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Fashion

5 pieces that always save me in a wardrobe crisis

22nd June, 2019
 

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, 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

Refresh your wardrobe without spending a cent

18th April, 2019


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

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 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 I Wore

The most essential items in my wardrobe right now

7th November, 2018

Like most women, there are certain things in my closet that get a workout. These are the pieces that I currently have on high rotation simply because they are so wearable and can easily be mixed and matched with multiple pieces in my wardrobe.

I’m a big believer in cost per wear so the below list should give you an idea of items that are definitely worth splurging on. Certain styles will easily get plenty of use because of their versatility and wearability — two criteria that are are crucial things to factor into your decision whenever you’re making a new purchase.

Here are the things that are doing double duty for me right now…

Goyard tote and Dior flats

I think a sturdy, roomy tote is a must for any woman. This bag has been such a great investment as I am able to throw all the girls’ things in it and still have plenty of room for my own essentials. And because it’s such a good quality that it can withstand being thrown around at the playground and still look great.

I’ve been on the hunt for comfortable, stylish black flats for awhile and these Dior pointed slingbacks were the answer. They go with virtually everything I own from jeans to my favourite dresses and I can walk in them for an entire day, which is ideal as I’m on the go all the time. I waited until I found just the right pair before buying these and I’m so glad I did as I wear them to death.

Camilla and Marc jeans and Gucci chain strap bag

I can’t live without jeans. I’m in them multiple times a week so I had to track down just the right pair. These jeans ticked all the boxes: I loved the colour, I loved the cut and I loved the fit. I’ve been known to dress them up like above by just adding a dressy jacket or keep them casual by pairing them with my favourite white tee. Either way they work beautifully for various occasions.

I’m all for neutrals but sometimes love splurging on a statement piece. Surprisingly however this embellished Gucci bag has worked almost like one of my more simple bags. I think because I use it as an accent piece for outfits that are quite understated — it’s a great way to add an element to my look that pops.

Balmain blazer and Balenciaga sock boots

My beloved Balmain blazer is one of the items I probably couldn’t function without. It has definitely earned its cost per wear and more. I wear it with jeans and dresses, skirts and pants and it works every time. I love how wearing it always makes anything I’m wearing look instantly polished. The nipped in silhouette, strong shoulders and long length make it the perfect jacket for everyday wear. I think every woman should have a black blazer in her closet.

I bought these for winter one year and haven’t looked back since. I think the fact that the snug fit makes them a little more versatile than an ordinary ankle boot which can be a little bulkier around the top. The sleek look makes them perfect for wearing with everything from a suit to a skirt.

Dior bag

This bag is a new addition to my closet and it’s been getting plenty of outings. It works as both a clutch and a shoulder bag (perfect for events when you may decide that you want to go hands free later on) which makes it really versatile. Also you can never really go wrong with a black bag can you?

Gucci loafers

These loafers are a workhorse in my wardrobe. Mostly because I can never have enough comfortable flats in my life. These are great for waring when I’m out and about and the floral motif gives them a little point of difference that can elevate any casual look.

Gucci heels

I have had these heels for years and still to this day I use them often. At first glance gold might not seem the most practical of colours but I think the contrary — metallics can work as a neutral. They can elevate an outfit but can easily be paired back with multiple looks and virtually any colour palette. I also like the pearl studs which add a glam touch that’s not too over the top.

Gucci belt

I’ve spoken in the past of the value of a great black belt and I still think it’s a critical piece of any wardrobe. It gives any outfit a sophisticated touch and turns it into a go-to accessory that can lift any ensemble. I’ve worn this belt with a more polished look like the above, with denim jeans and a tee and this summer, I think I’ll definitely be wearing it with a few of my favourite dresses.

Gucci sneakers

I pretty much live in white sneakers so you can imagine how often I wear this pair. What I like about it is that it incorporates a touch of colour in the form of the iconic Gucci red and green stripes without being too over the top so I can still work it back with myriad outfits.

Alaïa heels

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve worn these shoes which goes to show how often I use them. A plain black heel with simple ankle strap is a shoe that I can guarantee will get plenty of wear so if you don’t already have a pair in this style definitely buy them, especially for the upcoming party season. I have found these heels to be quite the style chameleon as I’ve worn them with a suit, with a dress for multiple events, and a polished look for the office.

What pieces in your closet are currently getting a major workout?

Fashion, Shop

Have fun with punchy prints

31st August, 2018

Classics have a definite place in any wardrobe but I think there’s always room to have a little fun. Enter vibrant prints. Usually incorporating loads of colour and punchy patterns that are guaranteed to lift any outfit consider these your go-to when you want to bring a little sunshine into your look.

You can approach this trend in two ways: choose one statement piece and team it with pared back pieces or go for a clashing effect and team a few different colours and prints. If you’re opting for the latter you’ll need to choose an element to tie everything together whether it be the same colour or similar prints. Often accessories are a helpful way to bring cohesion to your look and give it a more finished effect.

