Browsing Tag

fashion tips

Fashion

How to improve the versatility of your wardrobe

11th June, 2018

Like most women I like to ensure that my wardrobe is wearable and versatile. This means that everything works together harmoniously and there are no one-off pieces that I can’t wear with anything else except for a particular pair of pants/skirt/top. The exception to this would be occasion wear such as a gown for a black tie dinner for example that realistically isn’t really going to be high on rotation. Given that my schedule is so mixed and I can be at a work event, doing an interview or hanging out at home with the girls throughout the week I have to ensure that what’s in my closet can accommodate all these different facets of my life. So, how do I do this? Well there are a few key things that have helped me do this…

Assess your wardrobe

The key with a versatile wardrobe is knowing what you already own. If you approach outfit planning and purchases strategically you’re more likely to have a wearable collection of clothes that can be worked back with multiple pieces. If you just buy things on a whim you may end up with a beautiful red top that goes with absolutely nothing in your closet and you’re then forced to purchase something else to go with it.

Opt for neutrals

I am a big fan of neutrals for the fact that they are so easy to mix and match. I can take one cream jumper in my closet for example and find that it can work with a multitude of pants and skirts quite easily. Whilst a few hits of bold colour is great if you want a truly versatile wardrobe you have to start with a fairly blank canvas to start with and that’s where shades such as white, cream, beige and grey work a treat.

I like to keep it simple, especially when it comes to denim

Keep it simple

Pared back pieces give you the luxury of being able to style them in multiple ways, dressed up or down. You’re more likely to get more wears out of a plain pair of blue jeans for example as opposed to one with lots of embroidery or embellishment because you don’t have too many other competing factors to take into account. By making simplicity your style mantra you can take a few key items and extend their wear.

Implement the 10 outfit rule

Before buying anything ask yourself if you can wear said item with 10 other things you own. If the answer is yes, you’ve got a great piece, high on the versatility scale. If it’s a no then it might be time to go back to the drawing board and look harder for something else that might be more wearable. You’ll soon find that by doing this you not only grow your wardrobe in a way that avoids the ‘I have nothing to wear’ problem but that you don’t waste money on unnecessary one hit wonder purchases.

I keep most of my wardrobe’s colour palette quite simple

 

Fashion

How I plan my outfits

3rd June, 2018

Planning outfits helps me stay organised

I’m an outfit planner. My days are so varied that I like to take wardrobe dilemmas out of the equation as much as possible (that said, I’m not totally immune to a wardrobe crisis here and there) by mapping out my outfits. Some days I’m in full mum mode which means comfort is key but other days where I’m juggling work functions and Date with Kates I need to look a little more polished. Here are a few key ways that I make it work.

I always have inspo at the ready

Planning outfits is made much more stress-free if I have a few looks I’ve seen at my fingertips to inspire me. I tend to collect these as I go along whether it’s saving images on my Instagram or screenshotting particular looks I come across. If I am a bit stumped as to what to wear a quick scroll through these images will immediately get the styling juices flowing.

Wardrobe organisation

If there’s one thing that will make pulling an outfit together easier it’s an organised closet. My wardrobe is organised according to category so jackets together, jeans together and so forth so I know immediately where to look. There’s nothing worse than having a particular outfit in your only to find the shirt that pulls it all together is M.I.A. And to make things even simpler I compartmentalise all the pieces I wear all the time into a section in my wardrobe so I don’t have to search the rest of my closet and mess everything up in order to find what I’m looking for.

Wardrobe organisation is key for a seamless outfit planning session

Having a hero piece

I know some people start with a pair of shoes or a great necklace and work their outfit around that but I like to start with a particular garment whether it be a dress or pants. From there I build on the outfit with a jacket, shoes and bag. I think by just having one key item to start from it helps with creating an entire look rather than just trying to match random pieces together.

Making it versatile

There are times when my day is quite mixed so I need to make sure my outfits are versatile so they’re appropriate for a few different occasions. I sometimes have multiple events in a day so I have to ensure that I only need to change one thing to mix up the look as I don’t often have time to change. This can be as simple as changing the jacket I’m wearing to give the outfit a different vibe.

