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Fashion

How to buy jeans

8th July, 2018

Jeans are a cornerstone of my wardrobe

I can’t live without denim. It’s a key part of my wardrobe all year round so it’s key to find the perfect pair. I buy a lot of stuff online but I think jeans are one thing that you really need to go in store to try on to make sure the cut, fit and colour all work well. My key criteria is that it works with my body shape, has some flexibility and isn’t too stiff, isn’t too hipster or high-waisted and has to be of a good quality so it lasts. When you find the perfect pair of jeans you just know! If you’re in the market for new jeans, follow my foolproof plan to find The One. Here’s how to buy jeans that are the perfect fit and style…

Buy the right size

It may sound obvious but I’ve been caught out before by the whole “it will stretch” claim. I’ve learned that you should always just buy a size that’s firm but not super tight. It should feel comfortably snug but not so much that you feel like you can’t breathe!

Take the time to try things on

Yes, you may have a pair of old faithfuls that have served you well but it pays to try on different cuts, styles, washes and brands when you’re buying jeans. It can be a tedious process, I know, but taking the time to actually try things on outside of your denim comfort zone may help you unearth a pair of jeans you never knew you always wanted.

Identify your go-to style

Skinny jeans and I have a longlasting relationship—the cut just works with my height and frame. However your perfect match might come in the form of a straight leg or a boyfriend cut. The key is to try on as many different styles as you can and once you’ve found the perfect pair invest in a few different washes.

Skinny jeans are my go-to style but it’s important to find the right silhouette to suit you

Know your denim

A heavier denim has more durability than a lighter denim. So if you’re after a pair of jeans that will last a few seasons, it pays to go for something a little thicker. Also a heavier denim will generally offer better support than lighter, thinner denim which can be a little less forgiving. However if a stiff denim isn’t for you, look for a pair that is made up of around two per cent lycra and 98 per cent cotton—it’s got enough give to be really comfortable but is able to hold you in where you want it to.

Expand your denim wardrobe

I love light denim jeans but I also like black denim and white denim. I find that having all three shades in my wardrobe covers all the bases and allows me to have options for plenty of different outfit combinations. Also, know that some washes will show wear and tear a lot sooner than others. For example dark denim will show obvious “whiskering” a lot sooner than lighter denim so keep that in mind when choosing the colour of your next pair.

Invest in a few different colours to ensure maximum versatility in your denim wardrobe

Don’t be a denim snob

I’m not too stuck on brands—I’ve bought jeans from ASOS and loved them as much as a designer pair from Ksubi and Nobody as the most important thing is how it fits. I’m picky when it comes to the colour or the cut but apart from that I’ll happily wear any denim label. Even if you’ve got your go-to brand, it’s a good idea to try on a few different brands each season in case you find another one that works better for your body. There’s SO much new denim each season that you need to keep on top of what’s out there in case there’s a new range that would perfectly suit you.

If you’re getting jeans hemmed, bring heels with you

If you’re going to get jeans tailored it should only ever be the length that you alter. You should keep looking until you find a pair that fit you around your bottom and your legs rather than trying to do anything with the waistband or legs. I’m not that tall so jeans can be quite long for me so I’ll take them to be professionally altered. I like my jeans to sit on my ankle bone. When I’m getting them hemmed I’ll normally take the heels I’d wear the most with them to the alterations place so I can be sure to get the correct length. I think if you get the right length for high heels they can work with sneakers, flats and most other shoes quite fine.

What are your favourite go-to denim brands?

 

Fashion

5 questions I always ask myself before buying anything

1st July, 2018

Kate Waterhouse Shopping questions

When I’m shopping for anything I always make sure that what I’m buying will be a worthwhile and practical addition to my wardrobe. Sounds easy enough, right? I’m the first to admit that in the past I’ve been guilty of buying something because I just like how it looks but have found that it hasn’t really worked with what I already own. There’s really no point wasting money on something that won’t necessarily be used all that much and will just end up gathering dust in my closet. I’m all about maximising the use of everything in my wardrobe and to ensure this happens there are five questions that I always ask myself before I even consider buying anything. By going through this mental checklist I’m sure I’ve saved myself from buyer’s remorse many times!

What will this go with?

It’s important that I can immediately think of a minimum of 10 pieces that I can pair a possible purchase with. And they have to be 10 pieces that I already wear a lot so I know that it will definitely have plenty of outings.

How can I dress it up or down?

Versatility is key when it comes to anything I own so I have to make sure that I can dress something up or down quite easily. I need to guarantee that I will get multiple wears out of it so it has to be able to have many outfit incarnations.

