Ellie Doleh

BY Harper's Bazaar Arabia / Feb 28 2016 / 18:22 PM

British, 41

Ellie Doleh
Ellie Doleh

Ellie Doleh wears Elie Saab dress at Matchesfashion.com. Saint Laurent shoes; jewellery, both Ellie’s own

There are two things incredibly hard to believe about Ellie Doleh. Firstly, that the youthful-looking woman is in her forties, and secondly, that the statuesque blonde is a mother of three.

“I like to keep fit and go to the gym most days before they’re home from school,” she says, referring to her two sons, Zayed, 13, and Zak, 11, and daughter Sophia, seven, with husband Rashid, a UAE national. The rest, she says, is down to clever wardrobe choices. “People need to dress in what suits their shape, and they need to be age-appropriate,” Ellie says. “Something can be hip and cool on a 20-year-old, but will have quite the opposite effect on a lady in her forties. Personal grooming is also so important. Undone hair and chipped nails are no-nos for me.”

For all of her fashion wins though, Ellie admits that she’s had to learn some lessons the hard way. “There are dresses that I thought looked great, but they still hang in my closet with all the tags on, dresses that I bought too tight, hoping to lose a few kilos. On a weekend shopping trip in Milan, I tried on and bought a beautiful pair of Louis Vuitton heels. My mistake was buying them in the wrong size – your feet swell when shopping in Milan in June. I’ve never been able to wear them.”

Admitting to a carefully curated collection of Chanel handbags and a penchant for Valentino, Ellie says good style doesn’t need to be dependent on high-end shopping. “I feel having a sense of style and looking amazing have nothing to do with designer brands. I truly believe a woman can look sensational without spending a fortune. To me, the best thing a woman can wear is a happy, genuine smile on her face. Add lip gloss and it’s even better!”

Photography: Richard Hall. Styling: Charlotte Blair. Words: Kerrie Simon-Lawrence. Hair: Maria for Soh Art + Beauty. Make-Up: Sarah-Jane Thompson for Shiseido. Location: Palazzo Versace Dubai