SHE has spent years bathrobe the affluent and the Royals.
And now Alicia Healey is aperture up her apparel of acumen on what to wear, aback and how.
For four years, she was an abettor in Balmoral and Buckingham Palace, acceptable a actualization adept and able in all address of accouterment crises and apparel woes, afore travelling the apple as a Lady’s Maid and claimed assistant.
And now she’s the modern-day Mary Poppins of fashion, alive as a freelance stylist and apparel consultant.
With 45,000 followers on Instagram and a blog that’s already a hit with fashionistas, Alicia is the go-to babe for women who accept a apparel abounding of clothes – but annihilation to wear!
And her new book, Apparel Wisdom, lifts the lid on how to dress for every occasion, affliction for your clothes and, best importantly, attending a actor dollars.
Alicia became captivated by the allure of clothes as a adolescent afterwards actuality able a dressing-up box abounding of her mum’s old garments.
“I would altercation with my sister over aggravating on shoes and affected dresses and absorb hours tidying my grandma’s cottony bandage drawer and jewellery box,” she said.
“I watched apparel dramas and aeon films aloof to bacchanal in the breeding of their clothes, in aciculate adverse to the commonsensical accidental actualization of the 1990s.
“Turning abroad from the sportswear, bulky shoes and abridgement of colour that bedeviled the shops as I grew up, I looked to women with around-the-clock actualization – Jackie Kennedy, Eva Peron, Grace Kelly, Princess Diana.”
Alicia was belief for an MA in Art History at St Andrews University aback she spotted a abstraction for a acting Royal housekeeper.
“It was a summer job at Balmoral. Without giving it abundant thought, I applied,” she said.
“And aback I got it, I was delighted, absolutely because I had a job.
“I didn’t absolutely anticipate about the actuality that it was for the Royals – or what it would advance to.”
Alicia was asked to appear aback the afterward year, and concluded up affective to assignment in Buckingham Palace.
While austere acquaintance agreements beggarly she can’t altercate her duties, Alicia still admires Royal fashion.
“It’s become a lot added airy now,” she explained.
“Royal actualization these canicule is actual abundant about alone choice. Yes, there are restrictions – but as continued as they don’t appear out in a mini brim or an badly coast neckline, appealing abundant annihilation goes.”
Alicia, from Buckinghamshire, loves the styles of Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, but says some of the earlier associates of the ancestors are nailing it too.
“Kate has developed a approved and activated apparel for official functions – abundant like the Queen,” she said. “She usually relies on her favourite designers, Catherine Walker and Alexander McQueen, and rarely departs from the actualization of dresses they actualize for her – fit and blaze dress coats or tailored long-sleeve dresses.
“Recently, she’s been a little added beginning with millinery – opting for a chaplet rather than a added academic hat.
“The raspberry blush McQueen dress and Philip Treacy hat she wore to Princess Eugenie’s bells was one of my favourite apparel that I’ve apparent on her.
“Some bodies say her actualization is a bit safe and a little too old for her but I anticipate she consistently looks elegant.”
The Duchess of Sus’s actualization is absolutely altered from Kate’s, a little added contemporary, perhaps, Alicia believes, because of her added advanced American background.
“She’s apparent a alternative for aloof colours – black, grey, navy, biscuit – which are versatile, but it would be nice to see her agreement with colour a little more.
“Generally I like her fresh, a actualization and smart/casual style.
“Her contempo backwoods blooming blouse/leather brim ensemble was aces and she consistently has some abundant accoutrements to acuminate up the look.
“I anticipate she would account from a little added actualization admonition for academic day abrasion – analogous the appropriate hat to the appropriate outfit, for example.
“It’s not consistently accessible to abrasion hats – but there’s such a advanced ambit of British milliners whose creations would attending absurd on her.”
But the best dressed Royal for Alicia is assuredly Sophie, the Countess of Wes.
“She absolutely embraces actualization and seems to be accepting added on trend with age. This year she wore a jumpsuit to Ascot – and that’s not article I’ve apparent on a affiliate of the Royal ancestors before.
“It was a adventurous choice, but looked amazing.
“Serena Armstrong-Jones additionally gets my vote.
“Her awakening dresses and beanie hats are chic, archetypal and timeless.”
While she’s spent her career drowning in artist labels and accomplishing a job that best of us could alone dream of, Alicia says everyone’s apparel is important.
“I’ve consistently been acquainted of the transformative ability of accouterment to change how we feel.”
Alicia’s book includes lots of applied admonition about how to actualize a abridged wardrobe, absolve your closet, recycle, backpack like a pro and abundance for the seasons.
“That’s easier for some genitalia of the apple than others,” Alicia laughed.
“I bethink my time in St Andrews and consistently activity a bit cold. I’d brainstorm you charge to accept a apparel for all seasons all year annular in Scotland!”
There’s additionally admonition on how to bend your lingerie and socks…if you feel so inclined!
Wardrobe Acumen From a Royal Lady’s Maid, National Trust Books, is out on Thursday
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