I love the start of each season as it means I can go shopping and make some key additions to my wardrobe. I often try and pinpoint a few key pieces that I’ll need as opposed to going crazy and buying up every trend in sight. However if there’s one thing I do each season without fail it’s this: I buy shoes in black and neutral. Yep, every season. I’ve done it for years and I’ve found making those strategic shoe purchases will get me through autumn, winter, summer and spring.
Whilst I’ll stick to the same colours I’ll obviously alter the style of shoe according to the weather so in winter I’ll buy a boot and a closed toe shoe such as a pump and if it’s summer I’ll buy both open toed shoes whether it be a sandal or stiletto. A black and a neutral shoe will go with virtually everything in my wardrobe so I know I’m guaranteed to get a lot of use out of it plus buying a season’s key style will update my look accordingly. It’s an easy way to look on trend without having to change your entire wardrobe.
I love this time of year and have always enjoyed the festivities, particularly when it comes to dressing up. It’s always been fun to spend the day with family, embrace a great outfit and add a dusting of jewellery to really amp up the festivities and embrace some Christmas cheer. I’ve been lucky enough to wear some truly beautiful pieces by French jewellery house, Chaumet this year and in particular the pieces from the Josephine collection below are some of my faves. I tend to favour delicate pieces that have a bold sensibility, and the bracelets and rings below are just that. With a sprinkling of diamonds and pearl accents, they’re feminine and striking.
I wanted to wear something light and bright and this look by Aje is the embodiment of both. The cropped top has the signature tie detail and puffed sleeves that Aje has become famed for, and the silhouette works perfectly with high waisted styles. I wanted something to contrast with the softer details of the top and tailored trousers were the ideal pairing. With a tapered silhouette and cuffed finish, it’s polished without being overly rigid, making it an ideal option for summer, and for enjoying Christmas fun.
Whilst most people probably don’t have the time or inclination to go all out, next-level glam a la the Kardashian clan at the beach there is something to be said for adopting a slightly more considered look the next time you’re headed for a day of enjoying sun, sand and surf. If only for the fact going from an ocean dip to cocktails is then made oh-so simple. Who wants to rush home to change when there’s a rosé with your name on it waiting for you? And let’s face it, Instagram just wouldn’t be Instagram if you didn’t post a few shots of you looking cute at the beach this summer. So here’s the key to nailing a stylish look the next time you’re off to the beach…
Start with good quality swimwear
A great swimsuit is the lynchpin of your entire look so its worth getting it right. Invest in a good quality swimsuit that will hold up to numerous swims and constant sunscreen application without losing its shape or colour. Also try on lots of options before buying one as you want the most flattering fit – for example a bikini may be your go-to but you may discover that a one piece suits you phenomenally well.
Arm yourself with key beach attire
I always have a nice sarong, linen pants and denim shorts on rotation for when I go to the beach. I find all three work well with any swimsuit I’m wearing and help add a touch of polish to my overall look.
One of my fave beach looks
Consider your accessories
I have a big sunglasses collection so I always just rotate them whenever I’m going to the beach. I tend to favour fun frames with a little colour or embellishment. Also scarves are great for not only keeping your hair off your face but also look totally chic. If you want, you could also pop on a simple bracelet or a pair of dainty earrings to dress up your look—just make sure they’re pieces you don’t mind jumping in the water with. Another must is a great hat to help protect you from the sun. A wide brimmed straw hat is a favourite of mine as it serves the practical purpose of providing shade but also, it’s a great way to accessorise a beach look.
Scarves are always a great hair accessory for the beach
Have the right bag and shoes
If you want a look that’s a touch more glamorous for heading out straight from the beach then be sure to come armed with a nice pair of sandals or slides rather than just your favourite thongs. Even if you’re heading out in the swimmers you’ve had on all day, great shoes can make all the difference and dresses up a look immensely. I also always carry a nice roomy bag with me to carry my essentials and this season there are so many nice options to choose from whether it’s a canvas bag or a straw tote. It’s the details that can really help finish off an outfit.
A great hat is a must
Avoid looking “too done”
Save a full face of makeup for a big evening event. Keep makeup subtle and to a minimum. Think tinted sunscreen, a little waterproof mascara and a swipe of blush with a dash of colour on your lips via lip balm or gloss. It’s about looking fresh faced not all out glamorous. Also it’s the ideal opportunity to skip your morning blow dry. Let your hair go au naturel and you’ll find by the end of the day you’ll end up with the best beach waves without having done much at all. Alternatively, top knots are always great for staying cool and keeping your hair off your face. And one thing I tend to do regularly in summer is get a fake tan whether I do it at home or go to a local salon. I’ll never lay out in the sun to get a real tan but I do love the bronzed effect of having one so faking it is by far the best option.
