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Introducing Jo-Ann Alari, The Content Creator With A Modern Guide To Edinburgh

When it came to curating a travel guide for Edinburgh, we wanted to turn to a local who knows the best spots for restaurants, bars and shopping, if you’re visiting the city with limited time.

Jo-Ann Alari, one of our favourite content creators and go-to style inspirations has been living just outside of Edinburgh since 2012, so felt like fit. Armed with the latest must-haves from our Spring-Summer 23 Collection, Jo-Ann talked us through her favourite spots in the city, as well as her styling advice for the season ahead.

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Let’s start with a little bit about you. Can you tell us about yourself? How did you get into content creation?

I’ve always loved sharing my styles on Instagram but never intended my following to grow. It started to build up independently, but it picked up when I went on maternity leave as I could share more. I was signed with an agency last year, which was exciting, and it’s just kept growing. In addition to content, I’ve been working with a digital agency for 11 years, which is my job. I head up our content marketing team, a team of amazing women part-time. So I can do both alongside one another, which is a juggle but a great mix.

Can you describe your style to us? Has it changed over time?

It hasn’t changed massively. I’ve still got clothes in my wardrobe that I’ve had since I was 15. Genuinely. Yet I see it as quite a varied wardrobe. It depends on my mood; I wouldn’t say I’ve got one particular style, but I’m pretty casual. I love to dress up for occasions, but I love jeans, plain tees and vests, and some vintage jackets or overshirts. I’ve got more comfortable and confident with colour too. Now I’m in my thirties; I care less what people think. I mostly feel comfortable and don’t follow trends.

I wouldn’t say I’ve got one particular style, but I’m pretty casual. I love to dress up for occasions, but I love jeans, plain tees and vests, and some vintage jackets or overshirts.

Has documenting your looks changed your approach to style?

I love that question because I’m wondering, has it? I get a lot of inspiration from other people’s styles on Instagram, but sharing my own looks has not necessarily changed my wardrobe. I often look back through my old photos when I’m stuck on what to wear, so I can remember what I’ve styled previously and what made me feel good.

Talk to us about Edinburgh; what do you love about it?

I live just outside of Edinburgh in Dunfermline. We lived in London for about seven years and moved here in late 2012. The beauty of it is that it’s close to Edinburgh and you can get there in 30 minutes.

Describe your perfect weekend in the city…

There are two approaches to this… without and with a toddler. If we have Sylvie with us, we love to go to The Spence at Gleneagles Townhouse for lunch and to The National Museum of Scotland. It’s fantastic for children – her face always lights up. If we have the dog with us, we love to stroll through Dean Village, which is in the city but is so scenic you feel like a painting. This is also close to Stockbridge, a cool area with excellent cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops. There’s also a bookshop called Golden Hare that we love to stop off.

And for coffee and drinks?
If we’re by ourselves, we love Spry Wines, which also makes excellent small plates.

What are your favourite stores and shopping spots?
Style Your Spaces is a favourite. It has the most beautiful selection of independent art and homeware. The owner Katie is a gem. She has a fantastic eye and if I’m ever stuck for gifts or something for the house, she is so helpful and always has the best recommendations. I rarely leave empty-handed.

Style Your Spaces is a favourite. It has the most beautiful selection of independent art and homeware.

What other cities do you love, and why?

Glasgow is a favourite of ours… It’s the city my husband and I would hang out in when we were younger and it has an amazing personality. There are loads of great shops, boutiques and restaurants. There’s no other city like Edinburgh, especially with the castle in the centre, but Glasgow has heart for me. It’s a little less touristy, and if you know where to go, it’s such a fun city to hang out in. It’s so unique; you need to experience it to get it.

Where’s on your list for future travel?

Morocco is high on the list. My husband and I also love Paris and the vintage shopping there, so we’re keen to return. You don’t even need to do much in Paris; you can just enjoy walking there and people-watching.

You don’t even need to do much in Paris; you can just enjoy walking there and people-watching.

How do you approach styling for spring and summer? What are you wearing a lot of right now?

I’m in Scotland, so it’s not necessarily heating up here yet. I get excited and want to dive into the spring-summer wardrobe more than I should. Right now, I’m a big fan of blouses in the summer and crisp white variations with bleach denim – I love that combination. I’ll wear that every single year, and it never fails me. I will wear that with denim or leather jackets. I like a simple approach to spring-summer dressing; it’s nice to shed the layers from my winter wardrobe.

What does your capsule wardrobe revolve around?

My husband laughs because I have many clothes but always wear the same jeans. My Levis 501s are a staple, and I have one particular pair that have been worn until they’re almost threadbare – they just fit like a glove. Light denim is my favourite, it makes everything look better. I also love a good vest. And utility and workwear jackets – I love the Whistles Marie Jacket. You can wear that in so many different ways.

My husband laughs because I have many clothes but always wear the same jeans.

Any favourites from the Whistles Spring Summer 23 Collection?

I love the Greta Poplin Dress. It’s a black, classic summer dress in a midi length and fits so well. The fabric is beautiful. It’s perfect for easy dressing that doesn’t require too much thought. I would throw that on and know it’ll work for so many things.

Come on over.

If you’re in the area, we’d love to see you in our Edinburgh store, which houses our latest Collections, located on George Street.

97 George St, Edinburgh EH2 3ES

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