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shopping

Fashion

How to update a kids’ wardrobe on a budget

12th June, 2021

Kids grow so much and at the start of a new season you’re guaranteed to always need to stock up on new pieces to replace everything they’ve outgrown. And when you have to do this twice a year it can become quite the expense, particularly if you’ve got to do it for more than one child. So how can you buy the basics without spending a fortune? Try these tips for cutting down on your clothes shopping bill.

Buy out of season

Winter clothes get drastically reduced in summer and the same goes for summer things in winter. So if you aim to snap up pieces the next size up out of season then you’ll find yourself being able to buy everything at a fraction of the price.

Take advantage of special discount offers

If you time your purchases for when major discounts or spend and save offers are happening you’ll be able to buy more for less. If you look in store and online ahead of time and know what you need, you can get in early once these offers are announced and save yourself a lot of money in the process.

Sign up for newsletters from your fave kids’ clothing brands

There are so many sale offers that come through via newsletters so make sure you’re on the mailing list of your go-to kids’ clothing brands. You’ll often be alerted to sales first and also any discount offers and bundle deals and ensure you can grab the pieces you’ve had your eye on.

 

Smart shopping can help save on your kids’ clothing budget

Check out Facebook marketplace and other online groups

As kids go through clothes so quickly you can often find that there are good quality (sometimes even designer) pieces that are sold through Facebook marketplace or other swap and sell groups. Just do a quick search for those in your area, or those with brands that you’re interested in and see what bargains you can snap up.

Invest in quality items upfront

I did this when I first started buying Sophia clothes and have found that because I invested a little more on quality items at the beginning, I was able to easily recycle pieces and have Grace wear them without everything looking too worn. This works great for things that don’t get a constant workout such as coats and special dressy pieces.

Check out overseas brands

Since our seasons are opposite to the northern hemisphere it’s sometimes a great opportunity to check out overseas brands and check out what kids clothes they’ve marked down. This happens to work perfectly with our current season as all their winter clothes will be on sale just when we’re heading into that season.

Swap with mum friends

If you have a friendship group that includes mums who have kids with similar ages, why not arrange a swap meet afternoon? You can all bring gently worn pieces (probably best to leave the puree stained onesies out of this one!) and swap your clothes with others in the group. You can then all go home with new wardrobe pieces minus the cost.

Lifestyle, Shop

The one thing I always have in my home

6th June, 2021

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Candles aplenty at the Jo Malone “Just Because” dinner I hosted earlier this year

If there’s one thing my house is never without it’s a beautifully scented candle. I love having one burning in the background as there’s something quite luxurious about a gorgeous fragrance filling up your home (note: this is why I always have one burning when I have visitors over). A candle also adds warmth to any space which makes it a simple way to decorate a room. There’s no shortage of wonderful candles out there. And there’s definitely one to suit every taste and budget.

Check out some of my top picks below…

Tip: Candles usually come poured into a perfectly re-usable glass or metal jar so when you’ve used one up be sure to repurpose its home; you can use it for everything from a makeup brush holder to a vase.

To clean out the jar simply pop it in the freezer so the wax hardens. Once frozen take it out and scrape out the excess wax and wick which should leave you with an empty jar. If you’re removing the label, using a hairdryer, blast hot air over the jar to melt the glue, peel off the label then run it under hot water to clean off the sticky residue.

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, Shop

On a budget: shop the high street and still look expensive

8th May, 2021

Chain stores are one of the easiest ways to dress yourself on a budget as often they’ll incorporate lots of on trend pieces worked back with core basics in their collection. That said, you often get what you pay for when it comes to high street buys so it pays to know what to look for to ensure that what you’re getting still looks high end. Here are a few easy ways to ensure a luxe finish with any bargain buy.

Mix and match with pricier pieces

I’m all about embracing the high-low mix— so working cheaper pieces with more expensive things. Often you can get away with working a simple outfit sourced from your favourite chain store and work it back with some investment pieces from your wardrobe such as a great bag or shoes and end up with a look that just says high end. Essentially it’s luxury by association.