There’s one area of my wardrobe that I’ll always update every season without fail and that’s my accessories. I think the addition of the right accessory to an outfit can really lift it and make it instantly fresh and on trend. It’s also got the power to turn casual looks into something polished, instantly expanding the wearability of what’s in my closet.
I’ll often tailor my accessories to the season too, so when buying a new shoe I’ll look for a great boot for autumn/winter and a statement stiletto for spring/summer. With the purchase of a single new season shoe I’m able to instantly make older pieces look modern and contemporary by pairing it with something that’s current. It’s an effective trick for getting more wear out of my wardrobe.
The right statement shoe can really make an outfit
Also I always keep an eye out for key pieces like belts and bags as I think they’re an easy way to restyle existing things in my closet and make them look different. The addition of a new belt to a skirt or pant can give it a new vibe by changing its shape or look and feel. And switching up bags can often act as an accent piece that can rejig an ensemble. For example a structured top handle bag can make an outfit feel polished whilst a leather crossbody carryall is a little more relaxed and casual.
Accessories are a great way to feel like you’re wearing a new look, and it’s often more economical than buying something every time you want to freshen up your wardrobe. At the start of a new season, it’s a great idea to take stock of what’s out there and then pinpoint a few thing that you know will a) work with the rest of your clothes and b) has enough flair to stand out on its own and act as an accent piece to any look. It’s simple, easy and definitely effective.
What are some things you always update every season?
Investment purchases often have a few more zeros in the price tag than your average chain store buy but when you factor in the longevity and its cost per wear you’re definitely getting a bargain. I’ve spoken in the past about my approach to buying designer goods that you won’t regret, but there are definitely certain pieces that will forever remain stylish. Add these to your wardrobe and I promise you’ll have a long and happy relationship.
If you’re going to splurge on a trench coat make it one by Burberry. The coat was designed by Thomas Burberry for military personnel in World War One to keep officers protected against wind and rain and the design has been around ever since. The hardware and fabrication are of course top notch but one glimpse of the iconic checked lining sets this trench above the rest. I promise a trench coat is one purchase that you will get plenty of use out of all year round. Plus if you’re after a unique touch, Burberry now offer a personalisation service that allows you to monogram the inside of your coat.
Everyone knows the quilted 2.55 bag by Chanel and whilst its ubiquitous it’s also one of the few designer bags that will not only appreciate in value (research has shown that the bag has increased in value by 70 per cent over the last six years) it’s also the kind of bag that will not date, will go with virtually everything you own and will always be a classic staple that you’ll be proud to carry. It’s a hefty investment I know, but if you’re going to splurge on a designer bag this one is definitely worth considering.
The ultimate in wrist candy the beautiful Cartier LOVE bracelet first came to prominence in the 1970s and has only grown more popular since its inception. Available in a variety of metals including yellow gold or rose gold plus if you’re really looking to splurge there’s also a version studded with diamonds this is one piece of jewellery that you’ll remain in love with.
I have had my Balenciaga leather jacket for years and its still the kind of piece that has remained in constant rotation in my wardrobe over the years. The perfect moto style jacket is ideal for wearing with everything from dresses to denim. I particularly loved Balenciaga’s design but designers like Saint Laurent, Tom Ford and Acne have all released their own versions of this jacket style. A major splurge it may be but one feel of the buttery leather, the sturdy metal hardware and the perfect fit will inspire instant love.
Ballet flats will always be a wardrobe staple but add a pair of interlocking Cs and you venture into try style classic territory. Whilst they’re not the type of shoe that you’d wear daily to run errands (they’re definitely a bit more special than your average ballet flat) they are an easy and stylish footwear option for those days when you just want to take a casual look up a notch. A close runner up in the shoe departmet would be the classic Gucci horsebit loafer. Over 60 years on and it’s still going strong.
First released in 1953, the Gucci loafer has been around for 65 years and whilst it has never ever really gone away it has experienced a huge resurgence in popularity. Whilst the range now encompasses everything from floral print to an array of colours, fur trim and a version with a collapsible heel, this style is a forever shoe. Translation: if you invest in this you’ll be wearing it for the next few decades without it ever dipping in style cred.
My wardrobe is an eclectic mix of different pieces at various price points but there are definitely special pieces that I have splurged on. I have always believed in being a discernible shopper and not just purchasing things on a whim so I’m quite strategic in my approach to shopping. I always do my research and will keep an eye out for sales both in store and online as there’s nothing quite like getting a piece you’ve been coveting at half price! That said, there are certain things that I will never scrimp on simply because these pieces are the workhorses of my wardrobe and need to be the best quality possible.
Given how much time we spend in them I think shoes have always been a worthwhile investment. Finding good quality shoes will mean that they stand up to the daily wear and tear we put our footwear through and won’t require replacing or repairing as often. I’ve often rationalised that buying a slightly more expensive pair of shoes will often be better value for money than buying several cheaper pairs that will need to be replaced sooner.
