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style tips

Fashion

How to get more wear out of your wardrobe

17th October, 2021

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.

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 questions to ask yourself about your style

16th October, 2021

Nailing your personal style makes getting dressed infinitely easier. It helps you hone in what will and won’t work in your wardrobe with laser precision and you’ll end up with a more cohesive, wearable look. It’s also the kind of thing that comes with a little experimentation and a few little a-ha moments along the way.

I’ve gone through my own periods of trial and error, dabbling with looks that I thought were “me” but ultimately I tended to gravitate back towards the same aesthetic. I like looks that are classic, polished yet still incorporate a trend or two. And knowing this has meant that everything from shopping to deciding what I’m going to pull out of my closet in the morning is a seamless process.

If you’re still in the midst of rediscovering or honing your style you’re not alone. It’s often a process that adapts and changes over time but ultimately knowing what makes you you fashion-wise is at the core of what makes great style. Here are a few questions that will have you on the right track.

What do I feel good in?

It’s simple enough but wearing what makes you feel good is often the key to great style. This is because it generally means that you feel confident in your outfit and that’s often the thing that underpins any look that works. So if you find that you always feel amazing in feminine pieces then go ahead and make them a staple of your everyday look. If colour puts a smile on your face, then you’ll know that a muted colour palette might not be your thing.

What do I always gravitate towards when I’m shopping?

We all tend to have things that will immediately catch our eye when we’re shopping. Whether it be sleek, tailored pieces such as blazers or skirts or comfy, relaxed looks like jeans and t-shirts, there’s always something that will speak to you when you’re browsing and that’s a clear clue to your particular style. Start paying attention to what catches your eye to enable you pinpoint your signature look.

What words describe my style?

Think of a few words to describe your look. Often that’s a good indicator of what your overall style is all about.

What pieces do I wear all the time?

Take stock of what items in your closet are always doing overtime. Often what we instinctively reach for when trying to decide what to wear is what speaks to our style the most. So start noting down the things that you immediately pull out the next time you’re getting dressed in the morning. You’ll soon discover a very obvious pattern…

What do I want my style to say about me?

What we wear on a day to day basis often sends a message to the world about who we are. So think about what you want your wardrobe to say about you? Often this is a key area which can steer you in the right direction towards ultimately defining your personal style.

Tell me—what things have helped you start to define your personal style?

Fashion

5 pieces that always save me in a wardrobe crisis

25th July, 2021
 

An unexpected wardrobe crisis is not something I can usually afford to have first thing in the morning. This is why I’ve developed a roster of key pieces that I know will always save me when I’m having issues on the outfit front. They’re tried and tested and I know exactly how to work them with what’s in my closet so I can easily pull together an outfit in minutes. Here’s what’s saved me more times than I can count…

Little black dress

A little black dress is the equivalent of a get out of jail free card when it comes to fashion. An LBD has saved me on numerous occasions from having a wardrobe crisis as it’s such an easy foundation from which to build an outfit—all it needs is a great pair of shoes and accessories and I’m done. I know it’s also guaranteed to be flattering so it’s ideal for those days when I can’t afford to waste time trying on multiple outfits but need to look and feel my best.

Leather pants

I live in black leather pants throughout winter as they’re so comfortable and can also easily be dressed up or down. As a lot of people probably do, I generally always turn to anything black when I’m having a wardrobe crisis as it’s always a flattering hue and is an easy jumping off point to build a look from. The perfect pair of black leather pants can easily be paired with a tee and sneakers for great off duty style or a blouse and heels for a dressier look.

Jeans

I always feel comfortable and confident in my favourite pair of jeans so for casual days out I know I can always rely on them to build an outfit around. I can easily just add a tee and flats if I’m out running errands or a structured blazer and heels if I’m after something a bit dressier.

White shirts are always a guaranteed lifesaver

Shift dress

Shift dresses have always been my go-to at all times. Even during pregnancy I found them to be a great option as the silhouette works with my frame and is an easy basis from which to create a look. I’ve found dresses are a lifesaver during times of wardrobe dilemmas as you don’t need to fuss around trying to match tops and bottoms—simply throw it on, find a pair of shoes and you’re done. Shift dresses may not work for everyone so definitely find a dress style that you know works with your shape.

White shirt

A crisp white shirt is considered a wardrobe classic for good reason—it’s an easy option to pair with everything from jeans to leather pants to a skirt and always looks polished. I find it’s always a good idea to have a white shirt ironed and ready to go at all times as it’s an easy option to turn to when you’re staring at your closet feeling really uninspired. Throw on a white shirt and I guarantee it’s wardrobe crisis averted!

