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style tips

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?

Beauty, Fashion

Super quick styling tips to help you out of a fashion rut

15th November, 2017

There’s nothing worse than being faced with a wardrobe full of clothes and feeling like you have absolutely nothing to wear. The answer isn’t jumping online and ordering a new outfit to arrive by lunchtime (although that can sometimes be fun) it’s about learning to accessorise or rework items in your wardrobe to give them a fresh new feel. And as I’m sure you’re a busy woman who needs to get out the door fast, here are some of my super quick styling tips to help you pull together a “new” outfit quicker than you can click add to cart. Your bank balance will certainly breathe a sigh of relief!

Choose a bold accessory

If my outfit is feeling a bit flat I find a great way to inject a bit more energy into it is by adding a bold accessory. For example I’ve often paired my Gucci Dionysus bag (above) with an otherwise subdued outfit and found it instantly made it feel modern and on-trend. You don’t always have to opt for a bag, you could also try a pair of eye-catching drop earrings or a layering a few necklaces (all faves of mine) to breathe some new like into an outfit you’ve worn time and again.

Roll it, tie it or cuff it

You can totally rejig an existing outfit with a few simple styling tweaks. For a tired pair of jeans try cuffing the bottom and pairing with a pair of bold flats or heels for a look that feels instantly fresher. You could try tying a button down shirt and pairing it with everything from a pair of shorts and skirt for an outfit that takes a classic look and makes it feel a little more undone. Or experiment with rolling your sleeves whether it be on a shirt, a dress or even a jacket to create an entirely new silhouette.

Add a touch of colour

Having fun with colour is one way to make an outfit feel new again. The best bit about this is that you can do it in so many different ways. You could work it into an outfit in a small way such as a pair of shoes in a standout shade. You could go all out and layer multiple hues of the same colour family like this, or choose one ultra bright colour to take centre stage such as the above look and keep the rest of your outfit a little more subdued to really let it pop.

Enlist the help of a scarf

I wrote about how scarves have become a favourite accessory of everyone from celebs to fashion and beauty bloggers late as they’re so versatile. You can fashion it into a headband, tie it around your neck or use it as a hair tie. Find one scarf in a vintage print and you’ll be able to revive many tired looks with it. Alternatively it also serves the extremely handy purpose of hiding dirty hair in a stylish way when you really can’t be bothered to wash it!

Polish your digits

It requires a bit more effort but painting your nails in a really bright colour can often make any outfit feel new. It also has the added benefit of giving you a more polished look overall. Give yourself a mani at the beginning of the week and watch it elevate your outfits for the next few days without you having to do anything at all.

Try a belt

You’ll be surprised at the sartorial power of a belt when it comes to reworking an existing look. An easy one is wearing a belt with an oversized buckle with jeans or a denim skirt for a look that plays into the current 90s trend. You could also try Olivia Palermo’s favourite styling trick of belting a jacket such as a blazer or coat.

What are some of your styling hacks for getting out of a wardrobe rut?

Fashion

5 pieces that always save me in a wardrobe crisis

26th July, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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

What to wear on a first date

20th July, 2017

Whenever my girlfriends go on dates I often end up workshopping outfits with them as they’re never quite sure what to wear. Too dressy? Too casual? Too much? There are myriad style concerns that can crop up. First dates can be nerve wracking enough as it is without throwing a wardrobe crisis into the mix so here are the tips I give my friends…

Dress for the venue

On a first date you’ll often know ahead of time where you’re going and what you’re doing so let that be your guide. Yes, it’s understandable that you want to look amazing so you may want to go all out but it’s also important to ensure that you’re not overdressed or underdressed. For example if you’re going to play mini golf you may want to avoid pulling out a bodycon dress and heels and opt for jeans and a nice top instead. By the same token you don’t want to rock up in sneakers if you’re heading to the best restaurant in town.

Comfort is key

I’ve always believed that if you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing you’ll naturally be more confident. If you’re spending half the evening worrying about some aspect of your look or adjusting yourself every five seconds you’ll end up frazzled and not feeling your best. Always choose an outfit that makes you feel great but also allows you to relax. Relaxed date = great date!

Rely on tried and tested looks

A first date is probably not the best time to go too crazy on the fashion and beauty front. Remember being comfortable is key so go with looks that you know have worked in the past and make you feel great. If you’ve never really done a bright lip before it might not be the best time to try it if you end up worrying about whether you have lipstick on your teeth the entire date. Save experimentation for a night out with your girlfriends; this is the time to rely on what you know works. If you really want to try a new look do a dry run a few days prior so you can iron out any kinks beforehand.

What are your tips for a first date look?