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fashion tips

Fashion

How I plan my outfits

24th April, 2022

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

2nd April, 2022

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

How to improve the versatility of your wardrobe

20th March, 2022

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

The list that will help you improve your style

9th February, 2022

It’s great to have a vision for something but it’s often the execution which can be the sticking point for many of us. So, it’s a great idea to write it down (a Harvard study actually found that the 3% of students who wrote their goals down ended up earning more than the other 97% combined) to help you hone in on what you want and visualise it. Actually putting pen to paper and writing your thoughts down makes it easier to achieve what you set out to do.

And while you’ve probably mapped out your goals for key areas like work, finance and health, I do find that taking the time to map out your sartorial goals will help you avoid fashion meltdowns, spend less and generally end up with a more wearable wardrobe. Ready to start? Here are the four key places I think it’s worth focusing on.

Do:

Ask yourself what you want to action when it comes to your wardrobe this year. Is it adopting a more minimalist approach? Is it shopping less? Is it avoiding wardrobe dilemmas first thing in the morning? The answers to these questions will help you define what you want to do fashion-wise this year. Once you know what you want to achieve, start breaking it down into actionable steps. So if you want to pare your wardrobe back, then schedule in a wardrobe decluttering session, then follow that up with organising your closet to keep the momentum going.

More:

What are the things you want more of? Whether you simply want more time every day to drink your coffee instead of running around trying to get dressed for work, or that you want more flattering go-to pieces, this is the time to identify what it is that’s going to be your fashion mantra for the year. Look what what you want more of in your life when it comes to fashion. This will keep you in check when you want to buy something but it may not work within the context of the goals you’re trying to achieve, or help you direct your attention to something that will help you tick things off your list.

Having fashion list will help you with you to get to know your style
Less:

Being a more conscious consumer is something many of us are working on, so instead of buying non-stop it’s important to take a step back and pinpoint what you actually need—and also what you have in abundance already. So, if you’ve got five perfectly fine stripey tees, do you really need another? It’s also a great opportunity to pinpoint the things you might want to phase out of your fashion repertoire. Perhaps you had clung onto a particular style that no longer works for you? If so, now is the perfect time to start afresh.

Want:

I’m a firm believer in having a fashion hit list. Look at the things you’d really like to add to your wardrobe and note them down. This will help you from making impulse purchases and instead keep you focused on the things that you should direct your hard earned dollars towards. Would you rather save and buy that dream bag or waste it on smaller purchases that you may not really love for more than a season? Having a defined ‘want’ list will help you shop smarter and also work towards a more cohesive wardrobe.

What strategies do you currently use to help you navigate your wardrobe?

Fashion, What I Wore

How to elevate your weekend wardrobe

29th January, 2022

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 every girl should have in her capsule weekend wardrobe

23rd January, 2022

By the time the weekend rolls around all I want to wear is something comfortable that still fits into my usual style of polished and classic. Also come Saturday morning I just want to get the day started and grab my morning coffee with the girls rather than standing in front of my closet pondering what to wear. If you’re the same and would rather just go into auto-pilot style-wise when you’re in relaxation mode, then I highly recommend pulling together your very own capsule wardrobe for the weekend. By narrowing down your wardrobe to a few key pieces for the weekend you make getting dressed so much easier.

When doing this pick the pieces that you know you feel and look good in, but also are ideal for just relaxing and enjoying a lazy day. Consider your head-to-toe look from your tops and bottoms to shoes and accessories. These will form the cornerstone of your weekend looks and make getting a breeze. When it comes to what to have in your wardrobe, I highly recommend considering adding the following things. These items feature heavily in my off duty wardrobe and I know you’ll get plenty of use out of them too.

Sneakers

A good, reliable pair of white sneakers is comfy and can be worked back with dressy ensembles or your most casual off duty look. Definitely include them in your weekend rotation.

Jeans

A good pair of jeans in a classic wash will serve you well on weekends. You can pair them with a simple tee for a day of running errands or dress them up with heels for drinks with the girls.

