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Fashion

Rules of wearing statement pieces

12th November, 2018

Kate Waterhouse statement pieces bec and bridge shoes marco de vincenzo

A beautiful statement piece can often elevate an outfit from good to great. I’m a big fan of using statement pieces to add interest to an outfit, especially when I’m wearing something that’s quite understated. It’s a great shortcut to employ on those days when you’re wearing an outfit that you know requires some punch but you don’t want to rework the entire look again. The addition of an eye-catching element to your ensemble can really make it pop.

Whether it’s an elaborate pair of shoes or a great pair of embellished sunglasses here are my rules for working with statement pieces.

Stick to your style

Trends for statement pieces come and go so it’s important to stick to your style. Whether it’s a brightly coloured bag or the latest designer accessory ensure that it’s still very “you” whilst being an attention grabber at the same time. It’s also important to remember that whilst a statement piece is designed to stand out it’s also crucial that it can work seamlessly with what’s within your wardrobe already otherwise it will sit in your closet gathering dust.

Make statement pieces the hero

It goes without saying that you should allow your statement piece to take centre stage. If I’m wearing a statement bag or shoe I often like to keep my outfit quite muted to allow it to stand out. This is why bold pieces are often a great way to bring an all black outfit to life with just the addition of one accessory.

My Gucci loafers with floral motif

It’s all in the detail

A statement piece doesn’t have to be all about the bling. It’s important to choose something with a striking detail that will really make an outfit pop. My favourite Gucci loafers which I wear to death have a floral motif on them which make a statement but are definitely not overly bright or embellished. Just find something with an eye-catching detail that will allow it to shine and make it unique.

Find the right balance

If I’m wearing a statement piece I often do a scan of the rest of my outfit to see whether it’s just right or might be just a bit over the top. For example one of the key statement pieces in my wardrobe is my Gucci Dionysus bag which features lots of embellishments and I’ll often wear it when I need to jazz up an outfit such as when I’m wearing a plain white tee with jeans or leather pants. It acts as the final finishing element but it doesn’t overpower the rest of the look.

What’s your favourite statement piece in your wardrobe?

 

Fashion

The quick styling trick that will update your favourite dress

24th October, 2018

I’m all about a quick styling trick. If there’s something that I can do to my outfit that takes minutes but will do plenty to change its look and feel then I’m all over it. This is why this recent trend towards belting dresses is absolute genius in my mind. It’s something that you can do using an accessory that you more than likely already have in your closet and it will change the whole vibe of a dress. By simply cinching in the waist of an existing dress you completely change the shape, and also give it a strong focal point based on the belt that you choose.

The thing with this styling trick is that most styles of belt will work. You could opt for a classic black belt with statement buckle to give your dress a little edge. A simple skinny belt will add a sophisticated touch to any frock whilst a chunky style waist belt will act as its own bold finishing piece. And it’s so easy. Just pop on the belt and you’re done.

If you have a closet full of dresses that are currently putting you to sleep because you’ve worn them so much then consider adding a belt the next time you wear it. It’s an easy outfit refresh that won’t break the bank and that’s a definite win-win situation.

 

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Cinch in a dress with volume

Give a dress with a voluminous silhouette some shape with a waist belt that will instantly give you an hourglass figure.

 

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Add a statement feature to your dress

By simply adding a belt you can instantly give your dress a new focal point that changes its look and feel.

 

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Pack a punch

You could opt for a belt with a statement buckle (the classic GG belt like the one above is a fave) to give your favourite dress an added lift.

Tell me—have you jumped aboard this trend yet?

Fashion

What to do when you have nothing to wear

22nd October, 2018

This is a dilemma most women have encountered at one point or another. If you’ve ever stared into your closet, filled to the brim with clothes yet still yielding nothing to wear then you’ll know the frustration it can cause. However all is not lost. Instead of tearing your hair out and hitting the shops to buy yet another outfit to add to the pile, you can employ a few tricks to help you unearth a look you’ll love. These are strategies I’ve used from time to time and I can guarantee that they’ve helped me break out of my momentary wardrobe rut, get dressed and walk out the door in no time.

