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Fashion

12 Insta-outfit ideas to steal: the dress edition

10th September, 2018

I’m a big believer in the effortless wardrobe staple that is the dress. If I’m having one of those days where I don’t really want to have to think about pulling an outfit together I’ll often go for a dress as it requires minimal styling. I don’t have to worry about matching tops to bottoms and all I really have to do is pick out my shoes and accessories and I’m done. This spring/summer we’re going to be spoilt for choice as far as dresses go. From the sleek slip dress to dresses with statement sleeves or a relaxed, boho vibe there’s definitely a frock option to suit everyone. To get you inspired here are a few stylish Insta-options that you’ll definitely want to add to your fashion repertoire.

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This spotted wrap dress is perfection. Anything featuring a polka dot print is guaranteed to become a classic in your wardrobe.

A slinky slip dress is always a great go-to for day and night. The cowl neck on this style gives it a point of difference and the print gives it a touch of sweetness.

If you’re looking for a dress style that you’ll live in this summer this is it. The colour, the stripes, the ruffles all give it relaxed vibe.

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A maxi dress is one way to make an impact especially when it features a split and a super flattering cinched in waist.

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Broderie anglaise is always guaranteed to look chic and polished. When in a crisp white such as this dress it’s absolute heaven.

A classic white dress is a great option for warmer weather but add a splash of colour and it looks modern and fresh.

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A cute button down dress is an easy outfit for days where you might be heading from beach to bar – easy to pop on and off, you’ll be ready for cocktails in no time.

A simple midi dress is a handy option to have in your closet because it’s so easy to change it up. Pair it with a great blazer or denim jacket or a tied up shirt like the above outfit and you can instantly change the entire look and feel of it.

The great tie-up sleeves on this particular dress make it an ideal LBD—a streamlined style but with just a touch of interesting detail to make it stand out in a crowd.

I love the corset feature of this particular dress and how it’s perfectly balanced by the short balloon sleeves, giving it just the right amount of volume.

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A blazer dress is a business/party look all rolled into one. Love the polished meets sexy feel of this particular ensemble.

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A crisp white dress that borrows elements from a traditional kaftan make this one style that’s definitely work bookmarking for when temperatures start to rise.

Fashion, Shop

Have fun with punchy prints

31st August, 2018

Classics have a definite place in any wardrobe but I think there’s always room to have a little fun. Enter vibrant prints. Usually incorporating loads of colour and punchy patterns that are guaranteed to lift any outfit consider these your go-to when you want to bring a little sunshine into your look.

You can approach this trend in two ways: choose one statement piece and team it with pared back pieces or go for a clashing effect and team a few different colours and prints. If you’re opting for the latter you’ll need to choose an element to tie everything together whether it be the same colour or similar prints. Often accessories are a helpful way to bring cohesion to your look and give it a more finished effect.

There’s only one way to carry this look and it’s to wholeheartedly embrace it because if you’re going to wear something that’s eye-catching, you need to own it. So whether you go for a beautiful printed dress or a statement coat, a pair of showstoppper shoes or a striking bag it’s important to not shy away.

Sold on this trend? Before you jump on it scroll down to check out how über stylish women like Glossier founder Emily Weiss to blogger Blair Eadie and Farfetch’s vice-president of style and creative Yasmin Sewell are rocking this look. There’s plenty of easy-to-do examples of how to rock vibrant prints in a totally wearable way. Once they’ve won you over, check out my edit of the best punchy styles to introduce into your wardrobe now.

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Shop my edit of fun punchy printed pieces to add to your wardrobe…
Fashion

Good wardrobe habits to get into

12th August, 2018

Adopting a few good wardrobe habits will make getting dressed every day a whole lot easier

Every woman wants to look polished and put together however let’s be honest, this takes work. I know everyone has such busy schedules so sometimes trying to style the ideal outfit first thing in the morning can be the last thing you want to think about. The ideal outfit won’t just magically put itself together so if you want to save yourself a bit of time and effort there are a few habits you can adopt to make it a whole lot easier to look great each time you walk out the door.

Keep your wardrobe tidy

Having to dig through a disorganised mess to locate just the right t-shirt or the skirt you want to wear makes for a stressful time. So, start tidying up. It sounds simple but making sure to fold and hang clothes in an orderly manner so you know where absolutely everything is will make it much, much easier to pull an outfit together. If you want some hints on how to get started I’ve rounded up a few of my favourite organisation tips here.

