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fashion tips

Fashion

The one thing you can’t afford to forget about your outfit

11th August, 2018

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If your guess was shoes or a bag then you’re incorrect on both fronts. Don’t get me wrong, those are crucial too but I’m actually talking about what’s underneath your outfit. Often when it comes to underwear we throw on the first thing that’s within reach and don’t give it a second thought however did you know that the right undergarments can be the building blocks of a great ensemble? A stray bra strap here or a VPL situation there can often ruin the overall effect of an outfit so it’s key to get it right. Here’s what to do in virtually every fashion scenario.

If you’re wearing a t-shirt…

This is a prime job for the t-shirt bra (funny that). A bra that’s got light padding and no extra embellishments will give you a smooth silhouette when wearing a tee. T-shirt bras will get plenty of use so they’re great to get in black and nude at a minimum.

If you’re wearing a blouse…

If you’re wearing a silk blouse that’s quite fitting you’ll want to avoid anything in lace as it will just create a lumpy effect (not pretty!). A simple bra that slightly padded – something similar to the t-shirt bra will give you a smooth line. However if you’re wearing something loose you could get way with wearing a lace bra. Alternatively sometimes you may want to make your bra a focal point (as I have done above) in which case you should opt for something that’s a little more on the sexy/elegant side as opposed to a thick-strapped utilitarian bra as it will be on show.

If you’re wearing something tight…

A fitting skirt, dress or pants is prime for VPL issues and in most cases a g-string will usually help avoid this. If you’re not a fan of g-strings try seamless briefs which as the name suggests don’t have a seam and will often achieve the same effect.

If you’re wearing something sheer…

You can either cover up by wearing a cami or you can choose to make your underwear a feature. I’ve worn a lacy bralette under a sheer blouse before (see below) and found it worked with the overall look. However if you’re off to work or somewhere where you need to err on the side of conservative opt for a camisole.

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If you’re wearing white…

Whatever you do do not wear white! It may seem as if wearing white underwear under a white garment would make it invisible but it’s actually the opposite and tends to highlight your underwear instead. Your best friend in this situation is nude underwear. A nude bra or a nude pair of underpants will actually “disappear” when worn under white; try it, it’s like magic.

If you’re wearing a singlet… 

Some may opt for invisible bra straps thinking it won’t be obvious but when you think about it, who actually has clear skin? Plastic straps on skin won’t go unnoticed so it’s better to opt for a strapless style instead. Strapless bras have come a long way and now often have silicon or rubber on the inside to help them stay in place. Also, be sure to be professionally fitted for a strapless bra. The perfect snug fit will ensure you don’t spend your entire day trying to pull it up. If you’re really worried, try a bra with a wider band or a longline style which has a band that goes to the waist to give you maximum support.

If you’re wearing a racerback style…

A convertible bra is great in this instance as you can adjust the straps to wear it in a cross-back style which will work perfectly under a racerback style top or dress. However standard bras now sometimes come with a small metal clips on the straps which can allow you to convert it to suit a racerback style. Simply clip together and the straps will be pulled in to the middle of your back and thus hidden from view.

What are some of your favourite underwear brands?

Fashion

5 things to make getting dressed this week easier

22nd July, 2018

A little outfit planning goes a long way

Morning wardrobe dilemmas are a common occurrence for most women. And it can be downright stressful. Anyone who has ever found themselves running late, only to lose the very shirt they wanted to wear will know how it can get your day off to a bad start. So the best way to get around this is to do a bit of forward planning. You can plan as little or as much as you want but if there’s one thing I know it’s that getting your outfit sorted ahead of time can shave minutes off your getting ready time (more time in bed!). It also avoids that situation where you walk out the door and immediately regret what you’re wearing but you’re cutting it too close to change. If you want to avoid last minute panic tomorrow then take note of the following five things…

Designate Sunday as your ‘get organised’ day

You can pick any day you want but Sunday is great because it’s the start of the week. Look at your diary, pinpoint what you have on and then start pulling your looks together. And once you know the outfits you want to wear it’s a good time to wash anything that is dirty and iron everything in advance so all you have to do in the morning is get dressed and walk out the door.

