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fashion

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

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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.

Fashion

How to keep your clothes looking pristine

9th March, 2019

We all drop a fair amount of money on our clothes so it’s important to ensure they last season after season. If your clothes don’t tend to go the distance it may be time to tweak your clothes maintenance routine. Adopt some of these basics and you could well give your clothes a new lease on life.

Say goodbye to wire hangers

If you want to keep your clothes’ shape be sure to invest in wooden hangers or flocked hangers. Wire hangers tend to end up misshapen and don’t provide enough support so you’ll end up with wrinkled, bunched up clothes. Additionally you don’t want to have delicates such as a silk shirt snagging on a hanger. Plus when you’re flicking through your clothes rail it’s highly likely wire hangers will end up in a gnarly mess which will make it much harder to find what you’re looking for.

Folding and sorting

When it comes to closet organisation be sure to fold anything that can easily be stretched out such as t-shirts and knits. Hang garments that tend to wrinkle easily such as dresses and shirts.

Follow care instruction labels

Yes, they might be a pain to follow at times but going rogue when a garment clearly states dry clean only or throwing something in the washing machine when it specifies hand washing it will compromise the quality of a garment. If you want your clothes to stay in the same condition as when you first bought it it’s important to launder it as instructed.

Always separate your clothes into whites, brights and dark colours

Failing to separate your clothes will mean that your once bright white t-shirt may end up looking dull and grey as a lot of garments aren’t colourfast which means colour molecules will end up settling on lighter coloured garments.

Examine where you do the most damage to your clothes

Are you constantly damaging your clothes in the same spots? It’s time to look at how you can minimise it. For example if you’re always getting frayed hems it could mean that you need to hem your pants a little higher to avoid it dragging on the ground or alternatively you may need to limit the shoes you wear to a particular height. Pinpointing how you damage your clothes the most means you’re better able to avoid it.

Don’t ignore stains

Deal with a stain immediately to avoid it setting in. A baby wipe or soda water will help temporarily treat a stain if you’re out and about but be sure to dab it with a pre-stain treatment and wash immediately when you get home.

What are some ways you keep your clothes in great condition?

Fashion

What to do when you’re bored of your wardrobe

25th February, 2019

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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 hit a wardrobe rut 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 a 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 wide leg pants 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

How to wear sheer tops

16th February, 2019

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There’s something quite alluring about showing a touch of skin in a sheer blouse. I have sheer blouses I’ve had for years and I’ve been able to get plenty of use out of them as they’re quite versatile and can be worn for myriad occasions. This particular one is from a collection I did with Skin and Threads and I loved wearing it with my favourite high waisted pieces and definitely got a lot of wear out of it. I know this style can seem a little tricky to pull off simply because of the sheer factor but it is possible to wear them minus looking a little too risqué.

Here are some of my tips:

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1. Have the right underwear

If you wear a plain singlet or cami underneath a sheer blouse it gives you plenty of coverage so you can feel comfortable wearing it to work or a more formal setting. If you want to have an edgier look you could also wear a solid, black triangle bra or cami or a bandeau top underneath. Lingerie can get a little tricky if it’s see through so a solid colour is a little easier to work with.

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2. Wear high waisted pants or skirts

If you don’t want your stomach to show in a sheer blouse opt for a pair of pants or a skirt that’s high waisted. It hides your belly button and shows off the flattering midriff part of your body. Plus something that is high waisted gives you a bit more support in the stomach area.

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3. Layer it

If you’re really concerned about having more coverage in a sheer blouse, I find popping a blazer or a jacket on top makes it a little more conservative. You can still show a touch of skin without exposing too much.

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4. Try prints

You don’t just have to stick to sheer blouses in solid colours. A patterned polka dot sheer blouse such as the one above can add an interesting focal point to an outfit.

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5. Make a statement with your underwear

Since your lingerie is on show, why not make a statement with it? Candice Swanepoel (above) has worked a great bra with multiple straps underneath her sheer blouse and it has taken her look to something that’s a little edgier.

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6. Choose the right colours

A sheer blouse in a solid block colour works great with more muted tones. Blouses in black, white are able to be worked back with plenty of pieces in your wardrobe and can be dressed up or down. Also anything with strategic panelling is quite flattering like that on Miranda Kerr‘s blouse above.

What are your thoughts on sheer blouses? 

Photography: PopSugar, All Women Stalk, Daily Mail, Fashionising,