End of financial year sale time is here and it’s the perfect time to nab a bargain. However it’s easy to get caught up in a flurry of sales tags with reduced prices and discounts aplenty that you may end up with something that’s not entirely a worthwhile buy. I love shopping the sales and have perfected my game plan so I always end up with pieces I know I’m definitely going to use. Here’s what I do:
Buy wardrobe staples
During sale time I’m a big fan of buying pieces I will use a lot such as t-shirts and jeans. It’s the perfect time to stock up given everything is reduced. I always make sure to do a wardrobe check to see what items need replacing or updating.
Avoid statement pieces
I usually tend to avoid buying things that are easily identifiable from a particular season. There’s always a particular print/colour/silhouette that is a designer’s signature item for each collection and I will steer clear of this to ensure that there will be longevity in what I buy.
Invest in expensive items
A few years ago I bought a Balmain blazer on sale from Net-a-Porter and it’s still going strong to this day. I remember searching for ages for it and once it went on sale I snapped it up. I find that when it’s sale time it’s the perfect opportunity to buy more expensive investment pieces such as a blazer, leather jacket, a coat or bag as you’re guaranteed to get plenty of use out of these items and you’ll be able to buy it at a fraction of the price.
Do the full price test
It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of getting a bargain but just because something is cheap it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a good purchase. I always make sure that I look at anything on sale and ask myself if I would buy it full price. If I would that’s usually a good indicator that it’s a good buy, if not then it tells me that I’m just getting caught up in the idea of buying something because it has been reduced.
If you’re as enamoured with good eyewear as I am then never fear because this spring/summer we’re definitely spoilt for choice as far as sunnies go. There’s a style to suit every face shape, every style and every fashion whim. Don’t be afraid to experiment with colour, shapes and over the top finishes as I think a pair of standout frames can really act as the full stop to any look. So whatever the outfit or occasion there’s definitely a pair of sunglasses that’s guaranteed to match perfectly.
Round sunglasses have definitely cemented their comeback. If you want frames that are on trend yet can still easily work back with myriad outfits then try this shape. It’s worth trying on a few different round styles as some face shapes tend to suit a chunkier frame whereas some require a slightly more slimline style.
Want to make a statement? Try a pair of embellished sunglasses. This jewelled pair is a great way to make your eyewear the focal point of an outfit. It’s the ideal style for those who love to be a little more adventurous with their accessories.
Mirrored glasses are popping up on every ‘it’ girl to fashion blogger this season and there’s a reason why —they work no matter what your style is. They give an outfit an edgy touch, but they’re also quite versatile, you can wear them with a slightly dressier blouse or worked back with a bikini at the beach.
Poppy Delevingne wore these classic cat eye sunglasses at Paris Fashion Week and immediately sent them at the top of many women’s shopping lists! Every girl needs a pair of classic black sunglasses but a cat eye gives it a slightly retro feel. If black isn’t for you, this shape would also work in tortoiseshell or coloured frames.
Semi-rimless glasses a la this classic pair by Ray Ban are a great alternative to Wayfarers. They’re modern, work with virtually every face shape and are the ideal style for those who want something that’s right on trend.
Who better to steal some style inspiration from than Vogue’s uber stylish fashion director Christine Centenera? These flat top sunglasses by Celine are a great way to update oversized sunnies. These frames are clean, simple and elegant and are the perfect style to take you through summer and beyond. There are plenty of brands doing this particular style so if you want a pair minus the designer price tag keep an eye out in your local chain stores are they’re guaranteed to be doing their own interpretations this season.
There are some days where I will keep my accessories quite pared back while other days I’ll layer a few pieces. There’s no doubt that the layered jewellery trend is huge at the moment and what I love about it is that it can be worn in so many different ways. However I’ve found that to avoid the whole look being a bit overwhelming, there are some important things to keep in mind…
If you’re layering bracelets…
If you’re going to the beach or something more casual then anything really goes and you can wear fine jewellery with a chunky watch mixed with material or leather bracelets. If you’re dressing up a bit it’s great to keep the same theme and keep your bracelets in the same metal family and the same thickness. I do sometimes like to clash my metals but I always have to have something that ties them together somehow; for example when I wear gold and silver it’s because I’m wearing a watch that features both those colours.
