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Fashion, Shop

Update your activewear wardrobe with these key pieces

22nd November, 2020

Image: Instagram/@gigihadid

If lockdown had you embracing a new love of exercise, or you’ve been a longtime workout fan but simply want to start updating your activewear wardrobe there’s no better time than now. After all there’s nothing like new exercise gear to help motivate you to hit the gym. And the best bit? There are plenty of options to suit every style. You could opt for sleek separates in black and white, go crazy with prints and patterns or add a pop of colour a la Gigi Hadid. Now, all you need to do is get ready to train up a storm.

Update your activewear wardrobe with a few key pieces…

Fashion

How to buy jeans

7th November, 2020

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 and is generally 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

I used to favour skinny jeans over every other cut, but lately I’ve started embracing a high waisted straight leg. Occasionally I’ll still wear a skinny silhouette but I’m definitely favourite straight more and more. However your perfect match might come in the form of a wide 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.

I've become a convert to the high waisted straight leg jean

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.

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, but 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

What to do when you’re bored of your wardrobe

25th October, 2020

KW AKMAL SAKE-10

It all hits us at some point—that feeling when you look into your wardrobe and think you have absolutely nothing to wear. It’s easy to hit a wardrobe rut when you’re constantly wearing the same things on rotation but the solution isn’t necessarily hitting the shops with credit card in hand, it’s actually finding new reasons to fall in love with things you already own. Here’s how…

Challenge yourself to rework an old favourite

If there’s a blouse you absolutely adore but it has become a little lacklustre of late because of the sheer frequency in which you wear it why not challenge yourself to style it in a new way? If you would usually wear it with a skinny jeans why not try pairing it with a high-waisted skirt or a pair of wide leg pants instead? Don’t just rely on your usual outfit combinations, learn to experiment by trying on unlikely pairings and push yourself out of your fashion comfort zone. You never know what great look you may unearth in the process.

Just add accessories

It’s true, the right accessories can really transform a tired wardrobe. Pair a scarf with a dress or top a shirt with a statement necklace to give each look a new spin. Alternatively if you wear the same bag everyday why not mix things up and try pairing your outfit with a different bag each day. A simple bag change can really alter the overall effect of an outfit. The same goes for shoes. If you usually wear a particular look with heels try pairing it with flats. If you usually wear it with dressy shoes try teaming it with sneakers instead.

Change up your bag to refresh favourite outfits

Turn to some visual inspiration

I am guilty of falling into a wardrobe rut where I’ll just repeat the same outfits over and over again. To help shake myself out of this I’ll do a quick scroll through Instagram, flip through a fashion magazine or visit some of my favourite style websites just to get the creative juices flowing. Sometimes all it takes is one image to spark a new idea for an outfit I can pull together using what I already own.

Get something altered

Survey your wardrobe and see if there’s anything that can be repurposed into something new with a few alterations. Sometimes all it takes to completely transform something could be a new hemline or having something taken in in order to change the silhouette. You could find yourself with a brand new wardrobe favourite for just the cost of visiting a tailor.

Take my outfit challenge

If you’re bored of your wardrobe after an easy to follow plan on how to tackle it, try my 7-day outfit challenge. I’ve outlined a different thing to try each day and it will force you to have to look at what you already own and steer you into new territory.

What are some of your favourite ways to refresh your wardrobe?
Fashion, Fashion & Beauty

Designer items that will never go out of style

17th October, 2020

streetstyle_KW-6

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

How I style lounge wear

3rd October, 2020

When I’m off duty I’m all about comfort. I have to spend a lot of my working life getting dressed up so when it’s time to unwind, I like to ensure that whatever I’m wearing is easy and relaxed. Leisure wear is all about an unfussy silhouette which I love, but my style still maintains a polished feel no matter whether it’s for work or play  so I always keep that in mind for any off duty looks. I like to know I can easily go from a day spent lounging at home to a quick trip to the shops without too much fuss. Want to know how to style lounge wear in a no-fuss way? When it comes to dressing for comfort here are the rules I stick to….

Go for quality fabrics

I make sure I buy basics in good quality fabrics. For example I love to wear beautiful cashmere knits or a great linen shirt just to make sure everything looks polished. If you are planning to wear these pieces regularly, investing in quality fabrics will make sure that they last longer. My favourite brands for leisure wear include Bassike and C&M as I find they make great relaxed pieces that are quite fashion forward at the same time.

Stick to a specific colour palette

I refine my colours down to neutrals such as black, white and grey when it comes to leisure wear. It’s easy to mix and match pieces with that colour scheme and straightforward is what you want when it comes to off duty style. That said, I’ll often add a pop of colour with a scarf or another accessory just to give the outfit a little injection of personality.

Sneakers are a key part of leisurewear (it also makes running after kids easier!)

