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fashion

Fashion

Treating yourself with your tax refund? Here’s how to choose a worthwhile splurge item

29th June, 2019
Kate Waterhouse Chanel at Marais boutique launch Melbourne balmain blazer chanel bag bec and bridge dress 2

Kate Waterhouse Chanel at Marais boutique launch Melbourne balmain blazer chanel bag bec and bridge dress 2

It’s end of financial year time and if you’re lucky enough to be expecting a tax refund you may be in the mood to treat yourself. If you’re on the hunt for something to splurge on then there’s no better time to consider purchasing an investment piece to add to your wardrobe. These are often my favourite purchases to make as not only are they special, they’re also usually guaranteed to get plenty of use and have longevity so I feel I’m getting my money’s worth. If you’ve been lusting after something for a long time then perhaps now is the time to take the plunge, but keep these things in mind first…

Choose something that will get plenty of use

This is a given if you’re planning to buy something that’s on the expensive side so take stock of your wardrobe and see what you actually need. For example if you’re after a pair of good quality flats then now might be the time to splurge on a pair of Gucci loafers or Chanel ballet flats. They’re classic designs that will always be in style and crafted beautifully so you’ll definitely have them for a long time. If you think about the cost per wear you’ll probably find that they work out to be cheaper than a pair of shoes that you’ll only wear for one season.

Avoid anything that will date

For me, things that are worth splurging on are handbags, shoes, jackets, blazers and coats as I find they’re usually the workhorses of my wardrobe. It’s important to think classic when it comes to these pieces as you don’t want them to date too quickly.

If you’re thinking about buying a designer bag (or any other pricey item) then be sure to choose a style that’s not identifiable with a particular season–avoid the signature piece of a collection as it’s one sure fire way to have something that won’t be able to work in the long term. Also steer clear of anything that is only going to be around for one season as it won’t age well. A great example of a bag that will work years from now is the quilted Chanel bag which is so versatile (I’ve had mine for ages and I use it so much) and also has been around for decades and is a staple of the brand’s accessories line. Apparently it also appreciates in value so it definitely lives up to being called an investment piece!

A quality bag is a definite splurge buy that’s worth considering

Shop around

Splurging can mean buying something nice but it can also mean buying something extra nice that’s on sale. If you’re planning on buying an investment piece then definitely shop around for the best deal you can get. You’ll still end up with a great piece but at a fraction of the price My Balmain blazer (pictured above) is one such item. I had my eye on one for awhile but I waited until I found it on sale on Net-a-Porter for half the price. It was worth every cent but I was even happier that I managed to save on the cost of it. Shop smart and you’ll definitely get more bang for your fashion buck.

Do you really love it?

It’s easy to get caught up in buying something simply because it’s on sale or you’re just in the mood to spend. However you’re better off holding back and splurging on something that you adore and will wear for many years to come. To ensure that you’re making a worthwhile buy employ the 24 hour test. If you’ve seen something online or spotted something in store don’t buy it immediately. Instead give yourself a day (or even longer if you can stand it) and if you’re still thinking about it then it’s meant to be. It’s an effective way (and one I’ve tried and tested) to ensure that you’re not going to have buyer’s remorse.

What investment piece do you have your eye on at the moment?

 

 

 

Beauty, Fashion

Super quick styling tips to help you out of a fashion rut

15th June, 2019

There’s nothing worse than being faced with a wardrobe full of clothes and feeling like you have absolutely nothing to wear. The answer isn’t jumping online and ordering a new outfit to arrive by lunchtime (although that can sometimes be fun) it’s about learning to accessorise or rework items in your wardrobe to give them a fresh new feel. And as I’m sure you’re a busy woman who needs to get out the door fast, here are some of my super quick styling tips to help you pull together a “new” outfit quicker than you can click add to cart. Your bank balance will certainly breathe a sigh of relief!