Giving myself enough time

I’m a planner but there are those people who plan their outfits the night before, even the week before and I’m the first to admit that I can’t work that way. I’d love to be that organised but I find I won’t feel like wearing something if I lay it out beforehand which totally defeats the purpose. So to combat this I try and factor outfit prep into my morning routine so I don’t get frazzled and end up running late. Even just an extra 10-15 minutes of time is enough to pull something together with minimal stress. I don’t want to completely leave it to chance though so I make sure most things I’m likely to reach for are clean and pressed so they’re ready to go.

What are some of your major wardrobe tips? I’d love to hear them so share them in the comments below.

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

What to do when you’re bored of your wardrobe

17th March, 2018

KW AKMAL SAKE-10

It all hits us at some point—that feeling when you look into your wardrobe and think you have absolutely nothing to wear. It’s easy to become bored of your wardrobe when you’re constantly wearing the same things on rotation but the solution isn’t necessarily hitting the shops with credit card in hand, it’s actually finding new reasons to fall in love with things you already own. Here’s how…

Challenge yourself to rework an old favourite

If there’s one blouse you absolutely adore but it has become a little lacklustre of late because of the sheer frequency in which you wear it why not challenge yourself to style it in a new way? If you would usually wear it with a skinny jeans why not try pairing it with a high-waisted skirt or a pair of flares instead? Don’t just rely on your usual outfit combinations, learn to experiment by trying on unlikely pairings and push yourself out of your fashion comfort zone. You never know what great look you may unearth in the process.

Just add accessories

It’s true, the right accessories can really transform a tired wardrobe. Pair a scarf with a dress or top a shirt with a statement necklace to give each look a new spin. Alternatively if you wear the same bag everyday why not mix things up and try pairing your outfit with a different bag each day. A simple bag change can really alter the overall effect of an outfit. The same goes for shoes. If you usually wear a particular look with heels try pairing it with flats. If you usually wear it with dressy shoes try teaming it with sneakers instead.

Change up your bag to refresh favourite outfits

Turn to some visual inspiration

I am guilty of falling into a wardrobe rut where I’ll just repeat the same outfits over and over again. To help shake myself out of this I’ll do a quick scroll through Instagram, flip through a fashion magazine or visit some of my favourite style websites just to get the creative juices flowing. Sometimes all it takes is one image to spark a new idea for an outfit I can pull together using what I already own.

Get something altered

Survey your wardrobe and see if there’s anything that can be repurposed into something new with a few alterations. Sometimes all it takes to completely transform something could be a new hemline or having something taken in in order to change the silhouette. You could find yourself with a brand new wardrobe favourite for just the cost of visiting a tailor.

Take my outfit challenge

If you’re bored of your wardrobe after an easy to follow plan on how to tackle it, try my 7-day outfit challenge. I’ve outlined a different thing to try each day and it will force you to have to look at what you already own and steer you into new territory.

What are some of your favourite ways to refresh your wardrobe?

 

Fashion

My style formula can be summed up in just one word

22nd February, 2018

Kate Waterhouse street style in white off the shoulder top and jeans with Bulgari handbag

My ultimate aim with my style is to look classic and polished, mixed with a few on-trend pieces to stay up to date. However if you were to ask me what my style formula is, the one thing that helps shape what I wear on a day to day basis it can be summed up in just one word: balance. Simple, right?

My style isn’t about having to mix certain pieces together in a certain way to create a certain look. Life’s way too busy to have to spend an inordinate amount of time considering what to wear. So I’ve distilled my approach to outfit planning into simply aiming to have balance with everything I wear.

This just means that if I were wearing something with lots of volume at the top I’d have to balance it out by wearing something that is slimline at the bottom. If I was going to show a bit more skin at the bottom, then I would have to balance it out by wearing a more conservative top. When I wear something that is long and baggier I’d need to balanced it by adding a belt to give myself more shape. Once again, it’s all about balance.

As I said I liked to keep my style simple and straightforward. I avoid anything too fussy or complicated because I just want to be able to walk out the door as quickly as possible. The one way I can manage that is to always ask myself if my outfit is balanced. Volume with something streamlined; embellished with something quite understated; long with something short. This gives me the fashion equilibrium I need to always feel that my outfit is on point.

Tell me—What’s your style formula?

Fashion

The one area of my wardrobe I update every season without fail

8th February, 2018

There’s one area of my wardrobe that I’ll always update every season without fail and that’s my accessories. I think the addition of the right accessory to an outfit can really lift it and make it instantly fresh and on trend. It’s also got the power to turn casual looks into something polished, instantly expanding the wearability of what’s in my closet.

