Out of all the race days during the Melbourne Cup Carnival, Stakes Day is the most relaxed in terms of dress codes. It’s a family friendly event, with no formal dress code, so you can afford to go for something that’s slightly more casual. The only non-negotiable is that it you still look polished and elegant. It’s one of my favourite days as I’m also able to attend with Luke and the girls which always makes the day really fun.
I decided on a Dior maxi dress with earthy/navy tones for the event as I felt it worked perfectly with the attire this particular race day required. I loved the pattern on the dress and the flared 50s style skirt. The neckline featured a deep V-neck which gives the dress just a little edge. With such a voluminous shape, it was important that the dress have a little cinched in element so it didn’t look like it was swamping me, so I decided on a waist belt worn over the top. It gave me a flattering nipped in silhouette and helped give the dress a little more structure. Plus I love the shape of the belt, which features the iconic saddle bag shape of the brand.
Working with a mix of shades can make accessorising tricky but in the end I felt white would work best to complement the colour palette of the dress. I ended up going for a Dior wide brimmed straw hat, which looks relaxed but still polished and finished it with white Dior pointed toe heels with ankle straps. It was a way of doing accessories in a pared back way, but in a colour that would still allow it to pop against the dress. The ideal balance of making a statement without being overwhelming.
Credits: Dress, Christian Dior; Belt, Christian Dior; Shoes, Christian Dior; Hat
One of my favourite things about winter is the fact I get to cosy up in gorgeous knits such as this sweet jumper by Zimmermann. I’m a firm believer that knitwear doesn’t have to be boring, in fact it can often be the star of an outfit if the finishing touches are just right. The oversized bows on this sweater is ultimately what makes it and is the ideal finishing touch. I also find a batwing sleeve particularly flattering when it comes to knits as it has the slightly billowy feel that I like when it comes to jumpers but the tapered cuffs give it a refined shape.
You’ll often find me in jeans so I am quite particular when it comes to the wash and fit. This pair by Levi’s ticks all the boxes for me. It’s always nice to go back to such a classic denim brand as they really know how to create a great, flattering pair. Paired with a cute jumper, it’s a combination that’s a failsafe during winter.
I decided to dress this outfit up a little with black Aquazzura pumps. I like the fact that the subtle bow on the straps ties in to the bows on my jumper, offering a little extra cohesion. As a final finishing touch, I opted for my favourite black Dior bag worn as a clutch. Overall it’s a casual look that’s elegant and polished, yet easily adaptable with a change of accessories.
Escaping from the cold Sydney weather to go on a family holiday to Daydream Island the past week enabled me to shed my winter woolies (even if it was just a few days) for easy breezy resort wear dressing, which I’ve always got a soft spot for.
Slides are always my number one footwear choice whenever I’m going somewhere warm as they’re comfortable and chic and keep me cool all at the same time. I’ve been wanting to wear these Dior slides for ever so long and was glad to finally have the chance to do so.
Whilst straw bags are still going strong throughout winter they’re especially perfect for anywhere tropical so this Sparrows Weave top handle bag felt right at home around the resort. Topped off with white Emma Mulholland sunglasses, I was ready for whatever the day had in store.
Even though we’re still getting some gorgeous warm days in Sydney, it doesn’t mean I haven’t been embracing all things autumnal of late. I love the shade of this Veronika Maine skirt as it reminds me of the changing colours of the leaves around my neighbourhood. Its sleek silhouette makes for the perfect counterpart to a cosy knit (also by Veronika Maine). I love both pieces as they’ll easily work back with plenty of other separates in my wardrobe, meaning they’ll get quite the work out over the coming weeks.
I wanted to maintain a comfy look so I opted for my go-to pointed Dior flats, which are great for spending the day walking around in but still look quite dressy. My black Dior bag with chainstrap is a great size as it’s big enough to carry what I need but compact enough that it’s perfect for busy days running around. Fun scallop edged sunglasses by Chloe make for the ideal finishing touch and is the perfect companion during days of glorious autumn sunshine.
Photography by Sophia Athas
This post was produced in collaboration with Veronika Maine
Shop the look:
Jumper: Chunky Diamond Rib Sweater by Veronika Maine
Skirt: Drapey Belted Skirt by Veronika Maine (Similar)
Shoes: J’adior Ballerina in Black Technical Canvas by Dior
Sunglasses: Round scalloped Sunglasses by Chloe (in pink)
For a casual look that still maintains a polished vibe playsuits are the way to go. I love the crisp, clean white shade of this Macgraw number but it’s anything but plain with the gorgeous finishing touches. The ruffled bib feature, and the bishop sleeve along with the gold buttons give it some added personality. I’ve found this playsuit really easy to work back with multiple colours and pieces in my wardrobe as it provides a great blank canvas.
I went for a monochrome palette in this instance pairing the playsuit with my pointy Dior slingback flats (which as an aside, have been worth every penny with how much wear I’ve been able to get from them) and my black Dior chainstrap bag. As a finishing touch I added a pair of minimalist cat eye frames to add a slightly edgy element to this soft, feminine look.
