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fashion advice

Fashion, Shop

The basics every woman should own

15th April, 2018

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There are some principles that I maintain when it comes to fashion. I always invest in quality pieces, everything has to be versatile and work back with what I already own and the end result always has to be polished. However by far the one thing that I can’t get dressed without is an arsenal of good basics. These are the building blocks of most of my looks. I can add accessories to liven things up or pair them with great jacket but ultimately they form the basis of almost everything I wear.

Over the years I’ve found that there are key basics that my wardrobe just wouldn’t function without. Essentially most of my outfits are aided by any one of the below items on a day to day basis and having them on hand means less outfit dilemmas for me. It’s been a process of trial and error, but this is what I’ve found are the building blocks of a great wardrobe. Feel free to add to the list!

A white t-shirt

The perfect white tee is a necessity. It’s something that you’ll reach for in your wardrobe time and time again. It pays to go in search of one that’s the right fit, length and cut to ensure that it suits you perfectly.

Singlets in staple colours

Grab one singlet in white and one in black and I guarantee that you’ll end up wearing both repeatedly. Much like the white tee it’s the perfect item for layering and will become a welcome addition to your closet.

Oversized cardigan

A cosy cardi in a neutral tone (I particularly love grey but white, navy and black are also good options) is guaranteed to see you through winter and the tricky trans-seasonal period when the weather can be a little unpredictable. Invest in one made from quality wool or cashmere and I guarantee you’ll have it for seasons to come.

V-neck jumper

I’ve found that out of all the different jumper styles out there the v-neck is the most flattering. When it comes to jumpers the same principle for the cardi applies—choose one in a neutral tone and made from wool or cashmere. Personally I always buy jumpers a size or two bigger because I don’t like anything too tight.

Lounge pants

It’s time to elevate your lounge wear. When I’m at home I live in either cotton, cashmere or wool lounge pants and I’ve found that they can easily go from being in the house to out without having to do much. This is great for those times when I just need to quickly duck to the shops and don’t really feel like changing.

Jeans

Whatever your denim style, a pair of lived in jeans that you can turn to constantly will give you plenty of outfit options when it comes to dressing for your down time. There are plenty of options available out there (I’m definitely a skinny jeans girl) so make sure you try on as many pairs as possible until you find the perfect fit. If you need a little help denim shopping check out my guide here.

Leather pants

These are definitely one of my staples because they’re just so comfortable. I’ve found that a pair in a leggings style are the most versatile but there are so many different variations that it pays to hunt around for one that will work with your wardrobe the best.

Great underwear

I recently posted about how important underwear is to an outfit so make sure that you stock up on comfy, flattering underwear. Look at your lingerie drawer and be honest with yourself —is it filled with quality pieces or are you still clinging to your old faithfuls that are hanging on by a thread? If it’s the latter it might be time to consider an upgrade. You don’t necessarily need anything fancy but it definitely has to be able to work with multiple garments and provide support in all the right places.

What are some of the wardrobe basics you can’t live without?
Fashion

8 wardrobe basics that can instantly make styling an outfit easier

26th February, 2018

Kate Waterhouse street style in wardrobe basics of white shirt

Wardrobe basics are the lynchpin of your look. I find that owning a few key pieces can in turn make everything else you own just that little more wearable as you can start with the below items and then build an outfit around them. Each person obviously has their own unique style so some of the pieces below might require substituting here and there but overall I think they’re the kind of staples that can be worked in so many different ways. Versatility is key when it comes to a look and having the right wardrobe basics in your closet can really ensure that you are able to take your style repertoire in several different directions. I’ve narrowed down a few key things that I think every woman needs…

Kate Waterhouse wardrobe basics stacked jeans

Jeans are a key part of my off duty wardrobe

1. Jeans

It’s imperative to find yourself a pair of jeans that fit you ridiculously well and are ultra flattering. My go-to style are skinny jeans as they work with my body shape but yours could be a straight leg style or a chic pair of wide leg pants.

2. Leather leggings

I’m already looking forward to transitioning to my autumn/winter looks and one of my can’t live without staples is a pair of leather leggings. I can wear them dressed up or down and as a bonus they’re so comfortable. When buying a pair be sure to try on a range of different styles from different brands as the fit can vary.

