My casual wardrobe gets a pretty regular workout, given I spend most of my time looking after Sophia and Grace and need to be comfortable at all times. However this leaves me with an entire section of my wardrobe that doesn’t get nearly enough use: my dresses. More specifically those that are on the slightly dressier side and are more appropriate for a work event or classy lunch than preschool drop- offs and playground outings. I’ve always been about having clothes that are easily dressed up or down so I’ve now taken to dipping into that particular section of my cupboard a lot more and have set myself the challenge to have them feature more frequently in my everyday looks.
Take the below dress by Karen Millen; I’m a huge fan of crisp white dresses as they’re generally a lot easier to transform into either a daytime or nighttime look given their blank colour palette. In this instance to help bring the dress into casual wear territory, I found my choice of accessories was key. By pairing it with a candy pink hued bag it added a fun, playful element to my overall look and gave it a slightly more relaxed feel. Flats are often the secret to changing the overall vibe of a dressy piece and by pairing the dress with white sneakers helped to ground the outfit and make it appropriate for a day of running around. The right accoutrements can often steer an outfit into an entirely new direction, and is one of my favourite styling tricks to employ when I need to change up an existing item in my closet.
I’m always experimenting with what’s in my wardrobe so this has been a useful discovery of a great way to double the use of what I already own. This weekend why not set yourself the challenge to turn your dressier pieces into casual wear—you may be pleasantly surprised at the new looks you’ll uncover.
I’ve always considered a white t-shirt to be a wardrobe staple due to its versatility. I can be wearing a white t-shirt to do the school run one minute to attending a work function the next and be wearing the same tee. Whilst I love the fact it’s so simple to dress it up or down one of the reasons I love it so much is because it’s just so comfortable. Comfort is always key when it comes to my outfits and I love anything that’s unfussy and still maintains an element of polish. If you need further convincing then I’ve got five great looks that all incorporate a white tee, yet each with a distinctly different vibe…
I think every woman should own one great suit. They’re a staple in a corporate environment but the suit can extend beyond the office with the right accoutrements and silhouette. Banish thoughts of the 80s power suit from your mind and instead think sleek, sophisticated and just a little bit sexy. Here’s how to nail suiting so it looks on point and super chic…
Invest in good tailoring
An ill-fitting suit is a big fashion no-no. If you’re going to wear a suit be sure to have it tailored absolutely perfectly to fit. If you need to, have the jacket taken in, have the pants taken up so the hem sits perfectly with your shoe to ensure the silhouette looks polished.
Think beyond the shirt
A classic button down shirt is, of course, always going to be a no-brainer pairing with a suit however by switching up what you wear underneath you can create a look with an entirely new vibe. You could opt for a turtleneck for a look that would work in a corporate environment but has a slightly more relaxed feel. There’s also the option of wearing a loose t-shirt a la The Gucci Shirt That’s Everywhere for a look with attitude or a bodysuit for an evening ensemble that looks sleek and sexy.
Be adventurous with silhouettes
There are so many different silhouettes when it comes to the suit these days. You could opt for a boyfriend blazer that’s a little more billowy and has a slightly tougher, more masculine feel to a tapered leg for a look that screams sleek. I also love a flared pant and a long length blazer for an outfit that has a slightly Jane Birkin vibe.
Keep shoes streamlined
When it comes to the suit the shoes you wear should be quite pared back. If you’re going to do a boot it needs to be an ankle boot that’s tapered to the leg. You don’t want anything too loose around the ankle as it can affect the fit of the suit and can look a little clunky. You could also opt for a sleek stiletto or if you want to wear flats a pair of pointy slides works well.
What are your thoughts on the suit? Love or loathe?
Over the years I’ve found that there are key basics that my wardrobe just wouldn’t function without. Essentially most of my outfits are aided by any one of the below items on a day to day basis and having them on hand means less outfit dilemmas for me. It’s been a process of trial and error, but this is what I’ve found are the building blocks of a great wardrobe. Feel free to add to the list!