Choose a bold accessory

If my outfit is feeling a bit flat I find a great way to inject a bit more energy into it is by adding a bold accessory. For example I’ve often paired my Gucci Dionysus bag (above) with an otherwise subdued outfit and found it instantly made it feel modern and on-trend. You don’t always have to opt for a bag, you could also try a pair of eye-catching drop earrings or a layering a few necklaces (all faves of mine) to breathe some new like into an outfit you’ve worn time and again.

Roll it, tie it or cuff it

You can totally rejig an existing outfit with a few simple styling tweaks. For a tired pair of jeans try cuffing the bottom and pairing with a pair of bold flats or heels for a look that feels instantly fresher. You could try tying a button down shirt and pairing it with everything from a pair of shorts and skirt for an outfit that takes a classic look and makes it feel a little more undone. Or experiment with rolling your sleeves whether it be on a shirt, a dress or even a jacket to create an entirely new silhouette.

Add a touch of colour

Having fun with colour is one way to make an outfit feel new again. The best bit about this is that you can do it in so many different ways. You could work it into an outfit in a small way such as a pair of shoes in a standout shade. You could go all out and layer multiple hues of the same colour family like this, or choose one ultra bright colour to take centre stage such as the above look and keep the rest of your outfit a little more subdued to really let it pop.

Enlist the help of a scarf

I wrote about how scarves have become a favourite accessory of everyone from celebs to fashion and beauty bloggers late as they’re so versatile. You can fashion it into a headband, tie it around your neck or use it as a hair tie. Find one scarf in a vintage print and you’ll be able to revive many tired looks with it. Alternatively it also serves the extremely handy purpose of hiding dirty hair in a stylish way when you really can’t be bothered to wash it!

Polish your digits

It requires a bit more effort but painting your nails in a really bright colour can often make any outfit feel new. It also has the added benefit of giving you a more polished look overall. Give yourself a mani at the beginning of the week and watch it elevate your outfits for the next few days without you having to do anything at all.

Try a belt

You’ll be surprised at the sartorial power of a belt when it comes to reworking an existing look. An easy one is wearing a belt with an oversized buckle with jeans or a denim skirt for a look that plays into the current 90s trend. You could also try Olivia Palermo’s favourite styling trick of belting a jacket such as a blazer or coat.

What are some of your styling hacks for getting out of a wardrobe rut?

Fashion, Shop

How to make fashion purchases you’ll always love

8th June, 2019

When it comes to shopping it’s easy to get caught up in the process and end up with something that you may only be interested in for a short period of time. It’s these purchases that often end up gathering dust in your wardrobe and ultimately wind up on a ‘to throw away’ pile in the not too distant future. These purchases often add up and once you’ve done a final tally you’ll often realise (much to your dismay) that you could have bought a big ticket item that you truly love.

So how can you go about making sure you end up buying things that you won’t fall out of love with in a week? Here are some key things to keep in mind:

Do some research

Shop around and check out what’s available out there. Whether it’s shoes or a dress you might find that you had one particular style in mind but once you’ve looked further you may find another style that you love even more.

Give yourself a cooling off period

Regretful purchases notoriously happen when you’ve seen something and immediately snap it up without giving it much further thought. Sometimes these purchases work out but more often than not you could end up something that you’ll lose interest in.

This is why it’s important to give yourself a cooling off period. If something catches your eye, sleep on it and reassess in the morning. If you’re still thinking about it then buy it. You’ll know it’s true love when you can’t get it out of your head.

Do the wardrobe test

Ask yourself if what you’re about to buy will realistically work with the rest of your wardrobe. Think about where you could wear it to, what you can wear it with and how many outfits you could pull together now if it were sitting in your wardrobe. If your answer to any of those questions is a bit sketchy then it might be worth reconsidering.

Consider cost per wear

Bear in mind that something is not cheap (even if it’s on sale and been reduced drastically) if you only end up wearing it once. That’s why I always factor in cost per wear whenever I’m buying anything.

Sometimes it can be easy to opt for something that may be slightly cheaper but not what you truly want however if you find that it hardly gets used then you’re not getting value for money. The same goes for buying something super expensive but then finding you barely wear it.