Choose a focal point

Centre your outfit around one particular piece. By deciding to choose a central piece then you give yourself a starting point from which to build from. Whether it’s a pair of showstopper shoes or a statement jacket or a particularly gorgeous necklace, each outfit should have a point of difference that makes it stand out.

Choosing one aspect of your look to focus on will help you build a cohesive outfit

Do a final mirror check

It may sound obvious but before you walk out the door quickly check that everything works. That means making sure that your shoes, bag, accessories and outfit are all playing nicely together. For example sometimes you may think a certain pair of earrings will look great with an outfit but taking one last look when you’re dressed may make you think otherwise.

Repair or get rid of damaged clothing

As soon as something needs repairing do it straight away. Procrastinating may mean that you might find yourself in a rush with a particular blouse in mind only to find it’s missing a button which means double the stress! If something can’t be repaired bin it straight away. It’s important that your clothes are in great shape if you want to look polished.

Follow laundry instructions

Yes, it can be tempting to ignore the tags on your clothes but following laundry instructions are going to ensure your clothes look great but also for longer.

Hang up your clothes at the end of the day

Getting home after a long day it can be easy to just dump your clothes on the nearest chair and forget about them till later in the week. However this will only lead to a rumpled mess that will require more effort to fix later on. Hang up garments such as jackets and blouses straight away to ensure they’re ready for use the next time you want to wear them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fashion

The formula for a great outfit

9th August, 2018

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No matter your style often a great outfit has a few things in common – and it doesn’t involve designer garments or spending a lot of money. It’s all about the basic principles of pulling together a cohesive outfit and it’s easy to adopt it into your own styling process – just take note of the following…

Know your shape

The first step to a great outfit is knowing your shape and knowing what works for your shape. Once you’ve got that down pat and know what’s flattering on your body type then it makes things easier because then you’ll know instantly what suits you and what doesn’t. No matter what you do if you have the foundation right an outfit will always be flattering.

Ensure you have balance

You need to always strike the right balance with your outfit. If you are wearing something loose on top for example you may need to counterbalance the volume with something a bit more fitted at the bottom. The same principle also goes for choosing just one area of your body to focus on, so if you’re going to flash some leg with a mini skirt it might be better to go a bit more conservative with your top.

Pick a focal point

Find one aspect of your outfit to have as a focal point. It could be a great pair of statement heels or a showstopper jacket but ultimately there should be one part of your outfit that should stand out while the rest of your look complements it. Ultimately this will have more impact than trying to squeeze a lot of different elements into your outfit that might end up completing with each other. Simplicity is key!

Put some thought into your accessories

Don’t forget about the accessories you’re going to wear. Things like your shoes and bag shouldn’t be an afterthought but should work with the rest of your outfit. There were times I’d grab the same bag I was wearing the day before and find later on that it clashed with I was wearing so I’ll try and pick out my bag and shoes ahead of time to avoid having to rush in the morning. It all ultimately adds to a bit more extra polish.

Attention to detail

Ensuring that you don’t ignore little things like making sure your shoes are clean and your clothes are pressed and ironed. As a mum of two I always make sure I do a final outfit check before I walk out the door as walking out of the house and having food on my blazer is not a good look!

 

Fashion

10 items every wardrobe needs

8th August, 2018

I love a trend-driven piece as much as the next girl but I also believe that there are some key pieces that are the building blocks of a great functional wardrobe. I think these 10 key items help make pulling a great outfit together all the more easier. You don’t have to spend a lot but do try and get the best quality that fits into your budget.

1. A leather jacket

I’ve had my leather jacket for many years and I think it’s the kind of wardrobe staple that you’ll have for a lifetime. It can be dressed up or dressed down and the older and more worn it gets the better it looks. You can get all different styles but I’d go for a simple biker jacket, something that’s really clean and classic – you don’t want to get too tricky with too many studs or buckles as it will date very quickly. Once you’ve found the perfect jacket you’ll wonder how you lived without it as it’s the kind of piece that can be worn with a cocktail dress just as easily with jeans.

2. A black tailored blazer

For me it’s a must-have item. I wear mine all the time either as a suit jacket, draped over my shoulders, over a dress at the races or with a great pair of jeans. It’s a multipurpose staple. When it comes to blazers, tailoring is key. It really has to suit your frame. I like a bold shoulder and a nipped in waist, I don’t like it too boxy. I think a tailored blazer can really accentuate your figure. If you find a blazer that isn’t quite right but you love you can always get it tailored to fit you perfectly.

3. A great statement bag

I keep the same bag day in and day out so it’s important to get a classic style that won’t date. I don’t think a bag needs to be designer to be great. Just look for good quality leather – something that’s durable. I also like to have the option of having two strap lengths so if I’ve got my hands full with the girls I can just swing it over my shoulder, but if I want it to look a little more elegant with a dress it’s got handles so I can wear it on my arm. I opt for black but you can go for tan or beige and even grey, just as long as it’s a neutral colour that can work with pretty much all your wardrobe. If you’re just getting one bag I wouldn’t go for a pop colour as it’s too hard to match with everything.

4. A clutch

You can’t use your day bag for all attire as a big bag doesn’t generally work for cocktail events so a great clutch is important. It doesn’t have to be expensive but just a smaller bag that you can put your wallet and keys into and can be worn back with different items and looks a little more elegant than your usual day bag. When it comes to colours stick to neutrals as it’s more versatile and keep it simple – you don’t want something that’s got too much detailing or it will date easily.

5. A great pair of jeans

A great pair of jeans doesn’t have to be expensive but you really need to take the time to make sure they fit right. I have trouble finding jeans because they’re always tight around my hips but loose around my ankles so when I do find a great pair I make sure to snap them up. At the moment I have a really great pair of ASOS jeans that didn’t cost me a heap but I spent the time trying to find them. You don’t need to invest a lot of money but you do need to invest the time to find them. If you’re like me and are in jeans all the time, try and get good quality denim because you don’t want them to be too baggy once you’ve worn them a couple of times. Jeans obviously come in different washes so choose the most flattering for you. I can’t go past faded denim or a white pair of jeans.

6. Sneakers

I think that white sneakers have really earned themselves a place on my wardrobe staples list. I honestly spend most of my life in white sneakers and they can work back with everything from jeans to a pleated skirt without missing a beat. Invest in a pair that are quite plain in design and you’ll find it gets plenty of outings.

7. Ankle boots

Ankle boots are a must for winter. Once you find a great pair you’ll have them for years to come. I still have a pair of YSL boots that I’ve had for many years and I bring them out every winter. If you want your boots to be an everyday shoe it’s important to make sure they’re comfortable. For me,  I like a bit of height so I opt for a platform heel which always helps with comfort. Walking around all day long in really high boots is not the best!

Kate Waterhouse farfetch LXE black leather pants alaia heels roksanda saint laurent sunglasses

8. Leather pants

You don’t have to spend a fortune on leather pants but you do have to find a leather that won’t give. It’s about investing the time to finding one that won’t stretch after the first time you wear it. A skinny leg leather pant is my go-to item in winter and I think they’re great for travelling as they’re so comfortable. I find Helmut Lang does some great leather pants, so does Scanlan Theodore and ASOS. You can find a pair that fits into your budget but the most important thing is finding the right shape and a great fit.

9. White t-shirts

Granted they don’t last forever but it is important to find a great white tee. I wear white t-shirts with everything whether it’s to the office or just to the beach or with a skirt.

10. A great coat

Make it your mission to find one really great winter coat that you can throw on over everything. I like my coats in neutral colours but a statement coat in a pop colour is also fun. Just choose something that works back with your wardrobe. I’m a big fan of a tailored coat but a big oversized coat can look fantastic as well. If you are going to go oversized keep everything else you’re wearing slimline.

Do you have any other wardrobe staples that you think should be added to the list?

 

 

 

 

Fashion

Simple ways to elevate denim

27th June, 2018

I am the first to admit that I would be lost without denim in my wardrobe. Jeans often make an appearance in many an outfit that I wear throughout the week and it’s a staple when I’m in off duty/mum mode as it’s just so easy. That said, I can also attest for how simple it is to elevate it with the right accessories and statement pieces and make it ideal for an event or a special occasion.

When it comes to denim I’m a skinny jeans girl all the way as I think it works best with my frame. However with the numerous styles available out there it’s not difficult to hone in on the ideal style for you—it just pays to persevere and check out a few different cuts (check out my tips for buying denim here) as what works for one person may not work for another. I also tend to gravitate towards a formfitting style as I find it works with most of my go-to items in my wardrobe. All my jackets to blazers, shirts and heels all work back with a pair of skinnies.

While jeans, a white tee and sneakers are an eternally stylish combination it can sometimes be hard to think beyond that and see how to dress up denim in a modern way that doesn’t require too much fussing around. I think elevating your it is a simple as it comes if you know the right pieces to turn to. Once you’ve pinpointed those key items you’re guaranteed to always find a way to turn your old faithfuls into something special.

Killer shoes

Great shoes can make any outfit look great. A pair of amazing heels teamed with denim can instantly make it look dressy and polished.

Printed blouse

Swap out your fave tee for a blouse instead. This is a great combination that works dressed up or down—all you have to do is switch your shoes according to the occasion.

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Statement jacket

One way to lift trusty denim that requires minimal effort? Turn to the most amazing jacket in your closet. Whether it’s a tweed number or an edgy leather moto style you can never go wrong with outwear that pops.

Classic blazer

I can attest for how unbelievably handy blazers are to have in your style arsenal. And while they go with most things in my wardrobe they’re a dream to pair with denim. A simple black blazer can really turn jeans into something special. Add a pair of knockout earrings and you’re done.

Understated flats

A pair of loafers is a no-brainer pairing with jeans. When you want to be comfortable to run around all day but still need to maintain an element of polish, stylish flats will fit the bill every time.

Fashion

How I plan my outfits

3rd June, 2018

Planning outfits helps me stay organised

I’m an outfit planner. My days are so varied that I like to take wardrobe dilemmas out of the equation as much as possible (that said, I’m not totally immune to a wardrobe crisis here and there) by mapping out my outfits. Some days I’m in full mum mode which means comfort is key but other days where I’m juggling work functions and Date with Kates I need to look a little more polished. Here are a few key ways that I make it work.

I always have inspo at the ready

Planning outfits is made much more stress-free if I have a few looks I’ve seen at my fingertips to inspire me. I tend to collect these as I go along whether it’s saving images on my Instagram or screenshotting particular looks I come across. If I am a bit stumped as to what to wear a quick scroll through these images will immediately get the styling juices flowing.

Wardrobe organisation

If there’s one thing that will make pulling an outfit together easier it’s an organised closet. My wardrobe is organised according to category so jackets together, jeans together and so forth so I know immediately where to look. There’s nothing worse than having a particular outfit in your only to find the shirt that pulls it all together is M.I.A. And to make things even simpler I compartmentalise all the pieces I wear all the time into a section in my wardrobe so I don’t have to search the rest of my closet and mess everything up in order to find what I’m looking for.

Wardrobe organisation is key for a seamless outfit planning session

Having a hero piece

I know some people start with a pair of shoes or a great necklace and work their outfit around that but I like to start with a particular garment whether it be a dress or pants. From there I build on the outfit with a jacket, shoes and bag. I think by just having one key item to start from it helps with creating an entire look rather than just trying to match random pieces together.

Making it versatile

There are times when my day is quite mixed so I need to make sure my outfits are versatile so they’re appropriate for a few different occasions. I sometimes have multiple events in a day so I have to ensure that I only need to change one thing to mix up the look as I don’t often have time to change. This can be as simple as changing the jacket I’m wearing to give the outfit a different vibe.

Giving myself enough time

I’m a planner but there are those people who plan their outfits the night before, even the week before and I’m the first to admit that I can’t work that way. I’d love to be that organised but I find I won’t feel like wearing something if I lay it out beforehand which totally defeats the purpose. So to combat this I try and factor outfit prep into my morning routine so I don’t get frazzled and end up running late. Even just an extra 10-15 minutes of time is enough to pull something together with minimal stress. I don’t want to completely leave it to chance though so I make sure most things I’m likely to reach for are clean and pressed so they’re ready to go.

What are some of your major wardrobe tips? I’d love to hear them so share them in the comments below.

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

Are you into wide leg pants? Because you should be. And here’s why

8th April, 2018

If you’ve been faithful to formfitting pants without ever having tried their voluminous counterparts then you don’t know what you’re missing out on. Wide leg pants are flattering on virtually everyone. Tall, petite, curvy, boyish—whatever your body type you can make them work for you. They’re also versatile and can look perfect as an off duty look when paired with a simple white tee or dressed up with a cami or silk blouse. You can wear them to work, on the weekend, to dinner or to brunch so you’ll definitely get plenty of use out of them and won’t regret investing in a pair. Also, a pair of wide leg pants just looks polished and chic so it’s ideal if you want an easy shortcut to looking like you spent a few hours styling yourself when really you rushed out the door in five minutes. If you want to try out this look, remember to…

Make sure they’re the perfect length

When you try on a pair of wide leg pants make sure that the hem isn’t dragging on the ground. You shouldn’t have a pool of fabric at your ankles. Instead make sure that the hem is ever so slightly off the ground and that you can see your shoes peeking through. Alternatively if you want to wear them cropped then get them hemmed to the ankle.

