Meet Nikki and Penny - the women behind Style in the Stix
Style in the Stix Duo Nikki Beatty & Penny Brook met in 2015 in the middle of the English countryside, (Rutland to be precise) up to their eyeballs in children and desperate to talk about Fashion. Both were taking career breaks to focus on family; Nikki had moved up from London and is mum to four boys. Penny has two boys, and had been living there for ten years. They found themselves missing the opportunity to dress for work and fighting the urge to slip into default jeans and wellies. Instead, they committed to making an effort every day because it makes them feel good and with their beautiful Instagram feed they aim to encourage women everywhere to do the same.
In this our latest chapter of People we Know, we talk to them about good jeans, true fashion realness and the pursuit of a wardrobe that you love.
A GREAT WARDROBE CAN REALLY SUPPORT US; IT SHOULD BE FABULOUS AND FUNCTIONAL IN EQUAL PARTS. WHAT FIVE HARD-WORKING ITEMS DO YOU THINK EVERY WOMAN SHOULD OWN?
5 wardrobe items - Thats really hard to narrow down.
A breton with a twist.
Easy ‘ Going Out’ outfit - for Nikki its a jumpsuit and Penny a simple dress.
Army jacket it dresses everything down and goes with everything.
Trainers - We’d struggle to find an outfit that we wouldn’t wear with trainers - favourites at the moment are Goodnews London.
Silk t-shirt: between the both of us we have in most colours.
HOW DO YOU APPROACH SHOPPING; ARE YOU SCATTERGUN SHOPPERS OR ADVOCATES OF METICULOUS SEASONAL PLANNING?
We are both planners and generally don’t make rash purchases. Best advice we have is to buy pieces that work together. We also buy items that combine well as layers so our wardrobes cover all of the seasons.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
Nikki - I’d describe my style as workwear minimal. I like hardwearing fabrics, clean lines with a traditional feel. Brands like Toast and also the Carrier Company (who design and make workwear clothes inspired by their Norfolk surroundings). Although I recently bought some dungarees and haven't really taken them off since so at the moment some could say I'm more Huckleberry Finn!
Penny - mine is a relaxed everyday style with a splash of colour and a feminine edge. I love mixing high street and more niche up and coming brands. Anthropologie is one of my favourite stores.
EVERYONE NEEDS A GOOD PAIR OF JEANS - HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT FINDING THEM?
Jean shopping is difficult - because of where we live we buy most of our things online. Jeans - we order lots, styles and sizes - try them on at home with other things in our wardrobe, theres no pressure and you can easily return if they aren't right.
Zara is our high street pick for denim and at the higher end we like Redone and YMC.
SUSTAINABLE FASHION IS BEING TALKED ABOUT MORE WIDELY RIGHT NOW WITH CAMPAIGNS LIKE #FASHIONREVOLUTION AND #WEARYOURCLOTHES LEADING THE WAY. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR CREATING A SUSTAINABLE WARDROBE?
We’re huge advocates of Sustainable fashion, we think it’s important to ask #whomadeyourclothes but I think the biggest thing for us is to think before you buy. You’re less likely to chuck it to the back of your wardrobe so buy less and wear more.
We love to support independents, there are so many talented ethical designers out there, Nadinoo being a particular favourite (and very local), Fig tree clothing, who make recycled sweatshirts and tees from materials that are destined for landfill.
Sustainability is also an increasing priority for the highstreet brands like H&M’s ‘Conscious’ and Zara’s 'Join Life’ collection.
YOUR INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT HAS A LAID BACK, EASY FEEL TO IT AND IS SET AGAINST A VERY NATURAL BACKDROP. YOU BOTH FEATURE IN THE IMAGES THAT YOU POST EVERY DAY AND USE YOUR PHONES AND EACH OTHER TO GET THE SHOTS. IT WAS RECENTLY REVEALED THAT A NEW WAVE OF INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS BELONGING TO FASHION MODELS WERE INDEED FAKE AND THAT THE MODELS THEMSELVES WERE COMPUTER GENERATED. WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON WHAT SOME PEOPLE ARE CALLING 'UNATTAINABLE BEAUTY STANDARDS' IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY?
At Style in the Stix we’re finding beautiful in the everyday so this type of superficial imagery doesn’t sit comfortably with us. We’re typically targeting a more mature following who are better equipped to make judgements around this kind of ‘unattainable beauty’. For us the greater concern would be for a younger generation, brought up on social media who are being fed this untruth! Instagram is a wonderful forum for every type of creative but honesty should be at it's core. So we would strongly favour controls around transparency and the use of artificial or computer generated images .
HEAVY STUFF OVER.... DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT SUNDAY.
Nikki - Family sailing followed by a BBQ in the summer and a roast in the winter.
Penny - My Perfect Sunday would be sunny, hangover free, kick off with a short run, then a day pottering at home with my husband and the boys followed by a late lunch at the pub (no washing up!) oh and to finish a feel good film (maybe a love story set in an Italian vineyard) - sorry if that’s too much info!
WHAT'S IN YOUR HANDBAG?
Nikki - Having spent years carrying around the biggest bag with wipes, nappies and rice cakes for me its all about the essentials. A string bag, lip balm, phone and cards and keys.
Penny - I am pretty minimalist when it come to handbag contents, normally includes - a good hand cream, sunglasses, a notepad (personalised), wet wipes (have so many uses but feel I need to find an alternative due to environmental implications), Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser (just the best), Boots sensitive mascara, fold up shoppers and can never have enough hair bands.
TELL US ABOUT A FAVOURITE CORNER IN YOUR HOME.
My favourite corner in my home is in our family study. It is a green victorian Chesterfield that we picked up from Auction for a song and has a beautiful lamp with a William Morris shade made by a good friend ‘Old Spot Interiors’
Penny - The last 3 questions will be combined for me. We are very lucky to have a place in Mallorca so its my last holiday destination, it’s home from home, so not only my favourite corner of home but also of the world. It is also where my Salt-Water’s will be getting a lot of wear this summer.
WHERE WAS YOUR LAST HOLIDAY?
Nikki - Miami.
AND FINALLY, WHERE WILL YOU BE TAKING YOUR SALT-WATERS THIS SUMMER?
Nikki - They will be coming with me on holiday to Portscatho in Cornwall. They’ll also come on our annual camping trip to Norfolk and to the Dordogne.