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fashion advice

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?

 

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

 

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

 

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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

 

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

 

Add a white tee to your wardrobe…