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style tips

Fashion, What I Wore

On a budget…pregnancy dressing

26th June, 2019
Flashback to when I was pregnant with Grace

If you’re currently trying to navigate the tricky fashion terrain that is dressing while pregnant then you’ll know that it can become quite the style conundrum when you have no idea what to wear and a slowly diminishing wardrobe to boot. Having been through the experience twice, I totally get it!

The thing I found with pregnancy dressing was that I wanted to stay true to my style but I was faced with having to accomodate an ever changing body shape so all my usual go-tos weren’t all going to work. However it was such a finite amount of time that I didn’t want to spend a fortune buying an entirely new wardrobe. So here are a few ways that I managed to do it without spending a lot.

Use a pants extender

Investing in a pants extender or better yet just using a good ol’ fashion hair elastic if you’re wearing a long enough top can allow you to use a lot of your pants (or anything that has a button up waistband) well into your pregnancy. If you can use most of the bottoms you already own that’s half the battle right there.

Shop your closet

Check out what you already own that you can use to accomodate your growing belly. Look for anything with a bit of stretch such as a jersey dress or is a roomier fit like an oversized blouse — these can last you through various stages of your pregnancy.

Borrow men’s clothes

I borrowed a lot of Luke’s shirts and jumpers when I was pregnant as they were roomy enough and long enough to work with my new belly. If you’re able to grab a few pieces from the resident males in your life such as your partner, your brother or even your dad then make the most of it as these pieces work great during a pregnancy.

Buy cheap basics but size up

During both pregnancies I bought basic tees and tops from ASOS and these lasted me the entire time. As with your regular wardrobe, if you have staples like t-shirts, singlets and stretchy dresses you’ll be able to use these as the core part of your looks but elevate them with the right accessories. You don’t even have to buy maternity specific items, just buy a few sizes up to accomodate your bump.

Elevate looks with accessories

When you’re wearing pretty much the same things throughout a pregnancy it’s easy to get wardrobe fatigue. So enlist the help of some great accessories to inject a bit of new life into your looks. A beautiful scarf, statement earrings or fun sunglasses are all things that can instantly transform your look.

Layer, layer, layer

I would often wear things like vests, cardigans or blazers over what I was wearing as I felt it helped give me a little extra coverage, plus it just made everything feel a little more chic. I’m a fan of layering in my regular wardrobe so doing so throughout my pregnancies allowed me to feel that I was dressing like my usual self.

Fashion

5 pieces that always save me in a wardrobe crisis

22nd June, 2019
 

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?
Beauty, Fashion

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

15th June, 2019

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

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

22nd May, 2019
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

Easy ways to elevate your style

15th April, 2019

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.

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

7 pieces that will make getting dressed 7 days a week easier

2nd April, 2019
Black pants are a workhorse of any versatile wardrobe

Like a lot of women I don’t have a lot of time to spend on styling my looks most days so to ensure I can get out the door faster I like to make sure that my wardrobe is stocked with key items that can form the backbone of many an outfit. I don’t think an extensive wardrobe is essential to looking stylish, I think it actually comes down to simply owning the right pieces. So to help you get started I’ve pinpointed 7 staples that tick all the boxes— they’re ultra versatile, wearable and stylish all at the same time. I always love helping friends, family, and especially my readers make fashion easier, so I was thrilled to team up with Aussie brand Mela Purdie who are all about effortless style and pieces that combine form and function to introduce you to the 7 pieces that will make getting dressed 7 days a week oh-so easy.

The black top

Black is without a doubt one of the most versatile colours you can work with so it pays to have one top in this colour in a style that’s wearable with multiple looks. This particular sleeveless top is great as it can be worn underneath jackets and blazers but also be worn on its own with everything from jeans to pants and skirts.

The printed blouse

A beautiful printed blouse can go a long way in your wardrobe. It’s the ideal piece to elevate an office look, but it can also be utilised for off duty wear for an event or special occasion. This pussy bow animal print blouse works well with classic black pants, but you could team it with a pencil skirt for a polished look with a modern touch.

The classic black pant

If you don’t already own a pair, you’ll soon discover upon introducing tailored black pants into your wardrobe that it will quickly end up on high rotation. Team it with a beautiful silk blouse for a professional and put together look, and transition it into something more relaxed with the addition of a tee.

The white cropped pant

These tapered white pants have been such a great piece to mix and match with multiple blouses and tops in my wardrobe. I’ve found that white can work for office attire with the addition of the right accessories whilst it can be dialled back down to casual wear with the addition of sneakers and a casual t-shirt. My current fave way to wear it however is with an elegant billowy blouse and statement heels.

The striped blouse

Stripes are without a doubt one of the most wearable prints you can own. This particular colour combination of a light taupe and white is the kind of neutral colour palette that makes this particular shirt one that can easily work with multiple looks in your wardrobe. You can team it with white pants one day and denim or black pants the next, not to mention your favourite go-to skirt making this piece one that will help you avoid many a morning wardrobe meltdown.

The cropped tapered pant

I love the silhouette of a tapered pant, specially when it’s in a sophisticated shade like black. These pants make for a sleek option for days when you need to look ultra polished. Plus it’s so easily paired with numerous colours, patterns and prints that you’ll soon find yourself reaching for them all the time as it can be styled in myriad ways. With the introduction of the right jackets and accessories, you’ve got yourself a guaranteed winning look every day of the week.

The black blazer

A black blazer is one of those pieces that every wardrobe absolutely needs. Easily paired with pants, a skirt, denim or a dress, it’s one style staple that lives up to the hype. One of the great things about a blazer is that it can work in different ways— you can use it to elevate your look into something ultra sleek but it also doesn’t look overly dressy when paired with a more casual ensemble like jeans and a tee.

This post was produced in collaboration with Mela Purdie

Fashion, Fashion & Beauty

Why discovering your personal style will make getting dressed easier

27th March, 2019

How well do you know your personal style? Over the years and with a lot of trial and error I think I’ve finally got mine defined. Whenever I’m asked about my style now I can clearly define it in a few words: simple, understated and polished. That however, took several experimental years until I finally found my groove and discovered a certain way of dressing that meant I immediately knew if something was me or not.

So what’s the benefit of confidently knowing what your style is? Well it certainly makes pulling an outfit together that much easier. I think having that knowledge of what encompasses your look will mean that it’s easier to know what’s not you. Which sounds simple but is actually one of the key things that can lead to you ending up with less random buys that gather dust in your closet and more items that will get worn time and time again. Once you know something doesn’t fit into the your style category then you’re less tempted to buy it.

One of the best things about it is also the freedom that it gives you when you look into your closet and try to pull an outfit together. There’s less of the paralysis that comes with seeing an endless array of clothes that don’t all scream you and trying to make them work for an ensemble that you may or may not be happy with. Also, if you see a wardrobe that’s only filled with pieces that genuinely reflect you, you’re more likely to get much more wear out of everything you own and that’s a great big tick in the cost per wear department.

So how do you define your personal style? I think it’s all about looking at everything you own and seeing what you wear often and what brings a smile to your face. If you take note of those pieces you’ll often find that they have an overarching theme linking them and that will help you on your way to finding a look that works for you. I find it’s helpful if you can think of three words to describe everything so you can call on those adjectives every time you’re trying to refocus yourself and remember what your style is all about. Once you’ve done this, I promise everything else becomes so much easier.

Have you found your personal style? How did you go about discovering it?

Fashion

How to look polished without even trying (much)

25th March, 2019

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

Reader Q&A: “What are your tips for dressing when you’re curvy?”

11th February, 2019
Ashley Graham, model Jada Sezer and Robyn Lawley all know how to accentuate their figure

I always love hearing from my readers especially if there’s a burning fashion question they’d like answered. Late last year, I heard from a reader, Steph via my Facebook page who sent me the below message as she was on the hunt for a dress to wear over Christmas.

Hi Kate! Love your style!

I was wondering what fashion tips you could suggest for a curvier women like myself I am self conscious of my arms and upper body.

What kind of dresses would you suggest? Any tips would help I’m looking for something for Christmas Day.

I knew I wanted some expert input with Steph’s question so reached out to celebrity stylist (and someone who I’ve worked with on several occasions) Jess Pecoraro. Jess styles everyone from Jesinta Franklin to model Georgia Fowler and has worked with brands like Witchery, Topshop and eBay so I knew she’d have really useful and practical tips to share. Read on for some great tips for accentuating a curvy figure.

What are five key pieces a curvy woman should have in her wardrobe and why?

1. Good quality undergarments are just as important as clothing so invest in items that fit well and are made from quality fabrics to help with support and shaping the body correctly

2. A classic style black dress, this can be an A-line style, wrap style or
even a slip as it will be the perfect go-to for anything last minute.

3. Dark denim jeans or a dark trouser, the style may vary depending on
what you prefer but it’s a [wardrobe] must which can easily be dressed up or down.

4. Shirting that is slightly fitted and that isn’t too boxy. It’s another go-to
piece to have in a few colours.

5. A nude pump as they elongate your legs and are perfect for all occasions.

Are there any particular styles or silhouettes a curvy woman should avoid?

Styles which are boxy or have minimal shape are no go as they add extra volume and don’t show off your curves.

What’s the key to dressing to flatter a curvy figure?

Paying attention to the fit and fabrication of clothing is key. Select items that emphasise your waist as well as your curves by considering items which have a waist band, are slightly more fitted or are in a wrap style.

Is there a particular part of the body that a curvy woman should try and focus on with what she’s wearing?

This is very personal and may vary on different bodies yet focusing on your waistline will help show off your curves and give your body an overall nice silhouette.

Are there key accessories a curvy woman should have in her wardrobe? If so, what?

Key accessories to invest in are nude heels and sandals which will work back with any look and won’t add any extra volume to an outfit. Also a mix of neutral and black waist belts to style over dresses, shirts and even blazers to help define the waist line.

What are your tips when it comes to colour and patterns and prints when it comes to a curvy figure?

Bold block colours and darker shades are always best. Coloured panels also work and can give the illusion of a print without it being to over the top as long as the panelling is on the side which lengthens the body. Prints can be a bit tricky as they can sometime add more volume so go for more graphic and vertical lines.

What are your tips when it comes to swimwear for a curvy figure?

Go for simple shapes and darker solid colours. Higher cut briefs give the illusion of longer and leaner legs and for extra support try a bra style top or one piece with thicker straps (in built wire will give a better shape). A panelled one piece with side ruching will help draw attention away from your tummy area.

What are some go-to brands for curvy women? 

You can follow Jess on Instagram at @jesspecoraro

Fashion

The questions to ask yourself about your style

21st January, 2019

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?