In a week leading up to International women’s day, we would like to introduce to you our inspiring CB ambassador Chet Patel. She shares her love for food and fashion through her blog and Instagram @chilliesandclothes. On top of her everyday chic look, we love how Chet creates a variety of outfits with existing pieces in her wardrobe. She knows just how to create the perfect look for any occasion. Blogger, wife and a mum of 2, we are in awe of her juggling skills; Chet took a break from her busy life to sit with us and have a chat about her work, her style and her plans for 2020. We think you will enjoy her honesty and inspiration.
- What’s it like being a parent and being a blogger/influencer? How do you organise your time?
My name is Chet, I am mum to two girls (9 and 12) and a social media influencer and blogger over @chilliesandclothes
My role as a parent is probably one of the most rewarding AND hardest jobs I’ve ever had to undertake. I have learnt to accept that each stage of childhood brings with it a different challenge and new rules. My girls keep me on my toes and continue to make me want to be a better calmer more patient person, I’ll point out that this is still work in progress.
Being able to share my daily style across various social media platforms has been an incredible journey. It has allowed me to meet some amazing people and work with brands I had never previously heard of. It has allowed me to juggle my role as a mum whilst still doing something just for me. I organise my time and diary around my girls, who both have incredibly active sports and music schedules. The photos, videos and blog posts all happen during the day whilst they are at school and all in between the usual daily chores.
- Do you consider how your children will use social media when you post and do they read your posts?
I do consider this a lot. Having seen first hand the impact Social Media can have on adults it scares me to think what it will do to my girls. For all the positives aspects of Social Media there are also many negatives. Growing up is hard and having to grow up in an age where every move is potentially documented is even harder. My eldest does have an Instagram account. I have full access to her account and talk to her very openly about the pros and cons of social media, examples of things we shouldn’t do or say and the fact that everything posted leaves a social footprint. My eldest might sometimes read my posts but it’s rare. I have a rule, which is ‘to never post anything that I wouldn’t want my family or children seeing’.
- Tell us why you started blogging?
I started my blog as a hobby and a way to document style tips and the recipes I cook at home. It is primarily my space and allows me to be creative and express who I am. I’ve always loved Fashion and enjoy using my creativity to put clothes, styles and looks together. I love sharing ideas, thoughts and new finds via my blog and social media posts. My website also holds the recipes I cook at home. Indian cooking is intuitive and I learnt as a teen growing up in an extended family. There were no recipes or measurements. I decided to test the recipes I cook and document them for others to use but predominantly as a library for my girls when they are older.
- You’ve recently launched @astylejournal. Can you tell us about it?
@astylejournal came about as a way to celebrate inspiring styles and looks. I love sharing my style but like most people I don’t have endless funds, wardrobe space or the need for so many clothes. I decided to create a space, look book that allowed my partner @thesilverkat and I to share styles and ideas that inspired us. The ultimate goal is to get women to look at their wardrobes and see how they can recreate some of the looks that inspire them with existing pieces.
- What are your favourite fashion labels?
I love Zara, & Other Stories, Ganni, Anine Bing, Boden, Marks and Spencer, OddMolly. My goal moving forward is to buy less but better and to also build up a repertoire of brands and companies that are more sustainably aware and open.
- How do you think jewellery can change a look?
I love accessories and in particular jewellery. When I pull a look together I usually start with one key wardrobe piece and build from there. I then decide on my jewellery and which pieces I think will compliment the overall look. I love stacking my jewellery and really believe that the right pieces can make an outfit look more stylish, polished and on trend.
- How did you find your particular style and how would you define it?
My style has definitely evolved over time. I have always loved clothes and accessories. I’m also quite creative in my approach to style – I see my wardrobe as a jigsaw puzzle. I love mixing pieces and wearing things in multiple ways. I’m not afraid to bend the rules or try something new. I am a big believer of working out your Style Manifesto (I have a blog post on how you can do this) and working out what you stand for how you want the world at large to see you. Our visual appearance helps to communicate our personality so make sure you are saying the right thing. I really struggle to define my style as it changes depending on my mood – but if I had to pick I’d say everyday chic.
- Do you have a style icon?
I adore Olivia Palermo’s simple, stylish look, she is all about beautiful cut classics and statement accessories. I also adore Iris Apfel, I love the fact that she stands for individualism, style at any age and is not afraid of bright colours or statement jewellery.
- What are you looking for when buying a fashion item (clothes or accessories)?
This has changed over the last 18 months now when I look at a piece I first ask myself how much I love it. I have to really love it and it has to fill a gap in my wardrobe to make the cut. I try not to buy overly patterned items that I think I might get bored of after a few wears. The pieces that work the hardest in my wardrobe usually tend to be classics and block colours. I then ask myself how many ways can I style it with pieces I already own. If it ticks all the boxes then I’ll buy it. I am also trying to be more sustainable with my choices and I am currently doing a fair amount of research on materials out there and the impact to the environment.
- If you could only wear the same piece of jewellery (other than your wedding band/engagement ring) everyday what would it be and why?
This is tricky as I love layering my jewellery, but if I had to pick one piece that I would wear all the time it would be something classic so I’m going to go with earrings in either pearl or diamond.
- What are your plans for 2020?
I have applied to do a masters course at the University of Cambridge in Sustainability. I am yet to hear whether I have got onto the course or not but if I do I start in August of this year. In the meantime I am doing lots of research into the issue of sustainability within the fashion industry and reading about the challenges faced by all parties involved. As I learn I want to share my thoughts, views and learning’s with my instagram friends. I will also be spending a lot of time with my girls. My eldest turns 13 this year and moves to her next school in September so we have big changes to prepare for.
Make sure to follow Chet on Instagram @chilliesandclothes for styling inspiration. You won’t be disappointed!