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fashion tips

Fashion

Now that we’re all staying home it’s time to become best friends with loungewear…

25th March, 2020

If you’re currently looking to bump up your loungewear options you’re not alone. With more time spent at home right now it’s a great to have some comfortable pieces that are simple yet have an element of polish. I’ve always been a big fan of loungewear and lived in it when I had both the girls as we would spend a lot of time at home. In the process I’ve worked out the key pieces that are great to mix and match and have in your wardrobe. Here are a few to add to your collection…

Jogger pant

These are as comfy as tracksuit pants but are just that little more polished. With the tapered leg and cropped length they’re the ideal pants to live in when you’re working from home or simply up to your umpteenth Netflix session…

A white tee

It’s worth building up a collection of white tees as you can pretty much live in them 7 days a week. They’re the ideal companion to a jogger pant, jeans, shorts… the list is endless so the cost per wear is great. Also, you can easily work them into your work/going out wardrobe when things are back to normal.

A matching set

A two-piece set is always a shortcut to looking polished. And there are so many sets that are comfortable and stylish at the same time. Look for fabrics such as super soft cotton or linen, they’re made for days spent staying in.

Drop crotch pants

I had a few Bassike drop crotch pants in my post-baby wardrobe and found them so great for wearing around the house but were fine to wear out in case I needed to get some fresh air. The Bassike pants can be a little pricey so definitely look out for options from chain stores like Country Road or Glassons or hit up ASOS which has some really affordable versions.

Wide leg pants

I’ve always been a fan of wide leg pants and they’re even better when you’re staying in. They’re great when made from a soft jersey or linen, and can often be found as a set with a matching jumper which makes for a no-brainer outfit.

A cosy sweater

Now that the weather is cooling down it’s definitely good to have a few cosy knits on hand. Pop them on with a cosy jogger pant or with jeans and prepare to snuggle up in style.

Fashion

How to get a minimalist wardrobe

19th March, 2020

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, which helps guide their collections and also 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 only 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.

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 harder 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

How to improve the versatility of your wardrobe

29th February, 2020

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

The style mantras I live by

8th February, 2020

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, Shop

How to avoid an impulse purchase you’ll regret

3rd February, 2020

We’ve all been guilty of making an impulse purchase that seemed like a good idea at the time but later on turned out to be a not so good buy. The thing with buying items on a whim all the time is that you’ll end up wasting money and end up with clothes you’re not actually going to wear. Wouldn’t you rather put your shopping funds towards something that you absolutely love? I know that it can be difficult to resist buying a pair of cute shoes or a great dress when you first spot it but it’s so important to step back to ensure that you’re making a good buy. Here are a few things that you can do to try and curb an impulse buy before it happens.

Walk around the shop or step away from the laptop

If you’ve got the overwhelming urge to buy something and it really wasn’t in your plan to do so then do the the equivalent of taking a deep breath and counting to 10 by walking away from it. Either walk out of the shop for half an hour or step away from your laptop and make yourself a cup of tea so you can try and get that ‘buy, buy, buy’ feeling under control. Whilst you’re doing this think about the below.

Outfit check it

Think about what other things in you closet this potential buy could work with. If you’ve managed to mentally work it back with a number of outfits then it’s likely to get plenty of use. If you can only come up with a handful of looks then think twice about buying it because it might not get many outings and won’t be worth the spend.

Have a shopping list

I always like to think strategically about any potential purchases to avoid impulse buys that may or may not work. This is why I’ve always got a shopping list of things that I need in my wardrobe. Whether it’s a gap I’ve spotted in the clothes I have, something I need to replace or a look I need for an upcoming event, I always have a list so I can refer to it whenever I’m shopping and usually try to tick an item off the list before adding something to it again. Having an idea of what I actually need as opposed to just shopping based on what’s caught my eye has really helped stop many an impulse purchase.

Wait 24 hours

If you can do this it’s really a useful tactic. I do it all the time because whenever I see something I like in a store I’ll most likely have the girls and won’t have the time to try something on. So I wait until I can get to the shop again on my own (at least 24 hours) and If I’m still thinking about whatever I saw I’ll try it on and decide whether to buy it or not. I adopt the same principle for online buys. I’ll pop something in my shopping cart, sleep on it then revisit again the next day. Usually waiting gives me the time to mull a purchase over and determine if it’s a worthwhile addition to my wardrobe.

Have a set budget

It’s amazing what a limited shopping budget can do to reign in unnecessary purchases. If you’ve give yourself a set amount to spend on wardrobe buys, you’ll be much more likely to consider potential buys a lot more carefully. So instead of just picking up a top or pair of earrings and buying it because you like it that second, you’ll stop and take a moment to decide whether you really do want it or whether you’d rather direct your hard earned dollars to something you absolutely want.

What’s an impulse buy that you’ve regretted?

