Lalita Russell-Smith is the owner of Me and Maya fashion boutique in Midhurst which opened in 2004 and is the go-to store for discovering that special outfit for cocktails and events.

What are your summer holiday essentials?

You can’t jet off without a great swimsuit/bikini, a colourful cover up for the day, a pretty, flowy dress for the evening and linen trousers and top for travelling.

What event are you most looking forward to dressing up for now?

It has to be all the main horse racing events, with Goodwood taking the top spot, as it is our local race meeting.

Whose style do you really admire?

The Princess of Wales - she has found her niche which is a combination of being on trend while maintaining a timeless elegance that is required for her role. She has really evolved throughout the years and grown into a very elegant lady.

What’s your everyday uniform?

When I am at the shop, I tend to wear classic trousers and suits by my own label Me and Maya but also, depending on the season, you can find me in one of the store brands’ signature dresses. My favourites at the moment are the midi Sara Roka dresses.

Any secret services or tips to make clothes last longer?

I have a good alteration person on ‘speed-dial’ - they can revive any old outfit you have in your wardrobe. I very recently had some changes done to a blazer I’ve had for years. I removed the shoulder pads, fitted the body of the jacket and sleeves and changed the buttons. It has given it a new lease of life and I feel like I own a brand new piece. The ethos behind Me and Maya is ‘Buy well, buy less, wear longer’.

Your Power Dressing must-haves?

Any woman should have a good suit, either trousers or skirt, and a timeless dress in their wardrobe. Neutral colours or black go a long way, and the hemlines should never be too short, regardless of your age. The secret is in accessorizing with the right jewellery, shoes and bags for the occasion.

What’s your dress down style?

I very rarely dress down as I am either at the store or at events but when I have some down time I make sure I am in a comfortable trousers and top set. Linen is my preference in summer and cashmere in winter.

Must-have finishing touches?

Accessories, accessories, accessories…. a non-designer outfit can be made to look fabulous with the right shoes, handbag and jewellery. Remember: ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression’.

What are your favourite under-the radar-labels?

I pride myself in bringing a bit of Italy to Midhurst. I always strive to showcase new Italian brands in my store. The latest addition is Niu’ (CORR) a great classic label with a modern twist.

Style cheats?

Not everybody has the Crown Jewels in their collection, so good pieces of costume jewellery do the trick!

If you only had ten minutes to get ready for a party, what would you throw on?

I’d definitely opt for a little red dress - you can be sure to make an entrance. And I would accessorize it with one of the satin clutches I stock at Me and Maya.

What's the one fashion item you would take with you to a desert island?

I could not survive without a beautiful floaty kaftan.

What can we expect to see in your A/W 23 collection?

Great pieces to add to your wardrobe, like midi dresses in exciting prints to take you from desk to dinner, and separates including our cashmere tops adding vibrant colours to your winter wardrobe style.

Me & Maya, Midhurst. 01730 814476