Browsing Tag

event dressing

Fashion, What I Wore

I go to countless events in a year—here’s how I’ve made dressing for them easier

29th May, 2021

From product launches, to parties and racing events, not to mention occasions like weddings and birthday celebrations I can often find myself with multiple functions in a month scheduled in my diary. That’s a whole lot of event dressing to contend with. It can become a time consuming process so I’ve managed to refine my system down to a few key things to make it easier for myself. If you’ve found yourself with a booked social calendar then you may want to nab a few of my tried and tested tips to make the whole process a cinch.

Three-step beauty prep

I could be wearing an amazing dress but if I’ve let things lapse in the beauty department it dilutes the effect of getting dressed up. There just aren’t enough hours in a day to spend on beauty prep before a big event so I’ve managed to get it down to three things.

A spray tan is great as it’s almost a shortcut to looking amazing—you get that glowy effect without having to do much at all.

I always book myself in for a Shellac mani. I do this in racing season when I know I’ve got a few functions back to back and need my nail colour to last. Instead of matching my nail colour to each outfit which would just take up way too much time, I always choose a shade that can work with myriad looks. A neutral shade or a wine/burgundy colour works a treat as there’s not much that it doesn’t go with.

I’ve always believed that the foundation to great makeup is skin in tip top condition so I always book myself in for blueberry peel from one of my fave spots, The Clinic in Sydney. It’s ideal right before a big event as it helps reset my skin and ensure it’s in good shape. That said, a simple at-home sheet mask or peel can also work towards rejuvenating your skin for a big event.

I don’t wear new shoes

Wearing stilettos right out of the box to an event is a disaster waiting to happen. You need to give footwear a bit of time to stretch and get comfortable, otherwise you risk having them rub while you’re wearing them, in turn causing blisters. Ouch. I’ll often wear new shoes around the house a few days beforehand to break them in and get used to walking in them. Otherwise I’ll just opt for one of my fave heels that I’ve worn plenty of times before because I can guarantee I’ll be comfortable being in them for hours.

One of my event rules? I never wear shoes straight out of the box.

I turn to my go-to brands

I love browsing through stores such as Net-a-Porter for a big occasion as every brand I could want is at my fingertips, and it’s great for a little fashion inspiration. However over the years I’ve managed to find a handful of brands that haven’t let me down when it comes to their offering for event dressing. I’ll often go to them first as I then don’t have to spend ages scouring different labels as I’ll almost always find something that I like. I can’t go past Bec and Bridge, Rebecca Vallance, Camilla and Marc, Scanlan Theodore and Dion Lee when I’m searching for an outfit for a big function. It’s always a good idea to have a few key favourites you can check out, that you know suit your style and your shape.

I’m selective in what colour I wear

Lately I’ve been gravitating towards for colour for big events as I find it’s impactful and really stands out. Vibrant reds, punchy yellows… I’ve worn them to a few occasions such as launches and weddings. If I’m borrowing something then a bright hue is definitely where I like to head. However if I’m purchasing something and I’m trying to get maximum wear out of a particular item, then I can’t go past classic tones of creams, blacks and greys. Not only do they work for multiple occasions but if I also choose something in a really simple cut and style, they’re so easy to transform by changing up my accessories.

What are some of your tips for dressing for events?

Fashion, Fashion & Beauty

On a budget…wedding guest outfits

1st May, 2021

If you’ve found yourself invited to a wedding (or weddings which isn’t uncommon) it can become quite an expensive exercise, particularly if you have to attend additional events such as a hens or kitchen tea, not to mention the cost of a wedding gift. Sometimes the expense of then having to buy an outfit for the actual wedding can leave you with a pretty hefty bill. So, what to do? Well it pays to be clever with how you approach your look…

Go for a simple design

If you have more than one wedding to attend then it pays to go for an outfit that’s quite simple and classic, this way you can easily wear it all over again. It’s much easier to rework an existing dress when it’s quite pared back in design as it’s pretty much a blank canvas.

Dial up the accessories

An existing look can be transformed by the right accessories. A great headpiece such as a statement headband for example can inject new energy into a dress you already own. While jewellery such as striking earrings or a beautiful pair of shoes in a vibrant shade can instantly change up the look and feel of a new outfit that you want to wear to more than one occasion. This is a great trick if you’ve got a few weddings to attend.