Look out for finishes

It’s best to keep things simple when it comes to any chain store purchases and avoid things like embellishments. One of the best ways you can tell a designer item apart from a cheaper alternative is in the finishes that they use. Luxe goods will use high quality metals for any chains, buckles and straps as generally that’s included in the price tag, whereas you might not be getting quite the same quality with a high street buy.

Keep it simple

If you’re looking for a showstopper of a dress incorporating lots of beading or sequins then you will most definitely get what you pay for. As this kind of finish is so intricate, often it won’t come at a cheap price tag. If you want your chain store finds to look expensive, it’s best to avoid anything too delicate. Think designs that are quite simple and straightforward.

Pay attention to how it’s made

There are some fantastic high street buys to be snapped up out there but it does pay to stop and inspect the quality. One way you can cheapen a garment is if the finish isn’t quite right. If there’s plenty of loose threads or the stitching’s a bit imprecise then you might want to consider searching for other alternatives. Also don’t forget to be choosy with fabrics. Natural fabrics like cotton and linen will always present well, whereas anything that’s man made may come across as a bit shiny.

Add the right accessories

It’s amazing what the right accessories can do for a look. Pairing your fave high street outfit with a few standout pieces can instantly elevate it. Think a gorgeous pair of statement earrings or a beautiful silk scarf. Both are good examples of the the kind of things that you can add to any look to give it an expensive feel.

Fashion, Lifestyle, Shop

On my radar: In The Roundhouse placemats, Tash Sefton Supergas and a Camilla and Marc denim jacket

7th May, 2021

Shopping around this month, I’ve uncovered so many beautiful things to lust over. It’s that time of year where I’ve been on the hunt for new pieces to add to my winter wardrobe, and also a few staples that need replenishing and I’ve managed to compile quite the list. This month, it’s all about shoes (naturally), and also the Camilla and Marc denim jacket that’s been inspired by a tried and tested staple I already own, and a fun and playful piece I’ve got bookmarked for my next event at home (or just to make dinner time that little more extra).

In The Roundhouse Scalloped Edged Placemat

These placemats just scream adorable. I love the scalloped edge detail which adds a little theatre to any table setting, while the pastel hue is perfect for adding a pretty touch to any soiree. These come in a set of 4, and in different colours too, so I may have to invest in a few for home.

Tash Sefton Superga Organic Cotton Hemp Sneakers

Artist, influencer and style consultant Tash Sefton, has done the cutest collab with Superga. These sneakers are made of organic materials, in a simple and classic design. What I love is the handwritten logo — so fun and chic.

Camilla and Marc Ruth Jacket

I have this jacket in blue denim after falling in love with it recently, so my attention naturally turned to its darker counterpart. The oversized fit of this jacket makes it a great layering piece in winter, but in summer, it has that relaxed silhouette that makes it an effortless piece to add to any look.

Fashion

How to make your fashion budget stretch further

19th April, 2021

While it would be nice to have endless amounts of money to spend on clothes, the majority of us have a designated budget to work with. Having a fashion budget is important for not only keeping your finances under control but it also helps with making strategic, well thought out purchases that have longevity. The impulse buy is the enemy of any fashion budget, as it often results in purchases that might seem like a great idea at the time, but aren’t really all that considered. The result? Wasted money, and a closet full of far too many things that just gather dust. So, if you want to get your budget back in the black, here’s how to make smart shopping decisions.

Have a list

I always have a list I add to of things I’ve noticed I need to buy, whether they are gaps in my closet, more expensive designer things that have to be planned and saved for or just things that may need replacing, or trend updates that I need to factor in to my shopping. Having a list is so important for avoiding shopping blowouts or buyer’s remorse. If I have written down a list of things I need, I always do my utmost to stick to it, and don’t tend to go wayward into unplanned territory.

Keep your closet organised

If your closet is a disaster zone it’s going to be hard to remain on top of things and keep track of what you’re actually wearing, what the gaps are and what you really genuinely need. Also, if you aren’t able to easily keep track of your clothes and accessories, you’ll often find yourself doubling up unnecessarily and that’s when you end up wasting money. Organising your closet is one of the easiest things you can do to save cash in the long run.

