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Fashion

Easy ways to refresh your work wardrobe

14th January, 2019

One of the things I like doing every year is re-evaluating my work wardrobe and seeing what pieces need updating and what gaps there are to fill. Having my own business means I have a little more flexibility in my office attire but I’ve always still approached what I wear in much the same way I did when I was working a full time job at a newspaper and that is to look professional and polished at all times.

If getting dressed for work every day has become a bit of a struggle then you know that it’s time to reassess what you have and think about giving your style a bit of a refresh. Here are a few great places to start when it comes to your office style.

Have the basics

The concept of office basics really depends on what kind of environment you work in. A corporate workplace will have a different dress code to a more relaxed creative environment, but the most important thing is identifying the building blocks of every look. So whether it’s a well tailored suit or jeans and a blazer, you need to ensure that these pieces are front and centre in your closet. Having this in place means you can afford to play around with your looks a little more.

Incorporate new accessories

Accessories are one of the easiest ways in which you can take your look up a notch and inject a little more personality into your work wardrobe. A great pair of earrings, a stylish bangle or a necklace are all simply ways in which you can inject a little new energy into your attire.

Change your work bag

It’s easy to carry the same bag day in and day out but it can also get a little monotonous. Your work bag is one of the easiest places to give your office wardrobe a refresh. This year, why not try something different? If you usually carry a tote, swap to a shoulder bag and vice versa. Push the boundaries as far as your office dress code will allow and have a little fun. After all, it’s the one accessory that you will carry with you every single day so you may as well love it.

Experiment with new silhouettes

Everyone has their go-to pieces for work. I know I have a few that I turn to all the time. However this year why not make a commitment to try new things? If you tend to favour knee length styles opt for a midi instead. If you’re a fan of voluminous pieces try incorporating a few more form fitting items into your wardrobe. A new silhouette can often make your work attire feel new.

Introduce bold accents

It’s easy to get caught up in the wonderful word of wearability that is neutrals but an easy way to refresh your work looks is to incorporate a few bold items into your ensembles. A striking print here or a vibrant shade there can easily lift an outfit and bring it to life. You can also temper this according to your office dress code so it’s easily adaptable.

Fashion

8 foolproof outfit combinations to save you during a wardrobe crisis

29th November, 2018

We’ve all been faced with days where we find ourselves just staring into the closet and thinking that we’ve got absolutely nothing to wear. If you’re in a rush it can be particularly stressful trying to pull a look together as you try one look after the next with little success. So this is why it pays to have a few outfit combinations that you know are guaranteed to work. I like to keep a few of these mentally filed away to call upon whenever a wardrobe crisis hits. Here are a few key pairings that will ensure you look amazing when you walk out the door.

 

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Lunch run

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Jeans and a white tee

This is an easy outfit to turn to and will always look chic. And the best bit is it’s comprised of things we all have in our wardrobe. All it takes is having a pair of go-to jeans and a great white t-shirt and you’re set.

 

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Jumper and jeans

Whether it’s a pair of blue jeans, black skinnies or any other colour denim you like, pairing it back with your fave jumper will always result in a great look.

 

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Blazer with jeans and a top

If you’re looking for something dressier, you can take the base elements of jeans and a tee, pop on a great blazer over the top and you instantly have an outfit that looks polished.

 

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Blazer over a dress

If you’ve got a few fave dresses in your closet that are feeling a bit tired, you can change up their entire vibe by adding a blazer over the top. A black blazer is one of those pieces that will always be a lifesaver and can instantly make any look dressier and more pulled together.

 

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A sweater or tee and a midi skirt

A midi skirt in any length paired with a top such as a t-shirt or a sweater is a shortcut to looking chic and stylish. If you’ve yet to add a midi skirt to your closet, try a pleated style for an on instantly on trend look.

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A trench over almost anything

A trench is a wardrobe addition that will go far. It’s a topper that can work with myriad looks ranging from the super casual to dressy. Consider it a lifesaver whenever you’re stuck for what to wear — just throw it on over the top of any of the looks you’ve seen so far and avoid unnecessary style dramas.

