Feb 082012

Today I am very excited to introduce you to the beautiful Tabitha, who some of you may know from Bourbon and Pearls. Forgive me for my crude description, but for me Tabitha is a prime example of one of those perfect English ladies out there who is always impeccably dressed, freshly showered with beautiful hair and ready with a quick zinger. She has fabulous style – I’ve included some favorite pictures throughout the interview – and is the friend you’d probably most want to have some tea and go shopping with (though you might want to leave your Vuitton Speedy bag at home…as you’ll see below).

And, she’s 47. Yes, you heard that right, 47. So awesome and jealousy inducing. Enjoy meeting Tabitha!

First things first – who are you? What do you do, and where do you live?

My name is Tabitha, I live in Scotland. Like the devil I am large, I contain multitudes – which is a fancy way of saying I have a portfolio career – which is a fancy way of saying I have two or more jobs. I work from home as a freelance writer and I’m assisting in the development of a documentary. I also muck out and exercise two horses a few days a week.

Tabitha fishing 

I’d like to hear more about your style. What’s a typical day outfit for you?

A typical day outfit is gym wear, or wellies and jodphurs, think Nick Nolte in Down and Out in Beverly Hills, but in the freezing rain and mud and you’re pretty much there.

How about a night look?

As I spend my week days shuffling around  in either slippers, trainers or wellies I tend to be the most overdressed person in the room whenever I venture out at night. Cinders has nothing on me. My core colours are white, camel and grey but I also love jewel tones like emerald and red. I have no brand allegiances whatsoever but I favour simple clean lines and body skimming sheath dresses and always wear heels. I’m quite minimalist, and keep accessories and jewellery to the bare minimum – usually none at all.

Tabitha’s Smython bag

What are some of your favorite brands and mainstays of your wardrobe?

When I was younger and living and working in London my wardrobe consisted of Gucci and Prada but those days have passed. I really don’t care about the provenance of clothing anymore but I do still appreciate individuality and fine craftsmanship, so I would name Manolo Blahnik as my favourite shoemaker. Classics are my leitmotif, I don’t like to fuss too much over clothes. I also favour Smythson for stationary and handbags.

How about some brands which are just not your style, that you may think are overrated and/or overpriced?

I would rather be tarred and feathered than be seen carrying an Louis Vuitton logo bag or any bag or garment that has obvious branding. I think discretion is underrated these days. Had you seen me back in the 80′s I would have been toting one of my eight Louis Vuitton bags – shudder. I had to detract from my curly perm and blue eyeshadow somehow.

Tabitha’s lonely shoe closet

I’d love to hear about some of the splurges you’ve made that have had the best “cost per wear”. What have they been? What about the items that you’ve splurged on that now you regret?

1. I have worn my Manolo’s into the ground. However…

2. I bought a Chanel jacket which was a size too small for me, I’ve worn it twice. It is heading to eBay.

3. I bought three Chanel 2.55 bags which I have carried about four times.

4. I have a sideboard full of designer shoes which I barely wear nowadays.I don’t even really like Louboutin anymore – like Louis Vuitton it has become too much a part  of our “WAG” culture in the UK.

How about some of your favorite high street stores and your favorite buys at them?

Marks and Spencers for underwear and slouchy house wear, and I have an addiction to the American store J.Crew which by the time it reaches these forgotten shores ends up costing me designer prices. I am trying to kick the habit!

Charlotte Olympia Pandora clutch – you can swap out the insides!

How do you budget for fashion? What percent of your wardrobe do you shop at sale vs. full price? 

I have never bought anything on sale, I’m too far away from most of the shops that I love and my shoe and dress sizes usually sell out long before sale time online. I buy what I need each season rather than want, yet reserve the right to fall in love with something whimsical and impractical and buy it the drop of my debit card. Last year that  accolade went to my Pandora clutch bag by Charlotte Olympia. Carried once – groan.

And how does your wardrobe/fashion spend relate to your travel spend?

I’ve been travelling since I was very young, I had ticked off all of the countries I had wanted to visit by the time I was 27 and so I then wrote out a list of Grand Hotels that I wanted to visit – legendary in the sense of history, of secrets whispered from walls, of assignations and affairs and intrigue.  I came to the end of that list last year. I have no goals left travel wise bar going on holiday as a sun seeker a few times every year.

