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Meet Emma Thatcher and Ebony Francis, The Voices Behind The Re/Dress Podcast

Following our latest store event with the hosts behind the weekly fashion podcast, The Re/Dress, we caught up with creative consultant Ebony Francis and stylist Emma Thatcher on all things fashion and style. The pair recently visited our newly opened White City store to host a live conversation inspired by their podcast to share their expertise and interests on personal style and their endless quest to curate an elevated, wearable and cohesive wardrobe – whatever the season. Diving into everything from elevating your style to holiday dressing and sharing what’s on their Whistles wishlists right now, we visited Emma’s home to photograph the duo in our latest must-have summer styles.

Firstly, tell us a bit about yourselves…

Ebony: I delved into freelance consulting as of January, which is a whole new world but is very exciting. Before that I’d been working in fashion, styling, art directing and creative direction for a long time, yet I’d been eager to try something new which led me to making a change but also to focus on The Re/Dress.

Emma: I started my career in fashion working as a freelance stylist and I used to work on commercials and do a bit of celebrity styling. I also worked as a fashion buyer and then got into the content creation world. I’ve been a content creator on my own platform for about four years now, working with a lot of different brands. The idea of a podcast came later on top of that work.

And how do you know each other? How did The Re/Dress first start?

Ebony: We first met when we worked on a style presentation together.

Emma: And then we hosted another live event together about a year later which is where the idea for a podcast came up – it was very organic and sparked naturally.

Where do you find inspiration for your conversations? How do you plan for a podcast?

Ebony: As we’re hosting each week, it’s often based on how we feel about our style and wardrobes on that given day or what we have had on during the week. We also have a really amazing audience that have been sharing their dilemmas and thoughts too which we bounce off. We tend to put a creative deck together with questions and ideas and we have a formula we tend to run with for structure. We always end with our ‘add to wishlists’ section and discuss what we’ve wanted to buy that week too, as well as music, culture and other topics of interest.

Emma: We’re never short of ideas. So much of it comes naturally from just catching up on the phone and then we realise we have enough material to put into an episode afterwards.

We also have a really amazing audience that have been sharing their dilemmas and thoughts too which we bounce off.

It sounds like a pretty organic process. What have been the challenges in starting your own podcast?

Emma: I think we both love the creative part and that’s where we’re at our best. Yet there’s a lot of work that goes into each episode. I definitely underestimated the work that goes into producing a podcast. It all moves quickly too as we finish an episode and can feel really proud and then it’s quickly onto the next. That’s an ongoing challenge.

And what do you love the most about it?

Ebony: As Em said, it’s definitely the creative elements and sharing of ideas that feels really good. These conversations also help us with our own wardrobes too. Another rewarding element is hearing back from the audience and getting their feedback. It’s amazing to know the impact it’s making, even though our conversations can be quite casual, it’s a big deal for us to help people develop their wardrobes and confidence.

Emma: Definitely. I share a lot of fashion and style advice on Instagram but to have those weekly conversations where you can really dive deep into certain topics is great for my own wardrobe and the way that I dress. That is also hopefully helping other people in the same way as well.

It’s amazing to know the impact it’s making, even though our conversations can be quite casual, it’s a big deal for us to help people develop their wardrobes and confidence.

It feels like another level of advice because we have so much visual inspiration on Instagram listening to a considered yet natural conversation about shopping and style feels quite different…

Emma: Yes one of the first things we spoke about when creating the podcast was cutting out the noise. There can be so much noise coming from everywhere. We don’t want to tell people what they can and can’t wear but we do try to break down style and trends in a digestible way.

You talked recently about building a capsule wardrobe. Can you tell us what a capsule wardrobe means to you and any advice you have on building a forever wardrobe this season?

Ebony: What we’ve been really mindful about is not talking about creating that capsule wardrobe that you see everywhere, or something that feels prescriptive, as that might not mean anything to you. It’s more about a forever wardrobe that means something. It’s also about looking at your lifestyle and what works for you individually. It helps to create mini moodboards or collections with core pieces. For example, Em and I have different lifestyles and her core pieces can lean more into denim, whereas I style more trousers and separates. Yet it’s also about adding those joyful pieces. Those could be metallics or maxi dresses – whatever makes you feel good in the moment and pieces to get excited about.