If you’re layering necklaces…
If you’re layering a thin necklace then it’s best to keep it in the same metal and the same style. For example you don’t want to do a beautiful long thin necklace and then have a chunky choker. You just want lots of delicate pieces in all different shapes and sizes.
If you’re layering rings…
As rings are so close together, it’s a good idea to have them in similar colours if you’re going to be wearing a few (if you are wearing an engagement ring or a wedding ring I think you can get away with them not being the same colour family). It also comes down to the type of rings you’re wearing. With more delicate rings you can get away with wearing more than you would if you were wearing chunkier, statement rings. Ultimately it’s about mixing and matching until you get a combination that you’re happy with.
What do you think of this trend? Do you like layering your jewellery?
Photography:Stockholm Street Style, Song of Style Sincerely Jules, Peace Loves Shea
Getting dressed is part following your natural style instincts, and part knowing the components of what makes a great look. No matter what your style entails, often a great ensemble has a few things in common – and it doesn’t involve designer garments or spending a lot of money. I firmly believes it’s all about the basic principles of pulling together a cohesive outfit and it’s easy to adopt it into your own styling process—just take note of the following…
Know your shape
The first step to a great outfit is knowing your shape and knowing what works for your shape. Once you’ve got that down pat and know what’s flattering on your body type then it makes things easier because then you’ll know instantly what suits you and what doesn’t. No matter what you do, if you have the foundation right an outfit will always be flattering.
Ensure you have balance
You need to always strike the right balance with your outfit. If you are wearing something loose on top for example you may need to counterbalance the volume with something a bit more fitted at the bottom. The same principle also goes for choosing just one area of your body to focus on, so if you’re going to flash some leg with a mini skirt it might be better to go a bit more conservative with your top.
Pick a focal point
Find one aspect of your outfit to have as a focal point. It could be a great pair of statement heels or a showstopper jacket but ultimately there should be one part of your outfit that should stand out while the rest of your look complements it. Ultimately this will have more impact than trying to squeeze a lot of different elements into your outfit that might end up completing with each other. Simplicity is key!
Put some thought into your accessories
Don’t forget about the accessories you’re going to wear. Things like your shoes and bag shouldn’t be an afterthought but should work with the rest of your outfit. There were times I’d grab the same bag I was wearing the day before and find later on that it clashed with I was wearing so I’ll try and pick out my bag and shoes ahead of time to avoid having to rush in the morning. It all ultimately adds to a bit more extra polish.
Attention to detail
Ensuring that you don’t ignore little things like making sure your shoes are clean and your clothes are pressed and ironed. As a mum of two I always make sure I do a final outfit check before I walk out the door as walking out of the house and having food on my blazer is not a good look!
Nothing beats buying a beautiful designer item but they’re often a significant investment so I always make sure I am strategic about what I’m purchasing to ensure there’s no buyer’s remorse involved. If you’re looking to snap up a special piece to treat yourself or are looking to add some key pieces to your wardrobe in the new year here’s what I always look for…
Is it really popular?
I steer clear of the ‘it’ bag of the season. If I’m shopping for an everyday bag that’s going to be carrying everything from my essentials to my laptop then I make sure that I opt for something that’s a signature item for the brand but not ubiquitous. I don’t like having a designer bag that everyone has because I feel they go in and out of fashion just as quickly as they come in. Plus you don’t want people being able to immediately identify that your bag is from a certain year’s collection. To combat this I always ask the shop assistant if it’s a style they intend to do again so it’s not so identifiable to a particular year.