Tabitha’s lovely bathroom, wallpaper by Don Loper created for Beverly Hills Hotel (right)

What are some of your other major passions and hobbies?

My passion is interiors; DeGournay, Zuber, Manuel Canovas and Pierre Frey excite me more than any other designers. My interests include opera, theatre and art and I love baking, spinning and fencing, though not at the same time.

This one is just for fun – what are some of your pet peeves?

1. The use of certain words: sunnies, lippie.

2. Bad manners.

3. Calling tech support in Uttar Pradesh.

4. Lack of consistency at Starbucks.

Preppy on the left…with an Hermes Jige clutch on the right

Can you share some learnings about style and shopping that you’ve had to learn the hard way over the years? 

I think everyone should have fun with fashion and trends when they’re young and not take clothes too seriously. I think too many people get hung up on what they are supposed to wear or how they are supposed to look, I can’t bear style books that roll out a blueprint for dressing.

What have I learned? Well, I spent my entire 20′s purchasing designer clothes non stop. I used to be a ridiculous clothes horse, who would happily spend £700 on pair of shoes without batting an eyelid but now I’ve realised that I’m really not that bothered about clothes, as long as I have a few good pieces hanging in my wardrobe I’m perfectly happy.

How about some general life advice?

Decide on a career early and stick with it. I didn’t.

And finally…please share something surprising about yourself!

I am world championship surfer. (This may or not be true.) OK, it’s not but I would love to be  a blonde blue eyed surfer girl. I also used to be a punk; I still am in many ways.I hope you enjoyed reading about Tabitha as much as I enjoyed putting together this interview. She is a great inspiration and I love that her style is classic without any touch of stiffness to it. Tabitha, thank you for sharing your photos and thoughts with us, and for more, check out her blog here.

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  57 Responses to “Interview with Tabitha”

  1. What can I say about Tabitha? She's funny, has a heart of gold, stunning (we can compare our love handles later but I'll win) and elegant. Don't believe a word when she writes about her wrinkles. They must be those lines under her elbows. Yup, 47!!! Hard to believe. The first time I heard that I nearly spewed my coffee out. I thought she was in her mid 30s at the most.

  2. What can I say about Tabitha? She's funny, has a heart of gold, stunning (we can compare our love handles later but I'll win) and elegant. Don't believe a word when she writes about her wrinkles. They must be those lines under her elbows. Yup, 47!!! Hard to believe. The first time I heard that I nearly spewed my coffee out. I thought she was in her mid 30s at the most.

  3. 47? 47?! What is her secret?! And here I thought Isabel Preysler was the epitome of "well-preserved", but she's got nothing on Tabitha. I am exceedingly jealous, but also very, very, very admiring. If she wants to share any beauty-/youth-preserving secrets, I am all ears! :)

  4. *Swoons in awe* Even though she looks younger than me, when I grow up I want to be exactly like her.

  5. Ok – now this is my favorite profile you've done…Tabitha is SO gorgeous and stylish – I now have a new beauty/style role model!

    I love how classic and elegant her outfits are – she looks so youthful and fresh! I'm 33 and worry that maybe I shouldn't be so obsessed with fashion and beauty – since most bloggers are in their 20s. Tabitha is inspiring because she takes care of herself and it shows…and count me in for wanting to know her beauty secrets.

    Thanks Katherine for introducing us to such amazing blogs – I don't know how you find them but I'm glad that you do :-)

  6. He he, in my excitement, I forgot to add that I absolutely adore de Gournay as well. My dream is to live in a house paneled with their stunning hand-painted wallpapers. As Kat's friend would say, "If I were a warlord …"

  7. Best interview so far!! Needless to say she looks amazying for her age!! How you manage to find these special people is beyond me!