Recycle something you own

Do you have a dress in your wardrobe that you love but are sick of wearing? Consider having it altered or reworked into a different style. For example a midi dress could be taken up to be worn as a knee length dress, or a voluminous dress could be taken in to change the silhouette. Paying for alterations will often be much more cost effective than buying something new.

Think outside the box

You don’t always have to wear a dress to a wedding. The great thing with fashion right now is that there are so many event looks that can work for a wedding. You could opt to wear a beautiful midi skirt with a cami or crisp white shirt or you could rock a suit and make it more “evening” by teaming it with a cami or alternatively just wearing the jacket buttoned up. You may already have these pieces in your wardrobe which could save you a pretty penny.

Change your beauty look

If you’ve splurged on a wedding outfit that you really love then you can extend its wear beyond a single event by simply changing your beauty look. If you decide to wear it with your hair down and smoky eye, consider doing the opposite the next time you wear it and opt for an up-do with a bold lip. It’s a simple trick but oh-so effective.

Fashion

On a budget…event dressing

17th April, 2021

As I have to attend so many events during the year it’s not cost effective for me to buy a new look every single time I have to go to something. I’d be spending a fortune on event looks that I might not really wear all that often which just doesn’t make sense to me. I’d rather spend most of my fashion budget on outfits that will get plenty of wear. So I’ve learnt a few ways to do occasion wear without having to spend a lot of money every time…

Have a little black dress in your wardrobe

It’s one of the most versatile things you can own and it’s also one of the best event wear items you can invest in. A simple, sleek black dress can easily be worn to multiple occasions and changed up by swapping key accessories and doing a new beauty look each time you wear it.

Hire something

I’ve raided the cupboards of friends a time or two, or worked with a label when I’m going to an event so sourcing event clothing outside of my own wardrobe is a strategy I’m well aware of. If you can’t hit up your girlfriends’ wardrobes then consider a dress hire service. There are so many of them around now that it would be silly not to take advantage of them. Often you can hire a gorgeous designer dress for a standard rental fee that would otherwise require you to drop a few hundred (sometimes thousands) dollars on it. This makes sense from a cost per wear perspective and you can still get that special feeling that comes from wearing a brand that you love.

Buy at sale time

If you’ve got a dress that you’ve really got your heart set on buying then make the effort to stay on top of any sales that are happening with your fave labels and stores. An online store like The Outnet is also a good source for event wear as they’ll stock designer brands at a generally heavily reduced price. Sign up for newsletters and sale alerts so you can be first to take advantage of any discounts that might be offered.

Re-work existing occasion wear

It’s a good idea to rethink what you already have in your closet. Is there something that you can have taken up? Do you have a dress that you can alter the silhouette slightly? Often the answer to your event wear problems is already sitting in your closet but we all want that ‘new’ feeling so we tend to buy rather than shop our wardrobes. So get creative and see how you can re-purpose what you already own. All you need is a good tailor and you’re set.

Think beyond the dress

Event wear dresses will generally be quite expensive so it pays to get creative and think of other options that will still look dressy but might come at a fraction of the price. A great skirt teamed with a cami or a button down shirt is one way to get around the traditional dress option, and often skirts will be a little cheaper. Or you could sub in a pair of tailored pants for the skirt for a look with a similar vibe. Paired with great accessories and killer heels, you’re guaranteed to look amazing.

Change the small details

A simple change in beauty look can easily revamp existing occasion wear. I’ll often wear something again and just change my beauty look so if I wore my hair up the last time I wore something, I’ll wear my hair down or if I did a smoky eye I’ll do a dramatic lip. Also a change in shoes or bag can also make something feel fresh and new.

Fashion

The best ways to recycle an event dress multiple times

28th February, 2021

Event dressing can be an expensive business when you take into account your outfit, accessories, hair and makeup, shoes… and that’s just before you walk out the door! The best way to keep costs down is to learn to reuse and recycle your occasion wear. Splashing out on a beautiful dress only to relegate it to the back of your wardrobe because you’ve worn it before is a waste of money—which is why you have to get creative. If you truly love a particular event outfit but you’re worried of being seen in the same outfit twice, then it’s time to employ a few tactics to breathe some new life into it.

Mix up you your hairstyle

Doing something as simple as changing your hairstyle when you’re recycling a look is extremely effective for making a dress feel new again. So if you wore your hair down the last time, wear it up, or utilise the help of accessories. From many years of attending the races, I’ve found the simple addition of a striking headwear can really transform an outfit.

