Playing Dress Up at My Sugarland with Stylist Zoe Lem

So yesterday I made that epic trek into the middle of London, I even braved Kings Cross Tube at rush hour.

I did all this just to go peek at the wonderful vintage and designer goodies in stylist Zoe Lem’s store My Sugarland. The store has been open for a couple of years now, but not being London based I’ve never been in it. Last night was the first time they’ve thrown an event aimed specifically at bloggers, so with the prospect of luxury vintage, beautiful surroundings and real life gossip with some of my virtual “friends” I headed off.

Be warned, I plan to randomly intersperse my post about the night and Zoe with pretty pictures of the shop, so don’t get confused if the pictures aren’t illustrative of the words!

Zoe Lem is the super stylist behind What Not to Wear as well as working for brands like House of Fraser and having her work featured in as many magazines as you can shake a big shaky stick at. She worked as a freelance stylist for 10 years, before deciding to open My Sugarland as a base to provide her styling work to more people, sell her beautiful vintage and designer pieces, and as an events space.

I’ll be honest, I expected a scarily polished and slightly intimidating fashionista to greet me as I walked into the store, but Zoe Lem was one of the most approachable, enthusiastic and friendly people I’ve had the fortune to come across. Her enthusiasm for the store, and for the event, was clear. (That’s Zoe, in the black and white in the picture below, by the way)

The store itself is beautiful, though those London prices made my thrifty little provincial heart skip a beat. It’s well worth a visit if you’re looking for something beautiful and unusual and have some money to spend, as I can guarantee that you’ll find it here.

It takes a bit of getting used to the store layout as clothes are laid out mostly by colour and theme with vintage and designer pieces nestling together on the same rack and accessories used as much for decoration as neatly presented on display units. It was a little like walking into the attic of a (sadly, imaginary) rich old aunt and playing dress up with her wardrobe and trunks of old goodies. (if you would like your house to look as beautiful as the store does then check out London Plinths tips!)

I tried on a few pieces, but came up against that age old problem that nothing seemed to fit. I’m not exactly plus size, but neither am I in the realms of the tinys of the world and many pieces came up *just* depressingly too small.

Zoe’s enthusiasm for her styling work and making women look their very best was clearly evident as I watched her run around the store, pulling pieces out and darting off to give them to bloggers who she was convinced would look adorable in this or that piece.

She seemed determined to get me into orange, despite my doubts about it with my very red hair, and after a couple of false starts (apparently I have fat feet and forearms, but I’m not entirely sure that orange jumpsuit was “me” anyway) she eventually enticed me into an orange Kimono dress by ethical label Playsuit Parlour. As I walked out of the changing room an assembled crowd of bloggers all turned and cooed in delight, so I assumed the look was a hit!

I styled it up myself, now convinced by orange, with a sun hat and a wide belt, and posed for photos. Which came out like this!

Other favourite pieces spotted on the rails include:

Jasper Garvida Charleston Dress £365

Minnis Closet Prom Dress with Brooches £390

1940s Harrods Dusty Pink Lace Dress £320

Vintage Red Disc Hat £145

Red 1950s Suit – Not available online, and sadly too small for me!

I’ve uploaded all the photos I’ve got of the evening to my Facebook Fan Page, so feel free to pop along and check out the photos of other bloggers playing dress up and the rest of the pretty shop!

Visit my lovely sponsor