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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?
Fashion

10 items every wardrobe needs

16th August, 2020

I love a trend-driven piece as much as the next girl but I also believe that there are some key pieces that are the building blocks of a great functional wardrobe. I think these 10 key items help make pulling a great outfit together all the more easier. You don’t have to spend a lot but do try and get the best quality that fits into your budget.

1. A leather jacket

I’ve had my leather jacket for many years and I think it’s the kind of wardrobe staple that you’ll have for a lifetime. It can be dressed up or dressed down and the older and more worn it gets the better it looks. You can get all different styles but I’d go for a simple biker jacket, something that’s really clean and classic – you don’t want to get too tricky with too many studs or buckles as it will date very quickly. Once you’ve found the perfect jacket you’ll wonder how you lived without it as it’s the kind of piece that can be worn with a cocktail dress just as easily with jeans.

2. A black tailored blazer

For me it’s a must-have item. I wear mine all the time either as a suit jacket, draped over my shoulders, over a dress at the races or with a great pair of jeans. It’s a multipurpose staple. When it comes to blazers, tailoring is key. It really has to suit your frame. I like a bold shoulder and a nipped in waist, I don’t like it too boxy. I think a tailored blazer can really accentuate your figure. If you find a blazer that isn’t quite right but you love you can always get it tailored to fit you perfectly.

3. A great statement bag

I keep the same bag day in and day out so it’s important to get a classic style that won’t date. I don’t think a bag needs to be designer to be great. Just look for good quality leather – something that’s durable. I also like to have the option of having two strap lengths so if I’ve got my hands full with the girls I can just swing it over my shoulder, but if I want it to look a little more elegant with a dress it’s got handles so I can wear it on my arm. I opt for black but you can go for tan or beige and even grey, just as long as it’s a neutral colour that can work with pretty much all your wardrobe. If you’re just getting one bag I wouldn’t go for a pop colour as it’s too hard to match with everything.

4. A clutch

You can’t use your day bag for all attire as a big bag doesn’t generally work for cocktail events so a great clutch is important. It doesn’t have to be expensive but just a smaller bag that you can put your wallet and keys into and can be worn back with different items and looks a little more elegant than your usual day bag. When it comes to colours stick to neutrals as it’s more versatile and keep it simple – you don’t want something that’s got too much detailing or it will date easily.

5. A great pair of jeans

A great pair of jeans doesn’t have to be expensive but you really need to take the time to make sure they fit right. I have trouble finding jeans because they’re always tight around my hips but loose around my ankles so when I do find a great pair I make sure to snap them up. You don’t need to invest a lot of money but you do need to invest the time to find them. If you’re like me and are in jeans all the time, try and get good quality denim because you don’t want them to be too baggy once you’ve worn them a couple of times. Jeans obviously come in different washes so choose the most flattering for you. I can’t go past faded denim or a white pair of jeans.

6. Sneakers

I think that white sneakers have really earned themselves a place on my wardrobe staples list. I honestly spend most of my life in white sneakers and they can work back with everything from jeans to a pleated skirt without missing a beat. Invest in a pair that are quite simple in design and you’ll find it gets plenty of outings.

7. Ankle boots

Ankle boots are a must for winter. Once you find a great pair you’ll have them for years to come. I still have a pair of YSL boots that I’ve had for many years and I bring them out every winter. If you want your boots to be an everyday shoe it’s important to make sure they’re comfortable. For me,  I like a bit of height so I opt for a platform heel which always helps with comfort. Walking around all day long in really high boots is not the best!

Kate Waterhouse farfetch LXE black leather pants alaia heels roksanda saint laurent sunglasses

8. Leather pants

You don’t have to spend a fortune on leather pants but you do have to find a leather that won’t give. It’s about investing the time to finding one that won’t stretch after the first time you wear it. A skinny leg leather pant is my go-to item in winter and I think they’re great for travelling as they’re so comfortable. I find Helmut Lang does some great leather pants, so does Scanlan Theodore and ASOS. You can find a pair that fits into your budget but the most important thing is finding the right shape and a great fit.

9. White t-shirts

Granted they don’t last forever but it is important to find a great white tee. I wear white t-shirts with everything whether it’s to the office or just to the beach or with a skirt.

10. A great coat

Make it your mission to find one really great winter coat that you can throw on over everything. I like my coats in neutral colours but a statement coat in a pop colour is also fun. Just choose something that works back with your wardrobe. I’m a big fan of a tailored coat but a big oversized coat can look fantastic as well. If you are going to go oversized keep everything else you’re wearing slimline.

Do you have any other wardrobe staples that you think should be added to the list?

Fashion, Shop

What I will never scrimp on in my wardrobe

9th August, 2020

My wardrobe is an eclectic mix of different pieces at various price points but there are definitely special pieces that I have splurged on. I have always believed in being a discernible shopper and not just purchasing things on a whim so I’m quite strategic in my approach to shopping. I always do my research and will keep an eye out for sales both in store and online as there’s nothing quite like getting a piece you’ve been coveting at half price! That said, there are certain things that I will never scrimp on simply because these pieces are the workhorses of my wardrobe and need to be the best quality possible.

Shoes

Given how much time we spend in them I think shoes have always been a worthwhile investment. Finding good quality shoes will mean that they stand up to the daily wear and tear we put our footwear through and won’t require replacing or repairing as often. I’ve often rationalised that buying a slightly more expensive pair of shoes will often be better value for money than buying several cheaper pairs that will need to be replaced sooner.