Decide on the shoes you’ll pair them with

This brings me to the next crucial thing to remember with wide leg pants: your shoes. You can’t really go from heels to flats with wide leg pants as the hem will be all wrong. So think of where you’re most likely to wear your pants and the type of footwear you’ll be pairing them with and have them hemmed accordingly. The exception to this is if you’re choosing to wear your pants cropped, in which case you have a bit more freedom to switch up your shoes.

Avoid volume up top

As you’re dealing with a lot of fabric on your bottom half already, it’s important to keep your top quite streamlined for balance. A button down shirt, a lightweight sweater, a t-shirt or a cami are all great options. A top with bell sleeves for example might not make for the best pairing as you’re going to have a lot of loose, flowy fabric up top too.

Have fun

Whilst a pair of white wide leg pants looks fresh and navy or black looks forever chic don’t overlook prints. A playful polka dot or a classic stripe can look amazing and really makes a statement.

What do you think of this trend? Will you wear it?
Fashion

Designer items that will never go out of style

2nd April, 2018

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Investment purchases often have a few more zeros in the price tag than your average chain store buy but when you factor in the longevity and its cost per wear you’re definitely getting a bargain. I’ve spoken in the past about my approach to buying designer goods that you won’t regret, but there are definitely certain pieces that will forever remain stylish. Add these to your wardrobe and I promise you’ll have a long and happy relationship.

Burberry trench

If you’re going to splurge on a trench coat make it one by Burberry. The coat was designed by Thomas Burberry for military personnel in World War One to keep officers protected against wind and rain and the design has been around ever since. The hardware and fabrication are of course top notch but one glimpse of the iconic checked lining sets this trench above the rest. I promise a trench coat is one purchase that you will get plenty of use out of all year round. Plus if you’re after a unique touch, Burberry now offer a personalisation service that allows you to monogram the inside of your coat.

A photo posted by Burberry (@burberry) on

Chanel 2.55 bag

Everyone knows the quilted 2.55 bag by Chanel and whilst its ubiquitous it’s also one of the few designer bags that will not only appreciate in value (research has shown that the bag has increased in value by 70 per cent over the last six years) it’s also the kind of bag that will not date, will go with virtually everything you own and will always be a classic staple that you’ll be proud to carry. It’s a hefty investment I know, but if you’re going to splurge on a designer bag this one is definitely worth considering.

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Cartier LOVE Bracelet

The ultimate in wrist candy the beautiful Cartier LOVE bracelet first came to prominence in the 1970s and has only grown more popular since its inception. Available in a variety of metals including yellow gold or rose gold plus if you’re really looking to splurge there’s also a version studded with diamonds this is one piece of jewellery that you’ll remain in love with.

A photo posted by Cartier Official (@cartier) on

Balenciaga moto jacket

I have had my Balenciaga leather jacket for years and its still the kind of piece that has remained in constant rotation in my wardrobe over the years. The perfect moto style jacket is ideal for wearing with everything from dresses to denim. I particularly loved Balenciaga’s design but designers like Saint Laurent, Tom Ford and Acne have all released their own versions of this jacket style. A major splurge it may be but one feel of the buttery leather, the sturdy metal hardware and the perfect fit will inspire instant love.

A photo posted by Balenciaga (@balenciaga) on

Chanel ballet flat

Ballet flats will always be a wardrobe staple but add a pair of interlocking Cs and you venture into try style classic territory. Whilst they’re not the type of shoe that you’d wear daily to run errands (they’re definitely a bit more special than your average ballet flat) they are an easy and stylish footwear option for those days when you just want to take a casual look up a notch. A close runner up in the shoe departmet would be the classic Gucci horsebit loafer. Over 60 years on and it’s still going strong.

A photo posted by TashSefton (@tashsefton) on

Gucci loafers

First released in 1953, the Gucci loafer has been around for 65 years and whilst it has never ever really gone away it has experienced a huge resurgence in popularity. Whilst the range now encompasses everything from floral print to an array of colours, fur trim and a version with a collapsible heel, this style is a forever shoe. Translation: if you invest in this you’ll be wearing it for the next few decades without it ever dipping in style cred.

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Tell me—which designer items do you think will always be in style?