Do a wardrobe clean up

Nothing will stand in the way of you and a drama-free week of outfit planning than a closet that’s overflowing. A little wardrobe organisation goes a long way as it takes away the stress of having to locate clothing in a pile of unidentifiable shirts. My foolproof way to organise my clothes is to take everything out and do a cull to start with. Once I’ve done an edit leaving me with only the clothes I’m loving and using, I will organise them into categories. So jeans go in one spot, activewear in another, blazers, coats and so forth. This means I can see everything and instantly know what I have to work with.

A designated rail is a great way to keep your outfits organised

Put everything in a designated area

If you’ve gone to all the effort of planning your outfits there’s no point putting them all back in your cupboard only to have to find them again throughout the week. If you’ve got room in your home, I really like the idea of having a designated rail to hang all your looks for the week. This can include everything from clothes to shoes and accessories. If you’re a bit tight on space, try hanging your outfits together on one side of your closet so you can easily find them.

Set yourself a challenge

It can become quite tedious to just wear the same things over and over again so why not set yourself a style challenge each week. I have one here that you could try or simply come up with your own. It can be anything from wear one animal print item or wear an all-white outfit. The key is to get your creative juices flowing and think beyond your usual fashion repertoire.

Rethink an old favourite

I’ve got a few old faves in my closet which I wear to death. I usually know off the top of my head what they will go with and end up in the same looks. And whilst this is great for those days when I just can’t be bothered thinking of what to wear, it can sometimes get boring. So, to get around this I’m trying to take the old faithfuls in my wardrobe and wear them in different ways. Whether it’s pairing it with a different colour or a skirt as opposed to jeans, I’m making the effort to rejig the classics I own to keep them fresh.

What are some things you do to make getting dressed throughout the week easier?

 

Fashion, What I Wore

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

16th July, 2018

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.

Wearing an outfit by one of my go-to brands for events, Rebecca Vallance

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 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

Simple ways to elevate denim

27th June, 2018

I am the first to admit that I would be lost without denim in my wardrobe. Jeans often make an appearance in many an outfit that I wear throughout the week and it’s a staple when I’m in off duty/mum mode as it’s just so easy. That said, I can also attest for how simple it is to elevate it with the right accessories and statement pieces and make it ideal for an event or a special occasion.

When it comes to denim I’m a skinny jeans girl all the way as I think it works best with my frame. However with the numerous styles available out there it’s not difficult to hone in on the ideal style for you—it just pays to persevere and check out a few different cuts (check out my tips for buying denim here) as what works for one person may not work for another. I also tend to gravitate towards a formfitting style as I find it works with most of my go-to items in my wardrobe. All my jackets to blazers, shirts and heels all work back with a pair of skinnies.

While jeans, a white tee and sneakers are an eternally stylish combination it can sometimes be hard to think beyond that and see how to dress up denim in a modern way that doesn’t require too much fussing around. I think elevating your it is a simple as it comes if you know the right pieces to turn to. Once you’ve pinpointed those key items you’re guaranteed to always find a way to turn your old faithfuls into something special.

Killer shoes

Great shoes can make any outfit look great. A pair of amazing heels teamed with denim can instantly make it look dressy and polished.

Printed blouse

Swap out your fave tee for a blouse instead. This is a great combination that works dressed up or down—all you have to do is switch your shoes according to the occasion.

A post shared by Nicole Warne (@garypeppergirl) on

Statement jacket

One way to lift trusty denim that requires minimal effort? Turn to the most amazing jacket in your closet. Whether it’s a tweed number or an edgy leather moto style you can never go wrong with outwear that pops.

Classic blazer

I can attest for how unbelievably handy blazers are to have in your style arsenal. And while they go with most things in my wardrobe they’re a dream to pair with denim. A simple black blazer can really turn jeans into something special. Add a pair of knockout earrings and you’re done.

Understated flats

A pair of loafers is a no-brainer pairing with jeans. When you want to be comfortable to run around all day but still need to maintain an element of polish, stylish flats will fit the bill every time.

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?