Style Fixers is a BBC Scotland 6-ep series where clothes are thrifted and style is revamped, following a pair of fashion savvy friends who compete to impress participants with new takes on their wardrobes in the hopes to gain the 5-star seal of approval. Having watched shows with a similar concept, I was interested to see the upcycled approach, as it’s something we should all strive to do (myself included) more.
Thrusted straight into the world of Style Fixers, I’m introduced to co-presenters Jamie & Alannah, best friends who’s trade is makeup artistry by day, and drag costume designers and performers by night. The whole premise of the show is set up by Jamie‘s running quote – “you don’t have to pay to slay“, with both stylists being tasked the challenge of creating the best look for the show’s participants with a budget of £30. Each episode, Jamie and Alannah are given their own style amateur to work on, with Alannah‘s first client of the series being Isla – a 23yr old Mechanic whose wardrobe is in dire need of a revamp. Sitting down with the two hosts, Isla begins to explain the crooks of her style: different shades of black loungewear. Jamie and Alannah feign horror at Isla’s proclamation that the homebody hoodie they plucked is her standard ‘going out’ wear. Surprisingly, Isla has a pink ruched top which she doesn’t wear due to it not fitting her muscly arms – this gives Alannah some ideas about potentially upcycling the piece.
As Isla’s consultation comes to a close, Jamie’s client – Amy, an English student arrives at the studio. A self confessed “weirdo“, Amy doesn’t want to dress up like a teacher anymore: she wants to show more skin and find a style that reflects her personality. Jamie points out Amy’s fondness of Autumnal shades, questioning her on whether she likes the season. She does because she can cover up her skin and any blemishes. Jamie comes up with Goth as a word for potential style inspiration, and Amy agrees to bringing that element into her wardrobe.
Alannah wants to rework Isla’s pink top to create a more feminine look; whereas Jamie plans to upcycle a long-sleeved embroidered top and inject a dose of Goth/Punk. With their style inspo in tow, the pair have 3 charity shops to choose from, with the stores closing their doors to the public allowing them to have free reign in sourcing pieces for their clients.
Jamie hunts down a perfect checkered skirt but is concerned that it’s too elasticated so he sets out to find something similar. Luckily, he discovers a dogtooth patterned skirt that is slightly longer than he’d hoped for. With Jamie’s sewing skills, it’s not a problem and he decides to purchase the item. Soon after, he finds sock boots for £5.95, bringing the total to £14.45. Although nearly half of the budget, it’s evident Jamie has a clear vision for Amy’s new style.
With the main items of Jamie’s client’s outfit secured, he sets off to the studio to start altering the pieces he’s purchased. Alannah has yet to catch up, going over to charity shop no.2 to try and find something for Isla. Alannah has a slow start hesitating on whether she should pick a floral dress, to which she wisely passes over. She eventually finds some jeans and a belt which amount to £5. Switching back to Jamie at the pop-up studio, he’s working on the sock boots, accessorising them with eyelets. Alannah also manages to start customising her item, embellishing the jeans with faux pearls. With the main outfit ready, Jamie sets out to the second charity shop to acquire some accessories for Amy; he settles for statement earrings, a chunky black belt and silver bangles. With their outfits mostly prepped, the pair go to the final shop for the finishing touches. Jamie & Alannah don’t shy away from some down time, playfully trying on sunglasses. Jamie goes back to panicking as he can’t find that splash of red he needs for Amy’s outfit as Alannah finds a pale pink denim jacket to pull her client’s look together. Thankfully, Jamie discovers a bumbag decorated with red glittery flames that he intends to repurpose into a crossbody bag.
Having found all the pieces they need, the hosts go back to the studio to bring everything together. The first one to arrive is Amy, and Jamie coaches her through applying makeup to complement the clothing before she tries the outfit on. Jamie’s narration recaps Amy’s former style as we see before and after clips. Amy seems impressed with the outfit and how it shows just enough skin while adding a pop of colour to her wardrobe. She gives an complimemgary 4 out of 5 to Jamie for his efforts.
Isla arrives at the studio and is guided through her make-up look by Alannah. She tries on her outfit and is wowed by the way she looks. It’s out of her comfort zone, but she agrees it looks good altogether. As a result, she gives the coveted 5 star rating, meaning Alannah has won and Jamie, as the losing style fixer has to pack up the studio. With that, the pilot episode comes to a close with all round camp claps for the stylists’ hard-work and sheer determination.
Style Fixers is a fun show that is more informative and accessible than you’d initially think. For anyone wanting to try upcycling, it notably has some key tips and pointers. The overall tone of the series is light-hearted and friendly with a main focus on uplifting and assisting the participants rather than to belittle or shame as seen in past styling shows. The OTT, bubbly humour and demeanor of Jamie and Alannah makes you feel welcomed as we’re guided through the programme. I hardly ever noticed the competition between the two – that’s what contributed to the fun flow of the show. The bond between them makes you intrigued to watch on and see how they flare at other challenges. If you are looking for an easy-viewing, love bargains and fashion in general, Style Fixers is a must watch show.
Style Fixers is available to stream in the UK on the BBC iPlayer app.
Words by Louise worthington
Fashion Editor – charis crawford corri
Disclaimer- all images used within this article have been sourced from Google Images and BBC Scotland‘s official website and social media. Ragged Culture Publishing Ltd. does not own the copyright to the images within this article. All rights reserved.