The runway show was held at The Void in MONA and as it was quite a cavernous stone structure and we were previewing Autumn Winter 19 looks, the vibe of the night really lended itself to dark and moody colours.
Enter the perfect modern suit by Bianca Spender. I don’t think you can ever really go wrong with classic black but I liked the modern silhouette of the cropped coat worked back with tapered pants.
My accessories were simple and classic with a few subtle gold accents to add a luxe feel to my outfit. My go-to black bag at the moment is a Dior bag with a gold chain strap and name plating — it’s a great size for events and features a hand strap so it’s handy for carrying at functions. I think the suit worked beautifully with my Salvatore Ferragamo mules. The shape of the shoe with its gold wedge heel added a modern, almost futuristic touch to the rest of my look and is always a focal point whenever I wear them.
How gorgeous is this Macgraw skirt? The beautiful floral embroidery on the sheer organza makes it a romantic yet impactful statement piece. The thing with anything transparent is you’ve got to temper it with the right underwear, and in this instance I went for a full bloomer style to offer a little more coverage. Also I think it’s important to consider what top you pair such a skirt with. In this instance I opted for a button up, Victorian style blouse in order to let it take centre stage. I think something sheer worked back with something a little more conservative strikes just the right balance.
When it came to my accessories I wanted to keep things sleek and simple. A black Dior clutch and my favourite black Alaïa heels helped cap off the entire ensemble. As I said, when it comes to anything sheer, you’ve really got to ensure that you avoid anything too over the top so as not to overwhelm you entire look.
One of the things that I’ve found to be quite a versatile piece in my wardrobe is a statement top. Whilst there are some things that are just way too bold to achieve true versatility, I think there are definitely some elevated pieces that can still be styled in multiple ways. This cream Zimmermann top is one of them. With the elegant draping and dramatic sleeves it definitely has impact but I think the neutral tone means it can be easily paired with numerous colours and everything from a skirt to tailored pants and denim. For this outing I decided to pair it with a textured Isabel Marant tulip skirt with a metallic sheen. I think the futuristic vibe of the skirt provides the perfect contrast to the classic Victorian feel of the blouse.
As I was already working with some strong silhouettes in my outfit I kept my accessories quite streamlined and simple. My new go-to Dior bag and Balenciaga sock boots were the ideal finishing touches. A structured bag works well to contrast the fluid, and slighter softer textures of the blouse and skirt, whilst wearing boots instead of heels helped ground the look. Overall it was great to be able to work with contrasting pieces and find a way to give them some cohesion without losing their individuality.
Whenever I head to Melbourne I always make sure to pack a few warm weather options as I never know what the weather will be like. This new Miranda Dunn faux fur coat is one such thing. It’s super cosy and is made of the softest fur — it feels like I’ve just popped out with my favourite blanket when I’m wearing it. I’ve also found it easy to pair back with myriad looks in my closet, but my current fave is wearing it with jeans and a crisp white tee. It’s casual yet elegant and is a great go-to for when I’m looking for comfort and want to maintain an element of polish.
I didn’t want any of my other accessories competing with the fur coat, but I did want to add a little colour for interest so opted for my Goyard tote. The burgundy shade works easily with cream coat and as a bonus it’s also super roomy, so it’s great for carrying on days when I’m out and about and need to take everything from my laptop to my kids’ essentials. As for my shoes, being comfortable is paramount so I couldn’t think of a better option than my Dior slingback flats. They’re sophisticated and sleek, but are also ideal for long days where a flat is a must. Paired with classic Celine frames, this look is the ideal runaround outfit with a classic finishing touches.
Credits: Coat, Miranda Dunn; Shirt, Uniqlo; Jeans (similar), Camilla & Marc; Shoes, Dior; Bag (similar), Goyard (personalised bags also available from The Daily Edited); Sunglasses, Celine
Whenever I see the dress code smart casual it always gives me cause for pause as I’m trying to rack my brain of what I have in my wardrobe that fits the bill. Ultimately I think it’s all about working off duty style whilst still maintaining an element of polish. It’s about marrying the best of both worlds and merging casual pieces with elevated staples.
This Carla Zampatti jacket is one such piece that is right at home when worn back with dressy separates, but I can still pair it with denim and have it look cohesive. One of my favourite combinations is jeans and a white tee, which can be super casual but when paired with a sophisticated jacket it lifts the look into one that’s polished without being too fussy. Jeans have definitely become more accepted for events and relaxed workplaces, and when worked back with classic pieces it can easily be your go-to ensemble for those times you need to dress smart casual.
Great flats are essential for smart casual dressing which is why I am really loving my new Dior flats. They’re a classic shape, incorporate sleek details and as a bonus are super comfortable to be in all day. As for my accessories, a statement bag, with structure and extra finishes such as a chain strap or embellishments is the ideal option for elevating a look without being too overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to go bold with your eyewear. These coloured Le Specs sunglasses add a modern touch, without compromising the overall vibe of my outfit.