MMM: Modern Mum, The Guardian’s Jess Cartner-Morley

The super-stylish Jess Cartner-Morley has been The Guardian’s Fashion Editor for the past 13 years.

When she’s not FROW with Victoria Beckham and baby Harper (yes really, see below!), Jess is writing on every aspect of style from Sam Cam’s latest Zara purchase to Mulberry’s latest bag.

Jess, 40, lives in North London with her music producer husband – Groove Armada’s Tom Findlay – and their two children Alfie, 10 and Pearl, 7.

Jess and daughter Pearl on a Guardian photoshoot
Jess and daughter Pearl on a Guardian photoshoot
Jess, taken by kids Alfie and Pearl in the backseat! Image: Jess Cartner-Morley
Jess, taken by kids Alfie and Pearl in the backseat!
Image: Jess Cartner-Morley

As one of the best-dressed fashion editors on the circuit, Jess has her work look nailed. But does being a working mum mean her at-home wardrobe suffers?

Here Jess talks MMM through her tips for the perfect work / life wardrobe balance – plus, some sage advice for easy SS13 style updates.

The best FROW picture ever. Jess next to Victoria and Harper, oh and Vogue's Alexandra Shulman.
The best FROW pictures ever. Jess next to Victoria and Harper, oh and Vogue’s Alexandra Shulman.

Q&A:

How would you describe your style for work and at home? Do you have two distinct wardrobe personalities or do they morph into one??

I don’t have two distinct wardrobes – it’s more a sliding scale, with a high-pressure work day outfit at one end and a park-day with the kids outfit at the other. But there are lots of pieces – like a simple cotton Tommy Hilfiger blue shirt I’ve worn to death, and my black collarless Zara (whisper: fake Stella) jacket that can be part of work or non-work outfits.

What would be a typical Jess the Fashion Editor outfit?

I love a well-cut dress: the Lucza label is a new favourite, or Roland Mouret if I’m going all out. And I wear a lot of colour for work. My passion is for the emotional ?pleasure of clothes and the way we communicate through what we wear, so I’m not a uniform-black type. Although I do love a great pair of black trousers?- Gap or? Jaeger are brilliant.

Dress, £350, Lucza
Dress, £350, Lucza

And what labels do you turn to when you’re being mum??

The best labels I’ve invested in are quality lo-fi aesthetic: Folk and Acne are brilliant. But I love Topshop, Zara and M&S too.

In your opinion, is there an ultimate casual go-to outfit that instantly says practical and chic?

My grab-and-go off-duty standby right now is MiH jeans and this cashmere pocket T-shirt from M&S which I have in two colours.

Cashmere pocket t-shirt, £50, Marks & Spencer
Cashmere pocket t-shirt, £50, Marks & Spencer

What new labels do you love at the moment – work / non-work??

My best investment for SS13 was an almost-matching pencil skirt and silk shell top by Jonathan Saunders. Not cheap but I’ve worn them to death already and they ?make everyone smile.

Jess in a recent interview with Boden wearing her Jonathan Saunders 'Creighton' top
Jess in a recent interview with Boden wearing her Jonathan Saunders ‘Creighton ombre spot print’ top

'Creighton' top, £295, Jonathan Saunders at Matches

What do you think working mums should invest in to give them ultimate price per wear??

A good jacket pulls everything together. A peacoat with a cosy collar is great on a chilly school run but easier for running around in than a tailored coat. In summer ?a navy blazer is a fantastic standby. J Crew do some beautiful jackets.

Spotty blazer, J Crew
Spotty blazer, J Crew

If people are stuck in a fashion rut, what SS13 pieces would instantly perk up your wardrobe?

A statement skirt. Women tend to buy lots of tops, and not enough bottoms, in my experience.

Which high street brands are your go-to stores each season??

M&S for cashmere and silk blouses as well as the Rosie lingerie. Zara for jackets. Gap for trousers and great T-shirts. Whistles for fantastic modern workwear.

Whistles workwear
Whistles workwear

Should we be avoiding heels this season? And can mid height heels really look good??

I love the new lower heel. I have been wearing a Nicholas Kirkwood pair and also these from Boden.

Nicholas Kirkwood, £490, Net a Porter
Nicholas Kirkwood, £490, Net a Porter

 

 

  • Comments ( 0 )

Leave a Reply

TOP