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styling advice

Fashion

The one area of my wardrobe I update every season without fail

8th February, 2018

There’s one area of my wardrobe that I’ll always update every season without fail and that’s my accessories. I think the addition of the right accessory to an outfit can really lift it and make it instantly fresh and on trend. It’s also got the power to turn casual looks into something polished, instantly expanding the wearability of what’s in my closet.

I’ll often tailor my accessories to the season too, so when buying a new shoe I’ll look for a great boot for autumn/winter and a statement stiletto for spring/summer. With the purchase of a single new season shoe I’m able to instantly make older pieces look modern and contemporary by pairing it with something that’s current. It’s an effective trick for getting more wear out of my wardrobe.

Kate Waterhouse street style with gold Gucci heels

The right statement shoe can really make an outfit

Also I always keep an eye out for key pieces like belts and bags as I think they’re an easy way to restyle existing things in my closet and make them look different. The addition of a new belt to a skirt or pant can give it a new vibe by changing its shape or look and feel. And switching up bags can often act as an accent piece that can rejig an ensemble. For example a structured top handle bag can make an outfit feel polished whilst a leather crossbody carryall is a little more relaxed and casual.

Accessories are a great way to feel like you’re wearing a new look, and it’s often more economical than buying something every time you want to freshen up your wardrobe. At the start of a new season, it’s a great idea to take stock of what’s out there and then pinpoint a few thing that you know will a) work with the rest of your clothes and b) has enough flair to stand out on its own and act as an accent piece to any look. It’s simple, easy and definitely effective.

What are some things you always update every season?
Fashion

What I’m culling from my wardrobe this year

7th February, 2018

Having felt the urge to get my wardrobe organised recently inspired me to take a good hard look at what’s currently in there. And let me tell you, there’s pockets of my closet that are in definite need of a little culling. I find it’s always good to take stock of what you own every season, just to make sure that you’re not hoarding anything unnecessary that’s eating into valuable wardrobe space. I don’t have endless space to house my clothes, shoes, bags and accessories, and I’m sure most women can relate to this never ending mission to just try and fit everything in without it falling on top of you every single morning. I had my closet reworked last year and of course, I’ve managed to accumulate more things between then and now, which has left me with less room. So, in the interests of organisation I’ve decided that these are some areas of my closet that I’m going to be ruthless and cull.

Workout gear

Who has more workout clothes than days they actually, well work out? I’ve got way too much exercise gear. Some are great, some are in terrible shape and should probably have been binned ages ago and some I just don’t wear. I have too many pieces and I wear the same ones to death. Also, sneakers! I need to get rid of old pairs I don’t really use anymore as they’re just taking up precious real estate. I’m planning to pick the key pieces I know I always wear and either bin those that are too ratty and old or donate the things that are barely worn but are still in good shape.

Black shoes

My name is Kate and I have a black shoe obsession. I’ve realised I have way too many black shoes. I know they’re versatile but honestly, who needs more than a few key black shoes. I think a great pair of heels, boots, sandals, slides are essentials and the rest I’ll have to assess in terms of how often I actually wear them.

Lounge wear

My lounge wear and casual wear build up quite quickly. Things like my t-shirts and singlets can get old really easily as I wear them all the time. So I’ve made a pledge to myself that once they’ve had their day it’s time to let them go, even if it’s a fave. Realistically I only need a handful of casual pieces to get me through and the rest just end up gathering dust.

Summer dresses

Summer has made me realise that I’m harbouring a ton of little cotton dresses that don’t get worn much but I’ve been hanging onto for some reason. These dresses are great for a little while but they don’t after last the test of time. They pill, they fade, they lose their shape, so I think it’s time I ditched the ones in bad shape as I know I’m not going to wear them again.

Identifying these key areas has really reminded me that it’s important to shop strategically to avoid just buying and stockpiling the same things over and over again. And also financially, it doesn’t make sense to waste money on mindless purchases that may only end being culled later on. I’m making a pledge to get maximum wear out of my wardrobe this year and to do this, I think I need to start with the pieces I really love and wear often. And this exercise was a great place to start.