It makes much more sense to hang out for something you truly love. If something works out to be expensive but then you end up wearing it to death and the cost per wear ultimately ends up being $2 a day then you’re definitely onto a winner.

 

Fashion

How bloggers approach style

1st June, 2019

 

Flipping through high fashion magazine shoots and scrolling through their websites and respective social media accounts, I am often in awe of what I see. It’s hard no to be. The styling is immaculate, the pieces used are all ultra fashion forward and everything is just so aspirational. It’s definitely one of the key ways I am inspired in what I wear.

When it comes to style bloggers however, I find the approach is a little different. The styling is definitely more accessible and translates common trends in a way that’s practical and easy to wear in everyday life. As a fashion blogger I love being able to showcase looks that are easy and wearable and the type of look most women would be able to use to inspire an outfit that they can wear to work or out with friends. For me the wearability factor is also important as I’m often shooting my looks using the back of my car as a portable change room and running between fittings and picking up the kids so there’s definitely a more relaxed approach to how I style everything.

I’m friends with a few style bloggers and everyone has an everyday approach to fashion. We use the same bags and shoes multiple times to showcase how important it is to ensure everything you own is versatile and can work back with most of your wardrobe. Also it’s about mixing older pieces with on trend items and giving a look a signature touch. I know I like being able to find a piece I already own and give it a new lease on life by pairing it with a few key accessories of the season such as a particular shoe style or a certain silhouette. Our approach is about styling and making a look our own and something we’re comfortable in as opposed to letting a look wear us. Plus we’re all about versatility. I know when I’m styling my ‘What I Wore’ shoots I like to find outfits that I can take from day to night just by switching my footwear or handbag and I like to ensure I mix designer and high street pieces. And if there’s one things most bloggers like to do it’s experiment. I know I’ll often try on some unexpected pairings to unearth a new outfit combination I hadn’t considered but that makes me feel great when I walk out the door. And ultimately that’s how I hope all my readers feel whenever they come to my blog.

 

Fashion, Shop

What I will never scrimp on in my wardrobe

25th May, 2019

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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.

Fashion

How to do winter layering

4th May, 2019

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.

What are some of your tips for winter layering?
Fashion

The power of the statement shoe

27th April, 2019

I’m a firm believer that shoes can make or break an outfit. This is why I’m all about a statement shoe. An eye-catching pair of shoes can pull your entire outfit together. I think the key to a great statement shoe is in the cut, the material and the colour plus I think they’ve got to be classic in that they last season after season but they’ve also got to have interesting details that make them unique. Even if it’s just a plain black pump there has to be something about it whether its just a beautiful heel or great material. And most of all, it has to be beautifully crafted.

I have plenty of shoe labels that I love but at the moment these are the brands that I think do the perfect statement shoe

Aquazzura have really beautiful designs and have a really interesting look to them.  I have a great pair of Aquazzura snakeskin stilettos that I wear all the time.

I love Tabitha Simmons‘ shoes. I wore a pair of her leopard print stilettos to Melbourne Cup one yaer and I felt they really added an interesting element to my outfit. Her shoes are just a little bit quirky and a lot of fun.

I also love Balenciaga‘s shoe line. They’re classic and are perfectly crafted. As I wear my heels so often I invest a little more in them so they’re great quality and are built to last.

Photography: Tamika Keioskie, Beyleigh Vedelago, StyleSnooperdan

Fashion

The one thing I always do when I plan an outfit

13th April, 2019

Oh dress codes. I find that some people are either a stickler for sticking to a dress code or they will just try and remain in the vicinity of it. I’m the former. In fact, it’s the one thing I will always consider when I plan an outfit. My job often requires me to go from a casual launch one minute to a black tie event the next so to me dress codes are a way of guiding my outfit planning for the week. Even without a stated dress code my brain tends to go into that mode and I will allocate one to whatever event it is I’m going to as it helps provide me with some styling structure.

