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Lifestyle, Shop

Great Easter gifts that aren’t chocolate

3rd April, 2020

Given Easter is going to be distinctly different this year on many fronts, I’m sure I’m not alone in looking for alternatives to sugary treats given confined spaces, copious amounts of chocolate and restless kids with cabin fever do not a harmonious match make. While kids enjoying a good ol’ Easter egg hunt is a mainstay of this time of year, if you’re looking to incorporate a few things that aren’t of the chocolate variety then there are plenty of great gift options that are still in keeping with the Easter spirit, just minus the sugar!

To help you get started I’ve rounded up a few gift options — all online — that are great for Easter. And if you’re going to be away from family and friends for Easter, as many of us will be, then a gift delivered to a loved one’s door is a fun way to still celebrate, albeit from a distance. Happy Easter present hunting!

Fashion, Shop

What’s On My Shopping Wish List

13th March, 2020

A new season calls for a wardrobe refresh and I had a thoroughly great time daydreaming about a few new pieces I want for autumn/winter. This time of year can be tricky simply because it can still go from hot one minute to cold the next so I’m after clothes that can work for varying temperatures. I wanted to play with different textures, including luxe tweed and sleek leather plus standout accessories that will steal the show. Here’s what caught my eye…

Cropped crystal-embellished sequined tweed top, Alessandra Rich

This has a classic feel with the tweed and pearl buttons but the cropped top is thoroughly modern.

Crystal-embellished Sequined Tweed Mini Skirt, Alessandra Rich

I love a matching set of any kind and this worked back with the tweed top is polished and would be perfect for an event.

Cropped crystal-embellished sequined tweed jacket, Alessandra Rich

This jacket is the finishing piece to the skirt and top featured above but it could easily work on its own. I could pair this with jeans and a tee and have a relaxed yet sophisticated look.

Jila Flower PVC Sandals, Cult Gaia

How cool are these sandals with the transparent PVC straps and the flower heel? They’re the perfect statement shoe to finish off an outfit.

Gold-tone Bracelet, Bottega Veneta

I’m often on the look out for bold new jewellery that will be the perfect full stop to an outfit. This bracelet definitely fits the bill. It’s big and bold enough to hold its own but also versatile to work back with myriad looks.

Gold and Silver-tone Earrings, Bottega Veneta

For those who love statement earrings but nothing too over the top, these studs are it. Love the contrasting metals.

The Pouch Large Gathered Leather Clutch, Bottega Veneta

I’ve had my eye on this clutch for the longest time and I think I’ve finally decided on this neutral hue. It’s perfect for the working back with virtually my entire wardrobe so I know it will be on high rotation.

Anagram-logo cat-eye acetate sunglasses, Loewe

I’m always on board with bold, statement sunglasses. This pair by Loewe is striking enough to elevate a look but just the right shade to enable it to work back with several outfits.

GG Marmont Mini Leather Backpack, Gucci

I love a backpack for its practicality but I especially love one that’s such a cool design. I’m all about the shape and also the chain link straps.

Square-neck Cotton-Blend Gingham-Seersucker Dress, Ganni

I often wear dresses in autumn and throw on a jacket whether it be a leather bomber or a denim number when temperatures cool. Once summer hits then it’s always worn on repeat, and I have no doubts this Ganni piece will be just that.

Fashion

How to update a kids’ wardrobe on a budget

12th March, 2020

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.

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.

Fashion, Shop

One white t-shirt, five ways

7th March, 2020

I’ve always considered a white t-shirt to be a wardrobe staple due to its versatility. I can be wearing a white t-shirt to do the school run one minute to attending a work function the next and be wearing the same tee. Whilst I love the fact it’s so simple to dress it up or down one of the reasons I love it so much is because it’s just so comfortable. Comfort is always key when it comes to my outfits and I love anything that’s unfussy and still maintains an element of polish. If you need further convincing then I’ve got five great looks that all incorporate a white tee, yet each with a distinctly different vibe…

https://www.instagram.com/p/B8hamJqJMSD/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

This is an elevated take on a casual ensemble, and in this instance the classic combination of a white tee and jeans is given a bold touch with the addition of a pastel blazer and an on trend Bottega Veneta clutch.

You can never go wrong with a clean and simple silhouette. Here Harper and Harley’s Sara Crampton does what she does best—minimalist dressing featuring a classic white tee and a sleek black high waisted skirt.

Polished tailoring can sometimes feel a little too “done” so to give it a more relaxed vibe swap out a shirt for a plain white tee. It still has the sophisticated vibe you’re going for but will feel a lot more effortless.

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A preppy look that is steered in a whole different direction with the addition of a white t-shirt. Paired with ballet flats and a neutral blazer it looks elegant, but the tee gives it a comfortable, carefree feel.

A white tee can look edgy when worked back with the right pieces. A sleek black blazer and leggings accompanied by 90s style mules gives this look an updated, fashion forward feel.

 
Add a white tee to your wardrobe…

Fashion, Social

Cute autumn wardrobe updates for kids

6th March, 2020

When it comes to kids’ wardrobes the start of a new season always requires a number of updates. Given children grow out of clothes unbelievably fast, I always find myself having to shop around for new things for the girls to wear when the weather starts to change. It’s a fun exercise because everything is incredibly cute, but I’m also mindful of choosing pieces that are well made. I like to ensure that both Sophia and Grace can wear the pieces I buy, and they can withstand the wear and tear that the girls put their clothes through and as such I don’t mind investing a little bit more for them.