3. Comfortable t-shirt

A plain white t-shirt is the kind of piece that will be in constant rotation. I love a crew neck style and wore one here, however a v-neck tee is equally as good. Start with white, however shades such as black, grey and navy and a good stripe are also a great addition to any wardrobe.

Kate Waterhouse wardrobe basics white button down shirt

A white button down shirt is a classic staple in my wardrobe

4. Button down shirt

There’s a reason why a classic white shirt is at the top of most wardrobe basics lists — it’s just so wearable and can add a stylish touch to any look. One styling trick I like to employ is opting for a slightly looser fit when it comes to shirts as visually it can make your frame appear smaller.

5. High waisted skirt

A high waisted skirt is a go-to when it comes to office wear but it can also easily transition to your off duty wardrobe. Opt for a simple black or a fun print and pair with a tee or shirt for an easy, out-the-door-fast look.

 

6. Quality knit

Invest in at least one quality knit in a quality fabric (cashmere is luxe, but oh-so long lasting) and opt for colours such as grey or black as they’re easily paired with multiple items in your wardrobe.

Kate Waterhouse wardrobe basics Balmain blazer

This blazer has seen me through so many different occasions – it’s definitely a must when it comes to wardrobe basics

7. Blazer

You can wear a blazer to work or out to dinner on a Saturday night and is such a must when it comes to wardrobe basics. Popping one on can easily dress up a look give it a stylish touch.

8. Scarf

A scarf is the ideal trans-seasonal piece to add to your wardrobe. I have one that I like to wear when I’m travelling as I can use it as a wrap when the temperatures are slightly chillier.

Tell me—what are some of the wardrobe basics you can’t live without? Have I missed any on my list?
Fashion

Why investment pieces are worth saving for

24th February, 2018
Kate Waterhouse street style with one of her favourite investment pieces, a Givenchy Antigona bag

This neutral Givenchy Antigona bag is still getting a major workout a few years on from when I bought it

You’ve no doubt heard me talk about investment pieces here on the blog and also probably heard the term bandied around in fashion magazines and websites. However are they really worth the splurge? In a word: yes. And I think it all comes down to cost per wear.

Cost per wear is that magical equation that allows you to not freak out quite so much about the fact you’ve dropped a significant amount of money on just one piece! It’s basically the cost of an item divided by the number of times you wear it. The more you wear it the cheaper it becomes. I’ve always tried to save for the big wardrobe staples that I know I’ll wear season after season.

When it comes to things like a great blazer (I searched high and low for a Balmain one that’s still one of my favourite buys), a good quality handbag and classic coat, I need them to last as I wear them all the time. That’s why I’m prepared to drop a little bit more money on them simply because I know that years down the track I won’t need to replace them and they’ll still be there, kicking on and looking good. This helps me to justify the significant investment as it works out to be just a few cents each time I wear those pieces. The key however, is already knowing which items you’ll be wearing constantly. There’s no point in buying something that you think you’ll wear all the time only to find that you really don’t. Cost per wear flies out the window then!

Kate Waterhouse wearing investment pieces of leather leggings with Givenchy Antigona bag and Gucci Princetown slippers

Of this outfit the bag, leather leggings and slippers I consider to be investment pieces in my wardrobe

That said, there’s definitely a lot to be said for a quick fashion fix — I’ve done it because it’s immediate, it’s easy and always guaranteed to be on trend right that minute. I’ll often hit up chain stores for things like t-shirts and lounge wear as they have a short shelf life and I’m not really looking for too much longevity when I buy them.

I think wardrobes are all about balance. My approach is to buy the best quality I can for the cornerstones of my look and then skimp on those that are fun to have, but not a long term addition. That gives me the best of both worlds in that I can always add current cheaper finds with those pricier investment pieces that have been in my wardrobe for years.

Tell me—What are some investment pieces in your wardrobe that have been worth the splurge?

 

 

Fashion

What I’ve stopped wearing in my 30s

21st February, 2018

Kate Waterhouse in style staples enjoying coffee

My style, like most women, has evolved as I’ve gotten older. There are things that I wore when I was younger that I probably wouldn’t even consider now because of changes in lifestyle i.e not practical when chasing after two little girls and because my tastes have matured, there are simply pieces I just don’t think are right for me anymore.