Finding a unique style
I’m the complete opposite in my approach to evening bags and shoes. If I’m buying something special like a clutch I like to make sure they’re not making further runs of it because I want it to be a one-off. The same rule applies when I’m shopping for statement heels. I want them to be quite unique so I don’t want them coming back season after season.
Anything with interlocking Cs is always a good buy!
Researching what’s out there
I used to do a lot of shopping whenever I went on an overseas trip but these days that’s impossible as a mum, especially now with two little girls to entertain. So most of my designer purchases are made online these days. I always make sure to visit various websites such as Net-a-Porter, Nordstrom and Matches Fashion to see what’s available. One way I make sure I’m only getting up to the minute releases is to click on the ‘What’s New’ section when I’m browsing websites. That way I’ll only be seeing current stock.
Double check the size
Shopping online at the high end e-tailers is often a little easier as doing returns is fairly straightforward if something isn’t quite right. However I always do a check of the size just to be sure it’s the right fit. If it’s true to size generally choosing your normal size will be fine, however if it’s not I always check if I’ve bought the brand before and see if there’s something in my closet that I can cross check the sizing against.
This Gucci clutch will be a go-to for years to come
Always opt for classic
I’m all for taking a fashion risk or two but when you’re making a purchase that’s quite expensive it pays to think longevity. I always opt for neutral colours and opt for classic styles so I know that I’ll end up with something that will last in my wardrobe season after season.
Anything by a high end designer is generally going to come with a significant price tag so be prepared to shop around. Check out prices both in-store and online before you buy anything so you can get the best deal. Whilst they’re definitely an investment buy and will (if you choose right) last you for years to come, it still doesn’t hurt to pay the least amount as possible…and hey, anything leftover can always go to another future purchase!
What’s one designer purchase you’ve made that you absolutely love?
Dress codes can be a tricky thing. How casual is too casual? Does cocktail mean any ol’ dress is fine? If receiving an invitation always leaves you in a mild panic because you never know exactly what you’re supposed to wear, never fear! I’ve decoded the most common dress codes so you’ll be confident in the knowledge that you’ll nail every single event with ease.
A dress code that has become popular of late think of smart casual as a dressy version of what you’d usually wear in your downtime. So while denim cut-offs and thongs are a definite no-no things like tailored pants, a simple shift dress (leave the sequins at home!) or dark denim are perfect for this dress code. Just think: if you were meeting your partner’s parents for the first time over Sunday lunch what would be appropriate?
It is important to always consider the time of day for the smart casual dress code. Dressy shorts may be acceptable in the day during the warmer months, as long as they are not too short and coming into winter, leather pants are a great option for this. It’s fine to wear heels but leave the sky-high stilettos at home and opt for a more modest heel instead.
A silk blouse in neutral hues such as white or blush pink is ideal for pairing with everything from pants to a skirt for a smart casual look. It also always looks super luxe and polished so you’ll definitely win some sartorial brownie points..
For the guys…Men should think of a pair of nice jeans or chinos with loafers. Smart casual usually does involve a collar to differentiate from casual t-shirts.
Cocktail attire is a step up from smart casual but is not as dressy as black tie. Cocktail is a popular dress code for events such as weddings because it’s not super formal but is still dressy enough to elevate an event from just a simple gathering. Plus it’s the kind of dress code that guarantees guests turn up looking stylish but is free enough to allow people to inject a bit of personality in their outfit.
Go for a dress which is tastefully short (if you have to come up with a strategy on how to sit, it might be time to reconsider.). You can’t really go wrong with a little black dress as it’s classic and is a safe option when you’re not quite sure what other guests will be wearing.
When the weather is cooler a dress with sleeves is perfect for keeping you warm but on point. To liven up the outfit opt for a killer pair of heels, a statement clutch or a show-stopping pair of earrings.
If you’re after something with slightly more pizzazz, a cocktail dress code allows you to play with bolder hues or a print if you dare; sequins are most definitely welcome. As you can see cocktail is a dress code umbrella term that welcomes all kinds of looks – the above Lover Gypsy Mini Dress would be equally as fitting as the above pistachio-hued scalloped dress by Carven.
