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.
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tell me—which designer items do you think will always be in style?
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Weekends are super important to me so everything is about comfort especially since I’m always on the go with my family. I also know that sometimes my work wardrobe can start encroaching into my weekend wardrobe so it can be nice to have pieces that are solely dedicated for relaxation. If you’re looking for stylish yet practical pieces to wear during your down time, make sure to add these to your shopping list…
I like to update my shoe wardrobe at the start of each season and a pair of great sandals is always at the top of my list when spring/summer comes around. These flats with metallic detailing add a touch of edge to an outfit and will definitely be perfect for a quick breakfast at your favourite café or running errands on a Sunday afternoon.
Cropped flared jeans
For those who want to add a bit of flair to their usual weekend wardrobe look no further than a pair of cropped flared jeans. Whether you opt for a simple black or a lighter shade of denim, you can easily pair them with a tee or singlet for an on trend look that’s oh-so easy.
Straight leg jeans
Skinny jeans will always have a place in our wardrobes but lately it seems jeans have been getting a little more relaxed in fit. Straight leg jeans have been having a moment and are quite flattering when cropped at the ankle and paired with a slightly more streamlined top.
If you’ve yet to add a pair of white kicks to your wardrobe then it’s high time you introduced them to your style repertoire. Not only are they the ideal footwear for a busy weekend they’re also really easy to pair back with everything from a dress to jeans and a tee, so they’re an easy go-to shoe option.
Moto leather jacket
The leather jacket is an easy cover up on weekends. I know I’ve always lived in mine as something I can throw on over a dress or jeans and a tee and know that I’ll look pulled together. It’s also the perfect piece to transition from day to evening wear so it’s definitely a purchase you’ll get plenty of wear out of.
You can’t beat a simple dress for ease of getting dressed as you simply have to throw it on and you’re ready to go. I’m a fan of the shift dress as it’s quite a polished silhouette and when in a neutral colour or simple pattern such as a trusty stripe it’s an outfit that’s easily paired with sandals or sneakers for the ultimate in laidback cool.
This is a slightly different option for outerwear that veers away from a cardi or coat but it’s oh-so versatile that you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one. Opt for a dark or neutral shade for maximum wear or alternatively have some fun with a printed or patchwork version to make your outfit stand out in a crowd.
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.
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 it’s about knowing your body shape intimately so 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. It sounds really simple but that only came from a lot of experimentation and trial and error. 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?
Gone are the days when the humble cardigan would be something your grandparents would wear. The cardi has become an integral part of most winter wardrobes and with good reason – they’re warm, comfy and just so versatile. And to prove it here are six ways to work the cardigan into your wardrobe…
A black cardi when teamed with an all-black ensemble makes for an interesting alternative to a black blazer or jacket. This is the kind of piece that you’ll turn to time and time again because it’s so multi-functional and will work back with virtually everything in your wardrobe.
A grey cardi will never go astray in your wardrobe. When worn with jeans and a tee it’s a match made in heaven and makes for a low-key yet chic ensemble for a casual lunch, a day of running errands or while travelling.
Whoever said cardis were boring has never seen the amazing array of bold patterns they can come in. Have fun with your cardis and experiment with an interesting print or pattern. When worn with pared back pieces such as a tee and skinny jeans it makes for a great statement piece to give your outfit a point of difference. To ensure it doesn’t become too much for your outfit, try to pick one colour in your cardi and choose pieces in the same colour to give the look some cohesion.
For a casual cool vibe replace your jacket or blazer with a cosy cardi. If teaming a cardi with a dress try to keep the silhouette quite streamlined and opt for a form fitting dress to counteract the volume of the cardi. You can dress up this look with a pair of pumps or keep it quite casual with brogues or oxfords.
Unexpected pairings are often the best. In this case a pinstripe button down shirt makes an interesting juxtaposition with the relaxed nature of the cardi. An oversized cardi (much like a coat of the same cut) will always be a welcome winter warmer as it’s simply so easy to thrown on over virtually anything and it ups the cosy factor when you’re facing a chilly day outdoors.
To give a cardi a slightly more polished feel try belting it to make it a little more figure-hugging. This has the added benefit of giving you some shape and when teamed with skinny jeans it makes for a sleek finish.
Photography: Stockholm Street Style, Shot by Gio, Lauren Messiah, New Fashion Craze, Sincerely Jules,
I’m a firm believer that shoes can make or break an outfit. This is why I’m all about a statement shoe. An eye-catching pair of shoes can pull your entire outfit together. I think the key to a great statement shoe is in the cut, the material and the colour plus I think they’ve got to be classic in that they last season after season but they’ve also got to have interesting details that make them unique. Even if it’s just a plain black pump there has to be something about it whether its just a beautiful heel or great material. And most of all, it has to be beautifully crafted.
I have plenty of shoe labels that I love but at the moment these are the brands that I think do the perfect statement shoe…
Aquazzura have really beautiful designs and have a really interesting look to them. I have a great pair of Aquazzura snakeskin stilettos that I wear all the time.
I love Tabitha Simmons‘ shoes. I wore a pair of her leopard print stilettos to Melbourne Cup one yaer and I felt they really added an interesting element to my outfit. Her shoes are just a little bit quirky and a lot of fun.
I also love Balenciaga‘s shoe line. They’re classic and are perfectly crafted. As I wear my heels so often I invest a little more in them so they’re great quality and are built to last.
Photography: Tamika Keioskie, Beyleigh Vedelago, StyleSnooperdan