What are your go-to wardrobe lifesavers?
Fashion

How to make it easier to pull together an outfit in a rush

13th June, 2021
Photography by: Sophia Athas, Hatrik

If you’re running late and need to get out the door fast it can be stressful being faced with a wardrobe dilemma. Looking into your closet and not having any idea what to wear can make an already rushed morning feel even more so. To avoid this happening to you, it’s time to put in a bit of effort now and prep your way out of it. Having the right measures in place can make all the difference between walking out of the house feeling and looking pulled together to not having any idea what you’re wearing and feeling less than your best self the entire day.

Clean your closet

It all starts with the state of your closet. If you’ve got clothes strewn everywhere, shoes piled on top of each other and bags all over the place then you’re going to make it very hard to find anything let alone style an outfit. So commit to a big wardrobe cull and ensure that everything is in plain sight. If you can easily see everything then you’re more likely to have a little more styling inspiration, which means locking in an outfit quicker, which can mean you’re able to walk out the door faster.

Ensure your essentials are always nearby

We all have our fave pieces in our closet so it’s important that these things are readily at our fingertips should a wardrobe dilemma faced with a time crunch arise. If you can fall on a standby go-to outfit without then realising that the shirt you want isn’t ironed or the jeans you’re after is still in the washing basket, you have a much better chance of getting dressed faster. At a minimum, always make a point of having the key staples in your wardrobe at the ready.

Have failsafe outfit combinations

It’s great to experiment and broaden your fashion repertoire but it’s also key to have at least five outfits that you know work memorised. These are good to fall back on should you be faced with a sartorial mental blank and can’t really think of what to wear. To make it even easier, have an outfit planned to suit different occasions, think: casual, work, evening, party and going out. This way whatever you’re faced with there’s always an ensemble waiting to happen in a matter of minutes.

Have style inspo as a back up

Style inspiration can help kickstart an outfit idea or two so make sure you have a few on your phone that you can draw upon when you need to. By simply having a few looks that you love saved, you can make it easier to then get an ensemble together when you’re having one of those days where you feel that you really have nothing to wear.

Fashion

How to look polished without even trying (much)

22nd May, 2021

If there’s a box that I always try to ensure my look encapsulates it’s polished. Whether it’s a casual outfit I’m wearing to run errands with the girls or a work meeting or a big fashion launch it’s one of the overarching criteria that I try to maintain. And it doesn’t have to be hard. If there’s one thing I need all my outfits to be it’s easy so I’ve found some ways to ensure that looking polished is pretty straightforward to achieve. Here’s how I do it.

Ensure everything fits well

Whether I’m in jeans and a t-shirt or a suit, the one thing I always make certain of is that everything is tailored to fit. That means things like hems are cut appropriately for my height and I’m not wearing a jacket that swamps me. Taking the time to ensure that everything is tailored beforehand ensures that anything I wear by default, looks polished.

Keep it simple

My look is very classic and I’ve found this is a great way to ensure I look polished. Whilst everyone has their own aesthetic, the one thing you can take away from this is that keeping your look simple often means it presents in a very put together way. This means choosing one statement piece and then keeping everything else simple. Whether it’s a pair of great shoes or knockout earrings, have one focal element and then pare back the rest.

Always ensure your bag and shoes are in good shape
Pay attention to your bag and shoes

I’ve always been a bag and shoes girl and I’ve found they’re often the two key accessories that can make or break and outfit. So I always make sure that whatever bag or shoes I’m wearing looks neat and tidy. They don’t have to be expensive. but they do have to look presentable which means no scuff marks or stains. This is why I always ensure I use fabric protector on all my bags and shoes before I wear them.

Don’t forget about your beauty look

I need to get out the door in a matter of minutes most days so I’m all for beauty routines that are quick and easy. If I need to get out the door fast but don’t have time to do my hair I’ll pull it back in a low bun (which takes seconds) and I’ve got myself a sleek hairstyle for the day. I’ve also streamlined my makeup routine to a few simple essentials (see my full routine here) and that ensures I look presentable when I walk out the door but I haven’t had to spend a silly amount of time in front of the mirror.

Get a steamer

I don’t like ironing and I’m sure a lot of you feel the same. That said, I also can’t walk out the door with wrinkled clothes so a great shortcut is to invest in a handheld steamer like this. If I find something needs a press, I give it a quick steam and then I’m out the door. Most garments are steamed on photo shoots and it’s a trick that I’ve adopted into my own wardrobe.