Is it going to last the test of time?

On trend pieces are great here and there but generally I always make sure that the bulk of my wardrobe is comprised of things that I can see myself wearing years down the track. Classics will always last so I can justify spending the money on it. Also with the question I consider whether it is suitable for work and when I’m off duty so I know how much wear I’ll realistically get from it.

Fabrication is a key consideration for me when making any purchase

Is it good quality?

I take into account what materials something is made from and how well it has been made. Construction is important as I don’t want to end up buying something and only wearing it a handful of times because it’s falling apart. Also quality materials such as cashmere or silk may cost a little more initially but it wears a lot better over time so I’m not having to replace a garment soon after buying it.

How many times will I wear it?

I always visualise how many times I’ll wear an item and how often but even more so when I’m thinking of buying something that’s a bit pricey. It’s all about cost per wear so I want to ensure that I’m getting value for my fashion dollar.

What’s the best purchase you’ve ever made?

 

 

Fashion

Treating yourself with your tax refund? Here’s how to choose a worthwhile splurge item

25th June, 2018
Kate Waterhouse Chanel at Marais boutique launch Melbourne balmain blazer chanel bag bec and bridge dress 2

Kate Waterhouse Chanel at Marais boutique launch Melbourne balmain blazer chanel bag bec and bridge dress 2

It’s end of financial year time and if you’re lucky enough to be expecting a tax refund you may be in the mood to treat yourself. If you’re on the hunt for something to splurge on then there’s no better time to consider purchasing an investment piece to add to your wardrobe. These are often my favourite purchases to make as not only are they special, they’re also usually guaranteed to get plenty of use and have longevity so I feel I’m getting my money’s worth. If you’ve been lusting after something for a long time then perhaps now is the time to take the plunge, but keep these things in mind first…

Choose something that will get plenty of use

This is a given if you’re planning to buy something that’s on the expensive side so take stock of your wardrobe and see what you actually need. For example if you’re after a pair of good quality flats then now might be the time to splurge on a pair of Gucci loafers or Chanel ballet flats. They’re classic designs that will always be in style and crafted beautifully so you’ll definitely have them for a long time. If you think about the cost per wear you’ll probably find that they work out to be cheaper than a pair of shoes that you’ll only wear for one season.

Avoid anything that will date

For me, things that are worth splurging on are handbags, shoes, jackets, blazers and coats as I find they’re usually the workhorses of my wardrobe. It’s important to think classic when it comes to these pieces as you don’t want them to date too quickly.

If you’re thinking about buying a designer bag (or any other pricey item) then be sure to choose a style that’s not identifiable with a particular season–avoid the signature piece of a collection as it’s one sure fire way to have something that won’t be able to work in the long term. Also steer clear of anything that is only going to be around for one season as it won’t age well. A great example of a bag that will work years from now is the quilted Chanel bag which is so versatile (I’ve had mine for ages and I use it so much) and also has been around for decades and is a staple of the brand’s accessories line. Apparently it also appreciates in value so it definitely lives up to being called an investment piece!

A quality bag is a definite splurge buy that’s worth considering

Shop around

Splurging can mean buying something nice but it can also mean buying something extra nice that’s on sale. If you’re planning on buying an investment piece then definitely shop around for the best deal you can get. You’ll still end up with a great piece but at a fraction of the price My Balmain blazer (pictured above) is one such item. I had my eye on one for awhile but I waited until I found it on sale on Net-a-Porter for half the price. It was worth every cent but I was even happier that I managed to save on the cost of it. Shop smart and you’ll definitely get more bang for your fashion buck.

Do you really love it?

It’s easy to get caught up in buying something simply because it’s on sale or you’re just in the mood to spend. However you’re better off holding back and splurging on something that you adore and will wear for many years to come. To ensure that you’re making a worthwhile buy employ the 24 hour test. If you’ve seen something online or spotted something in store don’t buy it immediately. Instead give yourself a day (or even longer if you can stand it) and if you’re still thinking about it then it’s meant to be. It’s an effective way (and one I’ve tried and tested) to ensure that you’re not going to have buyer’s remorse.

What investment piece do you have your eye on at the moment?

 

 

 

Fashion

How I avoid morning wardrobe dilemmas

10th June, 2018


My schedule is quite busy what with having to juggle work commitments, events and also being a mum so the last thing I really want to have to deal with in the morning is a good ol’ fashioned wardrobe crisis! I’ve had my fair share of moments where I’ve been left with a pile of clothes and still no closer to determining what I’m going to wear so I’ve created a few must-dos for myself over the years to help make the whole process of walking out the door, dressed and ready to tackle the day a lot easier.