Having perused several of my favourite brands and stores, here are a few pieces that will look really cute in any kids’ wardrobe this autumn…

Girls:

Boys:

Fashion, Shop

10 Things Worth Checking Out From … David Jones

27th February, 2020

It’s without a doubt Australia’s most luxe department store and if there’s ever a shop that has an above average chance of parting me with my money it’s David Jones. They stock all my fave overseas designers, the Sydney store has one of the best shoe departments in the country and it’s a great go-to for all the Aussie labels that I love. Narrowing this list down to 10 was really hard, but here are some gorgeous buys I think are definitely worth considering.

Overture Laced Ballet Mini Dress, Aje

Every time I see this Aje dress it makes me smile. There’s something about that pop of pink and the sweet tie detail on the back that makes me just want to live in this ballerina-esque beauty.

Citrus Club Knit Midi Skirt, Bec & Bridge

As we head into autumn/winter don’t just stick to the usual moody tones. Inject a bright hit of colour with this lime number from Bec & Bridge.

January Sandal, By Far

Minimalist shoes are the style to have of late and this pair with its neutral tones and sleek design can easily work back with so many pieces. Definitely bookmark it.

Josephine Mini Dress, Bec & Bridge

I’m betting you’ve already mentally worn this to several different occasions? The cute polka dot print, the flattering ruching and the blouson sleeves all work beautifully together in this sweet, go anywhere dress.

Francisco Jacket, Camilla and Marc

A double breasted blazer is the kind of wardrobe staple that every woman needs. This would work well worn with jeans or a tailored trouser or worked back with a dress.

The Twirl Stud Drops, Aje

These are a great statement earring to elevate any outfit. Accessories are such a simple way to instantly transform the look and feel of any ensemble.

1 Button Core Tux Jacket, Balmain

If you’re in need of a new black blazer then consider an investment piece that will last for years to come. The simple design of this Balmain jacket will ensure that it has many outings and is guaranteed to have some serious longevity.

Nile Bag, Chloe

You know a bag is worth getting when the design returns season after season. I’ve always loved the bangle handle of this bag as it makes it look less utilitarian and slightly more of an ornamental piece of jewellery.

Galativi 100, Christian Louboutin

Black pumps never go astray in any woman’s wardrobe and this pair by Christian Louboutin is the kind of thing that can easily work with so many different looks.

Atomised Dress, Maticevski

If the LBD is not your thing then definitely consider the little white dress as an alternative. A white dress is easily dressed up or down and can be transformed with the right accessories, shoes and hairstyle. This silhouette is elegant and I guarantee you’ll want to return to it time and time again.

Fashion

What I ask myself to ensure I’m making a good purchase

19th February, 2020

I’ve always tried to work towards a wardrobe that’s versatile as it makes pulling outfits together every day a little easier. This requires some major editing and also some savvy shopping. When faced with so many gorgeous things in a store it can be easy to get caught up in the moment and just purchase something purely because you like it but I think it pays to ask yourself a few questions before buying anything as it can help you avoid wasting money on an item of clothing that won’t get much use. These are the five questions I always ask myself before I buy anything.

How will this work with the rest of my wardrobe?

I always think about how I will be able to wear something with other items I already own. To do this imagine your wardrobe and identify at least five outfits that you’ll be able to wear with a potential purchase. A cohesive wardrobe that can be mixed and matched in different ways will extend the number of outfits you can make as opposed to buying one item, for one purpose and having it sit in your wardrobe gathering dust.

How many times will I wear this?

If something is expensive I’ll think about how many times I’ll wear it and how many seasons it is going to last. I aways consider cost per wear. If I think “I will wear these shoes the whole year, and they’re something that I will keep in my collection for years to come”, I consider them an investment. If I’m only going to wear something once and it’s outrageously expensive I won’t buy it because it just doesn’t make sense to spend so much on something with minimal wear.

Is this adding to my wardrobe?

I sometimes fall into the trap of buying too many black shoes. And while I do wear black shoes quite often, if I find a pair of shoes that I like but I have five other pairs like it I won’t buy them. The same approach applies to the rest of my wardrobe. If I buy something it’s got to add to my wardrobe by bringing in a new element rather than just purely adding to my wardrobe.

Is the fabric and make a good quality?

I always look at something and consider the fabric and how well it’s made. I believe if you spend a little more on good fabrics and good construction then you’ll be able to have something for many years to come and get plenty of use out of it. Where possible always look for natural fabrics such as cotton, wool and silk.

Do I really need this?

Most women will identify with this question! And often the answer to this question will negate all the other questions before this one. While there will always be exceptions (a girl can never have too many bags, right?) generally if you answer this question honestly you’ll be able to stop yourself from buying something that you’re not really going to use.

What do you consider before making a big purchase?

Fashion, Shop

Dreamy linen pieces your summer wardrobe needs

6th February, 2020

If there’s one thing that every wardrobe could welcome right now (mine included) it’s anything made from beautiful linen. There’s something quite effortless and elegant about anything made from the lightweight fabric that makes it a reliable go-to during the summer months and even into the early weeks of autumn.

The beauty of linen is that it’s breathable, meaning it’s a pleasure to wear when faced with a warm day as it keeps you looking stylish while also keeping you cool.

I don’t think there’s anything more wonderful than a great linen dress but given linen’s appeal, it’s also making its way into accessories such as hats and shoes and also separates and on trend pieces like jumpsuits. It’s everywhere! And we should be thankful it’s being embraced so warmly because I think it’s one of the most gorgeous options to have when you want something that’s chic and wearable that doesn’t require any fuss at all.

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.