Bags

I don’t buy them often so when I do I make sure that a bag is well made, from quality materials and of a style that will remain a classic for years to come. I’m all about quality not quantity in my wardrobe so I’d rather hang out for a slightly more expensive bag that I know will have plenty of longevity than go for an of-the-moment fix. For example I have a Chanel bag that I have had for years and that I still wear regularly and is still in great shape simply because of the craftsmanship that has gone into it. The same goes for my Givenchy bag (above) which I use all the time and I know because it’s so well made I’ll be able to wear it season after season.

Coats

I’ll happily scrimp on things like t-shirts and jeans but outerwear is something I will always willingly splurge on because of the number of times I’ll wear each item. Coats in particular are something I like to purchase each season and will wear throughout the cooler months so I always make sure it’s a classic style, made from a quality fabric such as wool as I will wear it day after day.

Jackets

I regularly wear jackets so I will make sure to buy the best quality that I can as I wear them so often. I have a Balmain blazer that I remember trawling the internet for for years before I finally snapped it up on sale but it’s the kind of strategic purchase I don’t regret one bit as I wear it to death. And yes, it’s definitely more expensive than your average blazer but I often think of things from a cost per wear basis and have definitely got value for money out of this particular buy.

What are some things in your wardrobe you’ll never scrimp on?

Fashion, Shop

How to make high street buys look expensive

11th July, 2020

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

How to do winter layering

14th June, 2020

The one thing I really love about winter dressing is the ability to layer different pieces for a warm and cosy look. I love experimenting with textures and big statement pieces such as a coat or boots to create an outfit that will easily withstand cooler temperatures without compromising on style. Effective winter layering requires consideration of the whole look from top to bottom including colours to avoid looking like you just threw on everything in your wardrobe! Over the years I’ve managed to refine my layering formula to a few key things…

Start with the basics

I always start with a cotton singlet or t-shirt underneath as a foundation especially if I’m going to wear a jumper or some sort of knit. Also I find wearing multiple lightweight layers provides ample warmth without your outfit feeling too bulky and cumbersome. I will always finish the look off with a big coat or jacket – this is a great opportunity to make a statement by opting for outerwear in a strong pattern or colour. If it’s especially cold outside I wear a big scarf, my favourite being an oversized Louis Vuitton scarf which makes for a nice (and warm) finishing touch. One thing to be mindful of when layering is to watch out for materials rubbing together, sometimes certain fabrics don’t work well against each other and can end up getting damaged or causing pilling.

Mix textures

One of the things I always do when it comes to winter layering is mixing different fabrics and textures. I find this adds a bit of depth to your look and helps to break it up. I normally do a cotton t-shirt, a knit and then I’ll do a wool coat or a leather jacket or denim jacket.

Choose a base colour

Great winter layering for me requires wearing similar tones. I might choose to go with various shades of grey or stick to neutral tones. If I’m wearing black I won’t do all black, I’ll actually add another piece such as a charcoal knit to help break up what I’m wearing. The same with camel colours – I might do beiges or cream and mix the tones up. Whilst I’ll play with various shades I’ll always ensure that there’s one base colour to ensure the whole look works together.

Finish with a great coat

The final finishing flourish of any winter look is a great coat. It’s easily one of the first things people see but it’s often relegated as an afterthought, so I’ve always tried to build up a few go-to coats throughout the cooler months. I always go for a statement coat, and then some plain, failsafe options in black, navy, cream or camel—I’ve found these to be so effective at finishing off a look, and also maintaining cohesion from top to bottom.

What are some of your tips for winter layering?
Fashion

How to care for your winter knits according to an expert

17th May, 2020

Penelope Cohen is the director and designer of Skin and Threads, the premium label that focuses on simple, polished basics and beautiful luxe knitwear. Now that winter is upon us and it’s time to start introducing our knits back into our wardrobe it’s important to master how to care for them to ensure they stay in pristine condition. Here Cohen shares her top tips for doing just that.

How should we store jumpers?

I always prefer to store my jumpers folded as it prevent them from stretching while on a hanger and becoming too big or misshapen. Discourage the moths by using moth balls or I prefer to fill a little cloth bag full of lavender which smells lovely and discourages the pests.

What are the best fabrics to go for?

I am a big believer in natural yarns.  They always feel the best and also have the best breathability. Merino wool, washes and wears beautifully as does cashmere if you treat it with a little bit of care.

How often should you wash jumpers and how?

Put simply, if it’s not dirty, don’t wash it. Air them on a clothes horse or spot clean them as much as you can rather than immersing them in water. It’s better for the yarn and of course a little friendlier on the environment. Oh – and always use a wool and cashmere specialised detergent in cold water when do you have to wash them!

How do you suggest we avoid pilling?

Pilling occurs when the fibres rub together and most commonly occurs under your arms, on the side where you wear your handbag or when you consistently wear your sweaters under jackets. For cashmere, this is a natural process and not necessarily a sign of poor quality. De-pill your sweaters gently by using a fine de-pilling comb. You should not have to de-pill it regularly and the pilling should settle down after a couple of washes.

Do you have a favourite jumper in your current collection?

Knitwear is my downfall… Our cashmere boyfriend is a classic but the navy funnel neck and matching mini is probably my favourite look for the season.

Which winter trends are you are loving at the moment?

Long line cardigans worn as your outer layer and of course mixing my silk blouses with my chunky knitwear and leather leggings is always a constant love.