Browsing Tag

fashion

Fashion

Style masterclass: what to wear to a wedding

14th March, 2021

Photo by James Bold on Unsplash

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?

Fashion

Rules of wearing statement pieces

7th March, 2021

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?

 

Beauty, Fashion

Little things that help you look polished all the time

6th February, 2021

Looking polished all the time isn’t simply about an expensive outfit or perfectly applied makeup day in an day out I’ve found it’s often all about paying attention to the tiny details that will ensure your appearance is always on point. I’m constantly around women who have to look polished as part of their work and these are some of the small things I’ve found ensure they look consistently put together…

Neat nails

Unkempt nails will always derail anything else you may have done with your outfit. One of the simplest things you can do is keep your nails tidy – ensure they’re all the same shape and size. Take the time to keep your nails in top shape and while nail polish is always an easy way to pull an outfit together if you’re not a polish person a simple buff and file so they’re neat works too.

Clean shoes

Scuffed shoes, scratched heels or shoes that look like they’re on their last legs will always negate any effort you’ve gone to to look nice that day. To avoid this be sure to use waterproof spray on your shoes so they don’t get ruined during inclement weather and repair any shoes as soon as you notice damage so they don’t get worse.

Tidy bag

A clean bag will always add to a polished appearance. I know when you’re carrying around a bag all the time that it can easily get dirty or damaged so be sure to spray any leather with protectant spray to avoid it getting stained. If it’s a canvas bag make sure that you keep an eye out for any stains or marks and attend to them straight away.

Pressed clothes

Walking out the door in wrinkled clothes will leave you looking less than polished. If you hate ironing be honest with yourself before buying anything that requires complicated pressing and determine whether you will actually ever find yourself reaching for the iron to attend to it. If it’s a no, let it pass. Even if you tell yourself you’ll get to it, take it from someone who isn’t a fan of ironing you’ll avoid it for as long as you can. An alternative to ironing is to buy a steamer which makes it much easier to get wrinkles out of garments and is great for delicate pieces.

Minimal makeup

I’ve always been of the philosophy that less is more when it comes to makeup. By avoiding going over the top, it achieves a far more elegant finish and by default makes the rest of your outfit look polished. One of my rules when it comes to makeup is to choose either my eyes or lips as the focal point, so it’s either a bold eye or a bold lip, I never do both.

Inspect your clothes

It’s the little things that can often let you down when it comes to clothing. Loose threads, fraying hems, a stain here, pilling there—these are all things that can compromise your whole look. Make a point to attending to signs of wear and tear or damage straight away to keep your clothes looking pristine.

What are some ways you stay looking polished?

Fashion

Refresh your work wardrobe without spending a cent

31st January, 2021

When you’re faced with another full working year ahead with a closet full of office attire that puts you to sleep it can make getting dressed for work just that little bit harder. When you feel like you’ve worn the same combinations over and over it’s time to mix things up and get excited about your nine-to-five looks again. Here are some simply and easy tricks for how to refresh a work wardrobe for free.

Pair things you usually wouldn’t wear together

It’s the year for pushing fashion boundaries.  If you’ve had the same work outfits on rotation for the last few years then it’s time to give them a new lease on life. Eschew your usual combinations and start experimenting. If there’s a shirt that you always wear with a particular pair of pants then make a point of trying to team it with a skirt. If there’s a go-to jacket that you wear to death try to make a point of reaching for another topper such as a blazer or trench. We tend to fall into the habit of reaching for the most familiar pairings so by making a conscious effort to do otherwise you’ll likely end up with something fresh and new. If you’re looking for one of the simplest ways on how to refresh a work wardrobe this is definitely one of them.

 See what you can repurpose from your going out looks

If you’ve got a section of your closet dedicated to going out clothes then it’s time to give them a chance to shine outside of the odd evening out. For example a dress that you’d usually save for a fancy dinner can be reworked by adding a structured blazer on top. As long as the hemline and neckline is still quite conservative (and it doesn’t have sequins all over it!),  you can definitely get away with wearing it to work.

