‘I never avoid a trend because I’m a 16’ Louise O’Reilly gets real on style

In a world full of Kardashians, we’re encouraged to be a Diana, but it’s not always easy to establish your own style and sense of poise when confronted by the same faces and trends day in and day out.

Finding your feet in the world of fashion takes time, but one woman who has done it with aplomb is Irish model, Louise O’Reilly.

Not only has she forged an incredibly successful career for herself as an international model, Louise has amassed a loyal following by sharing her own style insights on her blog Style Me Curvy.

We caught up with Louise, who recently joined forced with Dublin Fashion Festival and Westcoast Cooler as part of the #ThisIsMe campaign, and picked her brains on all things style-related.

1. Can you tell us what the #ThisIsMe campaign means to you?

I'm really thrilled to be part of a campaign that celebrates individuality and diversity. It's so important to encourage people to use fashion to embrace who they truly are.

I just loved West Coast Cooler's whole ideology behind the campaign for Dublin Fashion Festival and what it represents.

2. Have you followed trends in the past which didn't accurately represent you, and if so which ones?

There are so many trends each year I tend to pick and choose what works for me the best in terms of my own individual style and taste buds.

Definitely in the past – growing up as a teenager – I would have tried to copy my friends' style as I was so unsure of what to wear myself, but I think everyone goes through that phase. 

3. With Irish weather in mind, what trends are you all over this season?

I'm a big lover of Autumn/ Winter. I love layering, particularly high neck jumper styles mixed with skirts for a 60s style that works wonderful with tights for the colder months.

I love to invest in styles that will be here to stay for a few seasons, so A-line cut skirts with zip detail is definitely worth noting, a long lined structured coat or cosy parka with interesting trimming such as leatherette details or faux fur.

4. Did the world of modelling change your perspective on what it means to be 'stylish'?

It definitely has in many ways. On the model side we are somewhat restricted in what we can wear to castings for example.

The "model uniform" as such would usually be a black t-shirt, black skinny jeans and plain heels for castings, meaning your arriving to a client as a blank canvas for them to cast you for something.

But in the same way getting to travel around parts of the world and work on interesting fashion shoots or shows means you become totally open to other cultures sense of style and how they might put things together in a totally different way than we would.

It's definitely something that has changed the way I view fashion and style and has only made my obsession with shoes worse!

5. What are your three golden rules when it comes to your own personal style?

 I never avoid a trend I like because I'm a size 16.

Comfort yet style is always the key agenda. I have to be comfy!

I try add colour where possible and don't over accessorise. 

6. What three items of clothing could you not live without?

My Oasis biker jacket, River Island LBD and my biker boots

7. Who is your Irish style icon, and why?

I don't really have as style icon as such, but one person who I really admire would be Saoirse Ronan, her style is really individual to her, she's never afraid to show who she is and I love that in a person.

8. As an international model, you travel constantly – what is your go-to airport outfit and three carry-on essentials?

Usually it's all black as when I travel for work as you never know if you will have a last minute casting straight after your flight.

At the moment I've stuck to a suedette biker jacket, a black  jersey wrap dress, Adidas originals for added comfort and an oversized handbag to fit my blog camera and all my essentials. 

My three carry-on essentials are Carmex lip balm – brilliant for travelling and for all weather types – travel size Vichy Idealia moisturiser or Image Vital C hydrating moisturiser (both are brilliant) and Mac Studio Fix fluid foundation. 

9. Your blog is hugely successful, why do you think it resonated with so many women?

Thank you so much! Well, it's been a long journey and something I've worked so hard on.

The key point to Style Me Curvy is that it's about fashion for everyone. It's not about creating size divisions so whether a person is a size 6 or a size 28, there will always be something available for all sizes on my blog.

I also like to get people out of the 'size' mindset. I wear a size 16, sometimes an 18 or sometimes a 14. I buy what fits and that's what's most important, the fit and cut not what the label says. 

10. What are the three pieces of advice you would give your 16-year-old self when it comes to life, style and career?

What's meant for you won't pass you by

Stop dressing like someone twice your age.

Stop obsessing about your weight and take advantage of all opportunities that come your way. You only live once!