Best Wardrobes in Britain: Laura Jackson

best wardrobes in britain
(Image credit: Phill Taylor)

Whether you know her as the effervescent presenter of ITV's Take Me Out: The Gossip, the supper club co-host and cookery book author behind Jackson & Levine: Round to Ours, or the chic curator behind homeware marketplace Glassette, you will likely feel like you already know Laura Jackson. Only an expert host could make strangers feel immediately welcome, and on the grey day that we shoot Laura in her East London home, we gather in her bright and busy kitchen to chat about her weekend. Pouring cups of tea with one hand and pulling outfits together with the other, I ask if she has a lot on. "I've got a lot going on every day, but I like it that way!" she says, straight from hosting a trip to Scotland to celebrate her latest Barbour campaign and stopping at the Chelsea Flower Show on her way back.

As quickly as Laura shifts between her roles; balancing babies, brand campaigns and broadcasting—her style adapts, too. Looking through her wardrobe, there is a mix of new, vintage (Natacha Ramsay Levi-era Chloé and Tom Ford-era Gucci), cute knits and everyday basics, but there are also some killer handbags. "I guess it turns out that I'm quite into bags," she says, pulling out a collection that boasts Chanel, Mulberry and Shrimps. (But before we get carried away, she says she won't waste money on anything impractical, and all bags must pass the laptop test to be considered).

Keen to find out how her eye for vintage shopping translates across interiors and fashion and how perfecting her daily routine led to her signature look ("I'm so lazy when it comes to getting ready, I can't be bothered to wear a load of makeup so it's always just a red lip"), we spent the day in Laura Jackson's wardrobe to find out what makes it one of the best in Britain.

You were born and bred in West Yorkshire and now live in London. Did growing up in the North influence your style? And how has it changed since moving?

It did, subconsciously. There was a big music scene in Manchester when I was growing up in the late '80s, and I had uncles who loved the Stone Roses and that Britrock style, so I was drawn to Oasis' tracksuits but with the added influence of Northern glamour. We didn't go out without fake tan, and I used to straighten my hair to within an inch of its life. I still remember draping my hair across the ironing board to get it poker straight, but even though I had train-track braces and wore pink fur gilets, I loved my style and I'm proud of that girl.

Moving to London made me realise I could get away with being more casual. I realised there was less expectation on how you should dress or look, and that felt like a release. I remember taking my first paycheck to Oxford Circus and buying a short-sleeved, slash-neck knitted jumper from Topshop, and I felt so good. I've definitely taken the younger me and evolved her a little bit with an amalgamation of styles and eras.

best wardrobes in britain: laura jackson

(Image credit: Phill Taylor; Fashion: Zara top, Rejina. Pyo trousers)

What is your earliest fashion memory?

Dressing like my sister, definitely. My mum was a single parent for a time, so she would make everything we wore from scratch and it was always matching outfits. I specifically remember this floral dress with a bow at the back, and at the time, my sister and I would be like, "Another matching outfit," but I look back at the pictures now, and it's just so cute.

If we looked through your wardrobe on any day, what could we expect to find?

My vibe is super eclectic, and I tend to bounce around styles. I usually dress for my environment, whether that's the weather or the event or occasion, so I do have lots of different types of pieces. I've got "smartwear" and cosy knits, I've got jeans and I've got lots of dresses. It's such a mix, but the one thing you'll always find are jumpers because I love knits. But come to think of it, I do have rather a lot of shoes. I'm always a little bit surprised by having such a good shoe collection.

best wardrobes in britain: laura jackson

(Image credit: Phill Taylor: Fashion: Barbour top, Chloé trousers)

What clothing brands best represent your style, and how has that changed since you were younger?

It's tough to say which brands best represent my style because it changes all the time and depending on how I'm feeling. I pretty much dress to my mood, so if it's cold outside I can't do a dress that's going to be chilly—I'm a sensible dresser. But I'd say that the one thing that's changed since I was younger is that I used to buy a lot of fast fashion. I used to go to Miss Selfridge, C&A; all of those. [I'd] buy an outfit and once I'd worn it, I didn't think of it as a forever item. Now I really like spending a bit more on pieces that will stand the test of time and I'm careful and considered about where I choose to shop.

Indulge us: What is one fashion faux pas you regret?

I have made a lot of fashion mistakes! If I'm honest, I can look back at what I wore last week and think, "What were you thinking?!" But "mistakes" are so subjective, and I think that if it felt good at the time, there's no point regretting it!

As a lover of all things vintage, what part does sustainability play in how you curate your wardrobe?