I’ll often tailor my accessories to the season too, so when buying a new shoe I’ll look for a great boot for autumn/winter and a statement stiletto for spring/summer. With the purchase of a single new season shoe I’m able to instantly make older pieces look modern and contemporary by pairing it with something that’s current. It’s an effective trick for getting more wear out of my wardrobe.

Kate Waterhouse street style with gold Gucci heels

The right statement shoe can really make an outfit

Also I always keep an eye out for key pieces like belts and bags as I think they’re an easy way to restyle existing things in my closet and make them look different. The addition of a new belt to a skirt or pant can give it a new vibe by changing its shape or look and feel. And switching up bags can often act as an accent piece that can rejig an ensemble. For example a structured top handle bag can make an outfit feel polished whilst a leather crossbody carryall is a little more relaxed and casual.

Accessories are a great way to feel like you’re wearing a new look, and it’s often more economical than buying something every time you want to freshen up your wardrobe. At the start of a new season, it’s a great idea to take stock of what’s out there and then pinpoint a few thing that you know will a) work with the rest of your clothes and b) has enough flair to stand out on its own and act as an accent piece to any look. It’s simple, easy and definitely effective.

What are some things you always update every season?
Fashion

What I’m culling from my wardrobe this year

7th February, 2018

Having felt the urge to get my wardrobe organised recently inspired me to take a good hard look at what’s currently in there. And let me tell you, there’s pockets of my closet that are in definite need of a little culling. I find it’s always good to take stock of what you own every season, just to make sure that you’re not hoarding anything unnecessary that’s eating into valuable wardrobe space. I don’t have endless space to house my clothes, shoes, bags and accessories, and I’m sure most women can relate to this never ending mission to just try and fit everything in without it falling on top of you every single morning. I had my closet reworked last year and of course, I’ve managed to accumulate more things between then and now, which has left me with less room. So, in the interests of organisation I’ve decided that these are some areas of my closet that I’m going to be ruthless and cull.

Workout gear

Who has more workout clothes than days they actually, well work out? I’ve got way too much exercise gear. Some are great, some are in terrible shape and should probably have been binned ages ago and some I just don’t wear. I have too many pieces and I wear the same ones to death. Also, sneakers! I need to get rid of old pairs I don’t really use anymore as they’re just taking up precious real estate. I’m planning to pick the key pieces I know I always wear and either bin those that are too ratty and old or donate the things that are barely worn but are still in good shape.

Black shoes

My name is Kate and I have a black shoe obsession. I’ve realised I have way too many black shoes. I know they’re versatile but honestly, who needs more than a few key black shoes. I think a great pair of heels, boots, sandals, slides are essentials and the rest I’ll have to assess in terms of how often I actually wear them.

Lounge wear

My lounge wear and casual wear build up quite quickly. Things like my t-shirts and singlets can get old really easily as I wear them all the time. So I’ve made a pledge to myself that once they’ve had their day it’s time to let them go, even if it’s a fave. Realistically I only need a handful of casual pieces to get me through and the rest just end up gathering dust.

Summer dresses

Summer has made me realise that I’m harbouring a ton of little cotton dresses that don’t get worn much but I’ve been hanging onto for some reason. These dresses are great for a little while but they don’t after last the test of time. They pill, they fade, they lose their shape, so I think it’s time I ditched the ones in bad shape as I know I’m not going to wear them again.

Identifying these key areas has really reminded me that it’s important to shop strategically to avoid just buying and stockpiling the same things over and over again. And also financially, it doesn’t make sense to waste money on mindless purchases that may only end being culled later on. I’m making a pledge to get maximum wear out of my wardrobe this year and to do this, I think I need to start with the pieces I really love and wear often. And this exercise was a great place to start.

What areas of your wardrobe are you guilty of hoarding? What are some things you’re planning to cull from your wardrobe this year?
Fashion, What I Wore

How to wear the same dress two ways

7th September, 2017

My wardrobe has a colour palette that features neutral shades quite prominently. It’s important to me that everything I own is versatile and can easily be restyled in different ways to suit myriad occasions. That said, I do have a soft spot for the occasional colourful buy that’s bold and makes a statement. I was after a punchy, vibrant dress in the lead up to spring and this Bambah maxi from Farfetch definitely fit the bill. A lace mustard yellow dress is definitely high on wow factor but as with every purchase I make, I wanted it to be versatile too. My style philosophy has always been that I have to be able to dress something up or down to ensure I can get maximum wear out of everything in my closet. This is why I’ve found a way to transform the look and feel of this dress to suit different occasions and here I show you how.