Look for external fashion inspo

Staring at your clothes for ages won’t magically make a new outfit appear. You’ve got to get the styling juices flowing. To do this have a quick scroll through Instagram to see what your fave stylish ladies are wearing. Alternatively hit up your favourite online stores and check out their lookbooks or ‘new in’ section to see what’s trending. By seeing what’s new, it could ignite an idea or two for a look you could pull together.

Set yourself a theme

Having seemingly endless options but feeling bored of all of them is a major cause of being stumped for an outfit. So why not narrow it down to make it easier? For example you could tell yourself that today is stripe day and that you need to incorporate a striped piece into your ensemble. By giving yourself some parameters to work with it becomes less overwhelming and more manageable.

Work a new colour combination

We all have our favourite colour combinations which is great but sometimes in order to overcome an ‘I have nothing to wear’ situation you need to think outside the box. For example try working an unexpected colour combination like pink and red — by exploring pieces in those shades, you’ll inadvertently force yourself to look beyond your usual favourite items and expand to the rest of your wardrobe.

Help a favourite make new friends

We all have favourite pieces in our closet but we tend to work them back with the same things over and over again. This can exacerbate a nothing to wear situation as you see reliable staples but are also uninspired by them because you’ve already got your go-to pairings in mind. So the next time this happens, take an old fave but make an effort to pair it with something different. It could be that you wear a particular jacket with a certain pair of pants all the time. So instead, why not pop on the jacket over a dress, which instantly gives it a different vibe. This allows you to still get plenty of use out of things you love but overcome your style boredom too.

What are some strategies you use to overcome an ‘I have nothing to wear’ problem?

Fashion

How to wear a suit in a modern way

15th October, 2018

I think every woman should own one great suit. They’re a staple in a corporate environment but the suit can extend beyond the office with the right accoutrements and silhouette. Suiting now works equally as well as a way to do day wear with extra polish or adopt a different silhouette from a traditional dress or skirt for big events. It’s had a major style rejuvenation and is definitely a key trend worth investing in.

Banish thoughts of the 80s power suit from your mind and instead think sleek, sophisticated and just a little bit sexy. Here’s how to nail suiting so it looks on point and super chic…

Invest in good tailoring

An ill-fitting suit is a big fashion no-no. If you’re going to wear a suit be sure to have it tailored absolutely perfectly to fit. If you need to, have the jacket taken in, have the pants taken up so the hem sits perfectly with your shoe to ensure the silhouette looks polished.

Think beyond the shirt

A classic button down shirt is, of course, always going to be a no-brainer pairing with a suit however by switching up what you wear underneath you can create a look with an entirely new vibe. You could opt for a turtleneck for a look that would work in a corporate environment but has a slightly more relaxed feel. There’s also the option of wearing a loose t-shirt a la The Gucci Shirt That’s Everywhere for a look with attitude or a bodysuit for an evening ensemble that looks sleek and sexy.

Be adventurous with silhouettes

There are so many different silhouettes when it comes to the suit these days. You could opt for a boyfriend blazer that’s a little more billowy and has a slightly tougher, more masculine feel to a tapered leg for a look that screams sleek. I also love a flared pant and a long length blazer for an outfit that has a slightly Jane Birkin vibe. And the suit I wore above, is another example of experimenting with silhouettes. The style is a little more relaxed, with its kimono style jacket and wide leg pants.

Keep shoes streamlined

When it comes to the suit the shoes you wear should be quite pared back. If you’re going to do a boot it needs to be an ankle boot that’s tapered to the leg, something like a sock boot is ideal. You don’t want anything too loose around the ankle as it can affect the fit of the suit and can look a little clunky. You could also opt for a sleek stiletto or if you want to wear flats a pair of pointy slides will work well. If you’re wearing a skirt suit like the one I’m wearing above, it works equally as well with boots as it does with heels and flats so it scores bonus points for versatility.

Embrace colour

A black, navy or grey suit has long been a workplace go-to but these days suiting is available in a rainbow of colours. Wearing a suit has never been so much fun! If you’re planning to wear a suit as day wear or to an occasion definitely consider dabbling in one in a vibrant shade for a look that’s bold and will stand out in a crowd.

