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.
Event dressing can be an expensive business when you take into account your outfit, accessories, hair and makeup, shoes… and that’s just before you walk out the door! The best way to keep costs down is to learn to reuse and recycle your occasion wear. Splashing out on a beautiful dress only to relegate it to the back of your wardrobe because you’ve worn it before is a waste of money—which is why you have to get creative. If you truly love a particular event outfit but you’re worried of being seen in the same outfit twice, then it’s time to employ a few tactics to breathe some new life into it.
Mix up you your hairstyle
Doing something as simple as changing your hairstyle when you’re recycling a look is extremely effective for making a dress feel new again. So if you wore your hair down the last time, wear it up, or utilise the help of accessories. From many years of attending the races, I’ve found the simple addition of a striking headwear can really transform an outfit.
Change your makeup
It’s easy to stick to the same tried and tested formula when it comes to event makeup but if you want to reinvigorate an outfit then it’s important to try something different. If you want for dramatic eyes the last time you wore a particular ensemble, then go for a bold lip the next time around. Experiment with colour. Wear some dramatic lashes. Have a little fun with your beauty look.
Go for a different vibe with your accessories
Accessories are key to breathing new life into an old look. By simply switching up your accoutrements, whether it be in the form of things like statement earrings, a cocktail ring or a standout necklace, what you pair with a particular piece can really give it a different style. If you went for a classic, sophisticated style the last time, maybe try experimenting with something a little more modern and bold? By simply giving your accessories a new energy, you give your outfit one too.
Add or take something away
Even if you’re recycling a pair of pants or the same dress you wore to an event, you can still give what you’re wearing a different look and feel either by paring it back or amping it up. So if you went for a lot of drama the last time with bold makeup, voluminous hair and look-at-me accessories, then consider a more sleek approach the next time by doing the complete opposite–understated makeup, hair pulled back and simple classic accoutrements.
Incorporate a new statement feature
Most of the time if I’m wearing an event dress, I will introduce a statement piece into the mix. Usually it’s in the form of a bag or a pair of heels. So if you decided to wear a pair of killer stilettos the last time you wore a particular outfit to an occasion, then change up your statement feature by opting for a colourful bag instead. It’s just about incorporating an additional element that has wow factor.
And just like that spring racing is upon us once again. This is always a hectic time of year for me as I have multiple events to juggle which means a number of outfits that I have to co-ordinate. And even though I’ve done it for years, styling just the right outfit can still be a little tricky at times as I have to take into account the dress codes, current trends and staying comfortable throughout the day.
One thing I do try and do every spring carnival is take a few style risks, experiment with different trends and elevate my look in various ways. It’s the perfect time to get dressed up and have a little fun with fashion. If you’re off to a few events, here are a few ways you can take your look next level, whether you’re opting for a bold, colourful ensemble, or a classic look of muted tones such as black and white. Here’s how to stand out in a crowd and pull together a winning outfit.
If you’re doing colour…
A colourful look makes an impactful statement so if you’re doing it, don’t be afraid to go bright and bold. Wearing a striking hue that packs a punch whether it’s shades such as fuchsia, a bright sunshine yellow or a rich green makes for a strong look. Now is the time to get in touch with your inner rainbow and try a few fun colours. I guarantee you’ll turn heads.
With coloured pieces it’s a great idea to also work with different silhouettes to give the look some further depth. A dramatic neckline, an elegant split or statement sleeves are all elements that can take your look to another level. The dress I’m wearing below works a vibrant pink with a Victorian neckline and an understated balloon sleeve and gives it a modern, yet classic feel.
It’s important to let your outfit take centre stage but that doesn’t mean you can afford to neglect your accessories. Quite the contrary. The right complementary pieces will enhance your look not detract from it. Headwear is a must at all racing events, so it’s a crucial component of your look. When wearing colour try having fun with your headpiece, incorporating texture and subtle embellishments.. My go-to is a great headband which is understated yet still hold its own, such as the star one I am wearing below. Other options I like include a straw hat or a beautiful turban, both of which I’ve worn in the past. Accoutrements should be the final finishing touch that completes your look.
When you’re doing slightly more muted tones such as black and white, it’s important to try and be a little more daring with the style and finishing touches to help elevate it. The black dress I’m wearing below features an on trend off the shoulder neckline, a textured finish along with a dramatic ruffled effect, all elements that that make it look far from an ordinary LBD. It’s a fun spring racing ensemble but with contemporary touches that make it stand out.
With black you can incorporate the colour head to toe, by wearing black accessories too, but choose pieces that have a little more edge to them to give the look some added depth. In the looks below I’m wearing two different headpieces, both of which are strong pieces in their own way. One is a beret which I feel gives the look a bit of a stylish edge, and adds an unexpected element to my ensemble, the other is an oversized bow headband which has a more playful feminine feel. Both are a great example of experimenting with headpieces—when you’re wearing black you have to ensure that your headwear is a knockout so the look doesn’t present flat.
Muted shades that are guaranteed to work—they’re classic, strong and have presence but it’s important to elevate them with the right finishes and accoutrements. By adding these touches, you are able to turn them into something that’s striking and different, whilst maintaining their general classic feel.
I’m the first to admit that when it comes to winter I tend to get stuck in a cycle of wearing dark colours. Rich hues just seem perfectly suited to the colder, at times drearier weather that comes when temperatures drop. However this winter I’m trying to change all that. I’m making a pledge to myself to embrace lighter, brighter shades and not just relegate them to my spring/summer wardrobe.
This outfit by Uniqlo is a great example of how a great winter look can incorporate fresher shades. A pair of crisp white jeans and an off white cashmere crew neck work perfectly together, as the varying shades mean the outfit doesn’t look too stark. Incorporating neutral colours in an all white look helps lift it without being too overwhelming. This beige coat is a perfect example of this at play. The slightly lighter lining helps to avoid the coat looking too heavy, whilst still being a great complementary piece.
The good thing about lighter hues is that they make the perfect backdrop for darker accessories. My black Dior bag against white jeans and an off white sweater adds a bold touch and is an effective accent piece to my ensemble. Metallic round frame sunglasses add an element of fun and are perfectly in keeping with the breezier vibe of my outfit.
While I’m most definitely going to be wearing plenty of black, navy and grey this winter, I think I’ll definitely be incorporating a fresher colour palette into my wardrobe. Even if the weather may be chilly, I can still wear an outfit with a sunnier outlook.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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 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?
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.