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How Do I Look?: Louise Trotter, Fashion director, age 39

Interview,Charlotte Philby
Saturday 16 August 2008 00:00 BST
(Portrait by Kalpesh Lathigra)

Trench coats are my main investment each season; my wardrobe is full of them. I found this one on one of my weekly pilgrimages to Portobello Road in west London. I love to customise pieces, to make them personal to me. I took off all the old buttons on this coat and added odd vintage ones, mixed with a few taken from other outfits. Now it feels really special.

I see jewellery as a collection of mementoes from over the years, which becomes your history. This necklace is composed of six charms. The locket was given to me by my grandparents on my 21st birthday; the amethyst was given to my mother by my father; and the Masonic ball I found in Greece when I was younger. Each represents a period of my life.

Cashmere cardigans are my wardrobe staple. This purple one is by Jigsaw [Trotter is fashion director of the high-street chain]. I like layering cardigans with other pieces and this is my favourite layering combination. The blouse is in a slick crepe, with piping detail. Together, the look is both hard and soft.

You can use belts to play with shapes and proportion. You cannot own too many; all you have to do is mix them up depending on your outfit. I have hundreds in my wardrobe. I love this leather, hand-punched one because the studs counteract the classic style. My hair and make-up is always very simple. I'd rather use accessories to add colour.

I coveted this Hermès Medor watch for years. And then someone gave it to me as a gift. Hermès is my favourite brand of all time. I like that the watch is classic, but has a punky twist; I like to mix traditional with modern, rather than be all one note. My husband had everyone looking for the matching bracelet for a year before he found it and bought it for me. Now the two never leave my wrist.

Essentially, I'm a bit of a scruff, so jeans are all-important. These are my number one pair. They are perfect for fat days. I bought them at Bluebird on the King's Road and they're made by Acne. I've had them for years. They're dropped-crotch, so quite relaxed, even though they have a skinny leg. They go with heels and flats, so in every way, they are perfect.

J igsaw's autumn/winter collection will be in stores next week. See

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