What are your thoughts on the suit? Love or loathe?
Fashion, Shop

What’s on my shopping wish list this month

12th October, 2018

I’ve been so busy prepping looks for spring racing season that it was nice to be able to revisit my regular day-to-day wardrobe to see what beautiful new additions I could make to it. The cold weather has been stubbornly hanging on in Sydney so I’ve not been able to enjoy many spring looks at the moment, but it has directed my shopping pursuits towards some fun trans-seasonal pieces. From a great new LBD, to embellished black flats and a sequinned bustier that’s just made for a big event, this is what’s caught my eye this month.

Miu Miu crystal embellished patent leather flats

A cute pair of black flats is always a welcome addition to any wardrobe, especially when it comes with just a sprinkling of bling.

Roland Mouret caron ruffled chevron top

A great layering piece, with bold chevron detail, I could see this getting plenty of outings.

Elie Saab tiered lace and Swiss dot tulle midi skirt

I’m all about a great midi skirt and this one is a beauty—the colour, the textured Swiss dot tulle and the beautiful layers all work together to make a great piece for work or play.

Mansur Gavriel circle leather shoulder bag

Structured bags have really caught my eye of late. I like the classic, old school vibe of this bag whilst the shoulder strap makes it super practical.

Staud satin-trimmed crepe midi dress

I’ve been on the hunt for a new LBD so I was really excited to stumble upon this number. Love the satin finish and detail at the bust.

Maria Lucia Hohan sequinned peplum bustier top

This is a sequinned showstopper. Love the colour, the asymmetric drape effect and the sweetheart neckline. Plenty of ticks all round.

Valentino crystal hoop earrings

These are a gorgeous take on traditional hoops. Dotted with colourful crystals, it’s the kind of accessory that will elevate any look.

Nobody Denim Bessette Jean In-Love

I’ve been looking for a new pair of jeans and I love the simple silhouette and wash of this pair.

Balenciaga BB printed t-shirt

The cherry red colour of this Balenciaga t-shirt makes it a fun addition to any outfit.

Tabitha Simmons check wool mules

I love the checked pattern of these mules—they are a point of difference that turns this particular shoe into a statement piece.

Ulla Johnson Vienne short dress

I’m quite partial to long sleeved dresses, especially when they feature such a great print. This will be a trans-seasonal weather saviour.

Brock Collection gathered velvet blouse

There’s something about a hit of luxe texture to any outfit that can instantly lift it. I could see this top working back with so many pieces in my closet from casual denim to dressy slacks.

What’s currently on your wish list?

Fashion

What to wear for a (long) day of shopping

9th October, 2018

When I’m in need of a retail fix, I know my outfit has to be comfortable and optimised for maximum shopping success. This means bye bye complicated buttons and ridiculous zippers, hello clothes I can slip on and off easily. I’m all about making sure that I can hit those change rooms with ease and don’t want to spend an eternity grappling with my outfit every time I want to try something on. Having the right outfit on speeds up your shopping experience because you’re not spending ages tying your laces, doing up buckles on your belt or buttons on your shirt. Keeping that in mind, here’s what to wear the next time you’re hitting the shops…

Shoes you can slip on and off

I think you’ve got to have comfortable shoes on so I always go in flats (ballet flats, slides or some cute loafers are good options). I avoid wearing sneakers as having to tie my shoelaces repeatedly when I’m trying on outfits during the day is less than ideal. If I want to keep trying stuff on I like to be able to slip my shoes on and off easily.

Nothing with buttons

You should be able to get dressed and undressed quite quickly so it’s probably best to leave that complicated shirt with too many buttons to count at home. Personally I like wearing dresses because I find them easy to take on and off so it speeds up my time in the change rooms. But if dresses aren’t your thing go for something that you can slip in and out of in a matter of seconds—think a tee with bottoms with an elasticated waist.

Avoid light colours

When you’re trying things on multiple times in a day, slipping your clothes on and off can mean you risk your makeup rubbing off on your clothes. This is why I tend to leave any light garments at home if I’ve got a marathon shopping session ahead of me. Also you never know what kind of change room you might encounter and the last thing you want is having to dump pristine white clothes on a dirty or dusty floor.

