Browsing Tag

fashion advice

Fashion

Easy ways to incorporate dressier items into your weekday and weekend wardrobe

4th April, 2021

I love dressing up but I always feel a little guilty to see certain parts of my closet go unworn until I have an excuse to wear something to event again. So, I’ve started trying to use more of my dressy pieces, think dresses, beautiful blouses, tailored pants, co-ord sets and suits, in my weekday and weekend wardrobe. Of course, not everything can be transformed into something decidedly more casual (a ballgown is still a ballgown after all!) but for the most part, I’ve been able to utilise so much more of my closet by incorporating a few styling tricks to make pieces seem more casual or daytime appropriate. Learning how to use dressy items in a more casual way ensures that you’re wearing more of your wardrobe, more of the time. Want to try it for yourself? Here are a few things you can do to give your event clothes a new lease on life.

Pair it with sneakers

The foolproof way to take the dressy vibe away from a particular look, whether it’s a dress or a top and pants is to pair it with a pair of white sneakers. The bonus of doing this is that you can pretty much get away with wearing sneakers everywhere these days so it’s an easy fashion trick to adopt.

Add a fun accessory

Dressy for me calls for more glam accessories, but if I want to dial down the dressiness of something I’d usually wear to an event I usually pair it with something playful and fun. Think a pair of white framed sunglasses or a bag in a vibrant colour.

Switch out the top or bottom

Often you can take the dressiness out of an ensemble by switching out an element for something more casual. For example a dressy blouse paired with denim all of a sudden looks ready for brunch. Incorporating a casual feel somewhere tempers the elevated feel of certain items, but without compromising on style.

Ditch the heels

If you want to make something more work and weekend ready, consider leaving your heels at home. There are plenty of other options to use, whether it’s a slide, a ballet flat or loafer, which are stylish but don’t feel so dressed up. Plus way more comfy, so there’s that!

Pop on a jacket

If you’ve got a dress that looks a little more night than day appropriate, consider popping on a jacket. You could pair it with a black blazer, a denim jacket or a leather jacket and it can instantly make it feel more casual, while staying maintaining a polished feel. Plus, this allows you to double the wear from your after dark looks.

Do you use your dressy items in your regular wardrobe? How do you do it?

Fashion

What I’ve stopped wearing in my 30s

20th March, 2021

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.

Westfield Bondi Junction Street Style campaign by Candice Lake in my 20s – and in short shorts!

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

The one thing I always do when I plan an outfit

13th February, 2021

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.

I find that if I’ve got a dress code in mind it helps everything to fall into place and gives me some focus on the outfit I need to plan. For example if I’m going to a work lunch, I’ll generally stick to a particular section of my wardrobe—dresses, skirts, tailored pants and it having this in mind helps pulling an outfit together. If it’s a Sunday morning and I’m heading out for coffee, I’ll generally even have my unspoken dress code for that—it’s all about comfort, comfort, comfort! It’s a little tactic I’ve adopted for as long as I can remember and it really does help me avoid a wardrobe dilemma or two.

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

Fashion

How to look chic on a job interview

7th February, 2021

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 what to wear on a job interview to ensure you nail it on all fronts.

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.

Size matters

Make sure you’re wearing the right size. Not only is it a much more flattering effect but it conveys a sense of polish to the interviewer. If what you’re wearing is too big or too small, it can be distracting to the person interviewing you. So if there’s an outfit you really want to wear and it’s not a perfect, invest in getting it adjusted by a tailor to ensure it is.

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

14th November, 2020
 

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.

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.

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.

White shirts are always a guaranteed lifesaver

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, Fashion & Beauty

Wardrobe tips for petite women

21st October, 2020

Dressing when you’re on the petite/short side can be quite the challenge at times. You’re often faced with the quandry of having things that are too long or too big and the proportions of garments are often not quite right as a result. However all is not lost. There are some easy tricks to ensuring that you get an amazing fit every single time. Here are my tried and tested wardrobe tips for short women.

Make a tailor your new best friend

Tailoring is one of the easiest ways to ensure that a garment is the perfect fit. So find a reputable tailor whose work you like and make them your new go-to person. It’s easy to have something taken in or up and end up with a new garment that fits like a glove.

Try cropped silhouettes

Oversized garments will swamp a small frame so instead look for cropped styles that will elongate your figure instead. Cropped tops look great with high waisted garments whilst cropped pants work beautifully to showcase statement footwear.

Opt for structure

Go for cuts that are close to the body as anything too boxy or flowy will look like it’s wearing you rather than you wearing it. This will flatter your figure and avoid your outfit looking like it’s not in proportion to your size.

Consider proportions

A diminutive shape calls for diminutive accessories. Go for mini bags which work better with your frame rather than giant, oversized bags which can often look way too big worn by a petite person.

Keep everything balanced

I’ve found that incorporating at least one fitted piece into an outfit will ensure a flattering look. Whether it’s a fitted skirt or a tapered pant worn back with a blouse or a fitted tee worn back with culottes, maintaining the balance with loose garments vs tight garments is important for achieving a cohesive look that works with your body.

Fashion

How to keep your clothes looking pristine

12th September, 2020

We all invest a fair amount of money on our clothes over time 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, Shop

The basics every woman should own

5th September, 2020

_MG_4038

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

While they may not be for everyone, I wanted to add them to the list as 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

23rd August, 2020

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

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 styles are skinny jeans or straight leg as they work with my body shape but be sure to find the right style for you.

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.

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.

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, 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?