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Fashion

What to spring clean from your wardrobe

4th September, 2021

Photography by Adrienne Leonard on Unsplash

Now that spring is here there’s no better excuse to do a big wardrobe clean out. I always like to do one at this time of year to ensure that I’m utilising my closet space with pieces that I truly love and use often—otherwise I’m just losing precious real estate that could otherwise be occupied by new purchases! That said, it’s also great to take stock of everything to see what gaps I currently have and what I’ve got way too much of so I know what to look for when I’m shopping. Also, it reminds me of old favourites that I can incorporate into my fashion repertoire.

If you’re about to embark on a clear out, take the opportunity to weed out the below items from your wardrobe and donate them to charity so someone else can make better use of them. After this process I guarantee you’ll rediscover clothes that you’d forgotten about and in turn create some fresh looks that will make everything you own feel new again.

“Someday” clothes

You know what I’m talking about—these are the clothes that you’re saving for “someday”. So whether you’re bookmarking something for that time when you reach your ideal weight or are hanging onto an old dress in the hopes you may wear it to an event down the track (even though you’ve been to multiple occasions and didn’t even think to pull it out) then it’s time to be brutal and say goodbye.

Ill-fitting pieces

If something is a bit loose you can either get rid of it or if you think you’d actually get a lot of wear out of it if only it fit, then make the effort to get it tailored. If the problem is that it’s too tight then it’s time to bid it adieu. You want your clothes to sit well and flatter your shape not look like you’re squeezing yourself into something that just doesn’t work.

Anything you haven’t worn in a year

There are some things that obviously don’t fall into this category such as a wedding dress, but generally if you’ve managed to get through four seasons without once reaching for a particular garment then it’s a good sign that you can live without it.

Irreparable garments

There are some things that you may be keeping in your closet as they need a few repairs. Pull all these items out and take the pieces that you actually want to keep and wear to a tailor to see what can be done. For anything that’s not able to be fixed, instead of binning it, try recycling it. There are certain organisations that take clothes that are in poor condition and recycle them into things like rags, insulation or stuffing. Do a quick Google search to find a place near you.

What things do you need to clear from your wardrobe?

 

 

Fashion

What to do when you’re bored of your wardrobe

24th August, 2021

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 hit a wardrobe rut 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 a 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 jeans why not try pairing it with a high-waisted skirt or a pair of wide leg pants 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.

Use 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. An old look can be completely transformed with 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

How to improve the versatility of your wardrobe

31st July, 2021

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.

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.

Neutral hues are always guaranteed to be versatile

Fashion, What I Wore

How to elevate your weekend wardrobe

20th June, 2021

Ahhh weekends. There’s nothing better than enjoying a little down time at the end of a hectic week and for me that also applies to my wardrobe. I’m all about comfort plus when it comes to what I wear an Saturday and Sunday but it doesn’t mean that I compromise on the style front.

I think you can still achieve a really nice balance between your fave trackies and being dressed to the nines (something I became familiar as soon as I started working from home). I’ve built up a great arsenal of casual pieces since I’ve become a mum (silk shirts just aren’t made for playgrounds) so this has in turn been able to translate into my off duty looks as well. Here’s how you can elevate your weekend wardrobe into something comfortable yet polished.

Revamp pieces with a white tee

A white t-shirt can be paired with so many things — wear it under a slip dress, pop it on with a skirt or tuck it into wide legged pants so it pays to have a few in your closet. It’s honestly the easiest thing to mix and match and will save you many wardrobe hassles over the weekend. I’ve also found teaming a white tee with dressier piece also tones them down a bit and makes it appropriate for casual day wear, expanding the use of your wardrobe even more.

Try a printed skirt

A beautiful printed skirt is a seriously comfortable option as far as weekend wear goes, but it looks so chic at the same time. Try a pleated skirt or a wrap style with a striking print for an of-the-moment outfit. Pair it with a lightweight sweater or a tee or singlet and a pair of sneakers and you’re ready for whatever the day throws at you.

Invest in great sneakers

I live in sneakers most of the time so I’ve found that having a go-to pair is ideal. Classic white sneakers will go with virtually everything you own whether that be your favourite jeans or a summer dress. They’re a definite workhorse so you can stock up on a few different styles and get plenty of use out of them.

