Women Making it Work #3

Welcome to part three of our Women Making it Work series. Following in our ethos of empowering females, we want to help support women beyond an amazing bra. With the rise of the female entrepreneur, what better way than showcasing their companies and offering inspiration to other budding business hopefuls.


This month we meet fashion stylist and journalist Lucie Clifford, who is one of five stylists on the hit BBC makeover show You Are What You Wear.

Having previously worked on LOOK and Fabulous magazines, Lucie was part of a sad declining print media world. So with an eye on the future she took the leap to become freelance, setting up her own styling business www.style-sos.com reviving and reinventing people’s wardrobes, around being a busy mummy of one, and she hasn’t stopped since.

We caught up with the new fashion TV starlet to chat all things business and trends…

How did it all begin?

Interning! Being a fashion intern is not what you’d expect. Knee deep in fashion returns, numerous coffee runs and assisting on shoots (steaming garments and packing suitcases) were just some of the tasks that taught me the fashion industry was going to be no easy feat.

However, I loved the fast pace of weekly magazines, the buzz of learning and developing my styling skills, and after nearly a year of assisting at various magazines and some brilliant stylists, I landed my first role at Fabulous magazine. This was my big break into the industry and I still feel privileged to this day that I was given that opportunity.

What traits do you need to succeed in your field?

Persistence, hard work and passion are just a few of the qualities you need to navigate this industry, or any industry where the competition is so fierce.

Rejection and subjective reactions to fashion styling are some of the challenges I face as a freelance stylist. However, my advice is to always be yourself, be kind to others and don’t be afraid to share knowledge.

What are your proudest moments?

I suppose my proudest moment was moving to LOOK magazine where I was promoted to fashion editor. This was such a career highlight, being able to produce inspirational and beautiful content for a weekly magazine with the most brilliant team out there.

It was this moment I felt I had gained respect from the fashion industry and really perfected my craft.

How have you navigated your way through times of such change in the media industry?

The way in which we view and consume fashion through the lives of influencers and celebrities in an instant capacity has meant that print publications just don’t hit the mark any more.

It’s sad as I’m a traditionalist, but I can see the benefits of social media. After all, everyone has a phone to gain instant information and with everything changing, you realise you have to adapt.


I would say to anyone stuck in a rut, follow your dreams. Believe in yourself. Allow yourself to be scared, and challenge yourself. You will always be surprised at what you can achieve.

How did you find taking the leap into self employment?

Moving into the world of freelance was scary. No ifs or buts, just having to go for it, swallow up all my insecurities and believe in myself more than I ever had to before.

The rise of social media leading to the demise of print publications meant that I had no choice but to spread my institutionalised fashion wings. But I will never look back. Going freelance, with no real plan and allowing myself to open up to new challenges led me to where I am today.

I would say to anyone stuck in a rut, follow your dreams. Believe in yourself. Allow yourself to be scared, and challenge yourself. You will always be surprised at what you can achieve.

How did you become involved with the show?

To be honest this is still such a ‘pinch me’ moment. I was approached by a production company to film a pilot for a new fashion makeover show. It has been over 15 years since the BBC have made a fashion show, so I jumped at the chance to be involved.

I started my career off in styling real life people and I have now been able to show millions of people what I genuinely love to do and hopefully help them. Building confidence through the clothes we choose to wear is potentially life changing, and this is ultimately why I love my job and why I do what I do. To inspire others and show them to love themselves. You can literally be whoever and whatever you want to be. It really is a dream come true for me.


This summer don’t be afraid to try new things. If you have a big tummy, look for garments that include shapewear support and go for a beautiful bold print.

Having styled so many women over the years, what advice would you give Figleaves customers, especially those feeling slightly low in confidence?

For anyone who is feeling insecure, you are not alone. In all my years of styling I have never met anyone completely 100 per cent happy with the way they look, no matter what shape, size or age.

Emphasise the bits you love. If it is a great pair of boobs, show them off in a beautiful balconette bra and sweetheart neckline top. If you’ve got long legs, wear a dress or skirt above the knee and a pointed toe shoe to elongate them further.

Spend time on yourself and more importantly make time for yourself, even if its having a free make up trial at a concession counter while shopping, or spending time with family and friends; it’s the small things that count.

Any style tips for the summer ahead?

This summer don’t be afraid to try new things. If you have a big tummy, look for garments that include shapewear support and go for a beautiful bold print.

Ensure your swimwear is a great fit. If it looks great the first time you try it on then it’s probably a winner and will therefore flatter.

A great summer style tip is buy a one-piece costume in a block colour that you can wear for multiple occasions, and not just by the pool. I love a mix and match holiday wardrobe and a solid one-piece will be your absolute go to.

You can see Lucie on BBC One starring in You Are What You Wear makeover show on BBC iPlayer.

Lucie Clifford

Journalist and fashion stylist Lucie Clifford has written for LOOK and Fabulous magazines, and is now a successful freelance stylist and brand consultant. Lucie is also the stylist on the BBC TV make over show You Are What You Wear.