Anatomy Of A Wardrobe: Susan Bender Whitfield on her love of clothes and expert vintage shopping tips

Watch as we take an exclusive look inside Susan’s wardrobe

Anatomy of a Wardrobe: Inside Susan Bender Whitfield's Iconic Wardrobe - YouTube Anatomy of a Wardrobe: Inside Susan Bender Whitfield's Iconic Wardrobe - YouTube
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Susan Bender Whitfield is a creative director, freelance stylist and formerly a contributing editor at British Vogue. She specialises in luxury brand direction and has worked with everyone from Preen by Thronton Bregazzi to Dolce & Gabbana and can regularly be found hanging out with fashion heavy weights including Edward Enniful and Naomi Campbell. Known for her lifelong passion of everything Alaia, it comes as no surprise that her wardrobe is a never ending treasure trove of one-off catwalk pieces, highly sought after vintage finds and iconic collector's pieces.

Walking into her current home, she tells me she recently vacated her family house whilst it's on the market, meaning she could only fit 10% of her actual wardrobe into her temporary flat. Despite her reduced storage space, she has managed to fill her bedroom (that features floor to ceiling wardrobes) with some of her most loved pieces of clothing and accessories, with every brand from Hermes to Dior bursting out of the cupboards.

Susan Bender Whitfield Anatomy Of A Wardrobe

(Image credit: @kittysu)

But don’t let her designer wardrobe fool you. She tells me she rarely buys anything new and is an expert vintage shopper, never missing an opportunity to trawl markets and vintage clothing stores, wherever she is in the world. If like me you don't count yourself as particularly lucky when it comes to finding a rare Prada bag or piece of Alaia at the back of a vintage market, then it's clear we're not looking hard enough - as Susan's experience is quite the opposite. In fact, she once stumbled upon a 1970's vintage Chanel handbag for £30 as it had been mislabelled.

What is immediately apparent is that Susan simply loves clothes and when asked about her own personal style, she says she loves to create characters. Despite a large portion of her wardrobe being what many would consider ‘precious’, she isn't worried about wear and tear. She can regularly be found wearing a statement Louis Vuitton jacket with jeans and trainers, or a gold thread Chanel mini dress straight off the catwalk to a party. If something gets damaged, she simply has it repaired and encourages us all to do the same.

Susan Bender with Whitfield Naomi Campbelll

(Image credit: @kittysu)

It's not often you meet someone who has such a love for every single piece of clothing in their wardrobe, each piece with it's own anecdote and memories, so I was thrilled when Susan invited us into her home. Here she talks me through some of the favourite pieces in her wardrobe and shares her top tips on vintage shopping and how to find those highly sought after vintage designer steals.

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Fashion Director