If you want to go…dressy

I love the ultra feminine details of this dress—the beautiful lace, the oversized bow and ruffles make it a stylish go-to number when I’m headed to a dressy affair. I wanted the dress to take centre stage so I paired it with my gold Gucci heels to keep the overall outfit in a similar colour palette and not have my shoes overwhelm the entire ensemble. With a dress such as this my beauty look had to be clean and understated so I opted for a relaxed ponytail and minimal accessories to keep the look simple and chic.

If you want to go…casual

Whilst this dress looks at home at a formal occasion it can easily be switched up to have a more casual vibe. The first thing I did was swap my heels for a pair of Aquazzura Starlight flat sandals. A change in footwear to flats gives this look a more relaxed feel. I then added accessories in natural textures such as my Nerida Winter straw boater and Helen Kaminski raffia clutch to help dial back the lace which tends to look very dressy. A pair of fun Fendi cat-eye sunglasses adds a playful finishing touch to the overall look and when paired with beachy waves it instantly transforms this dress to something that would be fitting for a more laid-back event. When you can get multiple wears out of a statement piece it’s a definite win-win.

Credits: Dress, Bambah; Sandals, Aquazzura; Sunglasses, Fendi; Heels, Gucci; Bag, Helen Kaminski; Hat, Nerida Winter

Photography: Danielle Castano

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Fashion

The flattering way to wear a midi length skirt or dress

16th August, 2017

Knee length? Easy! Mini? Can do! Maxi? All over it! Midi length? A slightly tricker proposition. I am the first to admit I used to think the midi was an unflattering length (especially if you’re on the petite side). I just saw it as an awkward length that wasn’t particularly wearable. But the thing with fashion is even if you’ve discounted something once before if you see a trend often enough you start to think that it could be worth another try… And I’m so glad I gave the midi another chance. With a little experimentation on how to style it it’s now a go-to length of mine and I often favour it when it comes to skirts and dresses. Here’s how I’ve made it work…

Favour heels

If you’re going to rock a midi length skirt or dress the most flattering footwear option is a pair of heels. It gives added height which elongates the frame. As the midi lands below the knee to mid calf it can cut you off at an unfavourable part of your leg so the best way to combat it is to add a few inches in the form of a heel.

Maintain balance

Keep proportions in mind and ensure that you have the right balance. For example if you’re wearing a voluminous midi skirt then make sure your top is fitted whilst it would be the reverse with a slimline skirt. If you’re too top heavy or bottom heavy it can throw the entire look off.

Experiment with details

Interesting details such as a bold print or pleats are one way to make a midi length skirt or dress stand out. The midi makes a strong sartorial statement so why not allow it to really make its mark by choosing impactful elements.

Tell me—for you, is a midi skirt or dress a yay or a nay?

 

 

Fashion

How I style lounge wear

27th February, 2017

When I’m off duty I’m all about comfort. Leisure wear is all about a relaxed silhouette but at the same time I still like to give it a stylish touch so I can easily go from a day spent lounging at home to a quick trip to the shops without too much fuss. When it comes to dressing for comfort here are the rules I stick to….

Go for quality fabrics

To avoid looking dishevelled I make sure I buy basics in good quality fabrics. For example I love to wear beautiful cashmere knits or a great linen shirt just to make sure everything looks polished. If you are planning to wear these pieces regularly, investing in quality fabrics will make sure that they last longer. My favourite brands for leisure wear include bassike and c&m as I find they make great relaxed pieces that are quite fashion forward at the same time.

Opt for dressier shoes

Your choice of footwear can often help dress up an otherwise super casual look. For example I love slouchy, baggy pants with a drop crotch and when teamed with a pair of slides or loafers or a dressy pair of runners it looks considered and put together.

Stick to a specific colour palette

I stick to neutrals such as black, white and grey when it comes to leisure wear. It’s easy to mix and match and often I’ll add a pop of colour with a scarf just to give the outfit a little injection of personality.

Mix with quality accessories

If I’m wearing a really simple outfit such as slouchy pants with a tee often the addition of certain accessories can help pull it together and dress it up a bit. A leather jacket or a handbag are easy additions that give it a touch more polish.