-walking outfits. Everything I wear to walk my pooch Teddy in is pretty scruffy. We live beside a park in Central London which is great but it’s pretty mucky all year round so I have a lot of park shoes, track pants and puffer jackets. My general park attire would make Miranda Priestly wince.
I never leave the house without wearing my gold and pavé diamond ‘lips’ necklace. I have no idea who the designer is and can’t even remember who gave it to me, but I’ve barely taken it off in a decade.
Top and above: Dior DiorBobby butterfly sunglasses are a new addition; a collection of men’s shirts from Tom Ford and Dior.
Lucy pictured in a Totême trench coat and Saint Laurent menswear sweater with her trusty Goyard tote.
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