  8. Katherine!! LOVED this interview, I think my favorite so far!! I can't believe she is even close to age 47!!! And I love her style! {Also, I feel like going back to my blog and deleting all my LV and sunnies posts! LOL!} Thank you! :)

    xo, sam

  9. Loved this interview! She's a role model for us younger fashionista wannabes :)

  10. She has fabulous style!

  11. Oh thank you so much, and funny to see that fishing picture there! You did a wonderful job with the photographs, thank you.
    And thanks to everyone for the lovely comments – you've really made my day!

  12. Ella – oh I feel like ol Granma blogger sometimes!

  13. You should see my 90 year old mum on the blog, she wakes every morning at 6.00am to put her rollers in and do her make up – trust me I am dawdling behind her in the grooming stakes.
    Oh and sunblock on my face every day since I was 21 – I have loads of sun damage on my body though – stay out of the sun!

  14. she`s 47?!?!!? she does not look it at all! she`s so freaking gorgeous!! i`m following her NOW. i love her interview. i feel as i mature, i think less and less about the label. i remember in high school i was decked out in labels (so gaudy!). i still use some, but def. not like before. again, really enjoyed this interview!

    xoxo, LC


  15. wowza! outstanding interview – thanks tabitha!

  16. K I can't believe you remembered that line! And I love de Gournay as well…always wanted it, haven't dared to look up the price. I'm not well versed in how high wallpaper and go and want to remain ignorant!

    @Tabitha I love it when you mention your mom!

  17. You're welcome, and thank you Tabitha! You were fantastic :)

  18. Just "wow"! Mind her closet, what is her beauty secret? Tabitha looks amazing for her age!

  19. Is reading blogs like children you shouldn't have favourites? I can't get through the week with out B & P, so down to earth but so aspirational! Great interview and your blog could just be another favourite child!

  20. It is my birthday today and I am also in my mature years. This was one of the best blog reads I have had for a while. Does Tabitha have an email or blog? Very inspiring, down to earth, common sense and yet she retains that air of mistery. She is obviously comfortable in her own skin. She oozes confidence and is not afraid to state her opinion. Great read!

  21. 47? WOW! She looks gorgeous and she has an amazing body! Loved reading her interview! Thank you for introducing her to us! :)

  22. I couldn't agree more about the logo-mania that is so popular right now. I haven't purchased Louboutin in the last 4-5 years because of how "status symbol" they have become. I read once that Martha Stewart has all of the soles of her CL's painted black so they are more discreet! Tabitha looks PHENOMENAL (not just for 47, but for any age!)

  23. What a fantastic interview! Bourbon & Pearls is one of my favorite daily reads and has been since its inception. Tabitha is not only incredibly beautiful and extremely talented, but also a truly kind and thoughtful person. I really enjoyed learning even more about her in this interview. Thanks for featuring her Katherine! :)

  24. Ok, if I look like this at 47, I'll be ok. I am totally fascinated now- if she spends most days in sweats & wellies, where does she wear all of this fabulous clothes to? (PS LOVE that little striped skirt!)

  25. Wow like everyone else I'm so surprised at her age! She looks soo good and not only that she is so stylish and classy! After reading your intro to her I was nodding reading through the interview! Thanks for introducing us to her :) I love your interview series ;)


  26. 47.. What??? She's fabulous! Love her style and what a great interview!

    Visit me & my bags, shoes, and all things dainty at:
    pjlattesbagbook.blogspot.com or on Bloglovin'

  27. Agree with this being the best interview. Tabitha is the most genuine and down to earth person in all of your interviews. I love that she's so honest about the fashion pieces she owns. No showing off collection upon collection of expensive handbags, not a super fashionista, just a few really nice pieces here and there that makes them more precious and special. A woman truly comfortable in her own skin. If I look anything nearly as good as she does when I turn 47, I would be too!

  28. Thanks for this interview. I'm a huge fan of B&P!

  29. So interesting! Still can't get over the "47". Thank you for posting!!!

  30. Tabitha. is. fabulous! I really cannot believe she is 47! I love her classic, chic style and I am defintely going to start following her blog. Great interview!

  31. wow her shoe collection is enviable! she looks amazing for 47 too!


