To Perform I Wear Gowns, Sequins And As Much Glitter As I Can – Patti Boulaye

Patti in three of her favourite outfits

Singer and actress, Patti Boulaye, 62, has starred in many stage and screen productions including Hair, Carmen and Jesus Christ Superstar, and won the talent show New Faces in 1978.

She has set up her own charity, Support for Africa, and was awarded an OBE last year. She lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband Stephen and they have two children.

In a recent interview with Sunday Express Magazine, UK, she talks about her fashion secrets.

How would you describe your style?

I dress my way – I’ve never been able to follow fashion. I like glamour and looking feminine, though.

What colours and shapes suit you best?

I wear every colour, but I love cream, red, navy and black. I like some African prints, too. I prefer fitted styles and I always wear corsets underneath – once you get past 60 your stomach starts to run away with you.

What is your favourite fashion era?

The 40s. I like the glamorous cinched-in waistlines.

Who is your style icon?

So many people look great, especially if they’ve made an effort. I like a woman to look like a woman.

Tell us about your new show…

It’s a one-woman show that I’ve written myself. It explores the lives of artists like Billie Holiday, Etta James and Bessie Smith, and I sing 20 songs throughout it.

What do you wear to perform in?

Gowns, sequins and as much glitter as I can. I always dress up on stage – the audience shouldn’t be dressed better than the performer.

Patti's favourite accessories
Patti’s favourite accessories

What stores do you shop in?

I like TK Maxx and I’ll buy the occasional thing online, but I like shopping with my fingers, feeling the fabric. I used to buy designer clothes from places like Harrods and Fenwick but since starting our charity I can’t justify it.

Do you have any favourite designers?

I like the older ones like Bellville Sassoon, Complices and Louis Féraud – I think about 20 per cent of my wardrobe is by him.

Do you shop for vintage clothes?

No – so many of my clothes are old enough to have become vintage.

Are you a hoarder or do you clear out your wardrobe regularly?

When it comes to clothes, I’m a hoarder. I have more things than I need. When they were younger, my daughter and nieces used to enjoy “borrowing” things.

What is the oldest item in your wardrobe?

A Ted Lapidus dress. It cost a fortune and I’ve only worn it once, but I can’t part with it. I’ve got loads of clothes that are older than my children.

What is the most expensive item in your wardrobe?

Some of my old designer items I must have paid about £2,500 for even back then – I’m ashamed. And I have a set of Louis Vuitton trunks that cost a fortune.

What is your best bargain?

Years ago my husband and I were invited to the Bal de la Rose in Monte Carlo. I bought some white fabric and had a Grecian-style dress made. Everyone else was there in £70,000 dresses, mine had cost £70, but I was the belle of the ball.

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

I’m not really a shoes or handbags person so I can part with them easily. I leave buying handbags to my husband – he’s got such good taste.

What is your best beauty secret?

Good spirit – beauty from within. Your eyes say everything, and what your mouth says eventually forms your face. I don’t bear grudges because I don’t want somebody else’s lines on my face.

What is the best piece of fashion advice you have ever been given?

My mother always said glamour, all the time. She was a very glamorous woman, even after having nine children.