Change your makeup

It’s easy to stick to the same tried and tested formula when it comes to event makeup but if you want to reinvigorate an outfit then it’s important to try something different. If you want for dramatic eyes the last time you wore a particular ensemble, then go for a bold lip the next time around. Experiment with colour. Wear some dramatic lashes. Have a little fun with your beauty look.

Go for a different vibe with your accessories

Accessories are key to breathing new life into an old look. By simply switching up your accoutrements, whether it be in the form of things like statement earrings, a cocktail ring or a standout necklace, what you pair with a particular piece can really give it a different style. If you went for a classic, sophisticated style the last time, maybe try experimenting with something a little more modern and bold? By simply giving your accessories a new energy, you give your outfit one too.

Add or take something away

Even if you’re recycling a pair of pants or the same dress you wore to an event, you can still give what you’re wearing a different look and feel either by paring it back or amping it up. So if you went for a lot of drama the last time with bold makeup, voluminous hair and look-at-me accessories, then consider a more sleek approach the next time by doing the complete opposite–understated makeup, hair pulled back and simple classic accoutrements.

Incorporate a new statement feature

Most of the time if I’m wearing an event dress, I will introduce a statement piece into the mix. Usually it’s in the form of a bag or a pair of heels. So if you decided to wear a pair of killer stilettos the last time you wore a particular outfit to an occasion, then change up your statement feature by opting for a colourful bag instead. It’s just about incorporating an additional element that has wow factor.

Fashion, What I Wore

What I Wore: Dior Sydney event

12th September, 2020

It’s me! At an event! It’s been awhile so it was nice to be out and about at a a function. Given we’ve just welcomed spring I wanted to wear a lighter, fresher look so this crisp white dress by Toni Maticevski was the ideal option. The mini style combined with the oversized statement ruffles was just the right amalgamation of feminine silhouette with playful touches. Also I’m a fan of a little white dress for event dressing as it evokes such an elegant feel.

Handy tip: barely there clear heels are great for elongating the frame. These Seed mules do just that. The transparent strap creates the illusion of length which earns major ticks. Plus they’re such a comfy shoe so they’re great for being out and about. To finish off this look, it just had to be Dior. I went for a ladylike blush pink Dior top handle bag, which added a subtle hit of colour. Plus the soft hue is just the right shade to not disrupt the clean lines of the rest of my ensemble. And who can resist such a pretty shade of pink?

Credits: Dress, Toni Maticevski; Shoes, See; Bag, Dior

Fashion, Shop

New Year’s Eve outfits that will help you welcome 2020 in style

20th December, 2019

New Year’s Eve is always the perfect time to break out a new outfit and really get into the spirit of the occasion. It’s a great excuse to embrace all things glam from sequins to embellishments and bold colours and prints. But even if you’re planning to do something low key, you can still go for elevated pieces including easy breezy summer dresses and strong separates worked back with striking accessories.

The beauty with searching for a New Year’s Eve look right now is that you’re seriously going to be overwhelmed with amazing options. There are some gorgeous dresses incorporating statement sleeves and playful prints and ultra fun frocks with sequins and sexy cut-outs. Be sure to go all out with your accoutrements. Now is the time to turn up the boldness with bright bags and even bolder earrings. Go ahead and welcome 2020 with seriously fun and seriously on point style.

Scroll down to find your perfect New Year’s Eve look.

Fashion, Shop, What I Wore

What I Wore: Vida Glow Event

5th December, 2019

It’s always great to be invited to host an event and I was thrilled to be asked to do so at the recent Vida Glow launch. The setting was in Sydney’s Botanic Garden so I was after an outfit that was both polished and on trend but also light and airy in keeping with the natural surroundings. I came across this Kate Spade dress in my search and it definitely fit the brief. The crisp white colour was perfect for a day event, while the beautiful floral detail was just the thing to really lift the dress and give it an elegant touch, and who can ever resist a pretty bow?

I wanted to maintain a uniform look throughout so instead of a contrasting heel, I went for a white minimalist shoe which helped tie the outfit together. Also, I can’t resist wearing white from head to toe as it’s such a strong look and looks really fresh. Simple jewellery and subtle waves were all this ensemble needed to complete the look.

