Dr Poppy Lamberton

Scientist and Senior Lecturer, University of Glasgow

The Fashion Editor’s Picks: Sarah Tomczak
May 15, 2017 The Fold

The Fashion Editor’s Picks

Sarah Tomczak, Deputy Editor of Red Magazine

Sarah Tomczak is Red Magazine’s brilliantly cerebral and innately stylish Deputy Editor. Her journalistic career spans almost 20 years, from a first role as the editorial assistant at Sugar magazine all the way to Lifestyle Editor at the entertainment magazine Us Weekly, which also happened to provide her with five glorious years in New York. Her trademark pre-Raphaelite hair and red lips help her stand out from the crowd and her style motto is simple: ‘Wear clothes that you love rather than play it safe.’

Interview by Alice Olins, Co-Founder of Step Up and Contributing Editor to Red Magazine.


A. What makes The Fold’s suiting so versatile?

S. Because Red magazine is a very creative environment, there isn’t much call for a suit – but that makes this one a more exciting choice. The cut, with its sharp waist and slim trousers makes it smart, but it doesn’t have to be corporate.


A. Tell us about your favourite layering piece, the Breton?

S. Naturally instead of a blouse, I chose an of-the-moment slogan tee to make this suit feel more casual. And I literally LIVE in stripes – to me they are another outfit enhancer. I’d wear a Breton with everything from shorts to tailored trousers to a giant tulle skirt – they never look wrong. I stock up on all different cuts and shapes (from oversize, to slim-line, boat necks to polo necks), though I usually stick with either navy or black stripes.


A. Tell us about your accessories for this look?

S. This J.Crew necklace was a present from my girlfriends about ten years ago – I love the contrast of neon and pastel stones – and again I like to wear it in a more causal way, layered over a sweatshirt, a denim shirt or a tee. Trainers have never really looked right on me, and although I think they look good with dresses on other people, I can’t pull it off. Converse, on the other hand, I can’t live without. This pair – a collaboration with Commes Des Garcons – elevate everything. They also bring this suit into weekend territory.


Sarah wears the Le Marais Peplum Jacket and Le Marais Tailored Trousers.

“The cut, with its sharp waist and slim trousers makes it smart, but it doesn’t have to be corporate.”

Shop the Look


A. What drew you to the Kildare?

S. The Kildare is my absolute favourite thing – a great nipped-in waist and a full skirt. I challenge anyone not to feel good in it! The retro cut is endlessly appealing but I wanted to make it feel modern and a bit more edgy, which is why I wore it with sparkly socks (no one should be without a pair – a flash of them under skinny suit trousers or slouchy jeans is equally as cool!) and my silver Mary Janes.


A. Where do you shop for the perfect accessories?

S. These giant earrings were in the sale at H&M – although they’re such a statement maker I’d invest in more expensive pairs too. Crazy earrings have the power to transform even the most formal outfit. Metallics are a great outfit enhancer – I wear them as a neutral. I like to juxtapose glitzier pieces with more casual things so I also wear these shoes with boyfriend jeans and a grey cashmere sweater.


A. What are your hair styling rules?

S. Lots of my styling rules are about contrast – a casual t-shirt with show-stopping earrings, ladylike heels with socks – I feel the same about my hair. Because this dress is so ladylike I wanted messy undone hair to make it feel fresher. I love to tie my hair back in an unruly manner with a polished dress and wear it loose and wild with a nipped in blazer and trousers.


Sarah wears the Kildare Dress in Midnight Blue Check.

Sarah’s capsule wardrobe…

I live in Breton stripes, denim shirts, cashmere sweaters, printed skirts and tons of dresses. I tend to stick to the same colour palette: navy, white, denim and grey with shots of cherry red, bottle green and muted pinks. I gravitate towards simple, timeless shapes and cuts that flatter my hourglass figure and then stockpile interesting accessories.

The Fold and I…

I only knew a little about The Fold before the shoot, so I was struck by the quality and versatility of the clothes. These are things that you’ll have in your wardrobe forever and can pull out season after season. I love the detailing – the pockets on the navy Kildare dress I wore, the pleated cuffs on the green Cadogan trench – these little touches make the clothes feel special and unique.

Heels or flats…

Sky high heels or flat flats – never anything in between (I can’t abide a kitten heel).

Non-negotiable make-up item…

Red lips. I wear a slick of lipstick at all times – even at the weekend. My failsafe is Revlon Really Red, but the Red office also swears by MAC Lady Danger. I’m also pretty devoted to my hair, which I get coloured by the amazing Zenda at Jo Hansford. Being a working mother, with little time on my hands, nothing makes me feel more confident than a recently refreshed ‘blonde’.

I feel my best at work when I wear…

A dress. The right one can make you feel and look fabulous and powerful.

“The Kildare is my absolute favourite thing – a great nipped-in waist and a full skirt.”

Shop Dresses


 A. Why red and pink?

S. I love an unexpected colour clash, which is why I wanted to pair this red skirt with a pink blouse. Because the blouse is a lovely muted blush shade I actually think it softens the skirt. It’s ‘look at me’ but not too much.


A. Tell us about your accessories for this look?

S. The A-line skirt is a super flattering shape, but adding a navy belt to accentuate the waist not only draws attention to the narrowest bit of your body, it also looks more pulled together and professional. These bottle green Miu Miu shoes were a present from my husband years ago, and they just seem to go with everything. Dark green works as a great neutral, just like grey, navy or tan might.


A. How do you mix up your look?

S. Because I work in a creative environment I’m always trying to do something a bit different or unexpected – case in point: this headscarf. My style philosophy is to invest in more expensive shoes and bags, buy classic, timeless clothes and then personalise my look with cheaper, fun and on-trend accessories.


Sarah wears the Le Marais Slash Neck Top Blush Pink and Wigmore Skirt Carmine Red.

“I love an unexpected colour clash, it’s ‘look at me’ but not too much.”

To me, fashion means…

Celebrating your authenticity, finding a way to make something your own. Fashion can be mood and confidence boosting.

My favourite city for shopping is…

New York. I lived there for five years and try to return every year (when I always squeeze in some shopping). But, like everyone else, I’m endlessly inspired by how Parisian women dress.

The invite to my ultimate dinner party includes…

Joni Mitchell, Cheryl Strayed and Gwyneth Paltrow.

My greatest achievement in life…

My career and my daughters. I’m madly passionate and proud of them both.

The advice I’d give to my daughters…

Be brave and be kind. On their bedroom wall, is the line from the Erin Hanson poem, “What if I fall? Oh but my darling, what if you fly?” I hope that they both fly – with grace and compassion.

I love my job because…

It’s so much fun. I work with the most brilliant, talented team, I get to be creative every day and I write for a magazine, which I truly believe in and am incredibly proud of. I’m so lucky to have found the thing that I love and to be able to do it on a daily basis.


Sarah wears the Kildare Dress in Midnight Blue Check.


Words and styling: Alice Olins

Photography: Dvora

Accessories: Sarah’s own

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