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fashion tips

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?
Fashion

How to… elevate neutrals

14th February, 2021

If there’s one thing that I think every wardrobe needs it’s a great assortment of neutrals. They’re ideal for mixing and matching and are ultra versatile, but because of this, they might be considered a little flat or boring. But I think they’re anything but. In fact I think they’re the ultimate workhorses of any wardrobe because not only can they be treated as a blank canvas but they can also be quite impactful by employing accessories or various textures into the mix.

The benefit of working with neutrals is that it provides the perfect base to start with and allows you to elevate them easily with a few simple style tricks. Here’s how to elevate neutrals with ease.

Mixing textures

A great way to bring neutrals to life is to mix textures. By bringing a tactile element into your look whether it’s mixing a soft cashmere with a luxe linen in a neutral shade, you can instantly add a little depth to your look. Also incorporating things like denim and leather into your outfit can easily amp up any neutral tones.

Accessorising

As always accessories are key. Given that neutrals tend to be quite pared back, they can easily be lifted by adding strong accoutrements like jewellery, shoes or bags. This will also allow you to incorporate a few contrasting colours and textures into the mix making for a more impactful outfit.

Colour is a great way to increase the impact of a neutral piece

Adding touches of colour

The beauty of neutral tones is that it acts like a blank canvas and you can easily incorporate touches of colour into it. Choosing strong shades like punchy pinks or deep blues act as the perfect complementary hues, instantly lifting a palette featuring beiges, creams, tans or whites.

Block and ombre styling

Playing with a neutral colour palette and its various shades makes for an eye catching look. You could try working similar neutral shades together for a colour blocking effect — something that was quite prominent at this year’s Fashion Week. Another alternative is working with one neutral colour and incorporating varying shades of it for an ombre effect.

How do you elevate the neutral tones in your wardrobe?

Beauty, Fashion

Little things that help you look polished all the time

6th February, 2021

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.

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 be honest with yourself before buying anything that requires complicated pressing and determine whether you will actually ever find yourself reaching for the iron to attend to it. If it’s a no, let it pass. 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 and is great for delicate pieces.

Minimal makeup

I’ve always been of the philosophy that less is more when it comes to makeup. By avoiding going over the top, it achieves a far more elegant finish and by default makes the rest of your outfit look polished. One of my rules when it comes to makeup is to choose either my eyes or lips as the focal point, so it’s either a bold eye or a bold lip, I never do both.

Inspect your clothes

It’s the little things that can often let you down when it comes to clothing. Loose threads, fraying hems, a stain here, pilling there—these are all things that can compromise your whole look. Make a point to attending to signs of wear and tear or damage straight away to keep your clothes looking pristine.

What are some ways you stay looking polished?

Fashion

The list that will help you improve your style

11th January, 2021

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.

Fashion

What I’m culling from my wardrobe this year

9th January, 2021

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 2021

3rd January, 2021

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 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.