I try to shop as much vintage as possible for that reason. Even if I see something new I like, I will go on Vinted, Vestiaire Collective, eBay or Reluxe to try to find it. I've gotten really good at taking pictures of things I like and then Googling them to see if I can get them secondhand. I love shopping secondhand and vintage because you can [then] actually afford a Prada skirt or a beautiful one-off item, [and sometimes it's] an absolute steal. I once got a really great Chloé shirt from Vestiaire, and everyone always asks where it's from. It was £50 and I absolutely adore it.

If I'm going somewhere for a special occasion, I'll often rent or ask a friend if I can borrow something. It is hard not to rely on the high street because there are some amazing things, but investments will always make sense. I just got a white Barbour dress that I know will last for a lifetime, so I do include new pieces as well—just [if I know] that I'm going to wear them again and again.

best wardrobes in britain: laura jackson

(Image credit: Phill Taylor)

Who are your style icons?

Oh, I have so many style icons, but I think the people I look to most are the general public and people I spot in restaurants or cafés. I love sitting in a London café and looking at how clothes move on people, the same in Paris. I have a saved outfit folder on my phone because I get such inspiration by seeing how real people wear real clothes, and how they put pieces together. I don't know if I've necessarily got great "personal style", but I look at other people and think, "Wow, that is so well put together, I wouldn't have thought to add that hat or try that shoe." So it's less a celebrity thing and more of the public for me. I know they've put their own outfits together and it's less [about] having icons that I put on a pedestal.

You’re a mum, a broadcaster, an entrepreneur an author and a seasoned host. How does what you wear change for each of these roles?

I feel like I have the luxury of growing older. I'm not sure how that's affected my style quite yet, but I do know that when I'm running around with the children, for example, I always prioritise comfort. You'll never see me in a painful shoe or carrying a bag so small I can't fit anything in it—I'm not that person. Day to day—even when I'm hosting—it has to look good, feel good and allow me to move. When I'm in the office I can dress for that moment, and I love a suit or a jacket. It's quite nice to dress for the specific role I need to play that day.

When did you realise what you wanted to do in your career, and was it an easy decision?

Retrospectively, I've always known what I wanted to do. I come from a big family and I've always liked the busyness of that and bringing people together. I love building things (not in the literal sense), but I never wanted a traditional 9-to-5. Being dyslexic, I decided to go down the creative route at university studying events management, or four years of organising parties (as my Dad said). I absolutely loved it, it felt like me—events, people and community. After that, I moved to London to do an events management placement and ended up staying because London was amazing with so much going on, and after that, I got a job on the door at Shoreditch House. Everything I've ever done has worked around food and beverages and events that bring people together and help them feel something so that naturally led to TV and broadcasting, which I love.

Storytelling and narrating build relationships, and that led seamlessly to hosting and building Glassette. We started the supper club with the idea of bringing people together, and whilst the vessels might look slightly different, everything I've chosen to do has that foundation—empowering people, making them feel good and supporting the community. It's powerful and means a lot to me.

best wardrobes in britain: laura jackson

(Image credit: Phill Taylor; Fashion: Barbour coat, vintage jumper, Melitta Baumeister skirt, Nike trainers)

What one outfit can you rely on and know you'll feel the most confident and beautiful in?

This is cheesy, but my wedding dress, which Rejina Pyo made for me. I didn't really know what I wanted to wear or whether I wanted colour, but my mum and I went to see Rejina and she made it so quickly (in a matter of weeks) because I didn't really have a plan and [hadn't] sorted myself out. I sent her a few images and she made this dress and I fell in love with it. [It was] so easy to wear but looked beautiful. It has cap sleeves and is in a polka-dot tulle fabric, and I felt so good in it that day.

What is your proudest "pinch me" moment?

I have pinch-me moments all the time! I am so lucky to have this job and meet the most amazing people every day.

When you set about starting a new project, whether that be a TV show, putting together an event, sourcing for Glasette or hosting a podcast, where does the initial inspiration come from?

Inspiration comes from everywhere. I try to have moments set [aside for] researching, but it usually comes to me quite organically. I think I have the same thing a lot of creative people have—the art of "noticing". Be it a ribbon, the way a door closes or the way the light hits something, all the way down to how a potato is presented in a restaurant—all of these things make my mind go crazy and so I always have a notebook with me. I tend to scribble things down all the time and that's where a lot of projects come from, but I really like a mood board and a visual reference is important for me. I try to create and convey a feeling, whether that's a deck for a TV show or an event. The whole purpose is selling an idea and making people feel part of it.

best wardrobes in Britian: laura jackson

(Image credit: Phill Taylor; Fashion: By Malene Birger jumper and trousers, Adidas trainers)

Who have been some of your favourite people to interview and work with, and what did you learn from them?

