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fashion

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: 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.

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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.

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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

Fashion

What to do when you’re bored of your wardrobe

17th March, 2018

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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 become bored of your wardrobe 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 one 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 flares 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, Shop, Social

6 ways with white sneakers

11th March, 2018

Oh white sneakers, thank you for making comfortable footwear so achingly chic. I’ve embraced the white sneakers trend for a few years now as they’re just so unbelievably wearable. I have a few different styles in my closet because they are such an easy go-to on days when I need to look pulled together but still need to be able to run around quite easily. I usually jump between my different pairs but I can’t go past Gucci’s Ace style. An elevated designer sneaker just makes any off duty look feel super luxe.

Whether you’re wearing old school Adidas, modern Nikes, classic Supergas or trusty Converse sneakers, there’s no doubt that you can wear white sneakers in so many different ways. They’re ideal to wear for a busy weekend spent out and about or a casual lunch with the girls, the only issue is deciding which style to wear! If you’re going to jump on board this trend, here are 6 ways to make it work with your wardrobe.

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This is a great trans-seasonal look as we head into the cooler months. White sneakers worn back with a classic look such as a jumper and skirt in neutral colours is casual chic at its best. Love the slight 70s feel to this outfit.

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A simple dress is an easy outfit option when you’re having a wardrobe dilemma. A knitted dress works well with a pair of perfectly white sneakers and has a relaxed elegance about it. If you want an easy shortcut for changing the look and feel of a slightly more glam dress just add a pair of white sneakers and it instantly looks suitable for day.

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The great thing about white sneakers? They’re a neutral colour so they go with pretty much anything in your wardrobe and that includes all the colours of the denim rainbow.

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While coloured jeans are great, you can’t beat a pair of classic blue jeans. This look works best with jeans that are fitted slightly cropped at the ankle.

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I love an all white outfit; it looks so fresh and modern. A long midi skirt can be quite dressy but worn with sneakers it can easily become a great casual look. Midriff-baring optional!

d5456e587523784a7f582eb349c510bdIf you want to mix up your usual dress and sandals combination, swap out your sandals for a pair of white sneakers instead. It gives a dress a slightly more modern edge.

Photography: Always Judging, People and Styles, Pinterest, Brunette Braid, Nolita Hearts

 

Fashion

How to buy a designer bag that you’ll love for years to come

10th March, 2018
Kate Waterhouse carrying Chanel designer handbag

My Chanel bag has been with me for years and is still going strong

I’ve spoken in the past about the importance of cost per wear for me and there’s no area that I apply it more to than my handbags. I am all about quality over quantity. I will often hold out for a designer bag as I know that it will withstand everyday wear and tear as they’re so well crafted. Also, I’ll often go for classic styles so they have longevity. Case in point: I’ve had the above Chanel handbag for years and it’s still going strong.

If you’re going to splurge on a designer bag it’s important to make sure you get it right. After all you are spending not an insignificant amount of money so it’s the type of fashion purchase that needs some planning behind it first. Here are some things to consider before buying:

Think of your lifestyle 

What kind of lifestyle do you have? For me I have to carry everything from Sophia and Grace’s snacks to my phone and wallet so I need something that’s quite roomy. For the kind of life I lead a tiny handbag (as much as I like the look of it) just wouldn’t work.

It’s crucial to tailor your bag to suit your lifestyle and needs. If it doesn’t then you’re never going to use it as often as you’d like and that’s a lot of money that’s wasted.

Consider the brand

If you’re going to have a bag that you use every single day you want a classic style. I think you can justify splurging on a bag if it’s something that can be used every single day. Everyone has their own favourites but if I was going to splurge on a designer bag I would definitely go for Céline, Balenciaga, Jil Sander or Chanel because they do classic, timeless styles.

Check out it’s extra features

Little details can mean you get double the wear out of a designer bag. For example it may seem a small detail but consider the handles on your bag. I like two handles on a bag—smaller handles so I can just carry it on my arm and a longer strap so I can carry it on my shoulder. Having the option to do both expands the use of a bag. Also some bags now come with detachable pouches that can be used to carry things like cosmetics but can be used as separately as a clutch. Win-win!

Kate Waterhouse street style designer bag Gucci

When it comes to designer bags aim for classic and timeless to ensure maximum cost per wear

Opt for simplicity

A statement bag with lots of embellishment is great but if you’re going to have just one designer bag that you’re going to carry all the time make sure to keep it quite pared back and stick to neutral colours. A subdued colour palette makes it easier to work back with your wardrobe. Minimal amounts of detailing also makes it less likely to look overly on trend. Also keep in mind that plain leather generally won’t date as easily as patent leather.

Avoid ‘it’ bags

When it comes to designer bags I like to have something that no one else has. For this very reason if there is an ‘it’ bag I tend to steer clear of it. However I might get inspired by a brand and choose something that is within that collection. If you can afford to have a new designer bag each season then definitely go for the ‘it’ bag. If however, you are buying a designer bag that’s intended to see you through season after season I’d steer clear of the bag of the moment and opt for something that’s not as common so it doesn’t date as easily.

Choose an ongoing style

I will always ask a shop assistant if they’re continuing a particular type of bag the following season because some are just one-offs and I think that can really date a bag. When choosing a bag opt for one that’s a signature style to the brand because then it is recurring every season rather than being the 2018 summer bag which everyone will know is a couple of years old.

An example of a signature style is something like Chanel’s 2.55 black quilted leather handbag or the Hermes Birkin. It’s a bag that’s done every season which means it won’t date and it’s great quality so it lasts year after year. I’ve had my Chanel bag for 10 years and I still wear it all the time so the cost per wear is great!

Tell me—what designer bag do you have your eye on?

Photography: Sophia Athas

 

Fashion, Shop, What I Wore

The online shopping destination you need to bookmark now

6th March, 2018

Have you ever spent ages looking for just the right dress or top only to discover it unexpectedly? I had been looking for a new off the shoulder dress for awhile and I just wasn’t happy with what I had been seeing. I knew I needed to expand my scope from my usual list of go-to sites so I decided to check out Amazon Australia. I’ve obviously bought things like books and electronic gadgets from there before but I hadn’t ever really checked out their fashion range. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. They’ve got a great edit of well known labels along with smaller brands, so the selection was just a little bit different from the styles I had stumbled across.

This was a great lesson in making an effort to expand your usual shopping haunts as I ended up finding the below dusty pink dress. It ticked all the boxes for me: it had the off the shoulder silhouette I was after, statement sleeves and the on-trend tie detail I had in mind. The shade was also just the right pink hue as I wanted something feminine but not too girly.

With such a standout dress I wanted to keep my accessories quite simple. I stuck to a minimalist approach and just kept to sunglasses and a simple clutch. The look and feel of my clutch tapped into the trend towards native-style bags which I felt worked really well with dress. My round frame sunglasses on the other hand were able to add a statement element to my overall look without being overwhelming.

Credits: Dress, Amazon; Sunglasses, Chloe; Clutch, Heidi Klein

Photography: Sophia Athas

This post has been created in collaboration with Amazon Australia