A skirt with a button down melds corporate and cool

Borrow from your off duty wardrobe

I’m sure many of us have our clothes for the weekend and clothes for weekdays however have you tried weaving some of your casual clothes into your workday outfits? A simple white tee for example, can be worn with tailored black pants, heels and jewellery for a modern office look. Pop on a jacket on top and it instantly looks more formal. If you work in a more creative environment with a relaxed dress code, your favourite boyfriend jeans worn with a tailored shirt and heels looks chic with an element of cool. If you want a slightly more feminine look a floaty skirt worn back with a button down manages to look corporate whilst still being on trend.

Change up your accessories

We can fall into the rut of wearing the same accessories day after day which can contribute to feeling like it’s office wardrobe Groundhog Day. It’s lovely to have signature pieces that you never take off but sometimes it pays to incorporate something else into the mix whether it be a pair of earrings, a striking necklace or a great watch. A simple addition of something you wouldn’t usually wear can instantly change up a look.

Try having a few more bags in your work wardrobe rotation

Swap your bags around

If you’ve got a trusty work bag that you wear day in and day out try to challenge yourself to swap to another bag more often. It can begin to feel quite monotonous looking at the same tote all the time so switching to another bag such as an over the shoulder number or an oversized clutch can really lift a tired ensemble.

Experiment with your beauty looks

Whilst it’s great to mix and match your clothes don’t forget to refresh your beauty look too. If you wear your hair and makeup the same way most weekdays then make an effort to be a little more adventurous. Try an up-do as opposed to wearing your hair down and vice versa, wear a statement lip or introduce a pop of colour with your nail polish. It’s the little details that can elevate your office wardrobe and lead to it feeling rejuvenated.

How are you changing up your work wardrobe this year?
Fashion, Shop

What I’ll be shopping for at the after Christmas sales

25th December, 2020

After the festive season comes the time of year that most avid shoppers count down to: the after Christmas sales. If you’re prepared, you’re almost always guaranteed to find something worth snapping up at a discounted price. The key to winning at sale shopping however isn’t just to look at the tag and buy anything that’s been drastically reduced, it’s to choose strategically. Otherwise it’s likely you’ll end up with less of a bargain but something that will just gather dust in your closet. Which is where my Boxing Day sale tips come in handy.

It’s always worth going in with a game plan, and that means delving into your closet(s) and seeing what gaps you need to fill and what needs replacing. Whether it’s your work wardrobe or your linen drawers, it’s worth pinpointing what you need so you don’t waste time or money looking for things that may end up not getting used at all. While sale prices are great, it’s also worth doing it in a way that won’t be adding unnecessary clutter into your home. And at this time of year, there are certain things that you should definitely snap up.

Here are some things I always wait till sale time to purchase…

Splurge on your big ticket items

If you’ve been wanting to buy some investment pieces now may be the perfect time to snap them up. Shop around to see if the big ticket items you’ve had your eye on have been reduced as you may save yourself quite a bit. Designer bags or shoes are often discounted at the sales so keep an eye out for some gorgeous pieces. Sunglasses are also things I like to buy on sale as there are some great bargains to be found.

Grab your basics

Throughout the year I’ll often need basics such as t-shirts, jeans and underwear and to avoid spending a fortune on restocking my wardrobe, I find sale time is the ideal time to buy them. Also buying staples on sale could mean you’ll be able to buy reduced top quality pieces that are likely to last longer.

Buy key wardrobe pieces

I always have a few things that are on heavy rotation throughout the year, and that includes things like jeans, blazers, and shirts, so I will often wait till sale time to update them. As they’re pieces that I wear constantly throughout the year, the cost per wear is great at sale time, because not only am I paying a discounted price, but I’m going to get plenty of wear from what I buy.

Sale time is a great opportunity to buy occasion wear

Look for occasion wear

If you’ve got a big event on the horizon such as a wedding or milestone birthday, the Boxing Day sales is a great time to buy your outfit for that occasion. If you spend a bit of time shopping around, you’ll often be able to find some great occasion wear (often by designer brands) at a fraction of the cost you’d be paying throughout the year.

