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wardrobe advice

Fashion

How to change up your style in 2020

6th January, 2020

The start of a new decade definitely calls for a fresh start as far as your style goes. Now is the time to ask yourself if you’re genuinely happy with your wardrobe, if not, then change it up. Ultimately I think what you wear should make you happy and make you feel confident, if it doesn’t then it’s time to refocus it and make some adjustments so it does.

Here are a few great places to start.

Purge your closet

One thing that often gets in the way of refreshing your style is getting weighed down by all the things in your closet that you don’t truly love, but are taking up space anyway. So do a ruthless edit of your closet and only keep the things that flatter you, and as a result, make you feel good as well. By playing within a smaller, more refined selection of clothing, you’ll be able to discover new outfit combinations and find something that makes you look amazing.

Find your icons

Pinpoint the people whose style you admire and identify what it is that you like about their look. Is it the colours they wear? The shapes they gravitate to? The accessories they weave into their outfit? Once you’ve found these common threads, look at how you can work it into your existing wardrobe.

Do closet rotations

Whatever the eye sees is often what we end up wearing so it’s a good idea to rotate what’s in your closet every few months so you can ensure that the pieces that have been at the back, are now front and centre. By simply rotating your clothes, you’ll be able to gives some other sections of your wardrobe a chance to see the light of day!

Look at what you spend your days doing

It’s not uncommon to find that your wardrobe doesn’t necessarily match what you actually do every day. This is often the case for example with new mums who may find that they’ve got a closet full of gorgeous work or party clothes, but wear the same pair of jeans over and over again because nothing else works for their current lifestyle. If this sounds like you, look at what your wardrobe actually needs, as opposed to what you think it needs and re-jig your style working with those key pieces.

Incorporate a fashion challenge in your week

Reverting to the same failsafe outfit combinations is great, but occasionally it’s a good idea to expand your sartorial horizons in order to evolve and refresh your look. To avoid a wardrobe rut, assign yourself the occasional day in your week where you challenge yourself to incorporate a particular print in your look or wear a certain colour. This will encourage you to look at your wardrobe in new ways, and help you rediscover forgotten pieces.

Fashion

My style formula can be summed up in just one word

5th January, 2020

My ultimate aim with my style is to look classic and polished, mixed with a few on-trend pieces to stay up to date. However if you were to ask me what my style formula is, the one thing that helps shape what I wear on a day to day basis it can be summed up in just one word: balance. Simple, right?

My style isn’t about having to mix certain pieces together in a certain way to create a certain look. Life’s way too busy to have to spend an inordinate amount of time considering what to wear. So I’ve distilled my approach to outfit planning into simply aiming to have balance with everything I wear.

This just means that if I were wearing something with lots of volume at the top I’d have to balance it out by wearing something that is slimline at the bottom. If I was going to show a bit more skin at the bottom, then I would have to balance it out by wearing a more conservative top. When I wear something that is long and baggier I’d need to balanced it by adding a belt to give myself more shape. Once again, it’s all about balance.

As I said I liked to keep my style simple and straightforward. I avoid anything too fussy or complicated because I just want to be able to walk out the door as quickly as possible. The one way I can manage that is to always ask myself if my outfit is balanced. Volume with something streamlined; embellished with something quite understated; long with something short. This gives me the fashion equilibrium I need to always feel that my outfit is on point.

Tell me—What’s your style formula?

Fashion

How I style lounge wear

14th August, 2019

When I’m off duty I’m all about comfort. I have to spend a lot of my working life getting dressed up so when it’s time to unwind, I like to ensure that whatever I’m wearing is easy and relaxed. Leisure wear is all about an unfussy silhouette which I love, but my style still maintains a polished feel no matter whether it’s for work or play  so I always keep that in mind for any off duty looks. I like to know I can easily go from a day spent lounging at home to a quick trip to the shops without too much fuss. When it comes to dressing for comfort here are the rules I stick to….

Go for quality fabrics

To avoid looking dishevelled I make sure I buy basics in good quality fabrics. For example I love to wear beautiful cashmere knits or a great linen shirt just to make sure everything looks polished. If you are planning to wear these pieces regularly, investing in quality fabrics will make sure that they last longer. My favourite brands for leisure wear include Bassike and C&M as I find they make great relaxed pieces that are quite fashion forward at the same time.

