- The founder of fashion brand Me+Em on practical but stylish clothing
- Clare’s travel-friendly essentials
- Why a tailored trouser suit worn with trainers is her signature style
Clare Hornby, founder and CEO of fashion label Me+Em creates ‘intelligent clothes for intelligent women’. She founded the company because she strongly believes that practicality, comfort and style should not be mutually exclusive to each other. The clothes she designs are what Clare calls ‘Intelligent style’ – functional, flattering, and that have wear-forever appeal – something she has coined as ‘The Three F’s’. Obsessed with quality, Clare’s team create all of their garments in-house which means she is also very proud that they don’t add in costly mark-ups, meaning you won’t have to choose between quality and cost.
A busy woman with two children to juggle too, here she reveals the inside details of her wardrobe from maxi dresses with a blazer in pre-pandemic times to her go-to Zoom attire.
In 3 words how would you describe your style?
What are the foundations of your wardrobe (in usual times)
“A maxi dress, a blazer and a slogan tee for wearing with suits to make them less structured and formal. Then there would be a blouse with some feminine detailing that I can wear alone or layered. I wouldn’t be without a pair of jeans, some perfectly tailored wide-leg trousers, skinny trousers, some white trainers and at this time of year, hiking boots.”
Do you have a current ‘uniform?’ If so, what is it?
“Some relaxed trousers in a smart fabric so that I feel comfortable but pulled together. I’ll wear them with a shirt during the week and a cosy knit for off duty.”
How has your wardrobe changed since COVID-19?
“Like most people, my wardrobe has probably become more casual since we’ve been working from home. However I still like to feel pulled together and polished at home to help me get and stay focused.”
What piece/s of clothing do find yourself buying again and again?
“Any of my wardrobe foundation pieces as I know I’ll wear them again and again”
*Note – check out the Me + Em Essentials edit on their site here which shows daily must-haves from simple t-shirts to flattering, chic trousers, dresses that transition from morning to night and how Clare layers clothes.
Would you rather go to a shop or buy online?
“Shopping online is our only option now, but it often would be my preference pre-COVID as well. My schedule is pretty packed so making it into stores can be hard – there’s no beating the convenience of online shopping.”
What’s your go-to outfit if you want to feel empowered?
“A smart, tailored trouser suit. It’s a look that’s cool and comfortable, but also crucially very much my personal style, so it’s always guaranteed to make me feel confident and focused.”
What do you relax in?
“A pair of our joggers or palazzo pants, a tee and a cosy knit.”
What do you like to travel in?
“If I’m going on holiday, then I will opt for one of our loungewear co-ords for a sports-luxe look that is comfortable and effortless but still looks elevated. If I’m travelling for work, a layered shirt is essential as it looks smart but actually feels like you’re wearing a t-shirt.
I always travel with one of our Cashmere Throws too – it’s so big I can use it as a blanket on the plane and as a chunky scarf later.”
If you had to go from office to cocktails but couldn’t change what would you wear?
“A wide-leg trouser with a trainer. Smart tailoring is always timeless and makes you feel pulled-together, but styling it with a cool pair of trainers adds a modern edge. It’s a chic look that I can rely on to take me effortlessly from business meeting to supper with friends.”
What’s your go-to Zoom look?
“I always keep a blazer on the back of my chair to throw on for video calls. I also like a smart blouse with detailing at the cuffs or collar to add interest.”
If you loved reading about Clare’s personal rules on style then you will love our interview with fashion stylist Deborah Brett