Sonning's most famous (and stylish) resident Amal Clooney might not have put in an appearance at the Smart Works Annual Fundraising Lunch at Sonning's stunning Coppa Club but there were plenty of stylish ladies in attendance.
I was delighted to be part of such an amazing event last week, which raised over £8000 for the incredible Smart Works Reading team.
Smart Works Trustee, Volunteer and corporate stylist Maggie McMillan hosted the event which saw 85 women come together to celebrate and promote the amazing work the charity does to help out-of-work women on low incomes back into the work place.
Distinctively Me are proud to support the work Smart Works is doing for women. It's a charity that gets no funding other than what it can raise so it was a truly successful event.
The opening talk from an ex Smart Works beneficiary Michala really demonstrated how Smart Works have helped her turn her life around. From being at her lowest point, Michala is now part of the charity's team and she's committed to helping others achieve the kind of confidence and success that she has.
"Michale is smart, vibrant and full of energy which really sums up the charity. Smart Works leader Sarah Burns has really set the culture of Smart Works in Reading. The team is genuinely committed to transforming women and giving them the confidence to grow. It's incredible to be part of it." Jill White.
It was an honour to take the floor alongside Ginnie Chadwyck-Healey, ex-Retail Editor of British Vogue. Now a successful stylist, Ginnie's key message when it came to style was to buy smart, buy less but buy what you love. Following these three principles will ensure that you will keep your pieces and look after them.
Beth Butterwick, CEO of Karen Millen, told her story of life in retail. Working through the M&S graduate scheme, working abroad and then reinvigorating the Karen Millen brand, Beth was great to listen too.
And I discussed the importance of a great fit. Wearing clothes that truly fit can give you the confidence to do pretty much anything. Wearing our new boucle biker jacket and burgundy straight leg trouser, I really did practice what I preach. Talking to a room of over 80 women and some industry heavy weights was a tall order but I loved every minute of it!
Amazingly, the thoughts of all three speakers was largely the same:
Dress to feel great
Know your style and stick to it
Buy the best fit and fabric you can afford especially for the staples items in your capsule wardrobe
Love your clothes and look after them
A fabulous event for a well deserving charity.