Stick to a specific colour palette

I refine it down to neutrals such as black, white and grey when it comes to leisure wear. It’s easy to mix and match pieces with that colour scheme and straightforward is what you want when it comes to off duty style. That said, I’ll often add a pop of colour with a scarf or another accessory just to give the outfit a little injection of personality.

Sneakers are a key part of leisurewear (it also makes running after kids easier!)

Opt for dressier shoes

Your choice of footwear can often help dress up an otherwise casual look. For example I love slouchy, baggy pants with a drop crotch and when teamed with a pair of slides or loafers or a dressy pair of runners it looks considered and put together—but still super comfy.

Mix with quality accessories

If I’m wearing a really simple outfit such as slouchy pants with a tee, often the addition of certain accessories can help pull it together and dress it up a bit. A leather jacket or a handbag are easy additions that give it a touch more polish. By doing this I’m still comfortable but maintain a stylish vibe at the same time.

Fashion

How to make it easier to pull together an outfit in a rush

22nd May, 2019
Photography by: Sophia Athas, Hatrik

If you’re running late and need to get out the door fast it can be stressful being faced with a wardrobe dilemma. Looking into your closet and not having any idea what to wear can make an already rushed morning feel even more so. To avoid this happening to you, it’s time to put in a bit of effort now and prep your way out of it. Having the right measures in place can make all the difference between walking out of the house feeling and looking pulled together to not having any idea what you’re wearing and feeling less than your best self the entire day.

Clean your closet

It all starts with the state of your closet. If you’ve got clothes strewn everywhere, shoes piled on top of each other and bags all over the place then you’re going to make it very hard to find anything let alone style an outfit. So commit to a big wardrobe cull and ensure that everything is in plain sight. If you can easily see everything then you’re more likely to have a little more styling inspiration, which means locking in an outfit quicker, which can mean you’re able to walk out the door faster.

Ensure your essentials are always nearby

We all have our fave pieces in our closet so it’s important that these things are readily at our fingertips should a wardrobe dilemma faced with a time crunch arise. If you can fall on a standby go-to outfit without then realising that the shirt you want isn’t ironed or the jeans you’re after is still in the washing basket, you have a much better chance of getting dressed faster. At a minimum, always make a point of having the key staples in your wardrobe at the ready.

Have failsafe outfit combinations

It’s great to experiment and broaden your fashion repertoire but it’s also key to have at least five outfits that you know work memorised. These are good to fall back on should you be faced with a sartorial mental blank and can’t really think of what to wear. To make it even easier, have an outfit planned to suit different occasions, think: casual, work, evening, party and going out. This way whatever you’re faced with there’s always an ensemble waiting to happen in a matter of minutes.

Have style inspo as a back up

Style inspiration can help kickstart an outfit idea or two so make sure you have a few on your phone that you can draw upon when you need to. By simply having a few looks that you love saved, you can make it easier to then get an ensemble together when you’re having one of those days where you feel that you really have nothing to wear.

Fashion

Easy ways to elevate your style

15th April, 2019

The key to elevating your style doesn’t involve an astronomical amount of money or a constant stream of designer purchases. In fact, a lot of it comes not from what you own but what you do. Whenever I look at the people who always present themselves impeccably, I always notice that they have a few things in common. Here’s where you can start if you want to elevate your look.

Know your style

People who have amazing style are always confident in their look. They know what works and what doesn’t and essentially what makes their look their own. If you’re still a little unsure of your style, pay attention to things that you always gravitate towards. Pinpoint the pieces that make you feel and look amazing. You’ll soon be able to distill what it is that defines your aesthetic.

Make sure you have the basics

It’s important to make sure you’ve got the basics covered before you can evolve your style to the next-level. This means everything from having a go-to dress to having the right underwear for various silhouettes and casual staples like t-shirts and jeans. Having reliable pieces already sitting in your closet will allow you to concentrate on how you can give those things your own unique spin.

Have a tailor that you trust

There’s something quite special about having a wardrobe filled with pieces that are perfectly fitted to your body— clothes just sit better when they’re tailored. This is why it’s important to find a tailor that you trust. Try asking around in your social circle to see if anyone has someone good they can recommend or look up online reviews of various tailors in town. Another option is doing your own research by getting something altered and seeing what the result is.