Whilst I’ve given up wearing a few different styles, on the flip side, there are certain things in my wardrobe which are now ideal for where I’m at in life and I wear them non-stop. It’s a style evolution and I think it’s one that I’ve happily embraced and has allowed me to discover the new Kate. Reflecting on it, here’s what I’ve firmly left behind in my 20s and those that I’ve welcomed with open arms in my 30s…

The things I’ve stopped wearing

Sky high stilettos

When I was in my 20s I was working as a fashion editor and was either in an office or out at events so my look had to work around this accordingly. As such I used to be happy to walk around in stilettos all day. I used to wear them all day, everyday and looking back, I’m not sure how I even managed that. My poor feet!

Fussy outfits

Upon reflection I used to wear a lot of outfits that I’d have to adjust all the time to look perfect. Whether it was a particular neckline or a certain dress style, I’d constantly be fixing myself up. As you can imagine I can’t do that now so when it comes to my looks I steer clear of anything that remotely requires fussing about.

Short hemlines

When I was younger I used to wear lots of ultra minis and short shorts. Why not when you can get away with it, right? These days if I was to wear something of a short-ish length I’d probably do a more understated, conservative blouse up the top, whereas I might have done something with a plunging neckline in my 20s.

The things I now wear to death

Flat shoes 

My motto is comfort, comfort, comfort. So unless I’m going to a big event I’ll often be in flats. Styles like loafers, sneakers and slides are now my go-to. I think flats have evolved a lot and are now equally as stylish as a pair of high heels so I’m happy to be in them all the time.

Structured pieces

Shirts and blazers are key pieces in my look. I like things that are comfortable yet can look polished at the same time. They’re also really versatile and can be worn with myriad pieces in my closet, which is a must as I like to have a tightly edited wardrobe nowadays.

High quality staples

I probably spend more on key purchases now than I did in my 20s simple because I now appreciate why quality is often better than quantity. I’m always willing to splurge on things such as a classic designer bag or a pair of leather pants which I know I’ll wear to death and will be good value for money.

Understated silhouettes

Maxi and midi lengths and long, flowy styles are now favourites of mine. I have more fun playing with those lengths than I do with anything that’s tight and short. I’ve also found myself gravitating more towards one piece swimsuits than bikinis this summer. I think those styles just simply flatter my shape more.

Accessories

I like to play with accessories a lot more. I have my accessories which I wear day in and day out have great sentimental value to me such as my watch, wedding and engagement ring and a gold antique medallion that my dad gave to me. However I also like to add the occasional statement earring to elevate an outfit. I’ve learned that accessories really can make an outfit.

What are some style lessons you’ve learnt in your 30s? What are some things you’ve firmly left behind in your 20s?

 

 

Fashion, Shop

One white t-shirt, five ways

27th November, 2017

I’ve always considered a white t-shirt to be a wardrobe staple due to its versatility. I can be wearing a white t-shirt to do the school run one minute to attending a work function the next and be wearing the same tee. Whilst I love the fact it’s so simple to dress it up or down one of the reasons I love it so much is because it’s just so comfortable. Comfort is always key when it comes to my outfits and I love anything that’s unfussy and still maintains an element of polish. If you need further convincing then I’ve got five great looks that all incorporate a white tee, yet each with a distinctly different vibe…

A blazer and loafers when paired with tee make this preppy look feel laidback and understated

 

A post shared by 💃🏻Sara (@collagevintage) on

A printed wrap skirt and straw crossbody bag transform a tee into a polished summer look

 

A post shared by Aimee Song (@songofstyle) on

A denim skirt and a white tee are the ideal pairing and the addition of  heels and a mini structured bag gives a glam touch

 

Ripped denim and white Gucci loafers elevate a tee into luxe territory

 

A post shared by Emma Hill | EJSTYLE (@emmahill) on

A bold lightweight topper, slides and cropped denim equals effortless chic

 

Add a white tee to your wardrobe…
Fashion

Refresh your wardrobe without spending a cent

22nd November, 2017


If there’s one thing that’s pretty much guaranteed to happen at some point in every woman’s life it’s feeling rather uninspired when looking into your wardrobe. It’s easy to turn to buying new things to help break out of this rut but it’s also a costly exercise if that’s your go-to each time you think you have nothing to wear. That’s why it pays to get creative and look to other ways to refresh your existing clothes and find new ways to wear them. Try the following things the next time you’re faced with wardrobe boredom, and the best bit it is it doesn’t cost a thing…

Rediscover your accessories collection

I can’t stress enough how playing with different accessories can really help revamp a tired look. The important thing is to get creative and experiment with different pieces. Challenge yourself to wear things that you wouldn’t usually wear with a certain outfit such as switching out the statement necklace you’d normally pair with it for a pair of earrings. You don’t just have to stick to jewellery either. You could also try tying a scarf around your hair or popping on a hat—it doesn’t take much effort but it can really help bring an outfit to life.