A hands-free bag

Be sure to bring a bag that leaves your hands free to skim through the racks. Aim for something with a strap that you can easily throw over your shoulder. The last thing you want to do is have to juggle a bag on top of everything else. After all the more you’re able to browse the better chance of shopping success!

 

What do you wear when you go shopping?

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Fashion, Shop

If you’re not already living in printed dresses you will be

7th October, 2018

Spring/summer is the perfect time to take your style into bright and bold territory. And there’s no better way to do it than with the help of dresses in the most vibrant of prints and colours.

Printed dresses will become a wardrobe shortcut over the coming months because of how complete a look they are. They tick all the boxes: statement-making, fun, and so wearable and there’s not much more required. All they need is an accessory or two, a great summer sandal and a place to wear it and show it off!

So take inspiration from some of the most stylish ladies on Instagram below and immerse yourself in a printed dress or two this season. There’s no better time to dabble in playful styles that will take you from beach to bar… or wherever the day may take you!

Shop my edit of printed dresses below…

 

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Fashion

What I ask myself to ensure I’m making a good purchase

6th October, 2018

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I’ve always tried to work towards a wardrobe that’s versatile as it makes pulling outfits together every day a little easier. This requires some major editing and also some savvy shopping. When faced with so many gorgeous things in a store it can be easy to get caught up in the moment and just purchase something purely because you like it but I think it pays to ask yourself a few questions before buying anything as it can help you avoid wasting money on an item of clothing that won’t get much use. These are the five questions I always ask myself before I buy anything.

How will this work with the rest of my wardrobe?

I always think about how I will be able to wear something with other items I already own. To do this imagine your wardrobe and identify at least five outfits that you’ll be able to wear with a potential purchase. A cohesive wardrobe that can be mixed and matched in different ways will extend the number of outfits you can make as opposed to buying one item, for one purpose and having it sit in your wardrobe gathering dust.

How many times will I wear this?

If something is expensive I’ll think about how many times I’ll wear it and how many seasons it is going to last. I aways consider cost per wear. If I think “I will wear these shoes the whole year, and they’re something that I will keep in my collection for years to come”, I consider them an investment. If I’m only going to wear something once and it’s outrageously expensive I won’t buy it because it just doesn’t make sense to spend so much on something with minimal wear.

Is this adding to my wardrobe?

I sometimes fall into the trap of buying too many black shoes. And while I do wear black shoes quite often, if I find a pair of shoes that I like but I have five other pairs like it I won’t buy them. The same approach applies to the rest of my wardrobe. If I buy something it’s got to add to my wardrobe by bringing in a new element rather than just purely adding to my wardrobe.

Is the fabric and make a good quality?

I always look at something and consider the fabric and how well it’s made. I believe if you spend a little more on good fabrics and good construction then you’ll be able to have something for many years to come and get plenty of use out of it. Where possible always look for natural fabrics such as cotton, wool and silk.

Do I really need this?

Most women will identify with this question! And often the answer to this question will negate all the other questions before this one. While there will always be exceptions (a girl can never have too many bags, right?) generally if you answer this question honestly you’ll be able to stop yourself from buying something that you’re not really going to use.

What do you consider before making a big purchase?

Fashion, Shop

Easy outfit go-to: the co-ord set

5th October, 2018

Want to look polished without really trying? Then a co-ord set will quickly become a firm favourite. It’s an outfit that gives an air of polish with its perfectly co-ordinated top and bottom. It just screams pulled together. And it’s also one of the easiest things you can wear. No further consideration needs to be given to what to pair with a particular pant or skirt, all the hard work has been done for you. And if you want to change things up you a bit, a set can be split into separates, doubling their wear.

I’ve become a huge fan of late. My love of suiting further extending into everything from a matching shirt and skirt to a wrap jacket with a relaxed pant. When I need to get out the door fast it’s the one thing I turn to that’s guaranteed to have me looking sleek and chic without any fuss.

The great thing about this trend is that it works for casual day wear, office attire to a special event. There’s a two-piece ensemble to suit virtually every occasion and it’s quickly becoming a no-brainer solution to most outfit dilemmas. It’s the easiest shortcut to looking polished you can have in your wardrobe.