Invest in quality items

There are workhorses in every wardrobe and they need to be the best quality that you can afford. Don’t scrimp on things that you’re likely to use all the time like a work bag, or shoes that you’ll wear constantly on the weekend. Identify these key items and splurge on them. Quality items generally withstand wear and tear a little better. You can then be a little more economical with other things in your wardrobe that won’t get used quite as often.

Make an effort to look after your clothes

To ensure that your clothes always look pristine follow instructions on how to launder them, hang and fold garments rather than just dumping them on the nearest available space, and it seems obvious but always iron or steam garments before you walk out the door. Also store items like shoes and bags properly by keeping them in their dust bags and not piling them on top of each other so they lose their shape.

Avoid jumping on board every single trend

To elevate your style involves looking like you’re confident in what you’re wearing. That means being able to pinpoint knowingly what works and what doesn’t for you and that involves being selective in the trends that you adopt. Experimenting with looks is great, but so is knowing what your style is and not feeling like you have to jump on every single trend to look good.

Fashion, Fashion & Beauty

Why discovering your personal style will make getting dressed easier

27th March, 2019

How well do you know your personal style? Over the years and with a lot of trial and error I think I’ve finally got mine defined. Whenever I’m asked about my style now I can clearly define it in a few words: simple, understated and polished. That however, took several experimental years until I finally found my groove and discovered a certain way of dressing that meant I immediately knew if something was me or not.

So what’s the benefit of confidently knowing what your style is? Well it certainly makes pulling an outfit together that much easier. I think having that knowledge of what encompasses your look will mean that it’s easier to know what’s not you. Which sounds simple but is actually one of the key things that can lead to you ending up with less random buys that gather dust in your closet and more items that will get worn time and time again. Once you know something doesn’t fit into the your style category then you’re less tempted to buy it.

One of the best things about it is also the freedom that it gives you when you look into your closet and try to pull an outfit together. There’s less of the paralysis that comes with seeing an endless array of clothes that don’t all scream you and trying to make them work for an ensemble that you may or may not be happy with. Also, if you see a wardrobe that’s only filled with pieces that genuinely reflect you, you’re more likely to get much more wear out of everything you own and that’s a great big tick in the cost per wear department.

So how do you define your personal style? I think it’s all about looking at everything you own and seeing what you wear often and what brings a smile to your face. If you take note of those pieces you’ll often find that they have an overarching theme linking them and that will help you on your way to finding a look that works for you. I find it’s helpful if you can think of three words to describe everything so you can call on those adjectives every time you’re trying to refocus yourself and remember what your style is all about. Once you’ve done this, I promise everything else becomes so much easier.

Have you found your personal style? How did you go about discovering it?

Fashion

How to look polished without even trying (much)

25th March, 2019

If there’s a box that I always try to ensure my look encapsulates it’s polished. Whether it’s a casual outfit I’m wearing to run errands with the girls or a work meeting or a big fashion launch it’s one of the overarching criteria that I try to maintain. And it doesn’t have to be hard. If there’s one thing I need all my outfits to be it’s easy so I’ve found some ways to ensure that looking polished is pretty straightforward to achieve. Here’s how I do it.

Ensure everything fits well

Whether I’m in jeans and a t-shirt or a suit, the one thing I always make certain of is that everything is tailored to fit. That means things like hems are cut appropriately for my height and I’m not wearing a jacket that swamps me. Taking the time to ensure that everything is tailored beforehand ensures that anything I wear by default, looks polished.

Keep it simple

My look is very classic and I’ve found this is a great way to ensure I look polished. Whilst everyone has their own aesthetic, the one thing you can take away from this is that keeping your look simple often means it presents in a very put together way. This means choosing one statement piece and then keeping everything else simple. Whether it’s a pair of great shoes or knockout earrings, have one focal element and then pare back the rest.

Always ensure your bag and shoes are in good shape
Pay attention to your bag and shoes

I’ve always been a bag and shoes girl and I’ve found they’re often the two key accessories that can make or break and outfit. So I always make sure that whatever bag or shoes I’m wearing looks neat and tidy. They don’t have to be expensive. but they do have to look presentable which means no scuff marks or stains. This is why I always ensure I use fabric protector on all my bags and shoes before I wear them.