Update your look with fun frames

A pair of sunglasses is always within easy reach whenever I leave the house and I’ve found it to be one of the easiest ways to make a look feel polished and ‘now’. Try the small frame sunglasses trend if you’re feeling a little adventurous with your sunnies or a colourful pair which will inject a little playfulness into any outfit.

Have a go-to carryall

Whether you opt for a chic backpack, a roomy tote or a crossbody style it’s always a good idea to swap to a more casual, take-anywhere bag on the weekend. I’ve found that a reliable and study carryall made from leather is something that will last you many seasons. Also switching from my work bag to an off duty bag also helps me get into the right mindset for relaxation.

Dress it up

Dresses are without a doubt one of the easiest things you can ever put on simply because there’s no need to worry about mixing and matching tops and bottoms. I’ve found slip dresses are a simple shortcut to looking on trend and chic, plus you can mix up the look of them by wearing a t-shirt underneath.

Turn to chic co-ord sets

I love co-ordinating sets. Whether it be a shell top with shorts or a jumper with jogger pants there’s something quite effortless about matching separates that makes you look instantly pulled together. They’re a major trend at the moment so you’ll no doubt find a set that works within your style and budget this season.

What are some ways you’ve elevated your weekend look?

Fashion, What I Wore

I go to countless events in a year—here’s how I’ve made dressing for them easier

29th May, 2021

From product launches, to parties and racing events, not to mention occasions like weddings and birthday celebrations I can often find myself with multiple functions in a month scheduled in my diary. That’s a whole lot of event dressing to contend with. It can become a time consuming process so I’ve managed to refine my system down to a few key things to make it easier for myself. If you’ve found yourself with a booked social calendar then you may want to nab a few of my tried and tested tips to make the whole process a cinch.

Three-step beauty prep

I could be wearing an amazing dress but if I’ve let things lapse in the beauty department it dilutes the effect of getting dressed up. There just aren’t enough hours in a day to spend on beauty prep before a big event so I’ve managed to get it down to three things.

A spray tan is great as it’s almost a shortcut to looking amazing—you get that glowy effect without having to do much at all.

I always book myself in for a Shellac mani. I do this in racing season when I know I’ve got a few functions back to back and need my nail colour to last. Instead of matching my nail colour to each outfit which would just take up way too much time, I always choose a shade that can work with myriad looks. A neutral shade or a wine/burgundy colour works a treat as there’s not much that it doesn’t go with.

I’ve always believed that the foundation to great makeup is skin in tip top condition so I always book myself in for blueberry peel from one of my fave spots, The Clinic in Sydney. It’s ideal right before a big event as it helps reset my skin and ensure it’s in good shape. That said, a simple at-home sheet mask or peel can also work towards rejuvenating your skin for a big event.

I don’t wear new shoes

Wearing stilettos right out of the box to an event is a disaster waiting to happen. You need to give footwear a bit of time to stretch and get comfortable, otherwise you risk having them rub while you’re wearing them, in turn causing blisters. Ouch. I’ll often wear new shoes around the house a few days beforehand to break them in and get used to walking in them. Otherwise I’ll just opt for one of my fave heels that I’ve worn plenty of times before because I can guarantee I’ll be comfortable being in them for hours.

One of my event rules? I never wear shoes straight out of the box.

I turn to my go-to brands

I love browsing through stores such as Net-a-Porter for a big occasion as every brand I could want is at my fingertips, and it’s great for a little fashion inspiration. However over the years I’ve managed to find a handful of brands that haven’t let me down when it comes to their offering for event dressing. I’ll often go to them first as I then don’t have to spend ages scouring different labels as I’ll almost always find something that I like. I can’t go past Bec and Bridge, Rebecca Vallance, Camilla and Marc, Scanlan Theodore and Dion Lee when I’m searching for an outfit for a big function. It’s always a good idea to have a few key favourites you can check out, that you know suit your style and your shape.