What areas of your wardrobe are you guilty of hoarding? What are some things you’re planning to cull from your wardrobe this year?
Fashion

Fashion New Year’s resolutions that are actually worth keeping

3rd January, 2018

A brand new year is a great time to hit refresh on your wardrobe

The start of a new year is always the perfect time to make a few resolutions. And whilst going to the gym regularly and ensuring you get more sleep are definitely goals worth pursuing it’s also worth noting that reassessing your style is also one area in your life that might be worth reevaluating. Considering the fact you have to deal with your wardrobe every single day it makes sense to ensure that it’s working for you as best as possible to guarantee that only do you look and feel great everyday, but also to avoid having to contend with regular style meltdowns to get there. To help you get started here are a few sartorial new year’s resolutions that are definitely worth adopting…

Invest in the best quality pieces you can afford

Think about the workhorses of your wardrobe, the items that are constantly on rotation. Are they well made and built to last? If the answer is no, then it’s time to make a conscious effort to invest a little more in the clothes that you wear all the time to ensure longevity. This means things like a beautiful coat, a flattering pair of go-to jeans and an LBD. These are the building blocks of a functional wardrobe, and once you’ve found pieces that work and that you love, you need to ensure they will be around for a long time.

Have a fail-safe outfit combination

For those times when a fashion crisis hits it’s important to have at least one outfit combination to turn to that you know is guaranteed to work no matter what. This will obviously differ according to your individual style. A structured dress and classic flats may work for one person whilst a pair of jeans, tee and a blazer may work for someone else. The key is pinpointing what makes you look good every single time you wear it, then have it at the back of your mind as a back up for those times when you’re feeling uninspired.

Make an effort to keep your wardrobe organised to make getting dressed a whole lot easier

Keep your wardrobe organised

It really is easier to get dressed when you can see everything in you closet. Being able to assess what you own at a glance can often make pulling together a look a faster process as you avoid wasting time trying to find a long lost t-shirt or the skirt you wore last weekend but now can’t find. I keep my wardrobe organised like this but it’s important to come up with a system that is easy for you to maintain. To avoid having to do epic clean ups make a point of putting things away as soon as you get home at the end of the day as that way your closet stays neat all the time.

Embrace outfit planning

Yes it does require a bit more time and effort but making a point of organising your outfits ahead of time can help you avoid throwing everything you own on the floor in a panic every morning. If you really want to be ultra organised invest in a rack that you can hang the week’s ensembles on, ironed and ready to go. There’s actually something quite satisfying about seeing your clothes nicely lined up within easy stress-free reach.

Whether it’s bold colours or statement accessories, it pays to get a little adventurous with your style once in awhile

Take at least one fashion risk a month

It’s great to have a clear idea of your style but sometimes you can stumble upon new looks simply by making a conscious effort to think outside the box. Eschew your favourite pieces one day a month and pull out pieces that you rarely wear and see how you can make them work. This could also mean wearing a vibrant shade you wouldn’t usually turn to or accessories that you usually only wear with a specific look. You may find an outfit combination you never knew you always wanted.

Avoid impulse purchases

This takes willpower but stopping yourself from buying something simply because you’ve seen a sale email pop up in your inbox or spotted a dress in a window can often lead to a more wearable wardrobe. Considered shopping ensures that everything you own is something that you love and will work back with what’s already sitting in your closet. By making this your shopping mantra it also saves you wasting your money on pieces you’ll only wear once and instead allow you to direct funds to purchasing quality and timeless items that will get constant use.

What are your style resolutions in 2018?
Fashion

Easy ways to update your summer wardrobe

27th December, 2017

If you’re feeling less than inspired with your current summer wardrobe it’s time to employ a few styling tricks to inject a bit of life into your new season looks. You don’t have to rush out and buy entirely new looks either—you can rework existing pieces you currently own and make them feel current with the addition of a few on trend items. Here are a few ways to hit refresh…

Standout accessories

This is the easiest shortcut to a new look by far. A pair of statement earrings, a gold medallion or a pair of bold sunglasses are all simple ways to elevate a look, using what you already own.

A post shared by Marie von Behrens (@mvb) on

Lightweight linen

If there’s one look that’s currently ramping up in popularity it’s anything in lightweight linen. Matching separates, a slip dress or wrap skirts all look great in this perfect for summer fabrication as it’s guaranteed to stay cool on sweltering hot days.

Natural textures

Bags in natural textures scream resort wear and are the ideal accessory for the next few months. And there are so many fun incarnations. From a straw bag with fun pom pom details or a structured raffia clutch, going au naturel is just the thing to bring your summer look into the now.

White on white

A crisp white on white is the ideal look for the season. A winning combination is a white skirt and tee for an off duty ensemble that feels fresh and new.

Add a scarf

The vintage print scarf is the versatile piece your summer wardrobe definitely needs. Tie it around your hair or wear it as a headband, pop it around your neck old-school movie star style or even just tie it to your bag to add some pep to it. Either way you’re set with one super easy addition to your wardrobe. 