I really get a kick out of interviewing people and finding out what makes them tick, what they enjoy, what they eat when no one's watching, what their views on life are. For that reason, I couldn't pinpoint one particular person because anybody who meets me knows I want to immediately know where they're from and where they shop. I'm generally a nosy person and I think that's why I like to present and work in broadcasting. But I learn a lot from my friends and peers because they're the people I can be truly honest with. I read an amazing article from Léa Seydoux the other day that said "Living is a struggle, everything is a struggle", and it can be really hard for people in the public eye to say that when there is so much negativity going on in the world, but sometimes, being honest that we are struggling and having anxieties and worries can make us feel less alone. That really struck a chord with me.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I love the fact that I don't have a typical day, but now I've got children, the bookends of my days are always very similar. The kids are up at 7 a.m. and at 7 p.m. they're back to bed, so the in-between depends on what I'm doing. I'll get them up, dressed and fed, and sometimes [I'll do] the school run if I can (I feel guilty about not doing it if I can't). I'll either have meetings, recording, filming or I'm in the Glassette office. And then it's 6 p.m. till 7 p.m. bath time and books before bed, and at 7 p.m. I'll make myself dinner and finish the day working, or maybe I'll be at an event. I spend one evening every week doing something nice with my husband that [doesn't include] phones or work.

If you could wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Honestly, I feel most comfortable in a simple T-shirt, a pair of maroon Adidas tracksuit bottoms and Crocs. I know it sounds ridiculous, but that is pretty much my at-home uniform for doing the school run and relaxing—just a crisp T-shirt tucked in and the slight wedge of the Crocs.

Are there any pieces in your wardrobe that are particularly sentimental to you, and why?

There are definitely a few pieces in my wardrobe that are sentimental to me. I found my Gucci suit in a Parisian secondhand shop and it was an incredible price. I love that Tom Ford made it for Gucci and I get to wear it, but I have emotional connections to everything I own. Sometimes I'll say to Jon [Jackson's husband], "Where is that T-shirt?!", and he won't know what I mean because we haven't seen it for years, but I haven't forgotten it.

best wardrobe in britain: laura jackson

(Image credit: Phill Taylor; Fashion: Saint Laurent blazer, Massimo Dutti tee, Re/Done jeans, Prada shoes)

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever been given?

There are two pieces. A friend of mine who is no longer with us said to me, "It's content for the book." Whenever anything good or bad happened, she'd write it off as something you can write down and learn from later in life. Now, I always think of things as chapters in the book. Another friend also told me that we should think about life as if it were the sea. If it were calm all the time, it wouldn't be enjoyable. You have to learn to ride the waves and the stillness, and no tide or wave will ever be the same. That's such a great piece of life advice that you can apply to your career and business because everything is always evolving.

What is one piece of advice you’d like to pass down to your children?

Know that not everyone will think the same way as you, and that's okay. Try to be as confident in yourself as possible and don't worry about what anyone else is doing or saying. It's a lesson I've had to learn over and over again, and I've often felt hurt or let down because someone hasn't necessarily done something how I would do it, but that's a reductive way to think, and I'd like my children to know that.

What can we expect next from Laura?

As you know, I like to keep myself busy, and there's a lot going on with Glassette and some interesting TV things in the pipeline. But for the foreseeable future, I'm going to be here to spread joy, connect people and build communities—all of the things I love the most!

Thank you for having us, Laura!

best wardrobes in britain

(Image credit: Phill Taylor)

Shop Laura's Style:

Remy Farrell
Fashion Editor

Remy Farrell is a London-based shopping editor with nearly 10 years of editorial experience covering fashion, beauty and lifestyle. After graduating with a journalism degree and working on the editorial and fashion teams for titles such as Grazia, Elle, Cosmopolitan and British Vogue, she moved into the luxury e-commerce sector, working as fashion assistant at styling for the social media channels and helping to develop the collections for the in-house brand Iris & Ink. After expanding an assisting and styling portfolio that includes shooting talent such as Gigi Hadid, Victoria Beckham and Miquita Oliver, she also branched out into beauty, creating tried-and-tested reviews and diverse beauty content.In her role as shopping editor at Who What Wear, Remy is interested in discovering new and exciting brands to share with the Who What Wear readership and particularly loves uncovering hidden gems at affordable prices to make shopping accessible to everyone.Born and raised in Sheffield, Yorkshire, Remy moved to London in 2014 and lives in the Docklands with her partner and pug Billie.