Style Awards: 2020's winner shares her top tips

The Style Awards return to Newmarket's July Festival next week, live and in person. Megan Barber won last year’s virtual competition with a block-colour outfit which judges declared “the epitome of summer race-day chic, striking the perfect balance between elegant and eye-catching”. A year on, the Bury St Edmunds mum and business owner shares her top outfit tips

You won Best Dressed Lady last year, when the Style Awards took place virtually due to Covid. What made you decide to enter?

Ladies’ Day is a date me and my friends look forward to each year. Although it wasn’t the same at home in lockdown, I couldn’t resist putting my outfit on, even if it was just for a photo in the kitchen! I’d had it hung up ready to go for months before.

Your photograph was brilliant! All the judges loved it. Tell us how it came about?

I was inspired by Amanda Holden’s Instagram post around that time, of her looking all glamorous whilst taking the bins out. I wanted to show the reality of my life but also make people giggle.

Remind us what you wore? And how you felt to win?

My hat was by Tabitha Ada Millinery, dress ASOS, bag Karen Millen, shoes Dune and jewellery Michael Birnie. I was really excited to win! At a time in life where there wasn’t much going on, I was extra pleased when all the goodies arrived in the post.

The Style Awards are taking place in person again this year. Will you be going to Ladies' Day? What are you most looking forward to, if so?

Absolutely! I’m most looking forward to sipping Pimm’s with my friends in person. With any luck, the sun might shine too.

And will you be entering the Style Awards? If yes, any outfit spoilers to share?

Oh yes. In all honesty I’ve had my hat for months, but I’m still to find a dress which is very last minute for me.

As last year's winner, could you share some top tips for putting together a winning Ladies' Day look? Where do you start?

I am extremely lucky that the creator of Tabitha Ada Millinery, based in Bury, also happens to be a close friend and I give her free rein to create what she likes for me and I put the rest of the outfit together based on the hat. So my top tip would be to purchase your hat first and let that be the focus of your outfit.

It's hard to believe it's been a year since your win. And what a year. . . How's life been with you?

I have to say I feel very fortunate that it has been quite a good year for me. Undeniably it’s been tough being a small business owner - I run Sparkle & Co in Bury St Edmunds - but I was lucky that I could make my jewellery from home and customers continued to support me by purchasing online. The time with my two sons was something I will treasure - maybe not homeschooling the eldest so much… - and one real win was we finally cracked potty training with my youngest!

What would you say to encourage people to get dressed up and participate in the 2021 Style Awards?

There is no better year for it! We’ve all missed out on so many occasions to dress up and ladies day really is a great chance to go for it. I’ve missed spending time with my friends in person - let’s be honest, Zoom just isn’t the same - and I absolutely can’t wait for the big day.

Tickets to the July Festival are on sale now, priced from £16. Numbers are limited in line with Government roadmap guidelines, so head to now to book.

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