 

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Cami and tailored pants

Take your favourite tailored pants, pair them with a cami and you’re set. If you’re not into camis you could sub in a button down shirt for a similar, polished finish.

 

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Blouse with skinny pants

A pair of skinny pants or jeans, teamed with a gorgeous blouse is one look that will take you from work to drinks without skipping a beat. Great for those days when you’re not entirely sure where the day will take you.

What’s your go-to outfit combination?

Fashion

The pieces you can wear to work and on the weekend

28th November, 2018

Versatility is one of the key criteria that I have for my wardrobe and that means I need to be able to wear pretty much everything to work and on the weekend. Obviously there are going to be some omissions because hey, a black tie dress might be a bit hard to deal with when at the photocopier or grabbing coffee, but most things should be able to be transformed from nine-to-five to relaxation mode by simple switching up what you pair it with. I’ve identified a few key pieces that I know are made for both office wear and off duty style.

Dressy flats

A pair of simple, classic flats a la the pair I have on below are a cinch to go from the office to the weekend. A slingback, a ballet flat or pointed style are all great options.

On Duty: Wear it with cropped trousers, a skirt or a midi dress.

Off Duty: Pair it with jeans or a skirt worked back with a tee.

A white tee

It’s a rare few places or occasions that can’t be worked back with a white tee. A handy staple for any wardrobe, it can be appropriate from nine-to-five to a relaxing Saturday by switching up what you pair it with.

On Duty: Wear it with a blazer on top, underneath a dress, or with a midi skirt.

Off Duty: Pop it on under a slip dress, with your favourite jeans or a wrap skirt or shorts.

A blazer

I’ve often spoken of my love of a great blazer and consider it one of my can’t-live-without items. And it’s primarily because I can wear a blazer to a work function one minute to a casual lunch on the weekend the next and it still works. Keep it classic with black or venture further afield with other colours such as grey, navy or white.

On Duty: What can’t it work with? Everything from tailored pants, to a wrap dress and a skirt and cami can be paired with a blazer.

Off Duty: Wear it with jeans and a white tee for a classic, always on-trend look.

A roomy bag

If you’re prone to carrying half your office/life around with you then a great, roomy bag is a must. I often like to get a bag that’s got a bit of structure, in a classic colour such as tan or black for work as I know that I can always extend its wear to the weekend.

On Duty: Get a size that can fit your laptop and essentials.

Off Duty: A great carryall can be used to get you through a busy day of running errands where you might need to carry a million things with you.

A wrap dress

This eternal classic is always a good idea especially for a day at the office or a relaxing morning coffee with friends. Your only issue will be trying to stop at just one.

On Duty: Wear a wrap dress with heels and a blazer for an effortless take on corporate dressing.

Off Duty: Paired with sneakers or sandals and a simple crossbody bag make an ideal look for relaxing.

Culottes

Wide leg pants aren’t as scary to wear as they sometimes might seem (check out my tips for how to style them here) and are so easy to change up according to what day of the week it is.

On Duty: A blouse with heels and you’re set.

Off Duty: Wear it with a tee or a cami and pair with great sandals.

A black skirt

Consider a black skirt a close cousin of the little black dress — it can be styled in myriad ways with so many different pieces. It’s wearable and versatile which makes it the ideal transition piece to take you from the office to the weekend.

On Duty: Wear it with a button down shirt and a cami for a professional look that’s ultra chic.

Off Duty: When paired with sneakers and a tee this look is polished yet made for an easy breezy day.

Fashion, What I Wore

The most essential items in my wardrobe right now

7th November, 2018

Like most women, there are certain things in my closet that get a workout. These are the pieces that I currently have on high rotation simply because they are so wearable and can easily be mixed and matched with multiple pieces in my wardrobe.

I’m a big believer in cost per wear so the below list should give you an idea of items that are definitely worth splurging on. Certain styles will easily get plenty of use because of their versatility and wearability — two criteria that are are crucial things to factor into your decision whenever you’re making a new purchase.

