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fashion advice

Fashion

How to keep your clothes looking pristine

10th January, 2022

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, Fashion & Beauty

The 7 dress styles you need this summer

4th November, 2021

Image: @ariellecharnas; @sincerelyjules; @parisinfourmonths

 

Dresses are one of my favourite go-tos, particularly in summer as they’re comfortable, perfect for hot weather and can be dressed up or down. Also they’re an easy, no-brainer kind of outfit — just pop it on and you’re done. I love them for days where I really just can’t be bothered deciding what to wear as I know I’ll look polished without having to fuss around with an outfit. The great thing about dresses is that there are so many different styles to suit every figure and occasion. Every season there are a few silhouettes to watch out for, and when it comes to summer dressing, these are the styles you should definitely have on your radar…

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A post shared by Aimee Song (@aimeesong)

The puff sleeve

I adore a puff sleeve on a dress. All the volume is actually really flattering when worked back with a more fitted bodice — there’s a nice balance between the two. You could opt for a shorter sleeve or a longer one but both work equally as well. One of my fave styles is a shirred bodice with a puff sleeve which ticks the comfort box (yes, to stretchy things!) and looks dressy at the same time.

 

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A post shared by JULIE SARIÑANA (@sincerelyjules)

The fun mini

Minis are one of the big trends of the season and are such a great option for a casual occasion or an event that requires a bit more dressing up. I love the long sleeved dress above and feel it achieves a balanced effect with the shorter hemline of a mini. Pair a dress like this back with a beautiful slide or a low kitten heel and show off those pins!

 

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A post shared by Elle Ferguson (@elle_ferguson)

The relaxed boho

Whether you’re heading to the beach or off on a tropical holiday the boho dress is the perfect comfy-cool dress during summer. A crisp white style is heavenly, and evokes a totally effortless vibe that is perfect for balmy days.

 

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A post shared by Arielle Charnas (@ariellecharnas)

The cut-out

Cut-outs have been around for a few seasons and they show no sign of waning with a number of designers incorporating them into their collections. You’ll find plenty of dresses dropping in the coming weeks that will feature a peek-a-boo detail and I think it’s such as fun option for summer.

 

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A post shared by Nadia Fairfax-Wayne (@nadiafairfax)

The smock dress

If you’re looking for one of the comfiest things you can wear, it has to be a smock dress! They look really sweet and all that volume works well with a great slide or sandal. Whether in a print, solid colour or a chic neutral, you’ll find there is plenty to love with this style.

 

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A post shared by Carin Olsson (@parisinfourmonths)

The slip

The resurgence of 90s dressing is still very much a thing and you can’t get more 90s than a simple slip dress. It’s a great go-to for events, and when paired with a mini bag and a kitten heel it’s very much on trend. Also you can work it into your wardrobe in any style you choose. Black, white, printed, earthy tones… choose a hue that suits you and your style.

 

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A post shared by TashSefton (@tashsefton)

The shirt style

Dresses with an element of shirting to them are always in vogue. You could opt for a sleeveless version such as this one or opt for a traditional shirt dress with sleeves but either way they’re a wonderful option for summer.

 

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A post shared by PHOEBE. (@mrsphoebeburgess)

The off-the-shoulder

To channel those holiday vibes into your everyday wardrobe try an off-the-shoulder dress. It’s a perfect silhouette for warm summer days and there’s something about showing off one’s decolletage that makes for a really flattering effect.

Fashion

What my fashion mistakes have taught me about my style

31st October, 2021

I am the first to confess that I have made a million wardrobe mishaps where I’ve thought ‘What was I wearing?!’ However that’s all part of the fun. I think you need to be able to experiment with fashion because that’s how you will inevitably discover your style. I know from the mistakes I’ve made that I’ve definitely learned what suits me and what doesn’t.

Great style doesn’t equate to dollar value

The biggest thing I’ve learned would have to be that looking great doesn’t come down to how much you’ve spent or if you’re wearing new season clothing. Because inexpensive clothes can look equally as stylish as something that came from an upmarket brand.

Knowing your shape is important

Knowing your body shape intimately will ensure that you’re confident in what will work on your frame and what won’t. For me, I’m not very tall and quite petite so I can’t wear anything that may swamp me. I steer clear of things like sack dresses for example because I’m not tall enough to pull it off. And that only came from a lot of experimentation and trial and error.

Be selective with trends

Trends come and go and I’ve learnt that I don’t always have to embrace every single trend each season. While it’s easy to jump aboard every new trend, it can also be quite an expensive exercise spending money on clothes that may not have longevity. Experimenting with trends over the years I’ve learned that I shouldn’t feel pressured to embrace every trend, but always remember what works for my shape and style.

I can now flick through clothing racks or scroll through websites and know immediately whether something works. And I think that’s all from making a fashion mistake or two. I think the key to knowing your style is paying attention to the times when you’ve had a mishap and knowing why it didn’t quite work. Often those are the little moments that can really help you define what your look is all about.

Tell me, what’s been your biggest fashion mistake?

Fashion, Shop

The basics every woman should own

10th October, 2021

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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

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

Great alternatives to try when you’re tired of wearing jeans

5th September, 2021

I wholeheartedly admit that I’m in jeans a lot of the time but there are times when I look in my wardrobe and think that I want to be comfortable but I just don’t feel like putting denim on. A great pair of jeans is always a failsafe option, but sometimes I just want to mix it up and try something else without having to compromise on comfort. So, what do I do then? Well I have a go-to alternatives to jeans that are equally as stylish, effortless and perfect for days on the go…

Culottes

I’ve found that the billowy, relaxed silhouette of a pair of culottes such as the pair above is one of the comfiest things you can wear. Wear them with a shirt or tee, tucked in or out, and pair with everything from sneakers to heels, slides or flats. So versatile and effortless too.

Cropped chinos

Chinos have always been a handy staple to have but a cropped version of the style feels a lot fresher and more modern. You can easily dress them up or down which makes them ideal for workwear or a relaxing weekend.

Tapered jogger

These have all the comfort of a pair of tracksuit pants but infinitely more stylish. A tapered jogger looks great for days when you want to wear something simple and unfussy yet remain stylish and comfortable at the same time. You can easily throw on a great knit or pop on a casual trench over them and look put together.

Leggings are one way to look stylish and be comfortable at the same time

Leggings

I live in leather leggings throughout winter as I’ve found them so easy to wear with everything in my closet. I can easily pair them with a blazer or a knit and be ready to walk out the door with minimum fuss. If leather leggings aren’t your thing, I think the silhouette is still great in other fabrications, just be sure to look for a thick, sturdy material that will retain its shape. If there’s one thing that’s a no-no it’s saggy leggings.

Midi skirt

When I’m in the mood for something a little more feminine but still equally as comfortable I opt for a midi skirt. One of my favourites is a knitted midi skirt which I’ve found to be really wearable and perfect for days on the go. It’s a great way to do casual dressing in a more elevated way.

Wide leg pants

I’m a huge fan of wide leg pants simply because they’re effortlessly stylish, making them an easy option when I want to style an outfit quickly. That said, there’s nothing quite as comfortable as a pair of billowy pants so I would definitely recommend them when you want something super easy to wear, that still looks polished.

A midi skirt is a feminine way to do casual dressing, and is such a versatile staple to have
Fashion

5 pieces that always save me in a wardrobe crisis

25th July, 2021
 

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

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?