What are some of your shortcuts for a polished look?

Fashion

Easy ways to elevate your personal style

3rd April, 2021

The key to elevating your style doesn’t involve an astronomical amount of money or a constant stream of designer purchases. In fact, a lot of it comes not from what you own but what you do. Whenever I look at the people who always present themselves impeccably, I always notice that they have a few things in common. Here’s where you can start if you want to elevate your look.

Know your style

People who have amazing style are always confident in their look. They know what works and what doesn’t and essentially what makes their look their own. If you’re still a little unsure of your style, pay attention to things that you always gravitate towards. Pinpoint the pieces that make you feel and look amazing. You’ll soon be able to distill what it is that defines your aesthetic.

Make sure you have the basics

It’s important to make sure you’ve got the basics covered before you can evolve your style to the next-level. This means everything from having a go-to dress to having the right underwear for various silhouettes and casual staples like t-shirts and jeans. Having reliable pieces already sitting in your closet will allow you to concentrate on how you can give those things your own unique spin.

Have a tailor that you trust

There’s something quite special about having a wardrobe filled with pieces that are perfectly fitted to your body— clothes just sit better when they’re tailored. This is why it’s important to find a tailor that you trust. Try asking around in your social circle to see if anyone has someone good they can recommend or look up online reviews of various tailors in town. Another option is doing your own research by getting something altered and seeing what the result is.

Invest in quality items

There are workhorses in every wardrobe and they need to be the best quality that you can afford. Don’t scrimp on things that you’re likely to use all the time like a work bag, or shoes that you’ll wear constantly on the weekend. Identify these key items and splurge on them. Quality items generally withstand wear and tear a little better. You can then be a little more economical with other things in your wardrobe that won’t get used quite as often.

Invest in quality items
Make an effort to look after your clothes

To ensure that your clothes always look pristine follow instructions on how to launder them, hang and fold garments rather than just dumping them on the nearest available space, and it seems obvious but always iron or steam garments before you walk out the door. Also store items like shoes and bags properly by keeping them in their dust bags and not piling them on top of each other so they lose their shape.

Avoid jumping on board every single trend

To elevate your style involves looking like you’re confident in what you’re wearing. That means being able to pinpoint knowingly what works and what doesn’t for you and that involves being selective in the trends that you adopt. Experimenting with looks is great, but so is knowing what your style is and not feeling like you have to jump on every single trend to look good.

Fashion

How to style statement jewellery

24th March, 2021

Jewellery is one of the simplest and most effective ways to dress up any outfit, particularly when it comes to wearing statement pieces. I love experimenting with bold jewellery, whether it’s a statement necklace or a cluster of rings, it’s fun being able to play with different accessories and working them in unexpected ways. Learning how to style statement jewellery is a key styling skill to have up your sleeve, and it’s not hard at all.

There’s also never been a better time to fall in love with bold jewellery, particularly now when there are just so many fab pieces available. You can embrace pricier investment jewellery, or cheap and cheerful chain store finds, or mix and match and achieve such a striking effect either way. But before you do, here are a few tips on styling statement jewellery and striking just the right balance.

Choose a focal piece

The thing with bold jewellery is that while it’s fun, you can also have too much of a good thing. I’ve found the best thing to do is to choose a focal point and keep the rest of your accessories pared back. This could be wearing a big statement necklace, or a knockout pair of chandelier earrings but either way, ensuring that you choose one piece to have as the focal point ensures your look is balanced.

Consider your outfit holistically

You want to ensure that your jewellery complements your look rather than takes over it so look at your outfit as whole. Learning how to style statement jewellery means having to consider colour, cut, style, and think about what kind of piece will work with the various elements of your look. For example jeans and a tee might work well with a statement necklace, while a simple dress might be worth elevating with bold earrings. Once again, it’s about balance.

Think about layering

Sometimes bold jewellery doesn’t always have to mean a single piece, it can mean making a statement by working multiple pieces together. It could be stacking different necklace sizes or styles, going from delicate to something bolder, or wearing various bangles of varying shapes, textures and styles, or simple wearing different rings all together. This works great if you don’t really ‘do’ bold jewellery but want to achieve a similar effect.

Make sure your jewellery is actually noticed

Wearing bold jewellery generally means that you want those pieces to stand out and be noticed. Why not when you’re wearing something amazing, right? For this reason you need to factor in things such as necklines, sleeve lengths, even how you’re wearing your hair. For example if you’re planning on wearing statement earrings, will you actually be able to see it or is it being hidden entirely by your hair? If you’ve got your heart set on wearing an beautiful bangle, is it going to be hidden by your jacket sleeve? These are easily fixed with a few style tweaks, but you want to bear them in mind before you walk out the door.

Play with proportions

Keep your jewellery in proportion to the rest of your look. This might mean that an oversize necklace might not be the right choice with a voluminous top, whilst a slimline dress might work beautifully with a great pair of shoulder-grazing drop earrings. Keep these elements in mind to ensure that you’re wearing your jewellery not that it’s wearing you.

Fashion

How to define your signature style

17th March, 2021

Let me preface this by saying that defining your look is something that happens over time. It doesn’t just immediately happen because learning how to define your signature style is a lengthy process of discovery. As you identify what makes you feel great, what’s flattering and what’s not and what’s simply feels “you”, you’ll soon be able to pinpoint your look. The thing with discovering your signature style is that once you know it, it frees you from the constant back and forth between what to wear and what to buy because you’ll immediately know if an item of clothing or a particular shoe fits into your style ethos. And that’s when things get exciting. By doing this, you’ve given yourself the ability to sidestep a lot of wardrobe dilemmas by simply being able to articulate you in clothing form.

But it does take a little effort on your part. I think I slowly discovered my signature style by paying attention to how I felt in particular styles, how certain things looked on me and slowly pinpointing what made me feel confident. Also, I had a range of women whose style I admired, and I started to really look at what it was about what they were wearing that appealed to me. And it really helped to shape my style. If you want learn how to define your signature style, here are a few key things you need to do.

Look at what you double up on

A lot of us subconsciously start a healthy collection of items of clothing that make us feel great, and just feel like us. So look at your closet and see what those things are. Is it light denim? Is it midi dresses? Stripey tops? Once you start to see those things, you’ll know that those items will make up the bulk of your signature look.

Moodboard your style icons

As I mentioned, I do have a few women whose style that I just love and I started to look at them collectively to see what it was about their wardrobe that clicked with me. Was it the colour palette they worked with? The silhouettes they chose? The accessories they used? You can try doing this yourself by collating a range of outfits from your style icons and pinpointing the commonality between them all. Once you’ve identified them, then you can use them to work on your own signature style.

Describe what you see

Sometimes it just helps to label things. So look at what you wear, and think of words to describe it. Would you describe your look as classic? All about bohemian? Edgy and cool? You’d be surprised to know that often once you label your look, it makes it much easier to really spot the things that are you.

Think of what gets you compliments

What are you often wearing when people tend to send compliments your way? You may find a connection amongst them. So if you find that whenever you wear a printed blouse that you earn yourself major style praise then that could be something that underpins your signature look, as it’s something that obviously works for you. This is one of the most helpful things you can do to when learning how to define your signature style.

Find your ‘thing’

Most people have something that is instantly identifiable as being them. It could be the fact that you’re always rocking a flowy dress, or that you love pairing sneakers with absolutely everything, but whatever it is, own it. Because it’s intrinsically you. And if you look back over history’s most revered fashion icons, you’ll find that there was always something about their look that was their calling card, their signature ‘thing’.

Trust your instinct

You’ll often know when things just feel off when you’re wearing something. It could be a particular silhouette that just doesn’t immediately feel like you, or it could be the fact you keep trying to wear particular items of clothing but always end up changing out of them. More often than not, your gut will tell you which styles are winners and which ones aren’t, so it pays to listen to it. It won’t steer you wrong.

Fashion

How investment dressing can save you money

24th February, 2021

I’m a huge advocate for investment dressing. Buying quality over quantity is not only going to contribute to a better wardrobe, but it also saves you money. How? Well despite the fact that you may have to outlay a little more at the beginning, pieces that are well made, will usually pass the longevity test. I usually prefer to save up for pricier pieces, particularly when they’re staples like a great blazer, or a bag I’m going to use almost daily, as it means that they’re much more likely to withstand the wear and tear of constant use. So, in case you needed anymore convincing, here’s my case for why buying investment pieces will usually result in spending much less in the long run.

Your clothes last longer

This is without a doubt the biggest drawcard of buying well made, quality items. I have investment pieces that have been in my closet for years, YEARS!, and they’re still going strong. The thing with buying quality is that the craftsmanship is usually better, and the same goes for the choice of fabrication and finishes used. If you do the maths, it’s usually a case that spending a bit more upfront will result in less spent further down the line.

