Wardrobes that work: Clare Hornby - 35 Thousand

Wardrobes that work: Clare Hornby

Posted by Susannah Taylor on

  • 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's also very proud that they don’t add in costly mark-ups so that 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 to her go-to Zoom attire.

Clare Hornby, ME+EM Founder and CEO
Clare Hornby ME+EM Founder and CEO
In 3 words how would you describe your style?

“High/low dressing.”

What are the foundations of your wardrobe?

“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.”

ME+EM Wild Meadow Print Tiered Maxi Dress + Belt

ME+EM Wild Meadow Print Tiered Maxi Dress + Belt 

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 cozy knit for off duty.”

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 Style Guide on their site here which gives advice on self-styling. We particularly love How to Style Your Denim

Would you rather go to a shop or buy online?

“Shopping online would be my preference. 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 cozy knit.”

ME+EM Italian Flannel High Waist Wide Leg Trouser

ME+EM Italian Flannel High Waist Wide Leg Trouser

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 traveling 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.”

The ME+EM Tomboy Longline Blazer

The ME+EM Tomboy Longline Blazer 


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.”

Shop ME+EM

If you loved reading about Clare’s personal rules on style then you will love our interview with fashion stylist Deborah Brett

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