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.
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.
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
When it comes to New Year’s Eve dressing think glitzy, glamorous and bold statement-making makeup.And hey, it’s definitely the time to embrace sequins, vibrant colour and fun accoutrements. If there’s one time of the year you can afford to go a little OTT it’s the eve of December 31st!
I think New Year’s Eve is all about the perfect dress. For me I definitely tend to go for something a little sexier for New Year’s Eve. It’s the time to splash out, so if you want to wear sequins or something sparkly or if you want to go for a classic LBD with a statement shoe or with a striking clutch, there’s no better time to stand out and have fun with your outfit.
My go-to party dress designers: I think you can find some really sleek and sexy looks at Dion Lee. And I think Camilla and Marc always do really great party dresses. Rebecca Vallance is also one my go-to designers when I’m thinking of event dressing.
Top tip: No matter where you’re going on New Year’s Eve, it can be notoriously hard to get around so it’s all about finding a sexy statement heel that’s easy to get around in case you have to walk miles to get a taxi. Make sure to think comfort as well as style when it comes your footwear – you don’t want to be walking around barefoot at the stroke of midnight.
For me it’s all about making a statement whether that be a bold eye or a bold lip, but make sure it’s one or the other. I think a black smoky eye is always a great look on New Year’s Eve. It’s definitely the time to dress up.
When it comes to hair it’s a great time to experiment and do something a little more party ready if you dare. A great bouncy blow dry, tousled curls or going sleek with a slicked back bun are all great options for December 31.
What are you doing for your New Year’s Eve party look?
If the party invitations have started rolling in and you’re facing a schedule full of gatherings in the lead up to Christmas then it can be a little overwhelming trying to figure out what to wear to every single event. Here’s how to avoid any wardrobe dilemmas this festive season.
Find something that can transition easily
If you’ve got a day time and night time event it can get pretty pricey having to buy an outfit for both. So you need to ensure that you find something that can easily take you from lunch during the day to party in the evening. Think a kaftan or a beautiful dress that you can wear with sandals then make slightly dressier by changing into high heels later on.
Bold colours are always a winner during summer so look for anything in a bright hue that you can really have fun with. Don’t be afraid to make a statement, especially when it comes to party attire.
…or summer whites
White is so fresh during this time of year especially when you have a bit of golden glow courtesy of a spray or fake tan. A beautiful floaty white summer dress or a great skirt in a neutral hue are a great way to really embody the carefree, relaxed vibe of the season.
A great bag or jewellery can really lift a party outfit
You can always use existing items in your wardrobe whilst navigating the party circuit but simply dress them up or down with the right accessories. Try a bold pair of shoulder grazing earrings to dial up the drama or add a statement necklace to turn your look into something more striking. It’s an easy – and less expensive – way to wear things you already own but still make the outfit feel new.
Treat yourself to a mani/pedi
One of my shortcuts to looking polished is a manicure and pedicure. I swear by it. Having a pop of colour on my toes and fingernails can elevate an ordinary look into something special. A fresh mani/pedi just adds a touch of polish (no pun intended!) to a look and helps to finish it off.
Have a great pair of party shoes
If you’ve got plenty of dresses that you’ve worn before it can be easy to become bored of them. The key to injecting some new life into them is the addition of a standout item like a pair of statement shoes. Invest in a single pair at the start of party season and you’ll be able to wear them to multiple occasions and make old outfits feel new again.
Working in the fashion industry has meant that I’ve been luck 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
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.
What’s the most valuable piece of fashion advice you’ve ever been given?
It’s been a hectic time with the Melbourne Cup Carnival but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had time to squeeze in a bit of window shopping. My wish list is always a work in progress and I’m always finding things to update it — and it’s not hard as there are just so many amazing pieces around right now. This month I’m all about bold shades, interesting finishes and unique pieces that will take my outfits next-level.
I’m a huge fan of statement skirts and the colours and the pattern of this particular Calvin Klein piece would make it the ideal anchor piece for so many looks in my wardrobe.
Fashion’s experiencing a bit of logomania at the moment and this bucket bag is the ideal way to dip into the trend.
My love of great sunnies continues and this tortoiseshell pair are a definite classic that I know I’ll wear for seasons to come.
Warmer weather calls for shades that pop and I think this dress is fresh and fun. Great for the upcoming party season.
I have a thing for beautiful timepieces and this watch, in classic Chanel colours would make a welcome addition to my collection.
Updating your shoe wardrobe this season is as easy as buying a pair of statement mules. Love the polka dot print and oversized buckle on this pair.
I love the cut and shape of these jeans — definitely a pair I can see myself in for off duty wear and also smart casual occasions.
You can never go wrong with a blazer, especially in a monochrome. The print on this is just the thing to take a plain outfit up a notch.
I love a mini bag, especially when it’s in such a fresh shade.
Just in time for the festive season is this little beauty. It would make the ideal statement piece to elevate an event outfit.
The killer combination of ruffles and sequins has me seeing this making its way onto the dance floor at many a Christmas party.
A simple, casual shoe that would be ideal for the weekend.
I’m in the fashion camp that considers animal print to be a neutral so I’m definitely sold on these pants.
The tiered effect and print make this a great go-to for enjoying long summer days.
Another gorgeous piece by one of my favourite Aussie designers. I love the romantic Victorian feel of this blouse. It would be a match made in heaven with my fave pair of jeans.
What’s on your wish list this month?
I’m all about a quick styling trick. If there’s something that I can do to my outfit that takes minutes but will do plenty to change its look and feel then I’m all over it. This is why this recent trend towards belting dresses is absolute genius in my mind. It’s something that you can do using an accessory that you more than likely already have in your closet and it will change the whole vibe of a dress. By simply cinching in the waist of an existing dress you completely change the shape, and also give it a strong focal point based on the belt that you choose.
The thing with this styling trick is that most styles of belt will work. You could opt for a classic black belt with statement buckle to give your dress a little edge. A simple skinny belt will add a sophisticated touch to any frock whilst a chunky style waist belt will act as its own bold finishing piece. And it’s so easy. Just pop on the belt and you’re done.
If you have a closet full of dresses that are currently putting you to sleep because you’ve worn them so much then consider adding a belt the next time you wear it. It’s an easy outfit refresh that won’t break the bank and that’s a definite win-win situation.
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Cinch in a dress with volume
Give a dress with a voluminous silhouette some shape with a waist belt that will instantly give you an hourglass figure.
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Add a statement feature to your dress
By simply adding a belt you can instantly give your dress a new focal point that changes its look and feel.
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Pack a punch
You could opt for a belt with a statement buckle (the classic GG belt like the one above is a fave) to give your favourite dress an added lift.
Tell me—have you jumped aboard this trend yet?
I’ve been so busy prepping looks for spring racing season that it was nice to be able to revisit my regular day-to-day wardrobe to see what beautiful new additions I could make to it. The cold weather has been stubbornly hanging on in Sydney so I’ve not been able to enjoy many spring looks at the moment, but it has directed my shopping pursuits towards some fun trans-seasonal pieces. From a great new LBD, to embellished black flats and a sequinned bustier that’s just made for a big event, this is what’s caught my eye this month.
A cute pair of black flats is always a welcome addition to any wardrobe, especially when it comes with just a sprinkling of bling.
A great layering piece, with bold chevron detail, I could see this getting plenty of outings.
I’m all about a great midi skirt and this one is a beauty—the colour, the textured Swiss dot tulle and the beautiful layers all work together to make a great piece for work or play.
Structured bags have really caught my eye of late. I like the classic, old school vibe of this bag whilst the shoulder strap makes it super practical.
I’ve been on the hunt for a new LBD so I was really excited to stumble upon this number. Love the satin finish and detail at the bust.
This is a sequinned showstopper. Love the colour, the asymmetric drape effect and the sweetheart neckline. Plenty of ticks all round.
These are a gorgeous take on traditional hoops. Dotted with colourful crystals, it’s the kind of accessory that will elevate any look.
I’ve been looking for a new pair of jeans and I love the simple silhouette and wash of this pair.
The cherry red colour of this Balenciaga t-shirt makes it a fun addition to any outfit.
I love the checked pattern of these mules—they are a point of difference that turns this particular shoe into a statement piece.
I’m quite partial to long sleeved dresses, especially when they feature such a great print. This will be a trans-seasonal weather saviour.
There’s something about a hit of luxe texture to any outfit that can instantly lift it. I could see this top working back with so many pieces in my closet from casual denim to dressy slacks.
What’s currently on your wish list?
When I’m in need of a retail fix, I know my outfit has to be comfortable and optimised for maximum shopping success. This means bye bye complicated buttons and ridiculous zippers, hello clothes I can slip on and off easily. I’m all about making sure that I can hit those change rooms with ease and don’t want to spend an eternity grappling with my outfit every time I want to try something on. Having the right outfit on speeds up your shopping experience because you’re not spending ages tying your laces, doing up buckles on your belt or buttons on your shirt. Keeping that in mind, here’s what to wear the next time you’re hitting the shops…
Shoes you can slip on and off
I think you’ve got to have comfortable shoes on so I always go in flats (ballet flats, slides or some cute loafers are good options). I avoid wearing sneakers as having to tie my shoelaces repeatedly when I’m trying on outfits during the day is less than ideal. If I want to keep trying stuff on I like to be able to slip my shoes on and off easily.
Nothing with buttons
You should be able to get dressed and undressed quite quickly so it’s probably best to leave that complicated shirt with too many buttons to count at home. Personally I like wearing dresses because I find them easy to take on and off so it speeds up my time in the change rooms. But if dresses aren’t your thing go for something that you can slip in and out of in a matter of seconds—think a tee with bottoms with an elasticated waist.
Avoid light colours
When you’re trying things on multiple times in a day, slipping your clothes on and off can mean you risk your makeup rubbing off on your clothes. This is why I tend to leave any light garments at home if I’ve got a marathon shopping session ahead of me. Also you never know what kind of change room you might encounter and the last thing you want is having to dump pristine white clothes on a dirty or dusty floor.
A hands-free bag
Be sure to bring a bag that leaves your hands free to skim through the racks. Aim for something with a strap that you can easily throw over your shoulder. The last thing you want to do is have to juggle a bag on top of everything else. After all the more you’re able to browse the better chance of shopping success!
What do you wear when you go shopping?
Spring/summer is the perfect time to take your style into bright and bold territory. And there’s no better way to do it than with the help of dresses in the most vibrant of prints and colours.
Printed dresses will become a wardrobe shortcut over the coming months because of how complete a look they are. They tick all the boxes: statement-making, fun, and so wearable and there’s not much more required. All they need is an accessory or two, a great summer sandal and a place to wear it and show it off!
So take inspiration from some of the most stylish ladies on Instagram below and immerse yourself in a printed dress or two this season. There’s no better time to dabble in playful styles that will take you from beach to bar… or wherever the day may take you!
Shop my edit of printed dresses below…
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