Borrow event clothes

If you’re going to an event, consider borrowing from one of the number of companies that lend event clothing out for a fee. You’ll often find up-to-the-minute designs from top brands, but renting means you don’t end up having to fork out a lot of money for something that may or may not just end up being worn once.

Don’t buy just because it’s on sale

Yes, you may be technically saving money but there are times that buying things during sale time can result in purchases that are questionable. I always find that I will ask myself if I would buy something full price. If the answer is no, then why do I want to buy it just because the price has been reduced? By not wanting to buy it for its original cost, it’s highly likely it wasn’t going to work in my closet to begin with.

Spend more, buy less often

This is where I do my sales pitch for investment purchases. I think investing in quality from the very start means you won’t end up having to do repeat purchases down the track. So for example, instead of buying a cheap-ish black bag, which with enough use will likely show wear and tear quite easily, or worse, break, I think you’re better off saving until you can buy something of a really great quality which has longevity. Because really, having to replace certain things time and time again, can end up costing you more.

What are some of your favourite ways to make your fashion budget stretch further?

Beauty, Shop

Little known makeup tricks you might not know

11th April, 2021

Over the years I would have spent numerous hours getting glammed up for shoots, getting ready for the races and prepping for events so I’ve managed to pick up some great tips from the professionals along the way. There’s nothing quite like watching a makeup artist at work, simply because they’ve got some amazing shortcuts and tricks that are definitely worth copying and pasting into my own beauty routine. Also they have an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of cosmetics so I inevitably end up with some great recommendations for everything from the best lipstick to foundation that achieves a flawless finish. Plus all the makeup tricks they’ve shared, I’ve tested in my day to day routine and they 100 per cent work.

Here are a few things that have definitely changed my makeup routine…

Freeze your eyeliner

This is one of the best eyeliner secrets that I have been told! If your eyeliner is getting crumbly pop it in the freezer. After just 15 minutes the eyeliner tip becomes firm which allows you to apply the liner smoothly.

Use concealer on and around your lips

Prepping lips is super important (especially during winter!). Applying concealer to your lips will create a neutral and even template for your lipstick. Apply concealer around the border of your lips to prevent your bold lipstick from bleeding.

You can use illuminator on more than just your cheekbones

A touch of illuminator on your cheekbones will give you a healthy glow and is a quick pick-me-up for tired skin. However did you know it can also double as a shimmering eyeshadow when applied to the eyes? Try it the next time you want show-stopping eyes on a night out.

Dust out towards your hairline with blush

To perk up your skin brush blush out toward your hairline and create big strokes in an upward motion by following the natural lines of your face. The colour will give your skin a healthy glow. To spread the colour evenly be sure to use a soft blush brush.

Use white eyeliner pencil as an eye shadow primer

If your eyeshadow tends to vanish prime your lids with an eyeliner pencil first. The white eyeliner will create a contour for the eye shadow to stick to which will extend the wear of your eyeshadow. The eyeliner will also give you guidance as to where the eye shadow should go.

Fashion, Shop

Best buys under $100

12th March, 2021

Compiling this post every month always results in unearthing some great buys. I’ve always been a firm believer that a stylish look doesn’t have to cost a fortune, and I’ve always favoured a high-low mix when it comes to my wardrobe. I’ll work back affordable pieces with slightly pricier items, and firmly believe an expensive price tag doesn’t always equate to great style. I’ve found some fun fashion pieces for under $100 that will become a welcome addition to your outfit repertoire.

Simple jewellery that can be worn on a day to day basis is always an important part of any accessories collection, and these earrings definitely fit the brief. They’re versatile enough to be worn in several different ways while still elevating any outfit.

This jumpsuit is such a great casual look option. Plus it’s a great option to have on hand on those days when I just want a simple, unfussy outfit. Worn with sandals or sneakers, it’s an easy way to do off duty dressing.

A little Bottega-esque, this pouch with its puffed, quilted texture is right on trend. Use it to add a little injection of fun to look, plus it’s a great size to carry your daily essentials.

I’m a huge fan of layering necklaces, and this choker achieves the effect without having to fuss around trying to determine which necklace goes with this. Love the celestial theme too.

