How to Build a Lasting and Luxurious Wardrobe, According to Alex Eagle
Alex Eagle has her own hashtag: #imeanthedream. “It’s just when something’s that extra bit special, that extra bit fabulous,” says the founder of Alex Eagle Studio, a one-stop shop for fashion, art, and furniture in Soho, London. The stylish Brit is also the creative director of the Store, which has outposts at the Soho House Berlin and Farmhouse, and that particular hashtag very much applies to her impeccable wardrobe: Her white button-downs come embroidered with her initials; her suits are made to measure.
“My nannies used to complain that I wanted to change five times a day; I was constantly in my closet,” says Eagle, who spent her formative years working in PR at Joseph. These days, she takes a more pragmatic approach to dressing, valuing a refined uniform over anything splashy. “Luxury was important, but I didn’t have the budget to buy new things every season, so I built a wardrobe of cohesive building blocks that all work together,” recalls Eagle—a lesson in investment dressing that came in hand when she went on to start her own business. “I was traveling a lot and needed to look smart and was often with people a lot older than me,” she adds. “I felt my clothes made me look more together and sophisticated than I actually was.”
To this day, buying less but buying better remains Eagle’s approach to outfitting herself and her customers. In late 2017, she introduced a bespoke suit atelier to her London store to merge the expert tailoring of Savile Row with Eagle’s modern, feminine point of view. “I love being a part of the process,” says Eagle, who helps with everything from fabric choice to pocket placement. “In the world, where there’s so much readily available and so much waste, I really liked the idea of making something that was just for that person, the wearer,” she explains. Best of all? “Something bespoke lasts forever.”
Below, Eagle shares her top tips for creating a lasting and luxurious wardrobe.
Stick to a simple (but chic!) script for the work week.
“I tend to keep it simple in the week with a bespoke suit (I have a few I keep in rotation) or some Lemaire, Khaite, or Balenciaga jeans paired with a white T-shirt of some description (I have heaps of plain, ribbed, and tank tops) or a cashmere roll neck for the colder days [topped off with] an Alex Eagle coat or Giuliva Heritage Collection trench. Because my wardrobe consists mostly of these staples, it saves me having to plan ahead too much and makes dressing early in the morning quick and easy whilst still feeling chic.”
Invest in high-quality classics—and hold onto them.
“When I was a teenager, I pooled all my Christmas money together and bought a beautiful off-the-shoulder chunky knit by Joseph. I later went to work for the brand for five years in my twenties, as I took so much joy from the jumper. Investing in a classic piece like this taught me a valuable lesson I have carried through my whole life. It is something I would still wear today.”
Traveling presents the best time to splurge on fun one-off finds.
“I tend not to buy too much on a whim. Because I invest in bespoke suits and tailoring, I never really need anything but will often fall in love with something more special and one-off when abroad in different cities. I stock up on the gem-colored Venetian slippers; they’re so much more fun to buy in Venice than online. The markets in Spain have really lovely espadrilles. In Morocco, there are great tailors who can make lovely pajamas and cashmere.”
Anyone can spring for something bespoke . . .
“There’s so much amazing and beautiful fashion, but it’s so readily available and it’s constantly changing. Something bespoke lasts forever. It’s not about what’s in the shop; it’s just about something that fits you and suits your body. You’re not going to see someone else on the street wearing it. I bought a Charvet shirt in my twenties. It was my first tailoring experience and inspired so much of my business today. It’s something everyone should save up for and experience.”
. . . and keep it in the family forever.
“Now that I have a daughter, I am definitely thinking about the longevity of [my clothing]. They’re investment pieces not just for me, but for her and maybe even her children. Even [my son] Jack could wear them one day. It’s a very thrilling concept. I definitely steal my mom’s really well-made clothes—the things she bought when she was even younger than me . . . we still fight over some of those.”