Plan ahead

There are some days where I’m going to my office, some days where I have an event and some where I’m doing a Date with Kate or hanging out with Sophia and Grace so at the beginning of each week I usually like to look at what each day ahead is going to be like so I know the type of outfits I need to pull together for the week.

If I know for example that I have to go from the office to an event, I’ll opt for an outfit that’s a little dressier so I can easily transition from work to drinks. Also, I usually have a bigger bag with me when I’m heading to the office as I need to take my laptop with me, but I’ll always bring a clutch to use later on so I’m not lugging a huge bag around. If I know it’s a day where I’m with the girls, I’ll usually just opt for something casual like jeans, a tee and sneakers as I know we’ll be doing a lot running around and for those types of days, comfort is key.

Do a trial run

If I’ve got a Date with Kate interview or an event I will usually try to plan my outfit a few days in advance so I have time to try the whole look on and choose my accessories such as my bag, shoes and jewellery accordingly. Also this helps me to know if something needs to be dry cleaned, ironed or washed ahead of time and I will have a few days up my sleeve to get it done. There’s nothing worse than waking up in the morning and having an outfit in your head only to realise that it’s currently sitting in the washing basket.

Have some go-to pieces

I usually have a selection of looks I can turn to when I need to get out the door fast. These are just outfits I know already work so I don’t have to really think about them. When I’m heading to the office I usually stick to neutral tones and if I don’t have an event I’ll usually wear brogues or ballet flats and pop a blazer on. It’s just great to have standby options at the ready for those days when I don’t want to think about what to wear.

Maintain an organised wardrobe

When half my wardrobe is sitting on the floor there’s every chance that I will end up flustered and not knowing what to wear. So, I’ve made a point of trying to keep my wardrobe organised. I’ve shared a few of my tips here before but the aim is really to have everything visible and within easy reach so I don’t have to spend ages trying to track down one particular shirt or one particular shoe.

Do a weather check

I do this without fail and it really helps to narrow down what I’m going to wear. For example if it’s going to be pouring down with rain I’m likely to steer clear of neutrals that are going to get dirty easily. I usually already have a few options in my head and knowing what the temperature will be helps to narrow it down. Having a distinct idea of what it is I want to wear helps to make getting out the door a smoother process.

How do you avoid morning wardrobe dilemmas?

Fashion, Shop

The basics every woman should own

15th April, 2018

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There are some principles that I maintain when it comes to fashion. I always invest in quality pieces, everything has to be versatile and work back with what I already own and the end result always has to be polished. However by far the one thing that I can’t get dressed without is an arsenal of good basics. These are the building blocks of most of my looks. I can add accessories to liven things up or pair them with great jacket but ultimately they form the basis of almost everything I wear.

Over the years I’ve found that there are key basics that my wardrobe just wouldn’t function without. Essentially most of my outfits are aided by any one of the below items on a day to day basis and having them on hand means less outfit dilemmas for me. It’s been a process of trial and error, but this is what I’ve found are the building blocks of a great wardrobe. Feel free to add to the list!

A white t-shirt

The perfect white tee is a necessity. It’s something that you’ll reach for in your wardrobe time and time again. It pays to go in search of one that’s the right fit, length and cut to ensure that it suits you perfectly.

Singlets in staple colours

Grab one singlet in white and one in black and I guarantee that you’ll end up wearing both repeatedly. Much like the white tee it’s the perfect item for layering and will become a welcome addition to your closet.

Oversized cardigan

A cosy cardi in a neutral tone (I particularly love grey but white, navy and black are also good options) is guaranteed to see you through winter and the tricky trans-seasonal period when the weather can be a little unpredictable. Invest in one made from quality wool or cashmere and I guarantee you’ll have it for seasons to come.

V-neck jumper

I’ve found that out of all the different jumper styles out there the v-neck is the most flattering. When it comes to jumpers the same principle for the cardi applies—choose one in a neutral tone and made from wool or cashmere. Personally I always buy jumpers a size or two bigger because I don’t like anything too tight.

Lounge pants

It’s time to elevate your lounge wear. When I’m at home I live in either cotton, cashmere or wool lounge pants and I’ve found that they can easily go from being in the house to out without having to do much. This is great for those times when I just need to quickly duck to the shops and don’t really feel like changing.

