Browsing Tag

style

Fashion, Shop

How to make high street buys look expensive

11th July, 2020

I like to incorporate a high-low mix when it comes to my outfits. I’ll often mix pieces from my favourite chain stores with some of my go-to designer pieces to create a look that’s all my own. While I appreciate the convenience and price point of snapping up high street brands, it also pays to know how to choose the right garments to ensure that the end result of any look is polished. Here are some of my dos and don’ts:

Pay attention to how a garment is made

Buying clothes from chain stores is great as you can definitely stretch your budget further however you also get what you pay for. So it pays to be discerning when it comes to what you purchase. Examine a potential buy carefully and look at how its made. If the seams are not right or there are loose threads avoid it and keep searching for a better option.

Choose fabrics wisely

Where possible choose natural fabrics like cotton and wool when you’re shopping for high street pieces. Synthetic fabrics can look flimsy, pill, or become misshapen after a few wears so in turn can end up looking quite cheap.

Add one luxe item into the mix

By adding one gorgeous quality item to your outfit, by default, the rest of your look looks expensive by association. So whether it’s a beautiful buttery soft leather handbag or a nice pair of shoes you can elevate your favourite high street finds without having to do much at all.

Keep it simple

Chain stores are the ideal place to shop for great basics—think t-shirts, jeans and jumpers that are quite simple in design.They have an extensive range and if you shop around, the styles are comparable to what you’d find in some high end boutiques. Relegate garments with accoutrements such as sequins or beading as something that you might consider investing a little more in as often the finish might not be as precise.

Avoid embellishments

There’s a big difference between the finishing details used on designer handbags and accessories compared to less expensive chain store finds. There are some great options on the high street however if you want them to look luxe, then be sure to keep it simple and avoid things like chains, buckles, studs and gold or silver finishes which tend to tarnish. Instead go for plain styles as simple will always look chic.

Tell me—What’s been your most favourite high street buy?
Fashion

What my fashion mistakes have taught me about my style

21st June, 2020

I am the first to confess that I have made a million wardrobe mishaps where I’ve thought ‘What was I wearing?!’ However that’s all part of the fun. I think you need to be able to experiment with fashion because that’s how you will inevitably discover your style. I know from the mistakes I’ve made that I’ve definitely learned what suits me and what doesn’t.

Great style doesn’t equate to dollar value

The biggest thing I’ve learned would have to be that looking great doesn’t come down to how much you’ve spent or if you’re wearing new season clothing. Because inexpensive clothes can look equally as stylish as something that came from an upmarket brand.

Knowing your shape is important

Knowing your body shape intimately will ensure that you’re confident in what will work on your frame and what won’t. For me, I’m not very tall and quite petite so I can’t wear anything that may swamp me. I steer clear of things like sack dresses for example because I’m not tall enough to pull it off. And that only came from a lot of experimentation and trial and error.

Be selective with trends

Trends come and go and I’ve learnt that I don’t always have to embrace every single trend each season. While it’s easy to jump aboard every new trend, it can also be quite an expensive exercise spending money on clothes that may not have longevity. Experimenting with trends over the years I’ve learned that I shouldn’t feel pressured to embrace every trend, but always remember what works for my shape and style.

I can now flick through clothing racks or scroll through websites and know immediately whether something works. And I think that’s all from making a fashion mistake or two. I think the key to knowing your style is paying attention to the times when you’ve had a mishap and knowing why it didn’t quite work. Often those are the little moments that can really help you define what your look is all about.

Tell me, what’s been your biggest fashion mistake?

Fashion

The wardrobe lessons I’ve learned from working in fashion

22nd February, 2020

Working in the fashion industry has meant that I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by lots of amazingly stylish and knowledgeable people who have all managed to teach me a thing or two about style. From stylists to magazine editors to fashion designers, working with these key fashion players has given me invaluable knowledge. There are some big lessons I’ve learned that have helped me hone my own personal style and some practical tricks that have helped save me from the brink of a wardrobe disaster or two. Here’s what’s always stuck with me…

Not everything has to be designer

Wearing head-to-toe designer doesn’t automatically mean an outfit is fashionable. Fashion is all about creating a unique look which means adding your own personal touches to it. It also means being able to mix and match from various labels to give it your own individual spin. So often I’ll admire someone’s outfit and if I ask them what they’re wearing they’ll say they’ve mixed a really inexpensive t-shirt or scarf with something designer. It’s all about mastering the high-low combination.