  32. Great interview Katherine, she is so beautiful!!! I slightly disagree with her point of view on one thing. Personally I love my goods that happen to have logos or distinguishing characteristics (Red Soles) and I wear them proudly, whether it be Chanel, LV, Hermes etc. My motive for wearing such things is not because society, media or celebrities made them ok, it's because I just happen to like it and if that makes me gauche, well then so be it. I also understand that life has phases, perhaps when I am 47, I too will have an ephphany and see the err of my ways, but for now I'm comfortable enough to enjoy what I like. I totally respect her opinion, I just don't share the same viewpoint. Thank you for introducing me to bloggers that I would not have otherwise met had it not been for your great interviews. :)

  33. ****epiphany … Darned spelling :)

  34. Hi Katrina! I loved Tabitha's point of view but also love yours! Thank you for sharing and I love that you are confident and comfortable in your style, just as Tabitha is in hers. You're both fabulous :) Thanks again <3

  35. She had such classic, feminine, and lovely style – she is definitely a style inspiration. Thank you for the introduction!

  36. Katrina: Oh I respect yours too, it's just that over here I don't want to be seen as part of that particular tribe who have jumped all over my past loves!

  37. I'm allowed out of my cage once a week to go the opera or theatre but that's the problem, I really don't get wear out of my clothes so I must not buy without thinking anymore.



  39. Darn she could be the headeditor of a fashion magazine, she has style!
    I hope I can be this stylish if I reached this age haha


  40. Thanks so much for coming by:)

    Great interview!!
    I love that shoe closet..hehehe

    xox from Spain,


  41. I adore Tabitha's blog: a lot of gorgeousness and her prose is really fun, too. However, I must say that you should not be so surprised that she is still fabulous at 47. It's not all that old, lol!

  42. I love that she is so fabu and your article really made her shine even more – if that's possible.

  43. She looks amazing! I'd love to raid her closet, her style looks impeccable! Great interview, very enjoyable to read!

  44. This interview is great, thanks for posting it. Just goes to show that great style means staying true to your own sense of classic style and not trying TOO hard :)

  45. LOL! My apologies if it came off that way, I just meant that I think she looks wayyy younger than 47…but I am 100% in agreement, 47 is not "old" and fabulous can be found at every age!

  46. great life and fashion advice aside from her gorgeous fashion statement..Can't believe she's 47 she looks like 20 yrs younger!:)

  47. Hi Tabitha! First you really are beautiful you look better than some 27 year old's I know…you remind me of my mom, she is 57 and looks nothing like it. I honestly understand your frustration, its not much easier over here in California.

  48. Good Morning dear Katharina.

    So glad I found now your blog through your comment.
    (For the Celine sunnies: I don´t know if the store in Paris is shipping internationally but I was told in case I would like to order something I should visit the celine website and will find also all their email addresses for ordering- hope this was maybe helpful :)

    And now I have to take again a look at all the pictures here and reading the interview. Just have right now in my head that I saw so many beautiful things!

    Have a nice weekend!

  49. i love this interview.. the comment about louboutins only being worn by "WAGS" these days really cracked me up.. i totally get it.. i LOVE LOVE louboutins.. but i totally get where she's going with that comment.. i'm torn! the red sole is so telling.. but it's the red sole that also got me into designer shoes in the first place!!

    haha thank you!! i heart my mini silver trunks too!! i'm actually doing a blog post about them monday with the rest of the new additions to my dressing room.. and yes they do open! :)

  50. Oh I love her! I read her blog, but sometimes it's hard for me to read with all of the slang terms. I love her style though and find her very beautiful and refereshing. And she's 47? Holy cow. She looks better than me at 25!

  51. Oooh woow just faboulous!! Love your style!! I´ll come back for sure :)

  52. I LOVE Tabitha! Thank you so much for sharing her!

  53. just discovered your amazing blog, i love your posts on hermes and 'investment' chanel! :D

    tabitha seems like she should be starring in her own novel. what a fab lady and inspiration!

  54. Really liked this interview and Tabitha honest views and fabulous fashion choices (that red dress…!)

  55. I love her blog, thanks for sharing this post on her!

  56. Uttar Pradesh* :) Not Upper Pradesh. Uttar means north and Pradesh means state. Hence, Uttar Pradesh, the northern state.

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