Jeans

Whatever your denim style, a pair of lived in jeans that you can turn to constantly will give you plenty of outfit options when it comes to dressing for your down time. There are plenty of options available out there (I’m definitely a skinny jeans girl) so make sure you try on as many pairs as possible until you find the perfect fit. If you need a little help denim shopping check out my guide here.

Leather pants

These are definitely one of my staples because they’re just so comfortable. I’ve found that a pair in a leggings style are the most versatile but there are so many different variations that it pays to hunt around for one that will work with your wardrobe the best.

Great underwear

I recently posted about how important underwear is to an outfit so make sure that you stock up on comfy, flattering underwear. Look at your lingerie drawer and be honest with yourself —is it filled with quality pieces or are you still clinging to your old faithfuls that are hanging on by a thread? If it’s the latter it might be time to consider an upgrade. You don’t necessarily need anything fancy but it definitely has to be able to work with multiple garments and provide support in all the right places.

What are some of the wardrobe basics you can’t live without?
Fashion, What I Wore

What I Wore: Cool Blue

10th April, 2018

Always elegant and sleek, navy is one of those versatile, reliable hues that will always equate to a chic look whenever you wear it. It’s probably one of the reasons why it features quite prominently in my wardrobe. It’s even better when the look is anchored in quality pieces at a reasonable price. Case in point: this lightweight Uniqlo sweater is cashmere and it retails for significantly less than what you’d expect to pay for such a piece. One hundred per cent cashmere! And the great thing about Uniqlo is that they stock an extensive range of colours so you’re pretty much guaranteed to find the ideal hue. I opted for navy simple because it would seamlessly work back with most pieces I own.

I recently spoke about my love of wide leg pants so you can imagine why I couldn’t pass up this high waisted style, also from Uniqlo. I really love the tie-up ribbon feature and the knife pleats at the front which give them a sophisticated touch. I’ll easily be able to add this to my work wardrobe repertoire and can easily switch up how I wear them simply be swapping to different style tops.

To keep the look tonal I decided to pair it with my navy Bulgari top handle bag and my Le Specs sunglasses with coloured blue lenses. The cool tones complemented my ensemble and helped tie the whole outfit together.

Credits: Sweater, Uniqlo; Pants, Uniqlo; Heels, Alaïa; Sunglasses, Le Specs; Bag, Bulgari

Photography: Sophia Athas

This post was created in collaboration with Uniqlo

Fashion

Are you into wide leg pants? Because you should be. And here’s why

8th April, 2018

If you’ve been faithful to formfitting pants without ever having tried their voluminous counterparts then you don’t know what you’re missing out on. Wide leg pants are flattering on virtually everyone. Tall, petite, curvy, boyish—whatever your body type you can make them work for you. They’re also versatile and can look perfect as an off duty look when paired with a simple white tee or dressed up with a cami or silk blouse. You can wear them to work, on the weekend, to dinner or to brunch so you’ll definitely get plenty of use out of them and won’t regret investing in a pair. Also, a pair of wide leg pants just looks polished and chic so it’s ideal if you want an easy shortcut to looking like you spent a few hours styling yourself when really you rushed out the door in five minutes. If you want to try out this look, remember to…

Make sure they’re the perfect length

When you try on a pair of wide leg pants make sure that the hem isn’t dragging on the ground. You shouldn’t have a pool of fabric at your ankles. Instead make sure that the hem is ever so slightly off the ground and that you can see your shoes peeking through. Alternatively if you want to wear them cropped then get them hemmed to the ankle.

Decide on the shoes you’ll pair them with

This brings me to the next crucial thing to remember with wide leg pants: your shoes. You can’t really go from heels to flats with wide leg pants as the hem will be all wrong. So think of where you’re most likely to wear your pants and the type of footwear you’ll be pairing them with and have them hemmed accordingly. The exception to this is if you’re choosing to wear your pants cropped, in which case you have a bit more freedom to switch up your shoes.

Avoid volume up top

As you’re dealing with a lot of fabric on your bottom half already, it’s important to keep your top quite streamlined for balance. A button down shirt, a lightweight sweater, a t-shirt or a cami are all great options. A top with bell sleeves for example might not make for the best pairing as you’re going to have a lot of loose, flowy fabric up top too.

Have fun

Whilst a pair of white wide leg pants looks fresh and navy or black looks forever chic don’t overlook prints. A playful polka dot or a classic stripe can look amazing and really makes a statement.

What do you think of this trend? Will you wear it?
Fashion

Designer items that will never go out of style

2nd April, 2018

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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.

Burberry trench

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.

A photo posted by Burberry (@burberry) on

Chanel 2.55 bag

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.