When it comes to deciding what I’ll be wearing the one thing I never do is start with a single accessory such as a hat or shoes. I know lots of women who will tend to work around a particular piece but it’s just one of those things that has never really worked for me. I tend to get in a better styling frame of mind when I can work with a solid base such as the dress I want to wear (in keeping with the dress code of course!) and then visualise the pieces that will work with it. Usually I find this gives me a more cohesive look and I’m able to pull together something a little easier.

Which camp do you fall into? And how important are dress codes to you when it comes to styling your outfits?

 

Fashion

How to buy jeans

6th April, 2019

Jeans are a cornerstone of my wardrobe

I can’t live without denim. It’s a key part of my wardrobe all year round so it’s key to find the perfect pair. I buy a lot of stuff online but I think jeans are one thing that you really need to go in store to try on to make sure the cut, fit and colour all work well. My key criteria is that it works with my body shape, has some flexibility and isn’t too stiff, isn’t too hipster or high-waisted and has to be of a good quality so it lasts. When you find the perfect pair of jeans you just know! If you’re in the market for new jeans, follow my foolproof plan to find The One. Here’s how to buy jeans that are the perfect fit and style…

Buy the right size

It may sound obvious but I’ve been caught out before by the whole “it will stretch” claim. I’ve learned that you should always just buy a size that’s firm but not super tight. It should feel comfortably snug but not so much that you feel like you can’t breathe!

Take the time to try things on

Yes, you may have a pair of old faithfuls that have served you well but it pays to try on different cuts, styles, washes and brands when you’re buying jeans. It can be a tedious process, I know, but taking the time to actually try things on outside of your denim comfort zone may help you unearth a pair of jeans you never knew you always wanted.

Identify your go-to style

Skinny jeans and I have a longlasting relationship—the cut just works with my height and frame. However your perfect match might come in the form of a straight leg or a boyfriend cut. The key is to try on as many different styles as you can and once you’ve found the perfect pair invest in a few different washes.

Skinny jeans are my go-to style but it’s important to find the right silhouette to suit you

Know your denim

A heavier denim has more durability than a lighter denim. So if you’re after a pair of jeans that will last a few seasons, it pays to go for something a little thicker. Also a heavier denim will generally offer better support than lighter, thinner denim which can be a little less forgiving. However if a stiff denim isn’t for you, look for a pair that is made up of around two per cent lycra and 98 per cent cotton—it’s got enough give to be really comfortable but is able to hold you in where you want it to.

Expand your denim wardrobe

I love light denim jeans but I also like black denim and white denim. I find that having all three shades in my wardrobe covers all the bases and allows me to have options for plenty of different outfit combinations. Also, know that some washes will show wear and tear a lot sooner than others. For example dark denim will show obvious “whiskering” a lot sooner than lighter denim so keep that in mind when choosing the colour of your next pair.

Invest in a few different colours to ensure maximum versatility in your denim wardrobe

Don’t be a denim snob

I’m not too stuck on brands—I’ve bought jeans from ASOS and loved them as much as a designer pair from Ksubi and Nobody as the most important thing is how it fits. I’m picky when it comes to the colour or the cut but apart from that I’ll happily wear any denim label. Even if you’ve got your go-to brand, it’s a good idea to try on a few different brands each season in case you find another one that works better for your body. There’s SO much new denim each season that you need to keep on top of what’s out there in case there’s a new range that would perfectly suit you.

If you’re getting jeans hemmed, bring heels with you

If you’re going to get jeans tailored it should only ever be the length that you alter. You should keep looking until you find a pair that fit you around your bottom and your legs rather than trying to do anything with the waistband or legs. I’m not that tall so jeans can be quite long for me so I’ll take them to be professionally altered. I like my jeans to sit on my ankle bone. When I’m getting them hemmed I’ll normally take the heels I’d wear the most with them to the alterations place so I can be sure to get the correct length. I think if you get the right length for high heels they can work with sneakers, flats and most other shoes quite fine.

What are your favourite go-to denim brands?

 

Fashion

How to decode dress codes

16th March, 2019

Stylesnooperdan Kate Waterhouse Manning Cartel 12

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.

Smart casual

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

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

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

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.