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The interview



Fashion journalist, consultant and mum to Nathaniel and Martha, Stacey Duguid talks to us about denim, motherhood and why sometimes, the greatest looks are simply in your jeans

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Balancing act

“My post-baby working life is very different. I work flat out three days and three evenings a week so that I can pick my kids up from school.”

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I ’ll never forget my first pair of skinny jeans,” says fashion journalist Stacey Duguid. “They were super skinny and I remember lying down on the floor, doing the button up and going out and having the best night of my life. I was just strutting around in heels and a little drummer jacket thinking this is what denim is about.”

The pen behind Elle magazine’s first column ‘Mademoiselle’ from 2007 to 2011, Stacey was the UK’s real-life answer to Carrie Bradshaw. Today, she’s Mum to Nathaniel (four) and Martha (two), as well as fashion director of, co-founder of parenthood blog and a regular columnist for How does she find a balance? “There is no balance,” she says, as Fireman Sam plays in the next room. “It’s all about decisions and planning. The time with my kids is so precious and it’s ever changing so you are constantly re-evaluating.”

Has her approach to shopping changed since motherhood? “Definitely,” she says, “and it all revolves around denim. Before, I was obsessed with trends and catwalk

fashion but now, that doesn’t really enter my world – I wear what I want.”

That’s not to say she doesn’t have her eye on the next big thing. “I think women can fall into a trap of sitting back and getting comfortable but I’m always up for experimenting.” Stacey’s current obsession is a pair of non-stretch jeans, which she claims really hold you in. “They’re big news in fashion, but unfortunately really hard to wear,” she laughs.

So what are Stacey’s tips on finding the perfect denim fit? “I go into a changing room with a ginormous pile and I sweat and I swear until I’ve tried everything on – sometimes it doesn’t end well.”

Of the key styles: boyfriend, skinny, boot-cut, relaxed skinny, straight-leg – and different rises and colour washes – Stacey says: “You have to think, ‘they’re not all going to suit me.’ Once you’ve found the ones that do, try a size above and below your normal fit and pick whichever fits you best. And then cut the label out!”

Find Stacey on Twitter @staceyduguid


“I once dressed him like a member of Kasabian in
drainpipe jeans and he couldn’t get up the climbing
frame. It’s been elasticated styles ever since!”
“I was 12 when I saw my first fashion magazine and
it felt like escapism. So when I was offered a job at
Elle, it was like a dream come true.”
“I’m 41 and as someone who works in fashion, I’m
aware of feeling boring or looking mumsy. You want
to be comfortable but still look modern.”
“I’m so in love with my kids – I know it sounds
cheesy, but I really am.”
“Martha is tall and slim so it has to be adjustable
waistbands for her – even if the jeans are too long
it’s fine because I can roll them up.”
“My new parenthood blog – – has a
more tomboy attitude than other mummy blogs out there.
It’s not pink or perfect but tells it how it really is.”
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Photographer: Ben Harries / Interviewer: Charlene Barton

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