Alex Calder and the #stiallchallenge

You’re most likely to find 33 year old Alex Instagramming from the back of a horse, but this powerhouse is also the  Director of Content and Communications at a strategic design consultancy! So we challenged an already busy woman to take the #stiallchallenge to see if sustainability can be accessible to every lifestyle.

Alex is a seasonal wardrobe updater


“I love sale time for finding lovely things that would otherwise be unreasonably expensive at full price. There’s something very satisfying about finding a new favourite piece at 60% off. Periodically throughout the year I’ll complement things I already have with new things from COS, & Other Stories, Everlane, and (although less so now) Zara. If I’m in another city, I like to try to find something locally made to buy. I have also acquired some wonderful vintage pieces from my grandmother, my mother, and one particularly fruitful trip to a Parisian vintage store.”

In her 20’s, she envied the style of women in their 30’s

“They always seemed to have their style nailed, and could afford nicer clothes. I found that as I reached 29/30, my style became more consolidated, and felt more mine than feeling trend led. In the past two years, I’ve cut down my buys from the high street significantly. My mother has always influenced my sister and I in choosing good quality and stylish pieces, and they ultimately always have more longevity than fast fashion high street pieces. It bothers me that you can go into Zara one week, see something you like, and come back with the intention of buying it two weeks later, and it’s gone. It’s almost stressing you into buying on a constant basis. So I just tend to avoid it now.”

She’s keen on shopping in store

“There’s something much more enjoyable about trying something on and walking out with it, rather than just wildly clicking. Although, I do love Everlane which is online only – I wish they shipped to Ireland more regularly. I’m a big fan of Joseph and Victoria Beckham for work clothes, and Everlane, COS and & Other Stories for work and for everyday, and The Kooples for the odd interesting thing. In Irish designers I love Helen Steele and Helen Cody (who made my wedding dress!).”

We asked Alex to come along to the photoshoot in her favourite pieces that she’s been using for the #stiallchallenge

“I called this outfit a ‘bargain outfit’ on my Insta-story, so I guess it’s a good example of my bargain hunting ways !

The trousers are one of my favourite clothes. They always get remarked on when I wear them, the material is just so unusual. I got them in 2010 or so, in the closing down sale of a great little boutique in the Powerscourt Townhouse called Circus. I think they were €10 or €50. They’re from a German designer called Reality Studio. They’re in great condition despite a lot of wear, with only a couple of little holes developing over time, which I’ve mended.

They form the basis of a lot of my outfits, and at the moment, mixing them with this washed black silk shirt and leather jacket  is a favourite for these cool summer days. The silk shirt is Hartford, and I got it at a random pop-up sale in Martha’s Vineyard earlier in the summer. It was $20, and had been reduced from $280. It’s beautiful heavy, cool, soft silk.

The leather jacket is from The Kooples. I searched for a long time for the right leather jacket. I love it. The leather is so soft, yet it feels substantial. And of course, it was half price. The shoes are Nike Juvenates. They really are the most comfortable things. This whole outfit is about comfort, really. Everything is soft, silky, drapey, but with the silk and leather it’s warm/cool enough for these changeable days, and for me it’s a perfect work to going out look.”


So 30 days and 30 items for the #stiallchallenge, how was it for Alex

“Having a photographic chronicle of everything I’ve worn has been really helpful. It’s been easier to get dressed in the morning because I’ve had these references to look back at (I have a weird inability to remember what I wore the previous day sometimes), and, through the restricted number of things I could wear, I’ve created some new combinations that I wouldn’t otherwise have thought of.”


Her new attitude to shopping has been reaffirmed


“I do have a lot of clothes. However, I’ve had a lot of them for a long time, and I do still wear them. I had already been gradually cutting down how much clothing I buy, and this has helped reaffirm my reasons to do this. 
I want to make an effort to buy more sustainable brands. I’m going to keep chronicling what I’m wearing, to use all of my clothes better.”


Check out Alex on Instagram Here

Photography: David Gannon

With special thanks to The Radisson Blu Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *