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styling advice

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

Heels

 

Headwear

 

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

Heels

Headwear

 

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.

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.

 

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.

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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?