Photography by Chloe Paul

Shop the Look:

Dress: Kate Spade (soon to be released); Shoes, Tony Bianco (soon to be released)

Fashion, Fashion & Beauty, What I Wore

What I Wore: Ladies’ Luncheon 2019

21st November, 2019

There are a number of charities I’ve been involved with but the annual Ladies’ Luncheon fundraiser for The Royal Hospital for Women Foundation, organised by my friend Deborah Symond ONeil is one event that I like to get behind and look forward to attending. This year, the event raised $340,000 — much needed funds for a worthy cause that assists premature babies to survive and thrive.

A special occasion called for a special dress and I found the perfect candidate in this Camilla & Marc dress. The off-the-shoulder style is so perfect for a spring event, whilst the blouson sleeves are right on trend. The metallic colour also gave it a thoroughly modern feel, whilst the front split adds an edgy touch.

Working with metallic shades calls for simplicity which is why I opted for plain black Stuart Weitzman heels which are quite minimalist. A metallic pink Bulgari clutch added a pop of colour whilst beautiful Chaumet jewellery were the ideal finishing accoutrements.

Photography by Blake Heywood

Shop the look:

Dress, Camilla and Marc (currently not available); Jewellery, Chaumet; Heels, Stuart Weitzman; Bag, Bulgari

Fashion, Fashion & Beauty, What I Wore

What I Wore: Witchery Summer ’19 launch

12th November, 2019

Today I was lucky enough to be invited to host the launch of Witchery’s Summer’ 19 collection. The event took place on Seadeck, a gorgeous super yacht, the ideal venue to showcase the brand’s latest collection—and take in Sydney’s beautiful harbour.

I wore a look from Witchery for the event, choosing a vibrant orange midi dress. With a simple, classic silhouette, the dress was really all about the colour. I think when wearing such a vivid statement hue it’s important to keep it simple and allow it to be the focal point. One of the really beautiful shades to wear with orange is definitely tan—it’s understated enough to work with the colour but not so much that it fades into the background. Tan shoes with a block heel are the kind of footwear option that will be able to work back with many looks so it’s definitely a worthwhile addition to any wardrobe, particularly during summer where it will work beautifully with everything from dresses and skirts to shorts. Plus anything with a block heels is really comfortable so it’s the perfect go-to during party season.

Credits: Dress and shoes, Witchery

Fashion, Fashion & Beauty

What it’s really like to work with a stylist

7th November, 2019
Working with a stylist during spring racing has allowed to experiment with new looks

I have always styled my racing looks and really enjoy doing it but it’s also labour intensive. I have to source multiple options for every race day, and that includes my outfit, shoes, jewellery, and headwear. This year, I not only had several race days to attend but I had presenting commitments with 7 Racing that saw me having to also style outfits for those occasions, and not only that I had to ensure that my outfit was able to work on camera and co-ordinated with the other presenters. That’s a lot of outfits! So I enlisted the help of stylist Jess Pecoraro to make it happen.

Jess is the go-to fashion and celeb stylist for the likes of Jesinta Franklin and Gemma Ward and Delta Goodrem. She’s got a great eye and knows what I like and gets my style which is critical when you’re working with a stylist. We’ll often start by taking a look at the events I have coming up and what each look requires. For example there are strict dress codes for big race days like Derby Day and Melbourne Cup which we need to adhere to, and if I’ve got TV commitments I need to ensure that what I’m wearing works well on screen as well as the other presenters I’m working with. Additionally I work with a few key brands during spring racing so it’s important that we factor them into the styling process. It’s a big process and there are so many considerations to be made that it’s great to have someone to look after it all as it makes everything a little less hectic.

I’m quite open to trying new looks and Jess pulled together a number of different outfits for me to try. We did a few fittings at home to see what would work and the accessories to match. This can become quite a lengthy process as we experiment with different options to lock in the final outfit, all the while making sure that I’m keeping to dress codes and incorporating certain brands. I’m always able to direct the outfits where I want them to go but Jess is able to put forward combinations and suggestions of how everything could work together which is great as often it can be hard to have a vision for every outfit. That’s the great thing about working with a stylist.

I often get asked why I work with stylists and one of the reasons is that it’s great to be able to collaborate with someone else and get a fresh opinion or point of view on fashion. I know what I like but sometimes I might miss something that would look great, that someone else from the outside looking in might see. And being able to push boundaries and try something new is what fashion is all about.