Play with your beauty look

You may be wearing something you’ve worn hundreds of times before but by changing your beauty look it can feel fresh all over again. A bold statement lip or a sultry smoky eye, even a bright pop of colour in the form of nail polish, can really help rework an outfit into something that feels new.

Work with bold prints and patterns

One of the easiest ways to refresh an existing piece in your wardrobe is to work it back with interesting prints or patterns. A plain white tee is brought to life when paired with a striking pattern such as a bold stripe or classic polka dot. If you’re feeling adventurous, try clashing different prints for a look that feels modern and on trend—just make sure to choose prints with at least one colour in common to help bring cohesion to your look.

Rework existing pieces

You’re probably so used to wearing particular items in your closet a certain way that you’ve not thought about styling it differently. Simple tweaks like rolling up the sleeves of a shirt, tying the ends of a button down, belting a dress or tucking in a tee can achieve a new look without having to do much at all.

Think outside the box

You know your favourite skirt? Well, could it be fashioned into a dress? How about pairing a one piece swimsuit with a pair of jeans? Look beyond a garment’s original purpose and think of ways that it could possibly work in another way. I’m betting there are plenty of things already sitting in your closet, that with the right styling tweaks could easily be given a refresh for free.

What are some of your favourite no-cost ways to refresh an outfit?

 

Fashion, Shop

The one bag you should definitely have in your wardrobe

19th November, 2017

I was lucky enough to receive the above Proenza Schouler clutch as a gift and it has without a doubt become a workhorse in my wardrobe because it ticks all the right boxes: it’s simple, it’s understated and as it’s black it goes with virtually any day or night look. I think a clutch is the kind of thing every woman should have at least one of in her wardrobe. You can of course invest in a statement clutch or one in a more ornate style that’s perfect for a formal event however a great place to start is a bag that can accompany you when you’re heading out for a nice dinner or out with the girls. I think the key is to find one that can fit your essentials and is a bit of a style chameleon in that it can work with a variety of different colours, a range of different looks and is appropriate for most occasions.

Shop my edit of the most versatile clutches for every style and budget…
Fashion

How to look chic on a job interview

17th August, 2017

A job interview can be a nerve-racking experience so it’s important to feel confident in how you present yourself on the day. A polished appearance is crucial for making a good first impression and along with your top notch interviewing skills is one thing that could help you stand out from other candidates. Here’s how to nail a killer interview outfit.

Stick to the company dress code

A clean, pressed outfit is a given when going to a job interview but one thing to keep in mind is to dress for the company you’re interviewing for. Do your research into the culture of the business and tailor your outfit to suit. For example if you’re going for a job in a place with a creative culture then a suit might not be the best option—you want the interviewer to see that you can fit seamlessly into the company and the first impression they get will be based on your attire.

Keep makeup to a minimum

Heavy makeup can be a little off-putting in a job interview setting so a fresh-faced approach is best. Keep your beauty look clean and polished to maintain a professional appearance. Also, keep your hair neat and tidy and avoid any overly messy or flamboyant styles.

Go for a clean approach to accessorising

Over the top accessories can be distracting in an interview. This is definitely one instance when you want the focus to be on what you’re saying so save your statement earrings for the weekend and keep your jewellery to a minimum.

Comfort is key

A job interview is not the time to be worrying about your outfit when you should be focussing on being a standout interviewee. This is why it’s important to ensure that you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing—this means you should be able to walk in your shoes, not be fidgeting with buttons or straps and everything should be a perfect fit. If you feel at ease in what you’re wearing then you’ll present better, which can only mean good things for you and the end result of your interview.

What are your big interview no-nos?

