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style

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

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?
Fashion, Shop

How to make high street buys look expensive

26th March, 2018

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 to do when you’re bored of your wardrobe

17th March, 2018

KW AKMAL SAKE-10

It all hits us at some point—that feeling when you look into your wardrobe and think you have absolutely nothing to wear. It’s easy to become bored of your wardrobe when you’re constantly wearing the same things on rotation but the solution isn’t necessarily hitting the shops with credit card in hand, it’s actually finding new reasons to fall in love with things you already own. Here’s how…

Challenge yourself to rework an old favourite

If there’s one blouse you absolutely adore but it has become a little lacklustre of late because of the sheer frequency in which you wear it why not challenge yourself to style it in a new way? If you would usually wear it with a skinny jeans why not try pairing it with a high-waisted skirt or a pair of flares instead? Don’t just rely on your usual outfit combinations, learn to experiment by trying on unlikely pairings and push yourself out of your fashion comfort zone. You never know what great look you may unearth in the process.

Just add accessories

It’s true, the right accessories can really transform a tired wardrobe. Pair a scarf with a dress or top a shirt with a statement necklace to give each look a new spin. Alternatively if you wear the same bag everyday why not mix things up and try pairing your outfit with a different bag each day. A simple bag change can really alter the overall effect of an outfit. The same goes for shoes. If you usually wear a particular look with heels try pairing it with flats. If you usually wear it with dressy shoes try teaming it with sneakers instead.

Change up your bag to refresh favourite outfits

Turn to some visual inspiration

I am guilty of falling into a wardrobe rut where I’ll just repeat the same outfits over and over again. To help shake myself out of this I’ll do a quick scroll through Instagram, flip through a fashion magazine or visit some of my favourite style websites just to get the creative juices flowing. Sometimes all it takes is one image to spark a new idea for an outfit I can pull together using what I already own.

Get something altered

Survey your wardrobe and see if there’s anything that can be repurposed into something new with a few alterations. Sometimes all it takes to completely transform something could be a new hemline or having something taken in in order to change the silhouette. You could find yourself with a brand new wardrobe favourite for just the cost of visiting a tailor.

Take my outfit challenge

If you’re bored of your wardrobe after an easy to follow plan on how to tackle it, try my 7-day outfit challenge. I’ve outlined a different thing to try each day and it will force you to have to look at what you already own and steer you into new territory.

What are some of your favourite ways to refresh your wardrobe?

 

Fashion

How to buy a designer bag that you’ll love for years to come

10th March, 2018
Kate Waterhouse carrying Chanel designer handbag

My Chanel bag has been with me for years and is still going strong

I’ve spoken in the past about the importance of cost per wear for me and there’s no area that I apply it more to than my handbags. I am all about quality over quantity. I will often hold out for a designer bag as I know that it will withstand everyday wear and tear as they’re so well crafted. Also, I’ll often go for classic styles so they have longevity. Case in point: I’ve had the above Chanel handbag for years and it’s still going strong.

If you’re going to splurge on a designer bag it’s important to make sure you get it right. After all you are spending not an insignificant amount of money so it’s the type of fashion purchase that needs some planning behind it first. Here are some things to consider before buying:

Think of your lifestyle 

What kind of lifestyle do you have? For me I have to carry everything from Sophia and Grace’s snacks to my phone and wallet so I need something that’s quite roomy. For the kind of life I lead a tiny handbag (as much as I like the look of it) just wouldn’t work.

It’s crucial to tailor your bag to suit your lifestyle and needs. If it doesn’t then you’re never going to use it as often as you’d like and that’s a lot of money that’s wasted.

Consider the brand

If you’re going to have a bag that you use every single day you want a classic style. I think you can justify splurging on a bag if it’s something that can be used every single day. Everyone has their own favourites but if I was going to splurge on a designer bag I would definitely go for Céline, Balenciaga, Jil Sander or Chanel because they do classic, timeless styles.

Check out it’s extra features

Little details can mean you get double the wear out of a designer bag. For example it may seem a small detail but consider the handles on your bag. I like two handles on a bag—smaller handles so I can just carry it on my arm and a longer strap so I can carry it on my shoulder. Having the option to do both expands the use of a bag. Also some bags now come with detachable pouches that can be used to carry things like cosmetics but can be used as separately as a clutch. Win-win!

Kate Waterhouse street style designer bag Gucci

When it comes to designer bags aim for classic and timeless to ensure maximum cost per wear

Opt for simplicity

A statement bag with lots of embellishment is great but if you’re going to have just one designer bag that you’re going to carry all the time make sure to keep it quite pared back and stick to neutral colours. A subdued colour palette makes it easier to work back with your wardrobe. Minimal amounts of detailing also makes it less likely to look overly on trend. Also keep in mind that plain leather generally won’t date as easily as patent leather.