When buying cocktail dresses, I do often find that if you buy elegant pieces then you will be able to wear them again. Bear in mind that a simple solid colour is slightly easier to re-use than something like an animal print which is easily recognisable. If you’re looking to invest in one piece that is guaranteed to be worn time and time again then you can’t go wrong with a beautiful black designer dress that can act as a blank canvas and change to suit any occasion by simply switching up your shoes, accessories or bag.
For the guys… Men should wear dark suits, dress pants and dress shirts. Depending on the season and location, dressy jeans can also work well.
Black tie is popular for weddings and special events. For ladies, an evening gown is ideal but sometimes a demure cocktail dress may also be appropriate. It is usually best to opt for darker colours or neutral shades such as navy, cream or black as it always looks classic and elegant. Steer clear of white for weddings though!
There are varying degrees of black tie and I find it is always best to base your choice on what the host will most likely be wearing. For example, if it is a very formal wedding at an exclusive location then wear a gown, otherwise a formal cocktail dress with statement accessories may be more appropriate if it is for a work function.
The dress length can vary from mid to long and you are not restricted to only wear black. Think elegance above all else.
For the guys...Men are required to wear a tuxedo adorned with a black bow tie.
White tie is the most formal level of dress code and is usually reserved for royal galas or state dinners! If you’re lucky enough to have to attend a white tie event make sure you opt for a classic floor length gown. Gloves should also be worked into the outfit too. The key to dressing well for white tie, is balancing glamour and elegance. Think: what would Kate Middleton wear? Usually channelling royalty will ensure you’re on the right track with the dress code.
An elegant up-do is the norm and is the perfect occasion to show off a stunning pair of earrings. If you’ve got a dazzling piece in your jewellery collection – now is the time to let it shine.
For the guys…For men, a white bow tie should sit on top of a white formal dress shirt. White tie requires a black coat with tails and a white pique vest.
If there’s one thing that can throw a curve ball into your wardrobe it’s pregnancy and becoming a mum. All of a sudden your usual fashion repertoire doesn’t always work. Rediscovering your post-pregnancy style can be a matter of trial and error (trust me, I’ve been there) until one day you find just the right mix that works with your brand new life. It’s also required having to rethink certain aspects of my wardrobe and redistribute my energy to finding pieces that will suit my new lifestyle (bye bye stilettos, hello flats).
Here are some things I’ve learnt along the way…
You’ll be in between wardrobes for awhile
When I was in that not fully back into work but having to attend the occasional meeting or event here and there that I’d try and fit in between the girls’ schedules, I’d be in leisure wear most of the time interspersed with my work wardrobe. I think that’s the hardest that thing that I had to adapt to – that I’d have to be able to go between the two quite easily. As a result my wardrobe has had to adjust accordingly by being able to be dressed up or down with a few strategic tweaks.
You’ll build up new areas of your wardrobe
It’s so important that whatever I’m wearing each day is comfortable as I have the girls with me and end up doing a lot of running around. I’ve learnt to invest in new pieces that I will wear a lot. I used to gravitate towards beautiful heels all the time but now I’ve learnt to build up my flats collection as I’m in them virtually all the time. Nowadays I’m more likely to invest in a pair of slides or a loafer or summer flat as opposed to statement stilettos. I think you need to re-direct your fashion budget towards the pieces you will wear a lot.
Invest in key pieces
I wouldn’t really wear lots of leisure wear before but that’s definitely all changed with my new lifestyle. I did a big shop at bassike to stock up on pieces such as t-shirts and slouchy pants so I can be comfortable but still feel stylish at the same time. But I highly recommend hitting up your fave store for basics to stock up on staples. I’ve also ensured that my lounge wear options work back with existing pieces in my wardrobe so I can just mix and match. I’ve found myself living in jeans so I have found a pair that works with my current shape and a plain black skirt is also a piece I wear a lot. It just makes it easier to get dressed in the morning if I know I’ve got the right building blocks sitting in my cupboard.