Don’t be afraid to experiment

Being stylish isn’t just about having a look that’s straight off the runway. It’s about taking a look and injecting some of your personality into it so go ahead and try out different styles. I’ve found that the majority of people in the industry are all about having fun and experimenting. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and get things wrong, it’s just clothes at the end of the day.

Being on set at shoots and working with fashion editors or stylists has unearthed so many great fashion tips over the years

Find yourself a good tailor

The way clothes fit will often dictate how well they present so where possible tailor pieces in your wardrobe specifically to your body shape. Case in point: on shoots stylists will often use clips on the back of everything from dresses, tops or jackets to nip it in to perfectly sit on someone’s body as it photographs better. An outfit looks so much better when it’s perfectly tailored to your body. So if there’s a blazer that you love that’s just a tiny bit too big or a skirt that’s a little too long for your height, find a reputable tailor and have it fixed to suit you.

Makeup wipes are a lifesaver

It’s a real pain getting makeup on your clothes and often this can happen on a shoot with so many outfit changes taking place. I’ve learned from stylists that to get makeup off, dab at the stain with a makeup remover wipe and it should help lift the stain.

Attending fashion shows and working with designers has given me plenty of great knowledge along the way

Get creative

There’s nothing worse than lint getting on your clothes right before a big meeting or event. I’ve learned that to get it off quickly, you can fashion a lint roller from masking tape. Just wrap the tape around your hands so the sticky side is facing up and use it to wipe the lint off. Easy!

Keep a sewing kit with you

Ask any fashion editor what’s always with them on a shoot and it has to be their tool kit. Inside is everything they could possibly need to fix a fashion disaster such as a hem that’s fallen down or a button that’s come loose. I’ve adopted this principle myself by always having a small sewing kit with me just in case. I always take the mini sewing kits in hotel rooms as I find they’re really easy to carry around in my bag and are great to have on hand should I need to mend something on the run.

Take a pic of your outfit

Stylists always take pics of a look whenever they do a fitting and I’ve found it’s a great thing to adopt whenever you’re trying to piece a new ensemble together. Seeing a picture always offers a different point of view to simply trying it on and looking in a mirror as you can see more closely if it’s sitting the right way and what might need adjusting.

What’s the most valuable piece of fashion advice you’ve ever been given?

Fashion

What I’ve stopped wearing in my 30s

1st February, 2020

My style, like most women, has evolved as I’ve gotten older. There are things that I wore when I was younger that I probably wouldn’t even consider now because of changes in lifestyle i.e not practical when chasing after two little girls and because my tastes have matured, there are simply pieces I just don’t think are right for me anymore.

Whilst I’ve given up wearing a few different styles, on the flip side, there are certain things in my wardrobe which are now ideal for where I’m at in life and I wear them non-stop. It’s a style evolution and I think it’s one that I’ve happily embraced and has allowed me to discover the new Kate. Reflecting on it, here’s what I’ve firmly left behind in my 20s and those that I’ve welcomed with open arms in my 30s…

The things I’ve stopped wearing

Sky high stilettos

When I was in my 20s I was working as a fashion editor and was either in an office or out at events so my look had to work around this accordingly. As such I used to be happy to walk around in stilettos all day. I used to wear them all day, everyday and looking back, I’m not sure how I even managed that. My poor feet!

Fussy outfits

Upon reflection I used to wear a lot of outfits that I’d have to adjust all the time to look perfect. Whether it was a particular neckline or a certain dress style, I’d constantly be fixing myself up. As you can imagine I can’t do that now so when it comes to my looks I steer clear of anything that remotely requires fussing about.

Short hemlines

When I was younger I used to wear lots of ultra minis and short shorts. Why not when you can get away with it, right? These days if I was to wear something of a short-ish length I’d probably do a more understated, conservative blouse up the top, whereas I might have done something with a plunging neckline in my 20s.

The things I now wear to death

Flat shoes 

My motto is comfort, comfort, comfort. So unless I’m going to a big event I’ll often be in flats. Styles like loafers, sneakers and slides are now my go-to. I think flats have evolved a lot and are now equally as stylish as a pair of high heels so I’m happy to be in them all the time.