A post shared by CHANEL (@chanelofficial) on

Cartier LOVE Bracelet

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.

A photo posted by Cartier Official (@cartier) on

Balenciaga moto jacket

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.

A photo posted by Balenciaga (@balenciaga) on

Chanel ballet flat

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.

A photo posted by TashSefton (@tashsefton) on

Gucci loafers

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.

A post shared by ✖L a u r e✖ (@sevenaugust) on

Tell me—which designer items do you think will always be in style?
Fashion, Shop

How to make high street buys look expensive

26th March, 2018

I like to incorporate a high-low mix when it comes to my outfits. I’ll often mix pieces from my favourite chain stores with some of my go-to designer pieces to create a look that’s all my own. While I appreciate the convenience and price point of snapping up high street brands, it also pays to know how to choose the right garments to ensure that the end result of any look is polished. Here are some of my dos and don’ts:

Pay attention to how a garment is made

Buying clothes from chain stores is great as you can definitely stretch your budget further however you also get what you pay for. So it pays to be discerning when it comes to what you purchase. Examine a potential buy carefully and look at how its made. If the seams are not right or there are loose threads avoid it and keep searching for a better option.

Choose fabrics wisely

Where possible choose natural fabrics like cotton and wool when you’re shopping for high street pieces. Synthetic fabrics can look flimsy, pill, or become misshapen after a few wears so in turn can end up looking quite cheap.

Add one luxe item into the mix

By adding one gorgeous quality item to your outfit, by default, the rest of your look looks expensive by association. So whether it’s a beautiful buttery soft leather handbag or a nice pair of shoes you can elevate your favourite high street finds without having to do much at all.

Keep it simple

Chain stores are the ideal place to shop for great basics—think t-shirts, jeans and jumpers that are quite simple in design.They have an extensive range and if you shop around, the styles are comparable to what you’d find in some high end boutiques. Relegate garments with accoutrements such as sequins or beading as something that you might consider investing a little more in as often the finish might not be as precise.

Avoid embellishments

There’s a big difference between the finishing details used on designer handbags and accessories compared to less expensive chain store finds. There are some great options on the high street however if you want them to look luxe, then be sure to keep it simple and avoid things like chains, buckles, studs and gold or silver finishes which tend to tarnish. Instead go for plain styles as simple will always look chic.

Tell me—What’s been your most favourite high street buy?
Fashion

6 ways to wear a pleated skirt this week

25th March, 2018

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I’m quite fond of wearing skirts on days where I’m after a look that’s ultra feminine which is how I’ve stumbled across the versatility of a pleated skirt. They’re ultra wearable as they can be paired with so many different top styles whether it’s a t-shirt or a button down shirt or cami meaning you can create multiple looks out of one skirt.

A pleated skirt’s soft, floaty effect is offset by its crisp knife pleats which makes it ideal to dress up or down. It can be worn for a day at the office just as easily as a day out with the girls. A knee length or midi length skirt is flattering and can easily work back with heels, flats or sandals. This trend is understated and polished and is right on trend with this season’s feminine silhouettes.

coloured pleated skirt

A pleated skirt in a fun vibrant hue can instantly give an outfit a striking point of difference. The bubble gum hue of this skirt works well with the more subdued colours of the rest of the outfit – the black crop top, bag, sunglasses and pointy pumps help balance the look.

Clochet_Outfit_Streetstyle_zara_white_pleated_skirt_studio_cropped_top_-4

You can’t go wrong with anything in a crisp white – especially when you work it back with black. The Celine black trio bag and black textured top help add the finishing touches to this monochrome outfit.

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The more relaxed pleating on this skirt work well with the grid pattern and the grey hue. Adding a bright sunny yellow bag and block sandals give this 50s inspired look a modern edge.

white-black-skirt

A pleated black skirt can be worn virtually a million and one ways. It’s a style staple. Team it with a crisp button down shirt and add a statement heel to take it from conservative to contemporary. You could also team it with a cami or a simple white tee and it would work equally as well.

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This is great outfit option for trans-seasonal dressing. Add a lightweight jumper and a pair of pumps for those days when the weather’s still slightly chilly. Working your skirt back with a top in the same tonal family helps give it a polished edge.

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You don’t always have to opt for a knee length or midi length skirt. A pleated maxi skirt in a neutral tone can work well as an alternative to a dress for an occasion that requires slightly more polish. Try adding interesting accessories such as a panama hat for more casual events.

Tell me—What do you think of the pleated skirt trend?

Photography: She Comes in Colours, Street Peeper, Just the Design, Pinterest, Clochet