Wash and wear is best
I’ve got zero time to spend on handwashing or ironing clothes these days so if I can just pop it in the washing machine or throw it in the dryer and pop it on, then I’m sold. Be sure to read the care instructions on any garments you’re considering buying because despite the fact it might look great, if it requires too much effort to launder it you’ll likely only wear it once and forget about it.
Jackets help dress up an outfit
A denim jacket, a blazer and a leather jacket are all pieces that I’ve found have been post-pregnancy wardrobe friendly. It’s still “me” in that they are pieces I wore before I became a mum but they’re really comfortable and easy to pop on which works with my new lifestyle.
Case in point: at the moment I am into lots of casual, loose cotton dresses due to the comfort factor but I can easily make it look more tailored and polished with a great jacket.
Invest in a great carryall
I have a really beautiful tote that I can throw the girls’ stuff in and fit my computer and everything in it. I’ve found that being a mum, I’m pretty much carrying around half the house with me at all times so I made it a mission to find a great bag that fits everything I use the most.
I love weddings but sometimes it can be tricky decoding dress codes and figuring out what to wear. And with weddings getting more and more creative with attire, it’s sometimes hard to pinpoint exactly what to wear. Having navigated a fair few of them in my time, these are some of my simple rules for dressing for a wedding so all you to worry about is sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the festivities (or a champagne or two!).
Always follow the dress code
Usually the dress code for a wedding will either black tie or cocktail or it might be a more casual beach wedding, but whatever it is, you must always follow the dress code as a sign of respect for the couple.
If it’s black tie, it’s got to be formal and floor length. If it’s daytime go for lighter colours, if it’s evening then go for more darker tones. Most weddings I go to are cocktail which means a dress must be above or on the knee. If it’s a daytime affair it might be similar to what you would wear to the races. It also depends on where the couple is getting married. If they’re getting married in a church you want your outfit to be a bit more formal, and consider covering your shoulders and making it a bit more traditional. But if it’s a beach wedding then it’s definitely more relaxed. Just really look for the setting and judge it based on what the bride and groom are like.
No white, but you can wear black
It goes without saying that it’s the bride’s big day, so white is always a big no-no when it comes to wedding attire. Traditionally black was also a colour to avoid however the rule around this is a bit more relaxed nowadays. But just be mindful of the bride and her family – if she’s fine with it then go ahead however if the bride and her family is more traditional then you might want to steer clear of it.
Dress according to the season
For summer it’s all about light colours and materials such as silk whereas in winter it’s more suited to heavier materials such as wool and deeper tones. It’s a great idea to always take a little wrap or a jacket to pop on over our outfit, particularly in winter as it gets quite chilly in the evening. When shopping for a wedding outfit I love stores like Scanlan Theodore, Camilla & Marc and Carla Zampatti.
Make sure your shoes are appropriate to the location
Some weddings are a cocktail affair so if you’re expecting to be standing for awhile make sure you have a comfortable shoe that’s not too high or have a wedge heel so it’s not hard to stand all day long. If it’s an outdoor wedding then opt for a chunkier heel as you don’t want stilettos that are going to sink into the grass. For a beach wedding I think a long dress option is good if you’re going to go for no shoes – that’s why I wore a long dress to the to this beach party event. I love the silhouette of a long gown and being barefoot.
Where are your fave places to shop for a wedding outfit?
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 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.
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.
Sleeves are great, especially when they’ve got next-level detail
I will start to add heavier fabrics slowly as the weeks go by such as a wool or cashmere. 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 sandals for closed shoes
It’s still possible to get away with wearing open toed shoes but the further we get away from summer the more likely it is that temperatures will cool down during the day. As such I am starting to swap my sandals for loafers or sneakers. Even if I’m wearing something lightweight, 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 with 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?
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.
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?