Pop on a graphic tee

The graphic tee is one of the enduring trends of 2017 and it looks like it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Whether it’s a cute phrase, a designer logo or quirky print, there’s no better time to go loud and proud on a t-shirt. This piece works perfectly with denim and definitely tucked in for the most on-trend way to style it.

What are some of your favourite summer trends?
Fashion, Shop, What I Wore

Style masterclass: the perfect spring racing look

28th September, 2017

I’ve lost count of how many spring racing looks I’ve had to pull together over the years but if there’s one thing that’s a constant it’s that I’ve got a few key rules I stick to. It not only makes it easier to zero in on the perfect outfit it also ensures that I am able to adhere to the dress code for each race day event with minimal fuss. If you’re planning to head to the races this spring carnival you may fall into two camps: colour or muted tones such as black and white. I always like to mix it up so I’ve done both multiple times and either can be a standout option—it’s just a matter of keeping in mind a few crucial style and beauty elements…

How to do colour

If there’s one day to go all out with vibrant colour it’s Melbourne Cup day. It’s the one day of the spring racing calendar where it pays to be a bit daring and embrace bold hues such as pinks, yellows and purples. The more striking the better! When it comes to Oaks Day you’ll want to dial it down and embrace feminine hues—pretty pastels are always a winner or do florals if you want to go with a print.

The important thing to keep in mind when you’re doing colour is that your accessories should complement not compete with your outfit. Headwear is a must at all race day events and if you’re doing colour a great choice would be an elegant headband (such as what I have in my outfit below) or crown for something fashion forward. A straw boater is great for something a little more traditional. It’s better to go for a simple, classic headpiece as opposed to being too over the top—way too many embellishments can really make your outfit look dated. Invest in the best quality headwear you can as it can really be the finishing touch that elevates your look from so-so to sensational.

When it comes to handbags it’s best to carry a clutch or a small bag with a strap. Leave your big carryall at home! You can either go for an equally bold colour or dramatic features such as metallic accents or a textured finish.

Shop the look: Dress, Roland Mouret; HeelsAlaïa; Headpiece, Cornelia Webb

 

My Top Colour Picks
Dresses

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Heels

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Headwear

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How to do monochrome

If there’s one day on which you must wear black or white (or both!) it’s Derby Day. I’ve often either opted for an all white look or an all black look as I find it’s more impactful as a top to toe ensemble. However the one thing both have in common is that in order for the outfit not to look flat there have to be textural elements and also a hint of contrasting colour with your accessories. In the case of my outfit below the ruching on the dress adds another dimension to the overall look, the same goes for my shoes which have a studded feature.

Monochrome accessories are often the easiest to work with as both colours are generally able to be worked back with a multitude of looks. Generally headbands work well when in a black and white colourway and are a great option for headwear as you’ll definitely be able to use it again. This season there are so many beautiful headband options with accents such as bows, flowers and pearls (such is the case with mine below) that you’re bound to find one to suit. You could also opt for a turban or a veiled headpiece for something a little more dramatic.

When it comes to your bag choice for a monochrome look keep it strictly black or white for Derby Day but on other days you may want to experiment with a little pop of colour or embellishment.

Shop my look: Dress, The Row; Heels, Alaïa; Headpiece, Gucci
My Top Monochrome Picks
Dresses

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Heels

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Headwear

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How to do a winning beauty look

The most important thing to remember about a spring racing beauty look is that it’s a day event. So leave the ultra glam makeup for a big night out and instead opt for a fresh faced approach. I like to focus on having good skin on the day so ensure that I am sticking religiously to my skincare regimen and may even have a facial in the lead up to it to ensure my complexion is glowing. I find if you’ve got great skin as a base your makeup will sit well. Most of my routine involves at-home treatments, one in particular that I am loving is the Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask which helps to reduce pores and brighten dull skin. If I find my skin is looking a little puffy I always use Anne Semonin Eye Express Radiance Ice Cubes which helps to tighten skin and reduce puffiness (it’s perfect in the lead up to a big event).

With spring racing beauty I think it’s important to look polished yet still very natural. In this instance I went for a bold eye and a neutral lip (I always choose one feature to highlight, never both) which I found complemented both outfits. To ensure my makeup lasts all day I use Kevyn Aucoin The Primed Skin Developer which is a nourishing serum that acts as the ideal base for makeup. I will always use a highlighter and a subtle bronzer to achieve glowing skin and accentuate my features, and I find both work well in the daytime. Lashings of mascara are always a part of any dramatic eye look I do and at the moment I really like Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara in Noir—it gives a great falsh lash effect. As the final finishing touch I have a mani and pedi and either go for a dark polish to add a bit of punch to an outfit or a neutral shade for a subtle, understated effect.

