From Levi's to Leyton Road: Superstar fashionista for over 50s back on shop floor

Karen Jennings of Instagram brand StylingOut50.

Karen Jennings of Instagram brand StylingOut50. - Credit: Karen Jennings

A stalwart of the St Albans retail world for almost 40 years has entered the latest phase in her career  - a pop-up shop collaboration with a Chelsea fashion brand.

Tribe + Fable Clothing will be collaborating with our very own St. Albans style queen, Karen Jennings of Instagram brand StylingOut50.

Karen first entered the world of High Street retail in 1983 when she took a Saturday job at long-defunct Dolcis Shoes in St Peter's Street: "I can’t believe that was actually 39 years ago now, it feels like yesterday! This job set me onto a super-selling path, I absolutely loved it. Obviously being a shoe lover helped too!"

Karen Jennings where it all began in The Levi's Store in St Albans

Karen Jennings where it all began in The Levi's Store in St Albans - Credit: Karen Jennings

After graduating from college in 1990, she started work at The Original Levi's Store in The Maltings Shopping Centre - where Hotel Chocolat is now - a job she held for 15 years.

"I loved every single day with Levi's, in fact so much, it actually never felt like work! I’m still called the Levi's Girl to this day as probably sold most of the city a pair!"

Remember the Levi's Store in The Maltings, St Albans?

Remember the Levi's Store in The Maltings, St Albans? - Credit: Karen Jennings

But change was afoot, and despite taking on an office-based challenge within the golfing industry, Karen kept her shoe firmly in the fashion retail door by taking on a position at The Dressing Room in High Street in 2005.

"I was almost one of the very original staff. I have such fond memories of my time there, working with so many amazing women and dressing ladies for every occasion that you can imagine: weddings, holidays, red carpet events, TV appearances, date nights, divorce celebrations, baby showers - you name it I’ve styled for it!”

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Karen finally decided to make the leap into her own solo venture after almost 17 years: ”It was a tough decision, but I know it was the right one to take.

"The pandemic has made us all re-evaluate our lives. We want to try our very hardest to live our best lives. I intend to help make that a more stylish, confident and happy life for as many beautiful ladies as possible and have fun together whilst we do it! Also this gives me more freedom to travel which is also my true passion!"

The Tribe + Fable store opened its doors yesterday [Monday] as a pop-up on Leyton Road and will be there for the next two weeks. 

Karen will be there to share her expert styling skills every day along with a wonderful tribe of women giving insights into the brand, the making, the process and the story of the working artisans.

She said: "When you reach your forties and fifties it's very easy to lose your way with fashion. You want to feel on trend but know you don't want look like a slave to fashion. I encourage ladies to develop their own style, mixing in new pieces with classic staples.

"It's so empowering when you step out of your comfort zone and the compliments start flying in - it makes you feel like a new woman!"

If you are interested in Karen’s styling services, whether it be a wardrobe wonder blast, denim detox or a holiday capsule wardrobe then you can get in touch with her on Instagram StylingOut50.