A white tee

Invest in the best quality white tee you can as I guarantee you will wear it to death. I wear mine with jeans, under dresses, with skirts, shorts, the list is endless. I honestly can’t get through a weekend without wearing one.

A dress you can throw on easily

The thing with dresses is they’re comfy and so non-fuss. Just throw a dress on and you’re pretty much done. Look for one in a great print or alternatively neutral shades if you want to get multiple uses out of it.

Fun frames

I tend to change my sunglasses as often as I do my outfits so I can attest that often great frames can really add something extra to a look. For weekends in particular, I think a fun pair of sunglasses (I love a cat eye or a small, minimalist style) that’s just a little more playful is ideal for off duty style.

What are some of your weekend wardrobe essentials?

Fashion

How to keep your clothes looking pristine

10th January, 2022

We all invest a fair amount of money on our clothes over time so it’s important to ensure they last season after season. If your clothes don’t tend to go the distance it may be time to tweak your clothes maintenance routine. Adopt some of these basics and you could well give your clothes a new lease on life.

Say goodbye to wire hangers

If you want to keep your clothes’ shape be sure to invest in wooden hangers or flocked hangers. Wire hangers tend to end up misshapen and don’t provide enough support so you’ll end up with wrinkled, bunched up clothes. Additionally you don’t want to have delicates such as a silk shirt snagging on a hanger. Plus when you’re flicking through your clothes rail it’s highly likely wire hangers will end up in a gnarly mess which will make it much harder to find what you’re looking for.

Folding and sorting

When it comes to closet organisation be sure to fold anything that can easily be stretched out such as t-shirts and knits. Hang garments that tend to wrinkle easily such as dresses and shirts.

Follow care instruction labels

Yes, they might be a pain to follow at times but going rogue when a garment clearly states dry clean only or throwing something in the washing machine when it specifies hand washing it will compromise the quality of a garment. If you want your clothes to stay in the same condition as when you first bought it it’s important to launder it as instructed.

Always separate your clothes into whites, brights and dark colours

Failing to separate your clothes will mean that your once bright white t-shirt may end up looking dull and grey as a lot of garments aren’t colourfast which means colour molecules will end up settling on lighter coloured garments.

Examine where you do the most damage to your clothes

Are you constantly damaging your clothes in the same spots? It’s time to look at how you can minimise it. For example if you’re always getting frayed hems it could mean that you need to hem your pants a little higher to avoid it dragging on the ground or alternatively you may need to limit the shoes you wear to a particular height. Pinpointing how you damage your clothes the most means you’re better able to avoid it.

Don’t ignore stains

Deal with a stain immediately to avoid it setting in. A baby wipe or soda water will help temporarily treat a stain if you’re out and about but be sure to dab it with a pre-stain treatment and wash immediately when you get home.

What are some ways you keep your clothes in great condition?

Fashion

How to revamp your work wardrobe this year

9th January, 2022

A brand new year is the perfect excuse to get your work wardrobe in order. I always start the beginning of a new working year by taking stock of everything in my wardrobe so I can identify the key areas that I may need to build on or add to to inject some freshness into my office look. Here’s how to give yourself a stylish start to the year ahead…

Identify your dream work looks

Now is the time to pinpoint your ideal work outfits (I’d suggest doing a mood board for when you’re working from home and when you’re actually in the office). Start by pulling together examples of everything from jackets you may like to suit styles you’ve always wanted to try so you can get an idea of how you want your work wardrobe to look. Once you’ve done this you’ll have a blueprint of your style which makes everything from decluttering what you currently own to what you need to shop for so much easier.

Bin or keep?

Pull out everything you wear in work mode and assess each piece with a critical eye. Does that dress really flatter you? Is that skirt the right length? The aim of this exercise is to make sure that you only keep things that you will actually wear and will help you look polished. Be brutal! Get rid of anything that you haven’t worn in awhile or is looking a bit worse for wear. Once you’ve got a pile of clothes that you intend to keep separate them into what you will need to get dry cleaned, mended or altered.