I am always on the hunt for the perfect white tee so this top caught my eye because it has a polished feel which means it can be worn in a casual way, but can still be paired back with slightly dressier looks.

Now that we’re heading into autumn/winter, a pair of great black pants is a must. I can see this being worn with a tee or a button down, layered with a jumper and coat, and making for such a stylish, yet cosy ensemble.

The colour and cut of this dress makes it such a great after dark look. The green hue is a fun alternative to the LBD, while the streamlined silhouette ensure it still looks elegant.

A denim shirt is one of those things that if you don’t have one yet, you won’t realise just how versatile it is. This Levi’s number is a great hue for doing a double denim pairing.

Black slides are such a great addition to any shoe wardrobe. I’ve always found them to be easy to pair with multiple looks, plus the simple and elegant style ensures it can be worn in myriad ways.

A dainty cuff makes a great layering piece, and this style would make a pretty addition to any jewellery stack. Or you could allow it to shine on its own and use it to add the perfect finishing touch to an outfit.

Fashion

Non-skinny jeans options I’m loving

10th March, 2021

There has been much said about skinny jeans of late, with Gen Z declaring them cancelled (along with side parts, just FYI). While I’m all for wearing the kind of jeans style that works with your wardrobe, shape and style, if you are on the look out for other alternatives then you’ll be pleased to heat there are are more than a few options to consider.

I tend to gravitate towards straight leg styles now, along with cropped wide leg options which look great with a sandal or heel. I’ve found the former to be a real wardrobe staple for me now as they both work back with so many different styles of top, particularly a white t-shirt, which is a constant wardrobe MVP for me.

But the options don’t end there. There’s still the classic boyfriend style which is ideal for an off duty look, while the mom jean style is a great hybrid between boyfriend and straight and works for so many different occasions.

So if you’re looking to update your denim wardrobe, here are a few styles to consider.

Fashion, Shop

Chain store round-up: 10 great buys to add to cart

5th March, 2021

I always really like doing these posts at the start of a new season as it’s the perfect time to do a wardrobe update, and it’s great to see what’s out there. And I have to say, chain stores have really delivered on the trend front, ticking the boxes as far as what’s trending, but also weaving in classics that are great for topping up our evergreen wardrobe. Here’s what you should definitely add to cart this month.

Update your sneaker wardrobe with this multipurpose, minimalist pair. It’s the kind of style that will work back with several different looks, and can also be worn all through the year.

Denim jackets are a great wardrobe staple to have on hand, so I’ve always liked having it in different washes to ensure maximum wear. This black shade is equally as versatile as its blue denim counterpart, but just has slightly more edge.

It’s all in the sleeve detail for me these days. This balloon sleeve style in a baby pink hue is just the thing to brighten up any autumn/winter look, and it makes a statement all at the same time.

A neutral midi dress is the basis for so many different looks that it’s definitely something worth adding to your shopping list. Pop on a jacket or a blazer to dress it up, or wear it with a crisp white shirt knotted, or simply throw on a knit.

The simplicity of this shirt guarantees that it can be worn to death. You can wear it dressed up with tailored pants, or dressed down with jeans, with myriad other uses in between.

You can never have too much denim in your life. With the regularity most of us wear jeans, it never hurts to have a few pairs up your sleeve. And this style is just the perfect silhouette to see you through any season.

I tend to collect lots of basics at the start of every season to form the basis of many of my day to day looks. And I know that a top like this will get many outings as it’s a pared back style that can easily work back with most outfits, but with elements such as the ribbed texture and high neckline, it steers it away from being anything but boring.

It’s hard to resist a great dress, especially when it looks like this. It’s a great neutral hue and the cinched waist is a flattering finish.

It’s always nice to incorporate some coloured knits into your autumn/winter rotation as it can get a little monotonous wearing the same hues over and over again. This burnt orange shade is such a good one to weave into an outfit to give it an injection of personality.

Love this knit top for its classic feel. It looks great worn back with jeans, but I think it would also play nicely with everything from pants to skirts and shorts. Plus it adds a nice textural element to any outfit.