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Photography: Ashleigh Larden

Produced in collaboration with Net-a-Porter

 

Lifestyle

Styling Sophia’s bedroom

12th April, 2017

Having two daughters I wanted to ensure that both had spaces in the house that are their own and perfectly suited to them. Now that Sophia is a toddler I had to update her nursery into more of a “big girl” bedroom and create a place for her in our home that she can call her own. Here are some of my top tips…

Add colour

Sophia’s bedroom has a neutral colour palette in whites and grey and has pops of pastel colour throughout. Having soft accents throughout her room really brightens up the space but still maintains the calming palette of whites and neutrals in her room. A serene room to retreat to is a must for a lively and active toddler.

Keep it practical

Now that Sophia’s a little older her room is largely about being a practical area for her to play in. She loves being able to grab a toy or book when she wants so it’s important that they’re easily accessible. We’ve tried to keep most of the big toys and furniture in her room such as her tee pee and table and chairs neutral in colour so even when they’re all out on display they still work well with the rest of the space.

Be selective

From her rocking horse to the horse bunting that an artist friend of mine made for her room and pictures of the two of us from shoots we’ve done, there are lots of special details throughout Sophia’s room. However whilst it’s great to have lots of mementos in her room I’ve also made sure to only display her really special things to avoid the room looking too busy.

Incorporate plenty of storage

There’s a dedicated bookshelf in Sophia’s room so she can easily grab her books and also put them away and a roomy cupboard and set of drawers to ensure that there’s plenty of space to accomodate her clothes and toys. I find it’s better to have plenty of storage rather than not enough as it makes it a little easier to keep her room tidy.

Mix prints and patterns

I’ve incorporated various prints throughout Sophia’s room from her polka dot bedspread to the patterned cushions on her bed and in her teepee, it’s great way break up the mostly white space.

Photography: Sophia Athas



Fashion

The dos and don’ts of wearing flats at the office

19th October, 2016

kate w3

When I was working full time I used to always wear high heels to the office. I know when it comes to workwear it can be nice to have a little height in the footwear department to help add some polish to an outfit but I’ve since learned that flats can work equally as well, if not more so. These days when I’m going to office I may have the girls in the morning or in the afternoon so my outfit has to look professional yet be comfortable at the same time. This is where I’ve found having a great flats wardrobe can come in handy. These are some of my dos and don’ts of wearing them to work…

Do experiment with different flats

I’ve found the best flats for the office are ballet flats, brogues and loafers [the closed kind not slides as these can look a little too casual] and flat boots for winter [see in order below]. Try to keep your flats as streamlined and simple as possible to keep them professional.

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Do wear flats with dresses

If you tend to favour dresses for the office you’ll be pleased to hear that you can get away with swapping your heels in favour of flats for this particular look. I’ve found that flats look really great with tailored dresses and maintains a classy effect.

flatsalexa-chung-carolines-mode

Winning combination: Alexa Chung does ballet flats and a dress/ Image via Stockholm Street Style

Do opt for a slim trousers

Wide leg pants are on trend this season but I’ve found that they tend to work better with heels, especially if you’re on the shorter side. However when it comes to slim fitting trousers you can definitely afford to go with flats. A slim silhouette will help elongate your figure and when teamed with flats it looks very Audrey Hepburn-esque.

Don’t forget to flash some ankle

Make sure that if you’re wearing pants that they’re cropped so you are showing some ankle. This length will tend to be a little more flattering when worn with pants.

Do keep your look quite preppy

Flats such as man-style loafers and ballet flats work are a match made in heaven with a preppy-style outfit. Think a collared white shirt and a knee length skirt. It’s a little collegiate, definitely office appropriate and a stylish alternative to traditional corporate wear.

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Image: Stockholm Street Style

Don’t forget about the finishing touches

Flats don’t have to be boring. Keep an eye out for interesting finishing touches. Tassels, discreet bows, or a metal horsebit accent are all great ways to take an ordinary flat from so-so to stylish. One of my favourite brogues has a metal toe cap (see pic above) and I find that this helps give them a point of difference.

Do leave socks at home

A lot of flats look better sans socks so make sure to give them a miss. As I said earlier, flashing some ankle is flattering as it helps to emphasise the slimmest part of your leg. Also, socks can look a little too bulky.

Do team flats with opaque stockings

In winter I know going bare legged can be a little chilly so pairing a pair of flat boots with opaque black stockings and a nice dress is a good office appropriate look. I tend to favour stockings in black as opposed to nude as it looks much fresher and more modern.

Tell me – are you a fan of wearing flats to the office?