“I Basically Dress like a Toddler”: Chloe Hill’s Outfit Anatomy

Welcome to Outfit Anatomy, a series of comprehensive style analyses that aim to break down what we wear by answering questions like: How much did that cost? Where did you find that? Why did you buy it in the first place? Up this week is Chloe Hill , a stylist and photographer from New Zealand.

I put on this outfit, an amalgam of all my favorite things, to walk to a Darlinghurst coffee shop in Sydney. I was heading to Milan (I’m a permanent nomad) and knew none of this stuff would make it over. It was the beginning of spring in Australia at the time, which made it easy to wear this trans-seasonal mix of random pieces–the exception being the shoes which I can’t really walk in. But I love them! So I fool myself that one day they might actually be comfortable. They won’t be.

When Miuccia Prada presented Miu Miu’s Fall 2015 collection, I was working at a magazine on a salary pretty darn close to minimum wage. So I mentally added half the collection to my “wish list.” It was for my future self to fulfill once I escaped the grip of print media and had moved on to a career that paid a wage more aligned with my taste. Now I’m a freelancer and not earning much more than I did four years ago, but I’ve taught myself the strategy of stalking people who either earn a lot or don’t work in fashion or just move on to the next trend quickly and thus offload their pieces on second-hand sites, which is where I found this candy-pink coat (on Vestiaire Collective) last year.It was 500 euros, so still a big purchase, and I can’t remember what the original price tag would have been, but I’m sure it must have been four to eight times what I paid.

It’s a real multitasker. The first day I wore it I spilled coffee down the front, which I wiped away with a kitchen cloth, no damage done. It also doubles as a raincoat, and I’ve folded it into my suitcase a hundred times and it comes out creaseless, looking new.

The sweater is from one of Wynn Hamlyn’s first collections. I’m from New Zealand, unofficial land of sheep, where we have seven times as many woolly inhabitants as we do humans. I literally just Googled: ‘sheep to human ratio’ and the results are: There used to be 20 sheep for every person in NZ, now the latest statistics show it has fallen to about seven to one, or 30 million sheep.

Anyway, I have an acute appreciation for wool, and merino in particular is wonderful because it’s breathable in the summer, but super warm and insulating in winter. It’s also naturally antibacterial so you don’t have to wash it very often. It lasts for so long and when you eventually wear it out, it’s biodegradable! Should Woolmark hire me for their marketing or what?

The skirt is Prada, I bought it second-hand the same year it showed, again for a fraction of retail, and it’s served me well the last two years. Approaching my thirties I started thinking I should cut back on wearing mini skirts, but after a week I gave up on that idea.

The bag is by another NZ designer, Georgia Jay, I recently borrowed it for a shoot I was styling. Georgia Jay and her sister Ruby sew these bags by hand from old upholstery fabrics and other cuts they find. I loved it so much I didn’t return it right away and wore it a bunch of times to New Zealand Fashion Week in August. I guess my unprofessionalism and relentless posting paid off—they told me to keep it. Sorry if you felt pressured, Georgia. I guess not so sorry….

As you can see from the photos I use my handbag as an unofficial filing system, stuffing it with receipts and bills until it overflows and I have to action them. I’m a Virgo and, for the most part, rather organized, but you wouldn’t know it from looking inside my handbag.

The $40 Valet Studio clip on my bag is actually a hair clip, which seems obvious, but I put it on the arm of this bag and have not taken it off.

The shoes are Sergio Rossi, and wow, I’m starting to realize my wardrobe is made up of mostly second-hand stuff. These were also found at a consignment store. My fascination with them started when I saw this collection in Galeries Lafayette when I was in Paris a few years ago. I really wanted the short heel version which would have been possible to walk in, but I found these for $216.63 Australian dollars (at full price, they were about 650 euros) and got them thinking I would make it work.

Wearing them with pantyhose looks so cute, but they slip around so when I wear this combo to cocktail parties I basically stand still in one spot the whole night—one time I had to call my partner to carry me down a block to a street where we could get a cab because I kept slipping. Every time I swear I won’t wear them again, but the lure of the crystals is too much to resist and I come crawling back, sometimes literally.

These pantyhose are Stine Goya, I got them as a gift when I was in Copenhagen for CPHFW. I think they felt sorry for me because they asked me to be in their friendship campaign and I had to tell them I had no friends in Copenhagen so I couldn’t take part. In the end, they literally found me a friend which felt a bit like going on a blind date but she was wonderful and we’re still in touch and now I’m thinking the Stine Goya team should expand into friend matchmaking. I feel like I would be friends with anyone who wears Stine Goya anyway, how could I not love someone who wears so much color and print?

I was also given my bracelet at Copenhagen Fashion Week, from a 16-year-old who follows me on Instagram and has her own jewelry brand Hello Yellow Charms. She and her mum and cousin picked me up and took me out for coffee between shows. They’re now my greatest style inspirations and have helped me reach the conclusion that Danes are the nicest people ever. There is such a youthfulness about them, which I also see in myself–I basically dress like a toddler.

Going back to that Miu Miu collection from 2015, Miuccia Prada had something to say about the way she designed that collection that resonated with me and kind of sums up how I get dressed: “I wanted to put things together in a naive way, not caring, always wrong, with that attitude of instinct.” As told to Leandra Medine.

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