 

Fashion

5 pieces that always save me in a wardrobe crisis

26th July, 2017

An unexpected wardrobe crisis is not something I can usually afford to have first thing in the morning. This is why I’ve developed a roster of key pieces that I know will always save me when I’m having issues on the outfit front. They’re tried and tested and I know exactly how to work them with what’s in my closet so I can easily pull together an outfit in minutes. Here’s what’s saved me more times than I can count…

Little black dress

A little black dress is the equivalent of a get out of jail free card when it comes to fashion. An LBD has saved me on numerous occasions from having a wardrobe crisis as it’s such an easy foundation from which to build an outfit—all it needs is a great pair of shoes and accessories and I’m done. I know it’s also guaranteed to be flattering so it’s ideal for those days when I can’t afford to waste time trying on multiple outfits but need to look and feel my best.

Jeans

I always feel comfortable and confident in my favourite pair of jeans so for casual days out I know I can always rely on them to build an outfit around. I can easily just add a tee and flats if I’m out running errands or a structured blazer and heels if I’m after something a bit dressier.

Leather pants

I live in black leather pants throughout winter as they’re so comfortable and can also easily be dressed up or down. As a lot of people probably do, I generally always turn to anything black when I’m having a wardrobe crisis as it’s always a flattering hue and is an easy jumping off point to build a look from. The perfect pair of black leather pants can easily be paired with a tee and sneakers for great off duty style or a blouse and heels for a dressier look.

Shift dress

Shift dresses have always been my go-to at all times. Even during pregnancy I found them to be a great option as the silhouette works with my frame and is an easy basis from which to create a look. I’ve found dresses are a lifesaver during times of wardrobe dilemmas as you don’t need to fuss around trying to match tops and bottoms—simply throw it on, find a pair of shoes and you’re done. Shift dresses may not work for everyone so definitely find a dress style that you know works with your shape.

White shirt

A crisp white shirt is considered a wardrobe classic for good reason—it’s an easy option to pair with everything from jeans to leather pants to a skirt and always looks polished. I find it’s always a good idea to have a white shirt ironed and ready to go at all times as it’s an easy option to turn to when you’re staring at your closet feeling really uninspired. Throw on a white shirt and I guarantee it’s wardrobe crisis averted!

What are your go-to wardrobe lifesavers?
Fashion

What I’ve learnt from working with stylists

27th March, 2017

I’ve worked with a few different stylists on shoots over the years and it’s always an experience in which I walk away having picked up a tip or two to adopt into my own wardrobe and how I style my looks. There’s just something about watching a professional at work that has taught me about everything from the best shapes that suit me to the one non-negotiable of a great outfit. Here, I’m sharing a few of the best lessons I’ve learnt…

Tailoring is everything

The one thing all stylists insist upon is having everything tailored to fit. It really does make a difference to your overall look. For example on magazine shoots, to ensure a garment fits, stylists will often use bulldog clips to nip it in and ensure it falls perfectly on the body. I’ve since adopted this into my own wardrobe by ensuring I get everything tailored whether it be to take something in or up.

Mix it up

Stylists never use a look that’s head to toe one brand. Also often they will mix high end designer pieces pieces with cheaper items to create a look that’s more unique and less like it just walked off the pages of a look book. I always mix brands and love discovering lesser known brands as I’m able to create an overall look that’s all my own.

Learn what colours and shapes suit you

Stylists will often do fittings prior to big shoots to do a test run of the different outfits they’ve put together. Having done these a few times I’ve paid attention to the types of colours and shapes that they will pull for me to wear. I’ve found that they will choose structured shapes and cuts for me as looser styles sometimes overwhelm my frame. This has encouraged me to experiment to really pinpoint what suits me and it has been great as I can now look at something and know whether the cut and style will work for me or not.

Accessories can change any look

One of the fun things about being on set for me is seeing all the amazing accessories laid out by the stylist for the shoot. There are often numerous options for shoes, belts, jewellery and bags as they’re the finishing touches that can really finish off a look. Seeing an outfit evolve on a shoot with the addition of an accessory has taught me that it’s the best and easiest way to take an outfit to another level.

Don’t be afraid to push boundaries

I’ve often come away with an outfit combination I would never have thought to put together or a different way of wearing a particular garment from observing stylists at work. They’re really not afraid to flip fashion on its head and create looks that are interesting and totally unexpected.

What are some of the fashion rules you live by?