I don’t buy them often so when I do I make sure that a bag is well made, from quality materials and of a style that will remain a classic for years to come. I’m all about quality not quantity in my wardrobe so I’d rather hang out for a slightly more expensive bag that I know will have plenty of longevity than go for an of-the-moment fix. For example I have a Chanel bag that I have had for years and that I still wear regularly and is still in great shape simply because of the craftsmanship that has gone into it. The same goes for my Givenchy bag (above) which I use all the time and I know because it’s so well made I’ll be able to wear it season after season.
I’ll happily scrimp on things like t-shirts and jeans but outerwear is something I will always willingly splurge on because of the number of times I’ll wear each item. Coats in particular are something I like to purchase each season and will wear throughout the cooler months so I always make sure it’s a classic style, made from a quality fabric such as wool as I will wear it day after day.
I regularly wear jackets so I will make sure to buy the best quality that I can as I wear them so often. I have a Balmain blazer that I remember trawling the internet for for years before I finally snapped it up on sale but it’s the kind of strategic purchase I don’t regret one bit as I wear it to death. And yes, it’s definitely more expensive than your average blazer but I often think of things from a cost per wear basis and have definitely got value for money out of this particular buy.
What are some things in your wardrobe you’ll never scrimp on?
I’ve had a love affair with sunglasses for as long as I can remember. They’re one of my favourite ways to finish a look and are also an easy way to change up my outfit’s look and feel. I’ve always liked trying different brands from designer to up-and-coming labels, and over the years I’ve experimented with a few styles and have found that there are three types I always come back to…
Cat eye sunglasses
I’ve always liked this classic style. I like their vintage feel and have always found the shape to be quite flattering. They’re bold without being too over the top and I’ve found that gives them a lot of versatility.
From vibrant colours to patterns I always find myself gravitating towards sunglasses that have a striking element. Whether it’s the shape, embellishment or bold shades, I’m always on board with any eyewear that can elevate an outfit and hold its own.
These are also a bit of a retro style. I’ve always liked the fact that round frame sunglasses have a 60s vibe to them have a fun and playful feel. I’ve got a few different styles but have always found that Chloe tend to do them particularly well.
As with most trends in fashion, they come full circle and it looks like we’re officially set to welcome back to the fold the short strap shoulder bag. It’s straight out of the Carrie Bradshaw playbook and now everyone from Kendall Jenner to Gigi Hadid is rocking the style.
The bag is great for those who don’t want to carry a roomy tote all day but also know that a teeny tiny bag just isn’t practical for when you actually have to carrymore than just a tube of lipstick around with you to survive. So this is the perfect compromise: it’s a decent size to accomodate most essentials but isn’t so big as to be cumbersome. Also the short straps make it really easy to carry around. Unlike bags with longer straps which have a tendency to fall down, this one is able to fit perfectly under your armpit making it snug and secure as you go about your day.
And if there’s every a sign that a trend is well and truly back its when designer start releasing their own iterations of the design. Bottega Veneta, Prada, Fendi, Dior— all have a short strap bag that’s sure to please diehard fans of the 90s or those who just love an accessory that’s pretty and practical. Plus there’s something quite ladylike about carrying a bag that’s sleek, dainty (small but not too small) and polished. And if it’s good enough for Carrie Bradshaw… well it’s definitely a trend worth following.
Late last year I was invited by jewellery brand Linden Cook to their showroom to view their Impressions range and was lucky enough to be able to create my own special necklace on the day. Each piece in the range is one-of-a-kind as each delicate pendant features a fingerprint impression. Mine features Sophia and Grace’s fingerprints, but the four of us, including Luke and myself were all able to experience having a traditional wax cast taken of our fingerprints on the day.
The whole process is incredibly easy but results in such a personal, unique piece. You can choose from four different lengths (or request a custom length), the number of fingerprints pendants you want and also the type of metal used. Once you’ve purchased it on the site, you’re sent a kit to take the wax impression, send the completed cast back to Linden Cook who will then start crafting your necklace. As each piece is handmade, it takes around 4-6 weeks to receive the finished piece.
I’m quite sentimental when it comes to my jewellery and love the pieces I wear to mean something so I was thrilled be able to have this experience. It’s very special to have a beautiful piece that allows me to have the girls with me always. If you’ve got an important milestone coming up this would definitely be a memorable way to mark it.
The first month of the year always has me wanting to get into wardrobe assessment mode to see what updates I need to make, if any, and also what things are looking tired and need replacing. There’s something quite cathartic about starting with a solid, well-edited closet at the start of each year to help me get back into work mode and ready to start tackling big projects. So, here’s my current wish list. What’s on yours?
Headbands are one of my go-to forms of headwear because they can work back with so many different looks. Also, it doesn’t require much effort to make it happen unlike other hair accessories which may require a bit more finessing.