Fashion, Shop

How to make fashion purchases you’ll always love

19th January, 2020

When it comes to shopping it’s easy to get caught up in the process and end up with something that you may only be interested in for a short period of time. It’s these purchases that often end up gathering dust in your wardrobe and ultimately wind up on a ‘to throw away’ pile in the not too distant future. These purchases often add up and once you’ve done a final tally you’ll often realise (much to your dismay) that you could have bought a big ticket item that you truly love. Not to mention the fact that it’s important to try and minimise wastage and shop a little more consciously, rather than buying things all the time that inevitably get thrown away. 

So how can you go about making sure you end up buying things that you won’t fall out of love with in a week? Here are some key things to keep in mind:

Do some research

Shop around and check out what’s available out there. Whether it’s shoes or a dress you might find that you had one particular style in mind but once you’ve looked further you may find another style that you love even more.

Give yourself a cooling off period

Regretful purchases notoriously happen when you’ve seen something and immediately snap it up without giving it much further thought. Sometimes these purchases work out but more often than not you could end up something that you’ll lose interest in.

This is why it’s important to give yourself a cooling off period. If something catches your eye, sleep on it and reassess in the morning. If you’re still thinking about it then buy it. You’ll know it’s true love when you can’t get it out of your head.

Do the wardrobe test

Ask yourself if what you’re about to buy will realistically work with the rest of your wardrobe. Think about where you could wear it to, what you can wear it with and how many outfits you could pull together now if it were sitting in your wardrobe. If your answer to any of those questions is a bit sketchy then it might be worth reconsidering.

Consider cost per wear

Bear in mind that something is not cheap (even if it’s on sale and been reduced drastically) if you only end up wearing it once. That’s why I always factor in cost per wear whenever I’m buying anything.

Sometimes it can be easy to opt for something that may be slightly cheaper but not what you truly want however if you find that it hardly gets used then you’re not getting value for money. The same goes for buying something super expensive but then finding you barely wear it.

It makes much more sense to hang out for something you truly love. If something works out to be expensive but then you end up wearing it to death and the cost per wear ultimately ends up being $2 a day then you’re definitely onto a winner.

Assess the quality

The shine can quickly fade from something if it starts to look a little shabby and worse for wear after only a few uses. This is why I always recommend looking at the quality of something before purchasing it. Wherever possible, go for the best quality you can which includes materials, finishes and construction. 

 

Fashion

How to change up your style in 2020

6th January, 2020

The start of a new decade 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 outfit? 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.

Fashion

My style formula can be summed up in just one word

5th January, 2020

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?

Beauty, Fashion

Little things that help you look polished all the time

16th November, 2019

Looking polished all the time isn’t simply about an expensive outfit or perfectly applied makeup day in an day out I’ve found it’s often all about paying attention to the tiny details that will ensure your appearance is always on point. I’m constantly around women who have to look polished as part of their work and these are some of the small things I’ve found ensure they look consistently put together…

Neat nails

Unkempt nails will always derail anything else you may have done with your outfit. One of the simplest things you can do is keep your nails tidy – ensure they’re all the same shape and size. Take the time to keep your nails in top shape and while nail polish is always an easy way to pull an outfit together if you’re not a polish person a simple buff and file so they’re neat works too.

Moisturise regularly

Your skin is often one of the first things people notice so make sure you give it some TLC, especially during the winter months. Patches of dry skin never look great so be sure to moisturise religiously.

Clean shoes

Scuffed shoes, scratched heels or shoes that look like they’re on their last legs will always negate any effort you’ve gone to to look nice that day. To avoid this be sure to use waterproof spray on your shoes so they don’t get ruined during inclement weather and repair any shoes as soon as you notice damage so they don’t get worse.

Tidy bag

A clean bag will always add to a polished appearance. I know when you’re carrying around a bag all the time that it can easily get dirty or damaged so be sure to spray any leather with protectant spray to avoid it getting stained. If it’s a canvas bag make sure that you keep an eye out for any stains or marks and attend to them straight away.

Pressed clothes

Walking out the door in wrinkled clothes will leave you looking less than polished. If you hate ironing avoid buying anything that will require you to do any complicated pressing. Even if you tell yourself you’ll get to it, take it from someone who isn’t a fan of ironing you’ll avoid it for as long as you can. An alternative to ironing is to buy a steamer which makes it much easier to get wrinkles out of garments.

What are some ways you stay looking polished?

Fashion

How I style lounge wear

14th August, 2019

When I’m off duty I’m all about comfort. I have to spend a lot of my working life getting dressed up so when it’s time to unwind, I like to ensure that whatever I’m wearing is easy and relaxed. Leisure wear is all about an unfussy silhouette which I love, but my style still maintains a polished feel no matter whether it’s for work or play  so I always keep that in mind for any off duty looks. I like to know 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.

Stick to a specific colour palette

I refine it down to neutrals such as black, white and grey when it comes to leisure wear. It’s easy to mix and match pieces with that colour scheme and straightforward is what you want when it comes to off duty style. That said, I’ll often add a pop of colour with a scarf or another accessory just to give the outfit a little injection of personality.

Sneakers are a key part of leisurewear (it also makes running after kids easier!)

Opt for dressier shoes

Your choice of footwear can often help dress up an otherwise 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—but still super comfy.

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. By doing this I’m still comfortable but maintain a stylish vibe at the same time.