A white t-shirt
The perfect white tee is a necessity. It’s something that you’ll reach for in your wardrobe time and time again. It pays to go in search of one that’s the right fit, length and cut to ensure that it suits you perfectly.
Singlets in staple colours
Grab one singlet in white and one in black and I guarantee that you’ll end up wearing it repeatedly. Much like the white tee it’s the perfect item for layering and will become a welcome addition to your closet.
A cosy cardi in a neutral tone (I particularly love grey) is guaranteed to see you through winter and the tricky trans-seasonal period when the weather can be a little unpredictable. Invest in one made from quality wool or cashmere and I guarantee you’ll have it for seasons to come.
I’ve found out of all the different jumper styles this one is the most flattering. The same principle for the cardi applies – choose one in a neutral tone and made from wool or cashmere. Personally I always buy jumpers a size or two sizes bigger because I don’t like anything too tight.
Whatever your denim style, a pair of lived in jeans that you can turn to constantly will give you plenty of outfit options when it comes to dressing for your down time. There are plenty of options available out there (I’m definitely a skinny jeans girl) so make sure you try on as many pairs as possible until you find the perfect fit. If you need a little help denim shopping check out my guide here.
These are definitely one of my staples because they’re just so comfortable. I’ve found that a pair in a leggings style are the most versatile but there are so many different variations that it pays to hunt around for one that will work with your wardrobe the most.
It’s time to elevate your lounge wear. When I’m at home I live in either cotton, cashmere or wool lounge pants and I’ve found that they can easily go from being in the house or out which is great for those times when I just need to quickly duck to the shops and don’t really feel like changing.
I recently posted about how important underwear is to an outfit so make sure that you stock up on comfy, flattering underwear. Look at your lingerie drawer and be honest with yourself – is it filled with quality pieces or are you still clinging to your old faithfuls that are hanging on by a thread? If it’s the latter it might be time to consider an upgrade. You don’t necessarily need anything fancy but it definitely has to be able to work with multiple garments.
Every woman wants to look polished and put together however let’s be honest, this takes work. I know we’re all busy so sometimes trying to style the ideal outfit first thing in the morning can be the last thing you want to think about. There’s no magic formula to pulling together a good outfit but there are some habits you can adopt to make it a whole lot easier to look great each time you walk out the door.
Keep your wardrobe tidy
Having to dig through a disorganised mess to locate just the right t-shirt or the skirt you want to wear makes for a stressful time. So, start tidying up. It sounds simple but making sure to fold and hang clothes in an orderly manner so you know where absolutely everything is will make it much, much easier to pull an outfit together.
Choose a focal point
Centre your outfit around one particular piece. Whether it’s a pair of showstopper shoes or a statement jacket or a particularly gorgeous necklace, each outfit should have a point of difference that makes it stand out.
Do a final mirror check
It may sound obvious but before you walk out the door quickly check that everything works. That means making sure that your shoes, bag, accessories and outfit are all playing nicely together. For example sometimes you may think a certain pair of earrings will look great with an outfit but taking one last look when you’re dressed may make you think otherwise.
Repair or get rid of damaged clothing
As soon as something needs repairing do it straight away. Procrastinating may mean that you might find yourself in a rush with a particular blouse in mind only to find it’s missing a button which means double the stress! If something can’t be repaired bin it straight away. It’s important that your clothes are in great shape if you want to look polished.
Follow laundry instructions
Yes it can be tempting to ignore the tags on your clothes but following laundry instructions are going to ensure your clothes look great but also for longer.
Hang up your clothes at the end of the day
Getting home after a long day it can be easy to just dump your clothes on the nearest chair and forget about it till later in the week. However this will only lead to a rumpled mess that will require more effort to fix later on. Hang up garments such as jackets and blouses straight away to ensure they’re ready for use the next time you want to wear them.