I’m selective in what colour I wear

Lately I’ve been gravitating towards for colour for big events as I find it’s impactful and really stands out. Vibrant reds, punchy yellows… I’ve worn them to a few occasions such as launches and weddings. If I’m borrowing something then a bright hue is definitely where I like to head. However if I’m purchasing something and I’m trying to get maximum wear out of a particular item, then I can’t go past classic tones of creams, blacks and greys. Not only do they work for multiple occasions but if I also choose something in a really simple cut and style, they’re so easy to transform by changing up my accessories.

What are some of your tips for dressing for events?

Fashion

The rules of timeless style

12th May, 2021

Timeless style is so aspirational because of its effortless nature—it’s an aesthetic that has the power to move through the seasons every year, and often gifts the wearer the ability to dress with minimal fuss. Why? Because every piece is considered and every piece is guaranteed to work. At the core of every timeless look, are pieces that have stood the test of time, and have proven themselves to be worthy of being labelled a classic. And when you’re able to work with a wardrobe that ticks all those boxes, then you know that your look is one that has longevity on its side. Here are some important timeless style rules to remember.

Avoid trends

Trends are fun, but they’re trends because they do come and go. If your ultimate goal is to achieve timeless style, then it’s important to focus on pieces that have longevity as opposed to jumping aboard every new ‘it’ style every season.

Go for classic silhouettes

There are just some silhouettes that have proven themselves to stand the test of time. A tailored pant. A structured blazer. A cinched in shirt dress. A voluminous midi skirt. These are all staples that are designed to last for years to come. Look at the styles that are a constant and embrace them loyally.

Take a measured approach to accessorising

Accessories are a fundamental part of any look but a timeless ensemble is all about taking a considered approach to your accoutrements. This means looking at your outfit and thinking about each accessory telling a cohesive story. While statement pieces are great, it’s also about making sure that you let each piece sing, without competing for centre stage.

Embrace simplicity

Timeless style is effortless and elegant, and at it’s core it’s about embracing a simple approach to dressing. It’s about opting for pieces that are understated, yet when pieced together, make a strong look. Consider clean lines, a streamlined design, and less is more detail.

Choose quality

Timeless goes hand in hand with quality. If you want your look to have the ability to transcend seasons, it’s worth investing in quality pieces that are built to last. Whether it’s a soft, buttery leather bag or a crisp, stylish trench coat, be mindful of fabrication and construction as the tell-tale signs of a look that has longevity.

Know your style

Classic style is about knowing your look. What works, what doesn’t and what is quintessentially you. Someone who is assured about their approach to fashion will often achieve a timeless vibe with everything they wear, simply because they know their look and wear it with confidence.

Fashion, Shop

What I look for before buying anything designer

9th May, 2021

Nothing beats buying a beautiful designer item but they’re often a significant investment so I always make sure I am strategic about what I’m purchasing to ensure there’s no buyer’s remorse involved. If you’re looking to snap up a special piece to treat yourself or are looking to add some key pieces to your wardrobe in the new year here’s what I always look for…

Is it really popular?

I steer clear of the ‘it’ bag of the season. If I’m shopping for an everyday bag that’s going to be carrying everything from my essentials to my laptop then I make sure that I opt for something that’s a signature item for the brand but not ubiquitous. I don’t like having a designer bag that everyone has because I feel they go in and out of fashion just as quickly as they come in. Plus you don’t want people being able to immediately identify that your bag is from a certain year’s collection. To combat this I always ask the shop assistant if it’s a style they intend to do again so it’s not so identifiable to a particular year.

Finding a unique style

I’m the complete opposite in my approach to evening bags and shoes. If I’m buying something special like a clutch I like to make sure they’re not making further runs of it because I want it to be a one-off. The same rule applies when I’m shopping for statement heels. I want them to be quite unique so I don’t want them coming back season after season.

Anything with interlocking Cs is always a good buy!

Researching what’s out there

I used to do a lot of shopping whenever I went on an overseas trip but these days that’s impossible as a mum, especially now with two little girls to entertain. So most of my designer purchases are made online these days. I always make sure to visit various websites such as Net-a-Porter, Nordstrom and Matches Fashion to see what’s available. One way I make sure I’m only getting up to the minute releases is to click on the ‘What’s New’ section when I’m browsing websites. That way I’ll only be seeing current stock.