There’s only one way to carry this look and it’s to wholeheartedly embrace it because if you’re going to wear something that’s eye-catching, you need to own it. So whether you go for a beautiful printed dress or a statement coat, a pair of showstoppper shoes or a striking bag it’s important to not shy away.

Sold on this trend? Before you jump on it scroll down to check out how über stylish women like Glossier founder Emily Weiss to blogger Blair Eadie and Farfetch’s vice-president of style and creative Yasmin Sewell are rocking this look. There’s plenty of easy-to-do examples of how to rock vibrant prints in a totally wearable way. Once they’ve won you over, check out my edit of the best punchy styles to introduce into your wardrobe now.

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Shop my edit of fun punchy printed pieces to add to your wardrobe…

Fashion

My favourite finishing touch to an outfit—and it’s so easy to change it up

6th June, 2018

Whether it’s a bejewelled cat eye or classic aviators, there’s no doubt that sunglasses are one of the easiest ways to update an outfit. I’ve built up quite the collection over the years as I have a bit of a weakness for amazing frames! That said, it really as an accessory that can easily change any look. By switching up my eyewear I can change the whole vibe of my outfit in seconds. They’re definitely a key consideration when I’m planning my street style outfits. And I put as much thought into them when I’m pulling together a look for an event as I do my shoes and jewellery.

Here are a few of my current faves.

Small frames

Small frame sunglasses are right on trend at the moment and given their modern silhouette I find they add a little edge to an outfit.

Coloured frames

I love to have fun with vibrant colours when it comes to my sunglasses. The bold pink pair above can really add a playful touch to a look and are one way to make a strong statement.

Classic frames

Gold metal frames have been around for eons and for this reason they’re a reliable go-to. They also work back with almost everything in my wardrobe so they often get a workout.

Cat eye frames

I’ve always loved cat eye sunglasses as they have an old Hollywood feel about them. These days they’ve been updated with embellishments, come in a rainbow of colours and are an ideal way to transform any look.

Sleek black frames

 A pair of classic black frames never goes astray. Whatever the shape, black eyewear it always gives an outfit a sleek, modern vibe.

Round frames

The shape is a little old school and I love that they’re a little bit different to your standard sunglasses. Round frames are quite fun and can work with everything from a dressy ensemble to an off duty outfit for the weekend.

Embellished frames

I adore statement sunglasses. Show me anything with embellishment and I’m sold. This pair with its jewelled rim is one such example when the right frames can really take an outfit next-level.

What are your favourite sunglass styles?

Fashion

The style mantras I live by

30th April, 2018

When I was younger my style was a constant work in project but as I’ve got older I’ve started to really nail down my look. I know what I like and what I don’t and what suits me and what won’t. This has made getting dressed a whole lot easier. This process has also enabled me to start following a few key style mantras. These are the anchor points of my wardrobe and  has helped shape what I wear on a day to day basis and what also what I buy and add to my closet. Every woman will have her own different mantras according to her own personal tastes, however I thought I’d share mine with you all in case it helps you discover your own words to style by.

Always find balance

My style is a constant balancing act. This means if I’m doing one thing such as wearing a shorter skirt then I’ll aim to have a more conservative blouse to even out my look. If I’m wearing a vibrant colour then I’ll try and tone down my accessories so it’s not too overwhelming. I’ve found this has helped me edit my outfits and has given my a basis from which to style them.

Quality over quantity

Given the move towards sustainable fashion I’ve become even more determined to shop for well made pieces with longevity. I try and make considered purchases rather than succumbing to the temptation of an impulse buy. This means that I’ll always leave it a few days before buying anything as it gives me plenty of time to think about how it’s going to work in my wardrobe. I’d rather only buy a tight edit of things a year that I know will last me season after season.

Interesting elements are key

I’ll always try to add one piece in my ensemble whether it’s a killer heel, a statement bag or showstopper earrings that will elevate it. I’ve found that this is often a great way to put my own unique stamp on what I’m wearing and helps give it an injection of personality.

Aim for a polished finish

If you were to ask me what I aim for when I get dressed everyday it would be a polished finish. I always make sure that from head to toe, every garment fits perfectly (which may mean a trip to the tailor to get it altered). As I’m quite on the petite side if I don’t do this I risk looking like I’m swimming in what I’m wearing. Also I don’t forget the little things such as making sure that my bags are always clean, my shoes aren’t scuffed or needing to be resoled or fixed and my jewellery has a classic feel.

Experiment and have fun

Fashion’s meant to be fun. It’s a great way to express myself and play around with different styles and trends, but ultimately I know it’s meant to be an enjoyable part of my life. So this is why I make a point of experimenting with different colours, combinations and brands to find looks that I love to wear and make me feel great every time I walk out the door.

What are your style mantras?

Photography: Sophia Athas

Fashion

5 important style lessons working with fashion stylists has taught me

29th April, 2018

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 walked off the pages of a particular label’s look book. I always mix brands and love discovering lesser known designers as I’m able to create an overall aesthetic 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. This 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 ensemble 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. It has really ingrained in me that experimentation with what’s in your closet is really important for evolving your look.

What are some of the fashion rules you live by?