Shop my pick of co-ordinated sets below…
MSGM leopard print satin skirt and shirt

You’re guaranteed to steal the show with this bold and bright animal print number.

Miguelina wide-leg pant and crop top

A crop top can be a bit daunting to wear but paired back with a wide leg pant it becomes a little more wearable. Bonus points for the gorgeous dusty pink colour.

Koché leopard print pant and blazer

Make a statement in this thoroughly modern and daring take on traditional suiting.

Sister Jane button up shirt and skirt

With its checked print and sweet finishes this is a feminine way to wear a matching set.

Glamorous tweed jacket and mini skirt

A little Clueless-esque, this jacket and skirt is a preppy take on the co-ord trend.

Wild Honey zip front pants and jacket

A cute cropped pant paired with its co-ordinating jacket is a great go-to for days at the office or an important event.

ASOS Design boucle cropped jacket and shorts

Shorts look decidedly grown up when styled with a cropped jacket, even more so in a classic houndstooth pattern.

Wild Honey blazer and skirt

A double breasted blazer paired with an asymmetric skirt is a contemporary iteration of traditional suiting.

Glamorous wrap front top and skirt

This is a sophisticated pairing that I could definitely see as a polished look for an evening event.

Miguelina wide leg pant and tie front top

The gorgeous tropical pattern and tie front top make this a compulsory purchase if you’re about to escape on an island holiday.

Sies Marjan satin blazer and straight leg pant

Pink is one of the biggest colour trends right now and when it’s in the form of a great co-ord such as this, you definitely need to make it yours.

Ports 1961 cropped bandeau top and skirt

Consider for your next event. A top and skirt make for a great alternative to your usual go-to dress.

 

 

Fashion

7 types of shoes that every woman should own

29th September, 2018

When I’m sometimes helping friends do a wardrobe revamp they always ask me about which shoes they need to cull and which shoes they need to add to their collection. I’m the first to admit that I’ve managed to accumulate a number of shoes in my time, all of which I love for various reasons, however there are certain shoes in my closet that I know I definitely couldn’t live without. These are the shoes that have got me through many occasions and I turn to time and time again. This is why I inevitably always give my girlfriends the same list of  shoes — this is the footwear that I guarantee will be used often and will serve you season after season.

So, what’s on the list? These 7 shoes will get you through all kinds of occasions and will make putting a stylish outfit together just that little bit easier.

Black slimline heels

I’ve worn these heels to black tie functions, to work events, to weddings, to social occasions… the list goes on. This is why I think every woman should own a pair of simple black slimline heels as they will become a go-to on more than one occasion.

A black and nude pump

This is the workhorse shoe of my wardrobe. I find I’ll wear a black pump with everything from a cocktail dress to work attire. I love a pointy toed black pump in suede or leather. (Just be sure to waterproof them to help with their longevity.)

Sometimes a black pump will look too harsh with certain clothing so a shoe in a nude colour is a great alternative. You’ll find this shoe is just as versatile as a black pump and will work back with so many different items from your wardrobe.

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Black high heeled boots

Now that winter is on its way make it your mission to find a good pair of black high heeled boots. The right pair of black boots will last you season after season and you’ll wonder how you ever survived winter without them.

A comfy pair of flat shoes

For those days when you’re running around and just need to be comfortable, a pair of ballet flats is an essential (if you prefer a loafer they also fall into the same category). I have a pair of black ballet flats that I’ve had for years and a pair of Gucci loafers that are still in high rotation. They’re my go-to shoes when comfort is key. You don’t necessarily have to go for a neutral either, you can have some fun with flats and experiment with different prints or colours.

A statement shoe

Every girl should have a pair of show-stopping heels that make an outfit. I love an animal print myself (leopard especially) however you could also go for a metallic colour or something with really interesting detail. The only aim should be is that they’re bold and definitely stand out from the crowd.

Sneakers

These have become almost as crucial to my wardrobe as my heels as I spend so much of my time running around, comfort is key. Plus sneakers as just so versatile. From my off duty wardrobe to spending a day at the office, my sneakers are front and centre. I definitely think a pair of classic white sneakers is a must.

What’s one pair of shoes that you simply can’t live without?

Photography: Tamika Keioske and Sophia Athas