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.
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)
If you’ve found yourself invited to a wedding (or weddings which can be happen at this time of year) 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.
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.
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.
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.
Nothing signals the beginning of spring/summer than a healthy dose of light, breezy looks and plenty of vibrant hues. I recently attended David Jones’ The Bright Night event at their newly refurbished flagship store in Sydney and the dress code was all about wearing colour.
Eventually I decided on a baby pink one shoulder top and skirt set by Ginger and Smart. I loved the hint of decolletage that the cut of the top gave, which I’ve always found to be really flattering. The three quarter balloon sleeves also added a on trend touch whilst the matching midi skirt gave a really polished vibe.
As I was wearing a single colour I wanted to add some punchy accessories to lift the look. So I decided on a pair of old favourites from my shoe collection, a leopard print pair of Tabitha Simmons pointed heels with multiple straps. I then finished off the look with a black Dior bag worn as a clutch (seriously one of the best investment bags I’ve bought as it’s so versatile). Now bring on spring/summer…
I fell in love a few times this month—there are so many beautiful pieces to shop out there right now. My shopping list is heavily influenced by what occasions and work commitments I have at a particular time and as you’ll see when you scroll below, I’m all about event dressing right now. I’ve been looking for pieces that are going to work beautifully for events, particularly all my racing commitments over the next few weeks. So if you’re heading trackside any time soon or you just want to get a head start on your Melbourne Cup look, then you may want get in the zone with a few of my picks below.
Shirley Mini Leather Tote, Staud
Great shape and beautiful colour. So much to love about this bag and it’s so versatile too.
Afra Off-the-shoulder Cutout Satin Top, Cult Gaia
I am really into the drama of this top with the ruched sleeves and exposed shoulder. I could definitely see myself rocking this to many an event.
Triple S Logo-embroidered Leather, Nubuck and Mesh Sneakers, Balenciaga
Whilst this is a slight departure from my events shopping, it’s a worthwhile detour as I don’t think you can ever have too many sneakers. Love the colours of these shoes and the interesting shape.
In the course of a year I’m sure a lot of us would have a few events to contend with. Whether it’s a work occasion or a wedding or a milestone birthday there are plenty of opportunities to get all dolled up. So where to go with your outfit? If you’re having to pull together a look for a big upcoming soiree then look no further than the following stylish ladies for a little outfit inspo.
You can’t go wrong with a touch of gold. A slinky dress metallic dress with minimal accessories is a sleek and sophisticated way to do event dressing.
For a luxe look you can’t go past a beautiful silk or satin number. With its fluid texture and beautiful finish, it’s a way to make a glamorous statement.
When it comes to events it pays to have a little fun with your look! A riot of colour is one way to make a statement. Bonus points for sequins!
You don’t always have to have a knockout outfit to make a look event-appropriate. Expand your horizons to next-level accessories (hello sparkly boots!) to give your outfit a point of difference and to glam it up.
A little tailoring goes a long way when it comes to event dressing. A gorgeous blazer and an all-white look makes for a seriously strong ensemble.
It sometimes pays to add an unexpected touch to an event look a la Elle Ferguson’s dress worked back with boots. It shows that you’re prepared to push the boundaries and be a little more daring with your style.
Dresses and events are a match made in heaven but look for strong silhouettes when it comes time to frock up. A sharp shoulder and angular lines make for a look-at-me outfit that’s also fashion forward.
Events are made for showcasing statement detailing. A dramatic train such as the one on this look is one way to take occasion dressing up a notch.
Now that we’re heading into winter, one way to take your little black dress in a new on trend direction is to work some sheer tights into the mix. It’s one way to add a glam element to any LBD.
If you like the idea of a dress but want something a little different try a shirt and pants combo. A beautiful blouse worked back with a pair of slacks is event dressing at its classic and sophisticated best.
Prints are made for occasion dressing. Work a fun print into your outfit to ensure that your look stands out in a crowd.
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.
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.