Here are the things that are doing double duty for me right now…

Goyard tote and Dior flats

I think a sturdy, roomy tote is a must for any woman. This bag has been such a great investment as I am able to throw all the girls’ things in it and still have plenty of room for my own essentials. And because it’s such a good quality that it can withstand being thrown around at the playground and still look great.

I’ve been on the hunt for comfortable, stylish black flats for awhile and these Dior pointed slingbacks were the answer. They go with virtually everything I own from jeans to my favourite dresses and I can walk in them for an entire day, which is ideal as I’m on the go all the time. I waited until I found just the right pair before buying these and I’m so glad I did as I wear them to death.

Camilla and Marc jeans and Gucci chain strap bag

I can’t live without jeans. I’m in them multiple times a week so I had to track down just the right pair. These jeans ticked all the boxes: I loved the colour, I loved the cut and I loved the fit. I’ve been known to dress them up like above by just adding a dressy jacket or keep them casual by pairing them with my favourite white tee. Either way they work beautifully for various occasions.

I’m all for neutrals but sometimes love splurging on a statement piece. Surprisingly however this embellished Gucci bag has worked almost like one of my more simple bags. I think because I use it as an accent piece for outfits that are quite understated — it’s a great way to add an element to my look that pops.

Balmain blazer and Balenciaga sock boots

My beloved Balmain blazer is one of the items I probably couldn’t function without. It has definitely earned its cost per wear and more. I wear it with jeans and dresses, skirts and pants and it works every time. I love how wearing it always makes anything I’m wearing look instantly polished. The nipped in silhouette, strong shoulders and long length make it the perfect jacket for everyday wear. I think every woman should have a black blazer in her closet.

I bought these for winter one year and haven’t looked back since. I think the fact that the snug fit makes them a little more versatile than an ordinary ankle boot which can be a little bulkier around the top. The sleek look makes them perfect for wearing with everything from a suit to a skirt.

Dior bag

This bag is a new addition to my closet and it’s been getting plenty of outings. It works as both a clutch and a shoulder bag (perfect for events when you may decide that you want to go hands free later on) which makes it really versatile. Also you can never really go wrong with a black bag can you?

Gucci loafers

These loafers are a workhorse in my wardrobe. Mostly because I can never have enough comfortable flats in my life. These are great for waring when I’m out and about and the floral motif gives them a little point of difference that can elevate any casual look.

Gucci heels

I have had these heels for years and still to this day I use them often. At first glance gold might not seem the most practical of colours but I think the contrary — metallics can work as a neutral. They can elevate an outfit but can easily be paired back with multiple looks and virtually any colour palette. I also like the pearl studs which add a glam touch that’s not too over the top.

Gucci belt

I’ve spoken in the past of the value of a great black belt and I still think it’s a critical piece of any wardrobe. It gives any outfit a sophisticated touch and turns it into a go-to accessory that can lift any ensemble. I’ve worn this belt with a more polished look like the above, with denim jeans and a tee and this summer, I think I’ll definitely be wearing it with a few of my favourite dresses.

Gucci sneakers

I pretty much live in white sneakers so you can imagine how often I wear this pair. What I like about it is that it incorporates a touch of colour in the form of the iconic Gucci red and green stripes without being too over the top so I can still work it back with myriad outfits.

Alaïa heels

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve worn these shoes which goes to show how often I use them. A plain black heel with simple ankle strap is a shoe that I can guarantee will get plenty of wear so if you don’t already have a pair in this style definitely buy them, especially for the upcoming party season. I have found these heels to be quite the style chameleon as I’ve worn them with a suit, with a dress for multiple events, and a polished look for the office.

What pieces in your closet are currently getting a major workout?

Fashion

What to do when you have nothing to wear

22nd October, 2018

This is a dilemma most women have encountered at one point or another. If you’ve ever stared into your closet, filled to the brim with clothes yet still yielding nothing to wear then you’ll know the frustration it can cause. However all is not lost. Instead of tearing your hair out and hitting the shops to buy yet another outfit to add to the pile, you can employ a few tricks to help you unearth a look you’ll love. These are strategies I’ve used from time to time and I can guarantee that they’ve helped me break out of my momentary wardrobe rut, get dressed and walk out the door in no time.

Look for external fashion inspo

Staring at your clothes for ages won’t magically make a new outfit appear. You’ve got to get the styling juices flowing. To do this have a quick scroll through Instagram to see what your fave stylish ladies are wearing. Alternatively hit up your favourite online stores and check out their lookbooks or ‘new in’ section to see what’s trending. By seeing what’s new, it could ignite an idea or two for a look you could pull together.

Set yourself a theme

Having seemingly endless options but feeling bored of all of them is a major cause of being stumped for an outfit. So why not narrow it down to make it easier? For example you could tell yourself that today is stripe day and that you need to incorporate a striped piece into your ensemble. By giving yourself some parameters to work with it becomes less overwhelming and more manageable.

Work a new colour combination

We all have our favourite colour combinations which is great but sometimes in order to overcome an ‘I have nothing to wear’ situation you need to think outside the box. For example try working an unexpected colour combination like pink and red — by exploring pieces in those shades, you’ll inadvertently force yourself to look beyond your usual favourite items and expand to the rest of your wardrobe.

Help a favourite make new friends

We all have favourite pieces in our closet but we tend to work them back with the same things over and over again. This can exacerbate a nothing to wear situation as you see reliable staples but are also uninspired by them because you’ve already got your go-to pairings in mind. So the next time this happens, take an old fave but make an effort to pair it with something different. It could be that you wear a particular jacket with a certain pair of pants all the time. So instead, why not pop on the jacket over a dress, which instantly gives it a different vibe. This allows you to still get plenty of use out of things you love but overcome your style boredom too.

What are some strategies you use to overcome an ‘I have nothing to wear’ problem?

Fashion

How to get more wear out of your wardrobe

21st July, 2018

Neutral pieces will always get plenty of wear

Have you ever bought something only to find that you wear it once and it ends up collecting dust in your wardrobe? It’s easy to fall into this trap when we’re flooded with options and an impulse purchase is so easy to make. If you’re in the situation of having an overflowing wardrobe with absolutely nothing to wear then it might be time to rethink your shopping strategy. I’ve managed to hone mine down over the years to pinpoint the purchases that I know will have multiple outings. If you want to avoid buying something that’s a one hit wonder it pays to keep a few things in mind—it’s what I use when I’m considering buying something and I guarantee it works…

Stick to neutral tones

I always try to keep items like dresses and staples like coats in neutral tones. With dresses I’ll always opt for a little black dress, a white dress, denim or khaki. And with a staple like a blazer or coat I always opt for black because it’s a colour that’s really versatile. When it comes to basics (my everyday wear such as t-shirts and jumpers) I always stick to neutrals. Whilst a pink t-shirt is fun I’m guarantee to get more than a few wears out of a plain white tee. Also if you want to add a bit of colour to your wardrobe it’s easier to work back with a simple muted colour palette than try to work with multiple bold hues.

Buy separates

I think separates are always a really good option because you can mix and match them. It’s much easier to wear something like a quality silk blouse or a great skirt in various ways as you can just switch out the top or bottom when you want to change up your look. One thing I’m loving is that more and more labels are releasing matching separates which not only look chic when paired together but are great when worn with other pieces too.

Quality separates are a great way to get more wear out of your wardrobe

Keep statement pieces on top

If you find something that’s a bit of a showstopper, find something that sits on top such as a jacket or coat, which you can throw on over an outfit. Everyone remembers if you wear a really bold dress but if you wear a striking  jacket you could mix and match it and nobody would really even notice if you wear it multiple times. I’m a fan of pieces that have a bit of personality and are a standout piece but if I want to guarantee maximum wear out of it then outerwear is the best way to incorporate it into my look.

Don’t be a slave to trends

There are multiple trends each season and while it’s fun to try them you don’t always have to wear a trend from head to toe. You can incorporate a trend into your look with a really great jacket or small accessories. For example if you want to get into the 70s, buy one trend piece such as a pair of flared jeans. It doesn’t mean that you have to look like you stepped off the set of Saturday Night Fever. Exercise a bit of restraint when it comes to trends as invariably they will come and go.

Avoid too much embellishment

If you want certain pieces to last season after season avoid having too much embellishment on it. Having a lot of detail on a particular garment makes it more difficult to work back with other items in your wardrobe. Not only that, it also it makes it easily identifiable so it’s harder to have it be a chameleon piece that can be worn for multiple occasions. If you look at the celebs who tend to outfit repeat, they’re always wearing a classic piece that’s simple and streamlined.

What are some ways you get more wear out of pieces in your wardrobe?

Fashion

The 5 fashion sins I always avoid

19th May, 2018

I’m all for experimenting and taking a style risk here and there but there are some things I always make sure to avoid. These fashion sins can often subdue the impact of an outfit by taking away its polish–which is often the last thing you want when you walk out the door!

The below is a short, easy to follow list of simple things that you can do to ensure that you always look great every single day. I definitely swear by them and follow them when it comes to my wardrobe. And I’m always open to new additions to the list so if you have any suggestions let me know in the comments below.

Accentuating too many things

If you’re going to show off a particular part of the body, whether it be your legs or your décolletage make sure to only pick one. For example if you’re going to have a plunging neckline then everything else has to be conservative. It’s one or the other. You can either have a mini skirt then a conservative top like a button up shirt or a shirt with a high neckline but if you do the opposite and have a slightly more revealing top then it’s important to keep the bottoms quite modest. I make sure to adopt this approach with every single outfit.

Ill-fitting garments

Even if you’ve spent a fortune on a standout designer garment if it doesn’t fit well then you’ve essentially taken away its wow factor. I think tailoring can really make or break an outfit. If something doesn’t fit properly make sure to get it altered whether it be getting sleeves taken up on a shirt so they are the perfect length or taking a jacket in because it’s a little too baggy on the shoulders. These small things will ensure that you always look sharp.

Not paying attention to detail

They make seem relatively innocuous—a stray thread here, a loose button there but the overall effect is that your outfit will look just that little bit unkempt. To combat this, the moment you notice something is awry with your outfit attend to it as soon as possible so you don’t forget about it. Snip loose threads, fix missing or loose buttons and always ensure that you remove lint and fabric pill.

Worn and shabby looking shoes

Shoes are often one of the first things people notice about your outfit so make sure that they always look pristine. If the soles of your shoes are a bit threadbare make sure to have them resoled. If the heel cover on a pair of stilettos has worn down then make sure to have it replaced so you’re not teetering along on an exposed nail. Also always spray suede or leather shoes with a protectant spray to keep them protected during inclement weather. There’s nothing that will take away from an outfit more than stained shoes.

Wrinkled clothes

If you can’t be bothered ironing then avoid buying garments that will most definitely require pressing constantly like silk and linen. I’ve said this before but take the time to iron your clothes. I can’t remember the number of times I’ve seen someone with a great outfit only to have the whole effect ruined by a wrinkled top or skirt.

Fashion

8 wardrobe basics that can instantly make styling an outfit easier

26th February, 2018

Kate Waterhouse street style in wardrobe basics of white shirt

Wardrobe basics are the lynchpin of your look. I find that owning a few key pieces can in turn make everything else you own just that little more wearable as you can start with the below items and then build an outfit around them. Each person obviously has their own unique style so some of the pieces below might require substituting here and there but overall I think they’re the kind of staples that can be worked in so many different ways. Versatility is key when it comes to a look and having the right wardrobe basics in your closet can really ensure that you are able to take your style repertoire in several different directions. I’ve narrowed down a few key things that I think every woman needs…

Kate Waterhouse wardrobe basics stacked jeans

Jeans are a key part of my off duty wardrobe

1. Jeans

It’s imperative to find yourself a pair of jeans that fit you ridiculously well and are ultra flattering. My go-to style are skinny jeans as they work with my body shape but yours could be a straight leg style or a chic pair of wide leg pants.

2. Leather leggings

I’m already looking forward to transitioning to my autumn/winter looks and one of my can’t live without staples is a pair of leather leggings. I can wear them dressed up or down and as a bonus they’re so comfortable. When buying a pair be sure to try on a range of different styles from different brands as the fit can vary.