Double check the size

Shopping online at the high end e-tailers is often a little easier as doing returns is fairly straightforward if something isn’t quite right. However I always do a check of the size just to be sure it’s the right fit. If it’s true to size generally choosing your normal size will be fine, however if it’s not I always check if I’ve bought the brand before and see if there’s something in my closet that I can cross check the sizing against.

This Gucci clutch will be a go-to for years to come

Always opt for classic

I’m all for taking a fashion risk or two but when you’re making a purchase that’s quite expensive it pays to think longevity. I always opt for neutral colours and opt for classic styles so I know that I’ll end up with something that will last in my wardrobe season after season.

Shop around

Anything by a high end designer is generally going to come with a significant price tag so be prepared to shop around. Check out prices both in-store and online before you buy anything so you can get the best deal. Whilst they’re definitely an investment buy and will (if you choose right) last you for years to come, it still doesn’t hurt to pay the least amount as possible…and hey, anything leftover can always go to another future purchase!

What’s one designer purchase you’ve made that you absolutely love?

Fashion

How I plan my outfits

24th April, 2021

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

How to get a minimalist wardrobe

28th March, 2021

One of the best things about going into a boutique is just how amazing it feels to flick through the racks of a tightly edited collection. Being able to see everything at a glance, to have a certain level of airiness as you’re browsing is all part of the experience. And that’s also the beauty of having a minimalist wardrobe. Having a curated closet means that everything is considered, and that everything works well together. Doing this results in less wardrobe dilemmas and less stress in the morning as you’re not wading through piles of clothing trying to find something to wear. Also the funny thing with having less choice is that it often results in being able to pull more looks together. So, here’s how to get started.

Define your style

What’s your style? Confusion about what your personal aesthetic often makes it difficult to take a minimalist approach to your wardrobe simply because the parameters of what you can wear are just so big. By taking the time to define your style you’re more likely to be able to hone in on the pieces that definitely will and won’t work, in turn narrowing your closet down to the things that will get plenty of use.

Stick to a limited colour palette

Most brands will generally have a colour palette that they stick with for each collection, that’s also in keeping with the overall aesthetic of the brand. By adopting the same approach with your closet, you can narrow down the pieces that you own to certain hues that can easily be mixed and matched, which will then make it easier to pull looks together.

Edit, edit, edit

The beauty in having a minimalist wardrobe is that it allows you to narrow your entire closet down to pieces that you’ll a) get plenty of use out of and b) work well together. By having a limited selection of clothes you take being overwhelmed by choice out of the equation as you can see everything you own at a glance. When it comes to decluttering be brutal—only keep versatile, wearable pieces that you know you’ll be able to create multiple outfits out of.

Decluttering sessions are key to a minimalist wardrobe

Shop consciously

This should be everyone’s mantra not just for those who want to take a more minimalist approach to their wardrobe. Start thinking about purchases a little more strategically. By putting careful thought into every buy, not just mindlessly impulse purchasing, you’re able to ensure that your wardrobe works cohesively and that each item of clothing you own works harder.

Think classic

Trends are fun but classic pieces will have greater longevity. Pare your closet down to items that are wearable in multiple ways and styles that won’t date or go out of fashion. By editing your wardrobe to have pieces such as this, you’re able to have less clothes, but more outfits because everything will work just that little more cohesively and have more versatility.

Update seasonally

The great thing about a minimalist wardrobe is that you can be a little more measured in your approach to shopping. You can look at your closet seasonally and review what needs updating instead of constantly dipping your toe into trends that will only last a season.

Fashion

The flattering way to wear a midi length skirt or dress

6th March, 2021

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…

Consider your footwear

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. That said, I’ve been wearing it a lot with flats and sandals and I think it also works, so go with what’s more comfortable.

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.

The midi skirt or dress has quickly become a fave of mine

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.

Cinch in the waist

The thing with the midi length is that it can come across as frumpy if you don’t have the right silhouette. You want to have a cinched in waist to give the look some shape, otherwise just having a long dress or skirt end halfway down your leg does not make for the most flattering look.

Pay attention to where it ends

Wearing a dress or a skirt that ends mid calf means that the dress cuts off at the thickest part of your leg. Often, this isn’t the most flattering length for a woman so I would suggest going for something just slightly below for a better effect. It shows off the ankle and generally makes for a better finish.

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