Avoid ‘it’ bags

When it comes to designer bags I like to have something that no one else has. For this very reason if there is an ‘it’ bag I tend to steer clear of it. However I might get inspired by a brand and choose something that is within that collection. If you can afford to have a new designer bag each season then definitely go for the ‘it’ bag. If however, you are buying a designer bag that’s intended to see you through season after season I’d steer clear of the bag of the moment and opt for something that’s not as common so it doesn’t date as easily.

Choose an ongoing style

I will always ask a shop assistant if they’re continuing a particular type of bag the following season because some are just one-offs and I think that can really date a bag. When choosing a bag opt for one that’s a signature style to the brand because then it is recurring every season rather than being the 2018 summer bag which everyone will know is a couple of years old.

An example of a signature style is something like Chanel’s 2.55 black quilted leather handbag or the Hermes Birkin. It’s a bag that’s done every season which means it won’t date and it’s great quality so it lasts year after year. I’ve had my Chanel bag for 10 years and I still wear it all the time so the cost per wear is great!

Tell me—what designer bag do you have your eye on?

Photography: Sophia Athas

 

Fashion

What I’ve stopped wearing in my 30s

21st February, 2018

Kate Waterhouse in style staples enjoying coffee

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, What I Wore

3 trends I’m still very much in love with

30th January, 2018

I know trends are supposed to come and go but sometimes along comes one that just really hits the nail on the head in terms of what I’m in the mood for style-wise. And why stop when you’re onto a good thing? I know there will inevitably be something else that comes along that will catch my eye, but until then these are the three trends I’ve had a love affair with for quite some time…

Feminine Flounces

I don’t know what it is about frills that has me coming back for more but without a doubt I’ve adopted it with great enthusiasm. In particular dresses with frilled trims that add a playful touch and really elevate it into something special.

Slides

I pretty much live in slides all week long. For someone who is constantly in flats, they’re a great style that are ultra wearable and comfortable too. They are so easy to pair with almost my entire wardrobe that they’re just a no-brainer. Loafer slides are my particular faves as they add a polished touch to almost any outfit.

Athleisure

I think I’d be in the minority if I said the athleisure look wasn’t still kicking around in my fashion arsenal. What’s not to love about it? It pretty much gives me permission to stay in my sneakers and leggings all day whilst still being on trend. Plus for someone who needs to spend most of her time in comfy clothes due to having to keep up with two active little girls, this look very much ticks all the boxes.

What are some trends you’re still in love with? Off the shoulder dresses? Bell sleeves? Millennial pink? Tell me!
Beauty, Fashion

How to pull off beach glam without looking over the top

13th December, 2017

What’s better than a day at the beach with girlfriends?

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 a key trend this season and are 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

Meghan Markle Style 101: how to steal her look

28th November, 2017

In case you’ve been living under a rock it’s been announced that actress Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are engaged. And while a royal wedding is indeed exciting, there’s also something else to look forward to: the outfit inspo. The princess-to-be has already managed to crash websites around the world with people clamouring to buy her engagement outfit. The white belted coat by Line the Label that she wore to the official photo call at Kensington Palace and bottle green dress by Italian label Parosh worn during her TV interview with Prince Harry, have not surprisingly, both sold out. And while we’ll no doubt see Meghan’s style evolve as she embraces her new life as a royal, there are some elements of her style that you can definitely steal for yourself right now…

Striped tees

A classic striped tee is a fave of Meghan’s and no wonder; it’s a print that works easily with everything from jeans to culottes, skirts and slacks, and adds a stylish touch to virtually any look.

A post shared by Meghan Markle (@meghanmarkle) on

Leather jacket

Leather jackets are a wardrobe staple as they are so versatile. Nab one in a biker style a la Meghan and you’re guaranteed to wear it to death. Pop one on over everything from a dress to a tee and jeans and you’ll instantly add an edgy touch to your ensemble.

Off the shoulder dresses

It’s the silhouette of summer and as Meghan demonstrates it works easily for a casual day out or a glamorous dress for an evening event.

A post shared by Meghan Markle (@meghanmarkle) on

Monochrome

Meghan seems to favour a monochrome colour palette with black and white pieces featuring frequently in her wardrobe. And no wonder—it’s a classic combination that is always guaranteed to look polished.

A post shared by Meghan Markle (@meghanmarkle) on

Pointed flats and heels

The tan Sarah Flint bow flats she wore on her first public appearance with Prince Harry struck just the right balance between comfort and style. While the beige Aquazurra pumps she wore to the official engagement photo call were on trend while still remaining elegant. It’s a classic shoe style befitting a princess and I’m predicting will remain a constant in her wardrobe. 

Relaxed tailoring

Whether it’s a striped shirt dress or an oversized button down shirt like the above, Meghan favours tailored pieces that are just a little undone. It makes for effortless style that always looks chic.

A post shared by Meghan Markle (@meghanmarkle) on

What do you think of Meghan Markle’s style?