 

 

Opt for dressier shoes

Your choice of footwear can often help dress up an otherwise casual look. For example I love slouchy, baggy pants with a drop crotch and when teamed with a pair of slides or loafers or a dressy pair of runners it looks considered and put together—but still super comfy.

Mix with quality accessories

If I’m wearing a really simple outfit such as slouchy pants with a tee, often the addition of certain accessories can help pull it together and dress it up a bit. A leather jacket or a handbag are easy additions that give it a touch more polish. By doing this I’m still comfortable but maintain a stylish vibe at the same time.

Fashion

Transseasonal dressing 101: how to dress when the weather won’t behave

21st September, 2020
Dresses with longer sleeves are a great go-to during this inbetween period

I did a What I Wore post that touched on this very topic and with the past couple of days in Sydney going from sunny and warm one minute to torrential downpour the next, never has it been more obvious that the time for trans-seasonal dressing is now well and truly upon us. As far as fashion goes it’s sometimes hard to decide what to wear when the weather is temperamental but there are a few things I do to help get around it…

Layer, layer, layer

If I have a few layers to my look it’s easy to add or subtract pieces according to the weather. I find that bringing a jacket with me now is a good idea but it’s not really the time for a winter coat anymore so I will use a denim jacket instead. It’s not too heavy, not too light and as a bonus it’s right on trend. I will usually pop one on over a slip dress with a tee underneath and I am set. If it warms up a bit it’s easy to push up the sleeves and leave my arms partially exposed.

Add sleeves

I think dresses are still weather appropriate this time of year but it might start to get a bit too cool to leave arms and shoulders uncovered. In this instance I find things like long sleeved dresses or layering a tee underneath a dress would be ideal as it keeps me warm without being overly rugged up.

Kate Waterhouse wearing long sleeved Zimmermann dress

Sleeves are great, especially when they’ve got next-level detail

Introduce textures

I will start to add lighter fabrics slowly as the weeks go by such as a linen or a lightweight cotton. Right now it’s great to utilise breathable fabrics such as cashmere or wool for those days when it might start out cool but get a little warmer later in the day. 

Swap closed shoes for sandals

It’s still possible to get away with wearing closed toed shoes but the further we get away from winter the more likely it is that temperatures will warm up during the day. As such I am starting to swap my loafers or sneakers for sandals. Even if I’m a little more rugged up in my clothing, having open shoes often helps balance it out.

A shirt that can be rolled up is perfect for battling transseasonal weather

Wear tops that can be rolled or pushed up

If I’m not quite sure what the weather is going to be like I’ll pop on a long sleeved shirt or lightweight knit. This gives me option of being able to roll up my sleeves or push them up if the weather is a little bit warmer. When paired something that leaves a little leg exposed such as a midi skirt then I will be quite comfortable and won’t get too hot or cold.

Tie it up

A big trend at the moment is to tie a denim jacket or knit around the waist which makes for the perfect set up for a trans-seasonal outfit. I love having the option to leave the jacket tied around my waist or popping it on if I’m feeling chilly. It also means I don’t have to deal with the hassle of lugging around a jacket.

 
Tell me—What are some of your trans-seasonal must-haves?
Fashion

How to keep your clothes looking pristine

12th September, 2020

We all invest a fair amount of money on our clothes over time so it’s important to ensure they last season after season. If your clothes don’t tend to go the distance it may be time to tweak your clothes maintenance routine. Adopt some of these basics and you could well give your clothes a new lease on life.

Say goodbye to wire hangers

If you want to keep your clothes’ shape be sure to invest in wooden hangers or flocked hangers. Wire hangers tend to end up misshapen and don’t provide enough support so you’ll end up with wrinkled, bunched up clothes. Additionally you don’t want to have delicates such as a silk shirt snagging on a hanger. Plus when you’re flicking through your clothes rail it’s highly likely wire hangers will end up in a gnarly mess which will make it much harder to find what you’re looking for.

Folding and sorting

When it comes to closet organisation be sure to fold anything that can easily be stretched out such as t-shirts and knits. Hang garments that tend to wrinkle easily such as dresses and shirts.

Follow care instruction labels

Yes, they might be a pain to follow at times but going rogue when a garment clearly states dry clean only or throwing something in the washing machine when it specifies hand washing it will compromise the quality of a garment. If you want your clothes to stay in the same condition as when you first bought it it’s important to launder it as instructed.

Always separate your clothes into whites, brights and dark colours

Failing to separate your clothes will mean that your once bright white t-shirt may end up looking dull and grey as a lot of garments aren’t colourfast which means colour molecules will end up settling on lighter coloured garments.

Examine where you do the most damage to your clothes

Are you constantly damaging your clothes in the same spots? It’s time to look at how you can minimise it. For example if you’re always getting frayed hems it could mean that you need to hem your pants a little higher to avoid it dragging on the ground or alternatively you may need to limit the shoes you wear to a particular height. Pinpointing how you damage your clothes the most means you’re better able to avoid it.