Compile a shopping list

I always tend to go to gravitate towards shirts for work meetings so it’s one area of my wardrobe I make sure I always have well stocked. If you’re like me then now is the ideal time to invest in some fresh new shirts to wear throughout the year. Look at what else in your wardrobe is looking a bit tired and consider replacing it such as the work shoes you wore virtually every day last year or the work bag that’s seen better days. Or if you can see that there are serious gaps in your wardrobe, for example if you have been avoiding wearing particular things because you don’t have the right belt then look into finally buying one.

Look at what can be altered

It’s a pain having to take just one thing to be altered so I always wait until I’ve got a few things that need to be done. What better time than a brand new year? This is the time to get any pants hemmed to the right length and get any jackets tailored to fit perfectly. A little bit of tailoring can really make all the difference and make something old feel new again.

Try on different outfits

Once you’ve got all your key pieces sorted start trying them on to compile a few key go-to outfits. This will not only allow you to get a better idea of how functional your office wardrobe is it’s always great to have a mental cheat sheet for those days when you’ve woken up and just want to go into auto pilot or you are having an “I have nothing to wear day” and need to get out the door fast.

Fashion

What I’m culling from my wardrobe this year

8th January, 2022

I always like to do a wardrobe clear-out a few times a year and having felt the urge to get my closet organised recently (blame the new year!) 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 a few years ago 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. I got some great new pieces during lockdown and throughout last year and love them, but there are some things floating around in my closet that have probably seen one workout too many. Or there are some that I just simply don’t wear anymore. I have too many pieces and I wear the same ones to death. Also, trainers! 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 pairs of 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.

I’m making a pledge to only keep the pieces I truly love and wear often

Lounge wear

My lounge wear and casual wear build up quite quickly (particularly last year, when I was pretty much living in them most of the year). Things like my t-shirts and singlets can get old really easily as I wear them all the time but that also means I need to make a more concerted effort to replace them when they do start to look bad. 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.

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 often 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 wardrobe clear-out 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

How to change up your style in 2022

2nd January, 2022

The start of a new year definitely calls for a fresh start as far as your style goes. Now is the time to ask yourself if you’re genuinely happy with your wardrobe, if not, then change it up. Ultimately I think what you wear should make you happy and make you feel confident, if it doesn’t then it’s time to refocus it and make some adjustments so it does.

Here are a few great places to start.

Purge your closet

One thing that often gets in the way of refreshing your style is getting weighed down by all the things in your closet that you don’t truly love, but are taking up space anyway. So do a ruthless edit of your closet and only keep the things that flatter you, and as a result, make you feel good as well. By playing within a smaller, more refined selection of clothing, you’ll be able to discover new outfit combinations and find something that makes you look amazing.

Find your icons

Pinpoint the people whose style you admire and identify what it is that you like about their look. Is it the colours they wear? The shapes they gravitate to? The accessories they weave into their outfits? Once you’ve found these common threads, look at how you can work it into your existing wardrobe.

Do closet rotations

Whatever the eye sees is often what we end up wearing so it’s a good idea to rotate what’s in your closet every few months so you can ensure that the pieces that have been at the back, are now front and centre. By simply rotating your clothes, you’ll be able to gives some other sections of your wardrobe a chance to see the light of day!

Look at what you spend your days doing

It’s not uncommon to find that your wardrobe doesn’t necessarily match what you actually do every day. This is often the case for example with new mums who may find that they’ve got a closet full of gorgeous work or party clothes, but wear the same pair of jeans over and over again because nothing else works for their current lifestyle. If this sounds like you, look at what your wardrobe actually needs, as opposed to what you think it needs and re-jig your style working with those key pieces.

Incorporate a fashion challenge in your week

Reverting to the same failsafe outfit combinations is great, but occasionally it’s a good idea to expand your sartorial horizons in order to evolve and refresh your look. To avoid a wardrobe rut, assign yourself the occasional day in your week where you challenge yourself to incorporate a particular print in your look or wear a certain colour. This will encourage you to look at your wardrobe in new ways, and help you rediscover forgotten pieces.