Don’t forget about your beauty look

I need to get out the door in a matter of minutes most days so I’m all for beauty routines that are quick and easy. If I need to get out the door fast but don’t have time to do my hair I’ll pull it back in a low bun (which takes seconds) and I’ve got myself a sleek hairstyle for the day. I’ve also streamlined my makeup routine to a few simple essentials (see my full routine here) and that ensures I look presentable when I walk out the door but I haven’t had to spend a silly amount of time in front of the mirror.

Get a steamer

I don’t like ironing and I’m sure a lot of you feel the same. That said, I also can’t walk out the door with wrinkled clothes so a great shortcut is to invest in a handheld steamer like this. If I find something needs a press, I give it a quick steam and then I’m out the door. Most garments are steamed on photo shoots and it’s a trick that I’ve adopted into my own wardrobe.

What are some of your shortcuts for a polished look?

Fashion

What to do when you’re bored of your wardrobe

25th February, 2019

KW AKMAL SAKE-10

It all hits us at some point—that feeling when you look into your wardrobe and think you have absolutely nothing to wear. It’s easy to hit a wardrobe rut when you’re constantly wearing the same things on rotation but the solution isn’t necessarily hitting the shops with credit card in hand, it’s actually finding new reasons to fall in love with things you already own. Here’s how…

Challenge yourself to rework an old favourite

If there’s a blouse you absolutely adore but it has become a little lacklustre of late because of the sheer frequency in which you wear it why not challenge yourself to style it in a new way? If you would usually wear it with a skinny jeans why not try pairing it with a high-waisted skirt or a pair of wide leg pants instead? Don’t just rely on your usual outfit combinations, learn to experiment by trying on unlikely pairings and push yourself out of your fashion comfort zone. You never know what great look you may unearth in the process.

Just add accessories

It’s true, the right accessories can really transform a tired wardrobe. Pair a scarf with a dress or top a shirt with a statement necklace to give each look a new spin. Alternatively if you wear the same bag everyday why not mix things up and try pairing your outfit with a different bag each day. A simple bag change can really alter the overall effect of an outfit. The same goes for shoes. If you usually wear a particular look with heels try pairing it with flats. If you usually wear it with dressy shoes try teaming it with sneakers instead.

Change up your bag to refresh favourite outfits

Turn to some visual inspiration

I am guilty of falling into a wardrobe rut where I’ll just repeat the same outfits over and over again. To help shake myself out of this I’ll do a quick scroll through Instagram, flip through a fashion magazine or visit some of my favourite style websites just to get the creative juices flowing. Sometimes all it takes is one image to spark a new idea for an outfit I can pull together using what I already own.

Get something altered

Survey your wardrobe and see if there’s anything that can be repurposed into something new with a few alterations. Sometimes all it takes to completely transform something could be a new hemline or having something taken in in order to change the silhouette. You could find yourself with a brand new wardrobe favourite for just the cost of visiting a tailor.

Take my outfit challenge

If you’re bored of your wardrobe after an easy to follow plan on how to tackle it, try my 7-day outfit challenge. I’ve outlined a different thing to try each day and it will force you to have to look at what you already own and steer you into new territory.

What are some of your favourite ways to refresh your wardrobe?
Fashion

Reader Q&A: “What are your tips for dressing when you’re curvy?”

11th February, 2019
Ashley Graham, model Jada Sezer and Robyn Lawley all know how to accentuate their figure

I always love hearing from my readers especially if there’s a burning fashion question they’d like answered. Late last year, I heard from a reader, Steph via my Facebook page who sent me the below message as she was on the hunt for a dress to wear over Christmas.

Hi Kate! Love your style!

I was wondering what fashion tips you could suggest for a curvier women like myself I am self conscious of my arms and upper body.

What kind of dresses would you suggest? Any tips would help I’m looking for something for Christmas Day.

I knew I wanted some expert input with Steph’s question so reached out to celebrity stylist (and someone who I’ve worked with on several occasions) Jess Pecoraro. Jess styles everyone from Jesinta Franklin to model Georgia Fowler and has worked with brands like Witchery, Topshop and eBay so I knew she’d have really useful and practical tips to share. Read on for some great tips for accentuating a curvy figure.

What are five key pieces a curvy woman should have in her wardrobe and why?