Stock up on linens and towels

If there’s one thing I make sure to do, it’s only ever buy bedding and towels when they’re on sale. I always wait till the end of the year and check out what’s been reduced and nab them then. It’s a great opportunity to restock my linen cupboard as I’ll often end up with some luxe pieces for a fraction of the price.

Snap up kids clothing

The girls outgrow pieces fairly regularly so it’s also an opportune time to buy some new things for their wardrobe. Things like pyjamas and basics, along with special pieces are often on sale so I’ll be able to buy a few garments that will last them throughout the year.

What have you got your eye on at the after Christmas sales?
Fashion, Shop

Update your activewear wardrobe with these key pieces

22nd November, 2020

Image: Instagram/@gigihadid

If lockdown had you embracing a new love of exercise, or you’ve been a longtime workout fan but simply want to start updating your activewear wardrobe there’s no better time than now. After all there’s nothing like new exercise gear to help motivate you to hit the gym. And the best bit? There are plenty of options to suit every style. You could opt for sleek separates in black and white, go crazy with prints and patterns or add a pop of colour a la Gigi Hadid. Now, all you need to do is get ready to train up a storm.

Update your activewear wardrobe with a few key pieces…

Fashion

How to buy jeans

7th November, 2020

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 and is generally 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

I used to favour skinny jeans over every other cut, but lately I’ve started embracing a high waisted straight leg. Occasionally I’ll still wear a skinny silhouette but I’m definitely favourite straight more and more. However your perfect match might come in the form of a wide 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.

I've become a convert to the high waisted straight leg jean

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.

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, but 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, Shop

What I will never scrimp on in my wardrobe

9th August, 2020

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.

What are some things in your wardrobe you’ll never scrimp on?

Fashion

How to do winter layering

14th June, 2020

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.

Finish with a great coat

The final finishing flourish of any winter look is a great coat. It’s easily one of the first things people see but it’s often relegated as an afterthought, so I’ve always tried to build up a few go-to coats throughout the cooler months. I always go for a statement coat, and then some plain, failsafe options in black, navy, cream or camel—I’ve found these to be so effective at finishing off a look, and also maintaining cohesion from top to bottom.

What are some of your tips for winter layering?
Fashion

How to care for your winter knits according to an expert

17th May, 2020

Penelope Cohen is the director and designer of Skin and Threads, the premium label that focuses on simple, polished basics and beautiful luxe knitwear. Now that winter is upon us and it’s time to start introducing our knits back into our wardrobe it’s important to master how to care for them to ensure they stay in pristine condition. Here Cohen shares her top tips for doing just that.

How should we store jumpers?

I always prefer to store my jumpers folded as it prevent them from stretching while on a hanger and becoming too big or misshapen. Discourage the moths by using moth balls or I prefer to fill a little cloth bag full of lavender which smells lovely and discourages the pests.

What are the best fabrics to go for?

I am a big believer in natural yarns.  They always feel the best and also have the best breathability. Merino wool, washes and wears beautifully as does cashmere if you treat it with a little bit of care.

How often should you wash jumpers and how?

Put simply, if it’s not dirty, don’t wash it. Air them on a clothes horse or spot clean them as much as you can rather than immersing them in water. It’s better for the yarn and of course a little friendlier on the environment. Oh – and always use a wool and cashmere specialised detergent in cold water when do you have to wash them!

How do you suggest we avoid pilling?

Pilling occurs when the fibres rub together and most commonly occurs under your arms, on the side where you wear your handbag or when you consistently wear your sweaters under jackets. For cashmere, this is a natural process and not necessarily a sign of poor quality. De-pill your sweaters gently by using a fine de-pilling comb. You should not have to de-pill it regularly and the pilling should settle down after a couple of washes.

Do you have a favourite jumper in your current collection?

Knitwear is my downfall… Our cashmere boyfriend is a classic but the navy funnel neck and matching mini is probably my favourite look for the season.

Which winter trends are you are loving at the moment?

Long line cardigans worn as your outer layer and of course mixing my silk blouses with my chunky knitwear and leather leggings is always a constant love.