You don’t have to buy clothes as often

Quality goes hand in hand with less frequency in having to replace certain garments. I usually prefer to just spend more at the beginning if it means that I’m not having to replace a jacket or pants the following season because it’s looking tired or it’s falling apart. Being able to go into each new season not having to replace key items means that I’m spending less in the long run.

Whenever I’m considering investment pieces the brief is always classic
You can easily rework pieces over and over again

The one thing about investment pieces is that because they’re pricier, I naturally gravitate towards classic styles. When it comes to trend items, I’d rather not spend a fortune as I know they’ll only be around for a season. Also if you opt for classic, it naturally lends itself to being much more versatile. They can be worked back with multiple garments and can be restyled in various ways making them great value in the cost per wear department.

Your purchases are more considered

When you’re paying a significant amount of money for something, I think it naturally makes you pause and think about the purchase because you’re not doing it as often. You’ll look at the garment in a much more careful way, you’ll ask yourself just how many times you’ll be able to wear it and what it works with. This is a great thing and how we should really be approaching every single purchase. Ultimately by thinking fashion buys through a lot more, you’ll find yourself with a closet comprising of pieces that you love, and not items that were purchased on a whim. And really, it’s the impulse buys that can really add up.

You’ll respect your fashion budget a lot more

Most of us have some idea about what we are able to spend on clothes. Some of us may be good at sticking to it, others not so much. When you’re buying cheaper pieces, like a $20 shirt here or a $40 pair of pants there, it feels like you can actually spend a lot more, because a cheap top is much less noticeable finance-wise. Spending a lot more money on something can often inspire you to be more mindful of your budget, simply because there’s a bigger financial outlay to deal with that doesn’t seem so inconsequential. For example, if you’re investing in a four-figure designer bag, it requires a little more consideration and thought than a $10 bag. And guess which option you’re likely to have years from now?

What are your thoughts on investment dressing—is it something that you do?

Fashion

How to minimise wardrobe dilemmas this year

28th January, 2021
Photo by Sarah Dorweiler on Unsplash

Wardrobe dilemmas are the worst and can often strike at the most inopportune of times — like when you’re already incredibly late and was supposed to have walked out the door ten minutes ago. And while sometimes the unexpected occurs (coffee down your top, a split seam, for example), most of the time, they can be avoided with some pre-planning and organisation.

Think of it this way, if you had to perform a task every single day of your life, wouldn’t you try and employ a few strategies to make it quicker and easier? So, if you’re interested in making a less stressful year on the fashion front, try these techniques—you’ll banish style dramas in no time.

Get organised

Organisation really is key when it comes to avoiding wardrobe dramas. If your closet is in constant disarray therein lies the problem—finding what you want, when you want is made all the more difficult when you actually have no idea where anything is.

You want to see everything, and I mean everything. You should be able to see what you own at a glance, so you can take in an entire outfit in one go without having to sift through piles of clothes or shoes. If storage is an issue, you could consider doing a seasonal swap where you put your current season clothes on display, while everything else hibernates for a few months under your bed or in another cupboard somewhere (this is where vacuum storage bags come in handy). Your aim should be that you can neatly put everything away. If this is definitely a problem, then keep reading.

Keep it streamlined

While it’s nice to have clothes, it’s even nicer if they have the chance to be worn and don’t just sit in your closet gathering dust. Having a tight edit of clothes means you’re more likely to wear what you own. Less options = more in rotation.

This means regular wardrobe culls should be on the cards. I know it can sometimes be hard to let go of certain items of clothing, but it’s time to summon up some courage and let go of those things that you know you haven’t worn in years. You know what I’m talking about, it’s the dress you’re hanging onto in case you “can wear it in future” or that jumper you wore on year 12 camp.

If it doesn’t add to your wardrobe but is simply there gathering dust, it’s time to bit it adieu.

Plan ahead

Here’s where organisation comes in again. By planning your looks ahead of time you can free yourself from regular morning wardrobe dramas. Take some time before the start of a new week and go through your schedule, and what your outfit requirements are for the week. By doing this you can set aside what you’re wearing ahead of time. This also allows you to do things in advance like iron or fix anything that may need repairing.

Also, by planning ahead you’re also encouraged to play around with what’s in your wardrobe a little more. If you’ve got time on your hands you can work on creating different looks a little more freely without the pressure of time constraints.

Have a back-up outfit list

This is a must. There will come a time when you’ve got to get out the door fast and if your other outfit options fall through it’s a good idea to have a few others up your sleeve that you know have been tried and tested. Document a few looks in your phone that can be your ‘crack open in case of emergency’ contingency plan. This helps mitigate the stress when you’re faced with an ensemble that just isn’t working.