Don’t ignore stains

Deal with a stain immediately to avoid it setting in. A baby wipe or soda water will help temporarily treat a stain if you’re out and about but be sure to dab it with a pre-stain treatment and wash immediately when you get home.

What are some ways you keep your clothes in great condition?

Fashion, Shop

The basics every woman should own

5th September, 2020

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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

While they may not be for everyone, I wanted to add them to the list as 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

Good wardrobe habits to get into

31st August, 2020

Adopting a few good wardrobe habits will make getting dressed every day a whole lot easier

Every woman wants to look polished and put together however let’s be honest, this takes work. I know everyone has such busy schedules so sometimes trying to style the ideal outfit first thing in the morning can be the last thing you want to think about. The ideal outfit won’t just magically put itself together so if you want to save yourself a bit of time and effort there are a few habits you can adopt to make it a whole lot easier to look great each time you walk out the door.

Keep your wardrobe tidy

Having to dig through a disorganised mess to locate just the right t-shirt or the skirt you want to wear makes for a stressful time. So, start tidying up. It sounds simple but making sure to fold and hang clothes in an orderly manner so you know where absolutely everything is will make it much, much easier to pull an outfit together. If you want some hints on how to get started I’ve rounded up a few of my favourite organisation tips here.

Choose a focal point

Centre your outfit around one particular piece. By deciding to choose a central piece then you give yourself a starting point from which to build from. Whether it’s a pair of showstopper shoes or a statement jacket or a particularly gorgeous necklace, each outfit should have a point of difference that makes it stand out.

Choosing one aspect of your look to focus on will help you build a cohesive outfit

Do a final mirror check

It may sound obvious but before you walk out the door quickly check that everything works. That means making sure that your shoes, bag, accessories and outfit are all playing nicely together. For example sometimes you may think a certain pair of earrings will look great with an outfit but taking one last look when you’re dressed may make you think otherwise.

Repair or get rid of damaged clothing

As soon as something needs repairing do it straight away. Procrastinating may mean that you might find yourself in a rush with a particular blouse in mind only to find it’s missing a button which means double the stress! If something can’t be repaired bin it straight away. It’s important that your clothes are in great shape if you want to look polished.

Follow laundry instructions

Yes, it can be tempting to ignore the tags on your clothes but following laundry instructions are going to ensure your clothes look great but also for longer.

Hang up your clothes at the end of the day

Getting home after a long day it can be easy to just dump your clothes on the nearest chair and forget about them till later in the week. However this will only lead to a rumpled mess that will require more effort to fix later on. Hang up garments such as jackets and blouses straight away to ensure they’re ready for use the next time you want to wear them.

Fashion

Style staples when I’m in mum mode

30th August, 2020

As most mums can probably attest pulling together an outfit is low on the priority list when you’ve got a busy day ahead of you. The aim is just to get out the door fast! I know for myself that when I’m in mum mode with Sophia and Grace I need to be comfortable first and foremost and my outfit needs to be able to withstand whatever the girls may throw my way. This is why I’ve managed to refine my mum style staples down to a few key pieces so I can just go into auto pilot mode on any given day. Here’s what I can’t live without…

A roomy tote

For me a big bag is essential and I always like to carry a tote as it gives me plenty of room to carry my essentials and the girls’ too. I have lots of different types – from super casual to slightly more dressy – depending on where I’m going.

Athleisure wear

I love workout gear when I’m with the girls. If I’m going to a class with one of the girls or doing the school run then I can’t go past my Nike sneakers and Lululemon leggings. I live in both! It’s really easy to pull together and you can’t beat it for comfort level.

Sturdy sunglasses

I always carry a pair of sunglasses with me but I make sure that I leave any delicate, flimsy pairs at home. My sunnies are guaranteed to be thrown around in my bag or the girls will want to play with them so I prefer to wear the style that’s made of a thicker acetate so they’re not easily breakable.

Simple basics

If I’m running around then I’ll always opt for sportswear otherwise you’ll usually find me in lots of t-shirts and singlets paired with a good pair of jeans. They’re both definite mum style staples. I highly recommend splurging on a pair of jeans that can withstand lots of wear and tear because if you’re like me you’ll wear them to death. I also have lots of great knits throughout winter and will wear a big anorak/parka style jacket which I can easily throw on and can be popped into the boot of my car without too much fuss.

Comfortable flats

Heels are strictly reserved for nights out or for work events. I wear flats whenever I’m with the girls. I’ll usually wear white sneakers, which have become a core part of my mum shoe wardrobe or if I need to be a little more dressed up then I’ll wear my slides or loafers which are comfy yet still look polished.

What are your style staples as a mum?