Structured pieces

Shirts and blazers are key pieces in my look. I like things that are comfortable yet can look polished at the same time. They’re also really versatile and can be worn with myriad pieces in my closet, which is a must as I like to have a tightly edited wardrobe nowadays.

High quality staples

I probably spend more on key purchases now than I did in my 20s simple because I now appreciate why quality is often better than quantity. I’m always willing to splurge on things such as a classic designer bag or a pair of leather pants which I know I’ll wear to death and will be good value for money.

Understated silhouettes

Maxi and midi lengths and long, flowy styles are now favourites of mine. I have more fun playing with those lengths than I do with anything that’s tight and short. I’ve also found myself gravitating more towards one piece swimsuits than bikinis this summer. I think those styles just simply flatter my shape more.

Accessories

I like to play with accessories a lot more. I have my accessories which I wear day in and day out have great sentimental value to me such as my watch, wedding and engagement ring and a gold antique medallion that my dad gave to me. However I also like to add the occasional statement earring to elevate an outfit. I’ve learned that accessories really can make an outfit.

What are some style lessons you’ve learnt in your 30s? What are some things you’ve firmly left behind in your 20s?
Fashion

Fashion rules that shape my style

18th January, 2020

When it comes to fashion I’m all for experimentation and pushing the boundaries – ultimately that’s how style is shaped and discovered. However there are a few key things which I don’t really waver on when it comes to my wardrobe and what I wear. These are the fashion rules which have helped me walk out the door each day feeling confident in what I’m wearing and the best bit is, they’re so easy to follow…

Invest in key staples and know what suits

Through trial and error I’ve slowly identified what works for my shape and what doesn’t. Knowing this has helped me build up a wardrobe of key style staples that I can rely on time and again. Having these building blocks in my closet makes getting dressed so much easier.

Good tailoring is everything

The one fashion rule I always stick to is that all my clothes have to fit perfectly. I feel more confident when my clothes sit well so I make sure I get things tailored if they’re not quite right. It pays to find a good tailor that you trust to ensure that everything in your wardrobe fits just right. Tailored clothes will instantly make you look polished.

Buy quality garments

Longevity is important to me so I make sure that the items in my wardrobe that are always on high rotation are always of a great quality. I think it’s important to buy the best quality that you can afford. You can keep it economical by identifying what you will use the most. For example you might say you don’t think it’s worth investing in good jeans because they’re just for casual outings but if you end up wearing them all the the time you want something that’s not going to be ruined after one wash.

Consistently edit

I always have a part of my wardrobe that has pieces that I just wear over and over and it’s not always what I wear to get dressed up, it’s just pieces that are easy to put on and are a no-brainer on a day to day basis. To pull together this section I make sure to do regular audits of my wardrobe by keeping track of what I’m wearing all the time and what’s going unused. By being aware of what’s actually getting used I’m able to pull together a more functional edit of my closet—the benefit of this is that it also helps minimise morning wardrobe dilemmas!

Always have a balance

I tend to experiment with lots of different silhouettes and can go from voluminous pieces one minute to slim fitting garments the next. However my one rule is to always balance these pieces. If I’m doing quite a statement piece up top, I always make sure everything is pared back. If I’m doing quite fitted bottoms then I’ll always go for something with a bit more volume with my blouse or tee. This is to ensure that no one aspect of my look feels too over the top and that there it looks and feels balanced.

What are your fashion rules?
Beauty, Fashion

How to pull off beach glam without looking over the top

28th December, 2019

Whilst most people probably don’t have the time or inclination to go all out, next-level glam a la the Kardashian clan at the beach there is something to be said for adopting a slightly more considered look the next time you’re headed for a day of enjoying sun, sand and surf. If only for the fact going from an ocean dip to cocktails is then made oh-so simple. Who wants to rush home to change when there’s a frosé with your name on it waiting for you? And let’s face it, Instagram just wouldn’t be Instagram if you didn’t post a few shots of you looking cute at the beach this summer. So here’s the key to nailing a stylish look the next time you’re off to the beach…

Start with good quality swimwear

A great swimsuit is the lynchpin of your entire look so its worth getting it right. Invest in a good quality swimsuit that will hold up to numerous swims and constant sunscreen application without losing its shape or colour. Also try on lots of options before buying one as you want the most flattering fit – for example a bikini may be your go-to but you may discover that a one piece suits you phenomenally well.

