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style tips

Fashion

The pieces you can wear to work and on the weekend

5th December, 2020

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

Dressy flats

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

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

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

A white tee

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

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

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

A blazer

I’ve often spoken of my love of a great blazer and consider it one of my can’t-live-without items. And it’s primarily because I can wear a blazer to a work function one minute to a casual lunch on the weekend the next and it still works. Keep it classic with black, grey, navy or white or if you’re feeling adventurous embrace something bold and bright.

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

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

A roomy bag

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

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

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

A wrap dress

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

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

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

Culottes

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

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

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

A black skirt

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

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

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

Fashion

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

28th November, 2020
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

5 pieces that always save me in a wardrobe crisis

14th November, 2020
 

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 get more wear from your event wardrobe

4th November, 2020

While event wear is a lot of fun to wear, it’s also usually the kind of thing that can end up collecting dust in the back of the wardrobe as you wait for the next event to roll around. And it’s such a waste. Event wear is usually extra beautiful because it’s designed to be worn for special occasions, and it can be expensive as a result. The problem with this is that the cost per wear plummets if it’s just going to sit in your closet until a wedding invitation arrives or the next milestone birthday rolls around.

So, it’s time to let them come out and play on a more regular basis. The key is what to pair it with so you don’t feel ridiculously overdressed. I’ve managed to collect a lot of dressy pieces because of the races and other events so, I’ve had to learn how to re-use and recycle. If you’re not entirely sure where to begin, below are my tried and tested methods for turning event wear into day wear.

Mix with casual items

If you’ve got a closet full of dressy pieces such as cocktail dresses and suits, never fear, you can definitely still wear them in your weekly rotation but you just need to temper their dressiness with casual pieces. So for example you could take a pair of suit pants and wear it with a tee and sneakers for a smart casual look. The same goes for a glitzy top which can be worn back with denim, or a dress which can be paired with sneakers or slides.

Layer with other pieces

Layering is a really valuable styling tool because it can instantly transform a look. Wear a denim jacket over a cocktail dress and it tames its event vibes. The same goes for wearing a suit blazer with a denim. Or popping on a white shirt over a dress and knotting it, to achieve an effortless, yet polished look.

A basket bag like this is a great way to dress down event wear
Add natural textures

By incorporating more relaxed textures into a dressy ensemble you dial down its glam factor. So if you want to take your fave LBD out for a spin during the day, pair it with a wicker basket to give it a more casual spin. While pairing a linen shirt with dress pants can make it slightly less dressy and far more everyday wear.

Dress it down with flats or sneakers

Your choice of footwear is everything, so if you want to tame an event look, ditch the heels and pair it with flats or sneakers. The beauty of this is that shoes like slides, sneakers and sandals are so commonplace now that you can get away with wearing them in virtually any setting. A midi dress usually designated for fancy dinners can all of a sudden be work appropriate by pairing it with a pair of leather slides and a lightweight jacket. While a skirt you’d reserve for a night out can be dressed down with a plain tee.

Tell me—how do you recycle your event wear?

Fashion

The 7 fashion sins I always avoid

11th October, 2020

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 accentuate a particular part of the body, whether it be your legs or your décolletage I’ve always believed it’s important to make sure to only pick one to maintain the balance of your look. I’m all for flaunting whatever features you wish but it can sometimes throw your look off if there’s no counterpoint. For example if I’m going to wear a plunging neckline I usually opt for a slightly more conservative hemline or bottoms to balance it. The same goes for a a mini skirt, where I’ll usually go for a a button up shirt or a shirt with a high neckline to ensure I’ve chosen one focal point and to avoid my outfit look too overwhelming. 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 may 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.

Consider every aspect of your look from your shoes to you accessories

Scruffy 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. If you’re a fun of luxe fabrics, then be prepared to invest a little time in ensuring that everything is perfectly pressed.

Wearing clothes you don’t feel comfortable in

It’s abundantly clear when you’re wearing something that’s not quite right. Whether it’s hobbling around in shoes that are painful to walk in or a top that doesn’t sit right, if it’s something that will have you fussing around repeatedly then it’s best to pull something else out of your closet.

Wearing one designer from top-to-bottom

The beauty of fashion is to be able to mix and match to curate a look that’s entirely your own. This is why it’s better to wear a look that’s injected with your personality as opposed to just copying whatever the mannequin in the window is wearing. Fashion is all about doing your own thing, not just doing what you think is in style.

Fashion, Fashion & Beauty

Why discovering your personal style will make getting dressed easier

10th October, 2020

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.

Being confident in your style will mean less time spent staring at your wardrobe unsure of what to wear

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

The questions to ask yourself about your style

4th October, 2020

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

The wardrobe items that are guaranteed confidence boosters

23rd September, 2020

It goes without saying that what we wear plays a huge role in how we feel when we walk out the door. Feeling confident in your clothes is all about choosing the right pieces. If you’re wearing a look that makes you look amazing, you’ll be armed with confidence when you go about your day. Wearing something that flatters is of course key, but I’ve found that there are certain pieces which are just natural confidence boosters. And they’re probably all sitting in your wardrobe already…

A great dress

Not everyone is a dress person, but if you fall into the camp of loving them, then a gorgeous dress, whether it’s a flowy maxi, a polished midi or a fun, playful mini is something that can make you feel polished and put together. The key is finding a style that flatters. So if you don’t yet have that one dress in your closet that makes you feel amazing, then definitely set aside the time to find on this spring/summer that does just that.

A statement piece

I love working statement pieces into a look if I’m feeling a bit blah and need a confidence boost. I’ve found bold pieces help you look and feel better, and are the ultimate pick-me-up.

Well-fitting denim

The perfect pair of jeans really can be the ultimate confidence booster. The key is taking the time to try on several different pairs until you find one in just the right style, wash and fit. Also, denim can be worn back with virtually anything meaning you can wear them on high rotation.

A polished blazer

Whenever I need to elevate my look I always rely on a great blazer. I’ve found just popping a sleek blazer over what I’m wearing instantly makes me look and feel polished, which in turn helps me feel confident.

Amazing shoes

Feeling confident in clothes also extends to shoes and accessories. Whether you’re a heels girl and love nothing better than a pair of sky high stilettos or you’re more into flats and are all about a gorgeous pair of slides or sandals, I’ve always found wearing great shoes to be one of the best ways to make me feel ultra confident in what I’m wearing.

A matching set

This is honestly the best shortcut to putting together an outfit and looking and feeling polished at the same time. A matching set just looks sleek, plus it’s a no-brainer look for those days when you really can’t be bothered having to mix and match pieces so it’s a win-win option.

Photography: Sophia Athas

Fashion, What I Wore

On a budget…pregnancy dressing

13th September, 2020
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.

Use 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

Easy ways to elevate your personal style

26th August, 2020

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.