1. Good quality undergarments are just as important as clothing so invest in items that fit well and are made from quality fabrics to help with support and shaping the body correctly

2. A classic style black dress, this can be an A-line style, wrap style or
even a slip as it will be the perfect go-to for anything last minute.

3. Dark denim jeans or a dark trouser, the style may vary depending on
what you prefer but it’s a [wardrobe] must which can easily be dressed up or down.

4. Shirting that is slightly fitted and that isn’t too boxy. It’s another go-to
piece to have in a few colours.

5. A nude pump as they elongate your legs and are perfect for all occasions.

Are there any particular styles or silhouettes a curvy woman should avoid?

Styles which are boxy or have minimal shape are no go as they add extra volume and don’t show off your curves.

What’s the key to dressing to flatter a curvy figure?

Paying attention to the fit and fabrication of clothing is key. Select items that emphasise your waist as well as your curves by considering items which have a waist band, are slightly more fitted or are in a wrap style.

Is there a particular part of the body that a curvy woman should try and focus on with what she’s wearing?

This is very personal and may vary on different bodies yet focusing on your waistline will help show off your curves and give your body an overall nice silhouette.

Are there key accessories a curvy woman should have in her wardrobe? If so, what?

Key accessories to invest in are nude heels and sandals which will work back with any look and won’t add any extra volume to an outfit. Also a mix of neutral and black waist belts to style over dresses, shirts and even blazers to help define the waist line.

What are your tips when it comes to colour and patterns and prints when it comes to a curvy figure?

Bold block colours and darker shades are always best. Coloured panels also work and can give the illusion of a print without it being to over the top as long as the panelling is on the side which lengthens the body. Prints can be a bit tricky as they can sometime add more volume so go for more graphic and vertical lines.

What are your tips when it comes to swimwear for a curvy figure?

Go for simple shapes and darker solid colours. Higher cut briefs give the illusion of longer and leaner legs and for extra support try a bra style top or one piece with thicker straps (in built wire will give a better shape). A panelled one piece with side ruching will help draw attention away from your tummy area.

What are some go-to brands for curvy women? 

You can follow Jess on Instagram at @jesspecoraro

Fashion

The questions to ask yourself about your style

21st January, 2019

Nailing your personal style makes getting dressed infinitely easier. It helps you hone in what will and won’t work in your wardrobe with laser precision and you’ll end up with a more cohesive, wearable look. It’s also the kind of thing that comes with a little experimentation and a few little a-ha moments along the way.

I’ve gone through my own periods of trial and error, dabbling with looks that I thought were “me” but ultimately I tended to gravitate back towards the same aesthetic. I like looks that are classic, polished yet still incorporate a trend or two. And knowing this has meant that everything from shopping to deciding what I’m going to pull out of my closet in the morning is a seamless process.

If you’re still in the midst of rediscovering or honing your style you’re not alone. It’s often a process that adapts and changes over time but ultimately knowing what makes you you fashion-wise is at the core of what makes great style. Here are a few questions that will have you on the right track.

What do I feel good in?

It’s simple enough but wearing what makes you feel good is often the key to great style. This is because it generally means that you feel confident in your outfit and that’s often the thing that underpins any look that works. So if you find that you always feel amazing in feminine pieces then go ahead and make them a staple of your everyday look. If colour puts a smile on your face, then you’ll know that a muted colour palette might not be your thing.

What do I always gravitate towards when I’m shopping?

We all tend to have things that will immediately catch our eye when we’re shopping. Whether it be sleek, tailored pieces such as blazers or skirts or comfy, relaxed looks like jeans and t-shirts, there’s always something that will speak to you when you’re browsing and that’s a clear clue to your particular style. Start paying attention to what catches your eye to enable you pinpoint your signature look.

What words describe my style?

Think of a few words to describe your look. Often that’s a good indicator of what your overall style is all about.

What pieces do I wear all the time?

Take stock of what items in your closet are always doing overtime. Often what we instinctively reach for when trying to decide what to wear is what speaks to our style the most. So start noting down the things that you immediately pull out the next time you’re getting dressed in the morning. You’ll soon discover a very obvious pattern…

What do I want my style to say about me?

What we wear on a day to day basis often sends a message to the world about who we are. So think about what you want your wardrobe to say about you? Often this is a key area which can steer you in the right direction towards ultimately defining your personal style.

Tell me—what things have helped you start to define your personal style?