Arm yourself with key beach attire

I always have a nice sarong, linen pants and denim shorts on rotation for when I go to the beach. I find all three work well with any swimsuit I’m wearing and help add a touch of polish to my overall look.

Consider your accessories

I have a big sunglasses collection so I always just rotate them whenever I’m going to the beach. I tend to favour fun frames with a little colour or embellishment. Also this season scarves are one of the key accessories trends and are great for not only keeping your hair off your face but also look totally chic. If you want, you could also pop on a simple bracelet or a pair of earrings to dress up your look—just make sure they’re pieces you don’t mind jumping in the water with. Another must is a great hat to help protect you from the sun. A wide brimmed straw hat is a favourite of mine as it serves the practical purpose of providing shade but also, it’s a great way to accessorise a beach look.

Scarves are always a great hair accessory for the beach

Have the right bag and shoes

If you want a look that’s a touch more glamorous for heading out straight from the beach then be sure to come armed with a nice pair of sandals or slides rather than just your favourite thongs. Even if you’re heading out in the swimmers you’ve had on all day, great shoes can make all the difference and dresses up a look immensely. I also always carry a nice roomy bag with me to carry my essentials and this season there are so many nice options to choose from whether it’s a canvas bag or a straw tote. It’s the details that can really help finish off an outfit.

Avoid looking “too done”

Save a full face of makeup for a big evening event. Keep makeup subtle and to a minimum. Think tinted sunscreen, a little waterproof mascara and a swipe of blush with a dash of colour on your lips via lip balm or gloss. It’s about looking fresh faced not all out glamorous. Also it’s the ideal opportunity to skip your morning blow dry. Let your hair go au naturel and you’ll find by the end of the day you’ll end up with the best beach waves without having done much at all. Alternatively, top knots are always great for staying cool and keeping your hair off your face. And one thing I tend to do regularly in summer is get a fake tan whether I do it at home or go to a local salon. I’ll never lay out in the sun to get a real tan but I do love the bronzed effect of having one so faking it is by far the best option.

A great hat is a must

Fashion

The 5 fashion sins I always avoid

23rd November, 2019

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

Fashion, Fashion & Beauty

Designer items that will never go out of style

20th November, 2019

streetstyle_KW-6

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.

A post shared by CHANEL (@chanelofficial) on

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.

A post shared by ✖L a u r e✖ (@sevenaugust) on

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

Little things that help you look polished all the time

16th November, 2019

Looking polished all the time isn’t simply about an expensive outfit or perfectly applied makeup day in an day out I’ve found it’s often all about paying attention to the tiny details that will ensure your appearance is always on point. I’m constantly around women who have to look polished as part of their work and these are some of the small things I’ve found ensure they look consistently put together…

Neat nails

Unkempt nails will always derail anything else you may have done with your outfit. One of the simplest things you can do is keep your nails tidy – ensure they’re all the same shape and size. Take the time to keep your nails in top shape and while nail polish is always an easy way to pull an outfit together if you’re not a polish person a simple buff and file so they’re neat works too.

Moisturise regularly

Your skin is often one of the first things people notice so make sure you give it some TLC, especially during the winter months. Patches of dry skin never look great so be sure to moisturise religiously.

Clean shoes

Scuffed shoes, scratched heels or shoes that look like they’re on their last legs will always negate any effort you’ve gone to to look nice that day. To avoid this be sure to use waterproof spray on your shoes so they don’t get ruined during inclement weather and repair any shoes as soon as you notice damage so they don’t get worse.

Tidy bag

A clean bag will always add to a polished appearance. I know when you’re carrying around a bag all the time that it can easily get dirty or damaged so be sure to spray any leather with protectant spray to avoid it getting stained. If it’s a canvas bag make sure that you keep an eye out for any stains or marks and attend to them straight away.

Pressed clothes

Walking out the door in wrinkled clothes will leave you looking less than polished. If you hate ironing avoid buying anything that will require you to do any complicated pressing. Even if you tell yourself you’ll get to it, take it from someone who isn’t a fan of ironing you’ll avoid it for as long as you can. An alternative to ironing is to buy a steamer which makes it much easier to get wrinkles out of garments.

What are some ways you stay looking polished?

Fashion

Good wardrobe habits to get into

14th September, 2019

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.