3. Comfortable t-shirt

A plain white t-shirt is the kind of piece that will be in constant rotation. I love a crew neck style and wore one here, however a v-neck tee is equally as good. Start with white, however shades such as black, grey and navy and a good stripe are also a great addition to any wardrobe.

Kate Waterhouse wardrobe basics white button down shirt

A white button down shirt is a classic staple in my wardrobe

4. Button down shirt

There’s a reason why a classic white shirt is at the top of most wardrobe basics lists — it’s just so wearable and can add a stylish touch to any look. One styling trick I like to employ is opting for a slightly looser fit when it comes to shirts as visually it can make your frame appear smaller.

5. High waisted skirt

A high waisted skirt is a go-to when it comes to office wear but it can also easily transition to your off duty wardrobe. Opt for a simple black or a fun print and pair with a tee or shirt for an easy, out-the-door-fast look.

 

6. Quality knit

Invest in at least one quality knit in a quality fabric (cashmere is luxe, but oh-so long lasting) and opt for colours such as grey or black as they’re easily paired with multiple items in your wardrobe.

Kate Waterhouse wardrobe basics Balmain blazer

This blazer has seen me through so many different occasions – it’s definitely a must when it comes to wardrobe basics

7. Blazer

You can wear a blazer to work or out to dinner on a Saturday night and is such a must when it comes to wardrobe basics. Popping one on can easily dress up a look give it a stylish touch.

8. Scarf

A scarf is the ideal trans-seasonal piece to add to your wardrobe. I have one that I like to wear when I’m travelling as I can use it as a wrap when the temperatures are slightly chillier.

Tell me—what are some of the wardrobe basics you can’t live without? Have I missed any on my list?
Fashion

Why investment pieces are worth saving for

24th February, 2018

Kate Waterhouse street style with one of her favourite investment pieces, a Givenchy Antigona bag

This neutral Givenchy Antigona bag is still getting a major workout a few years on from when I bought it

You’ve no doubt heard me talk about investment pieces here on the blog and also probably heard the term bandied around in fashion magazines and websites. However are they really worth the splurge? In a word: yes. And I think it all comes down to cost per wear.

Cost per wear is that magical equation that allows you to not freak out quite so much about the fact you’ve dropped a significant amount of money on just one piece! It’s basically the cost of an item divided by the number of times you wear it. The more you wear it the cheaper it becomes. I’ve always tried to save for the big wardrobe staples that I know I’ll wear season after season.

When it comes to things like a great blazer (I searched high and low for a Balmain one that’s still one of my favourite buys), a good quality handbag and classic coat, I need them to last as I wear them all the time. That’s why I’m prepared to drop a little bit more money on them simply because I know that years down the track I won’t need to replace them and they’ll still be there, kicking on and looking good. This helps me to justify the significant investment as it works out to be just a few cents each time I wear those pieces. The key however, is already knowing which items you’ll be wearing constantly. There’s no point in buying something that you think you’ll wear all the time only to find that you really don’t. Cost per wear flies out the window then!

Kate Waterhouse wearing investment pieces of leather leggings with Givenchy Antigona bag and Gucci Princetown slippers

Of this outfit the bag, leather leggings and slippers I consider to be investment pieces in my wardrobe

That said, there’s definitely a lot to be said for a quick fashion fix — I’ve done it because it’s immediate, it’s easy and always guaranteed to be on trend right that minute. I’ll often hit up chain stores for things like t-shirts and lounge wear as they have a short shelf life and I’m not really looking for too much longevity when I buy them.

I think wardrobes are all about balance. My approach is to buy the best quality I can for the cornerstones of my look and then skimp on those that are fun to have, but not a long term addition. That gives me the best of both worlds in that I can always add current cheaper finds with those pricier investment pieces that have been in my wardrobe for years.

Tell me—What are some investment pieces in your wardrobe that have been worth the splurge?

 

 

Fashion

My style formula can be summed up in just one word

22nd February, 2018

Kate Waterhouse street style in white off the shoulder top and jeans with Bulgari handbag

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?