What we’ve been really mindful about is not talking about creating that capsule wardrobe that you see everywhere, or something that feels prescriptive, as that might not mean anything to you.

Where do you both source style inspiration from? Who do you look to?

Emma: I think having my own Pinterest board is important as I pull images from everywhere to there – from different website’s and brands to people I follow on social media. Curating your own boards can spark inspiration in a really unique way.

Ebony: Instagram is a great place and if you’re mindful with who you are following, you can curate your own feed.The save button is so helpful and I’m often saving outfits or colour palettes I love. I also look at interiors on Instagram as I love mixing texture and colour. Once your images are saved, you have created mini boards that you can refer to and that’s inspiring.

In terms of what you’re wearing right now, what are you wearing on rotation? And how does the way you dress change depending on the season?

Emma: I love buying pieces that you can work with all year round depending on how they’re styled. A leather blazer for me isn’t something that I just wear like autumn-winter, I love them for summer too over simple black dresses or tanks and tailored trousers. Obviously whilst living in the UK it’s always good to have those layering pieces all year round.

Ebony: For me it’s always tailoring. Those are forever pieces you can wear together and separately; especially blazers and trousers. You change the fabrication or the colour depending on the season for more versatility.

What do you enjoy most about summer dressing?

Ebony: I guess having a little bit more skin on show and playing with brighter tones. I’m not the most colourful dresser but I embrace more motifs and tonal palettes in the summer. All the accessories make me excited too, such as sunglasses, core sandals and the different jewellery textures such as shells, beads and summer details. I get more playful in the summer with accessories and styling my outfits.

Emma: I love a co-ord for the summer. I just think it’s nice to be able to wear things without covering them up and you can show off your clothes a bit more. I’m wearing a lot of linens and matching sets which I get more excited about during this season.

Advice for packing smartly for a summer holiday?

Emma: I always like to stick to a bit of a colour palette. So there might be one or two pieces that I know I definitely want to take and build my holiday wardrobe around that. Also, try to keep shoes to a minimum. I very rarely pack heels for a holiday and I would say just stick to simple footwear that will go with everything. Holiday dressing is all about mixing and matching, so go for pieces you can wear in multiple ways without getting bored.

Ebony: It’s almost making a mini collection before you go away from pieces you get excited about. I went to Barcelona for my birthday in April and I took pictures beforehand of what I felt good in and what went well together. Making things mix and match and work day and night is important.

Emma: Exactly. You don’t want to overthink it on holiday as you want to relax. If you’ve taken a smaller edited wardrobe, you can just wake up in the morning and get ready easily.

Favourite pieces from Whistles at the moment?

Emma: I’m loving the crochet pieces from Limited Edition and the Shirred Bandeau dress. It’s so light and simple for summer. The Stina leather blazer is also a favourite and the linen tailoring that Ebs wore for the shoot; I’ve definitely got my eye on that.

Ebony: I love all of the leather and the jackets are a highlight, especially when oversized. The Annie Wedding suit I wore on the shoot too was really cool. I don’t have anything that white or light in my wardrobe so it felt fresh. The Fran Pleat Trousers are also a great staple.

What podcasts do you both enjoy listening to? Who is doing it really well?

Emma: With podcasts it depends what mood I’m in as sometimes I need inspirational ones and sometimes more light ones, or I want to learn. I love My Therapist Ghosted me for the time I want to just switch off.

Ebony: I’ve been trying to get back into positive and healthy habits and routine. I always mention an app called Superhuman which is a meditation app which you can tune into on the go. The founder Mimi Bouchard has her own podcast which is about wellness, positivity and manifestation which I really enjoy.

What can we look forward to hearing more of on The Re/Dress?

Emma: Over the next few weeks we’ll be going into summer style but we’re also already starting to think about September and the new season. It’s such an important time for fashion and I’m already looking forward to helping others curate their autumn-winter wardrobe. This season can be more expensive due to the investment pieces like coats and boots so it’ll be great to explore that.

Ebony: Even though we’re trying to embrace the sunshine, I love winter fashion and layering so I’m already thinking a little ahead. Also we’re looking forward to hearing more from our audiences and helping people with outfit dilemmas.



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