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wardrobe advice

Fashion

8 foolproof outfit combinations to save you during a wardrobe crisis

29th November, 2018

We’ve all been faced with days where we find ourselves just staring into the closet and thinking that we’ve got absolutely nothing to wear. If you’re in a rush it can be particularly stressful trying to pull a look together as you try one look after the next with little success. So this is why it pays to have a few outfit combinations that you know are guaranteed to work. I like to keep a few of these mentally filed away to call upon whenever a wardrobe crisis hits. Here are a few key pairings that will ensure you look amazing when you walk out the door.

 

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Lunch run

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Jeans and a white tee

This is an easy outfit to turn to and will always look chic. And the best bit is it’s comprised of things we all have in our wardrobe. All it takes is having a pair of go-to jeans and a great white t-shirt and you’re set.

 

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Jumper and jeans

Whether it’s a pair of blue jeans, black skinnies or any other colour denim you like, pairing it back with your fave jumper will always result in a great look.

 

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Blazer with jeans and a top

If you’re looking for something dressier, you can take the base elements of jeans and a tee, pop on a great blazer over the top and you instantly have an outfit that looks polished.

 

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Blazer over a dress

If you’ve got a few fave dresses in your closet that are feeling a bit tired, you can change up their entire vibe by adding a blazer over the top. A black blazer is one of those pieces that will always be a lifesaver and can instantly make any look dressier and more pulled together.

 

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A sweater or tee and a midi skirt

A midi skirt in any length paired with a top such as a t-shirt or a sweater is a shortcut to looking chic and stylish. If you’ve yet to add a midi skirt to your closet, try a pleated style for an on instantly on trend look.

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A trench over almost anything

A trench is a wardrobe addition that will go far. It’s a topper that can work with myriad looks ranging from the super casual to dressy. Consider it a lifesaver whenever you’re stuck for what to wear — just throw it on over the top of any of the looks you’ve seen so far and avoid unnecessary style dramas.

 

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Cami and tailored pants

Take your favourite tailored pants, pair them with a cami and you’re set. If you’re not into camis you could sub in a button down shirt for a similar, polished finish.

 

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Blouse with skinny pants

A pair of skinny pants or jeans, teamed with a gorgeous blouse is one look that will take you from work to drinks without skipping a beat. Great for those days when you’re not entirely sure where the day will take you.

What’s your go-to outfit combination?

Fashion

The pieces you can wear to work and on the weekend

28th November, 2018

Versatility is one of the key criteria that I have for my wardrobe and that means I need to be able to wear pretty much everything to work and on the weekend. Obviously there are going to be some omissions because hey, a black tie dress might be a bit hard to deal with when at the photocopier or grabbing coffee, but most things should be able to be transformed from nine-to-five to relaxation mode by simple switching up what you pair it with. I’ve identified a few key pieces that I know are made for both office wear and off duty style.

Dressy flats

A pair of simple, classic flats a la the pair I have on below are a cinch to go from the office to the weekend. A slingback, a ballet flat or pointed style are all great options.

On Duty: Wear it with cropped trousers, a skirt or a midi dress.

Off Duty: Pair it with jeans or a skirt worked back with a tee.

A white tee

It’s a rare few places or occasions that can’t be worked back with a white tee. A handy staple for any wardrobe, it can be appropriate from nine-to-five to a relaxing Saturday by switching up what you pair it with.

On Duty: Wear it with a blazer on top, underneath a dress, or with a midi skirt.

Off Duty: Pop it on under a slip dress, with your favourite jeans or a wrap skirt or shorts.

A blazer

I’ve often spoken of my love of a great blazer and consider it one of my can’t-live-without items. And it’s primarily because I can wear a blazer to a work function one minute to a casual lunch on the weekend the next and it still works. Keep it classic with black or venture further afield with other colours such as grey, navy or white.

On Duty: What can’t it work with? Everything from tailored pants, to a wrap dress and a skirt and cami can be paired with a blazer.

Off Duty: Wear it with jeans and a white tee for a classic, always on-trend look.

A roomy bag

If you’re prone to carrying half your office/life around with you then a great, roomy bag is a must. I often like to get a bag that’s got a bit of structure, in a classic colour such as tan or black for work as I know that I can always extend its wear to the weekend.

On Duty: Get a size that can fit your laptop and essentials.

Off Duty: A great carryall can be used to get you through a busy day of running errands where you might need to carry a million things with you.

A wrap dress

This eternal classic is always a good idea especially for a day at the office or a relaxing morning coffee with friends. Your only issue will be trying to stop at just one.

On Duty: Wear a wrap dress with heels and a blazer for an effortless take on corporate dressing.

Off Duty: Paired with sneakers or sandals and a simple crossbody bag make an ideal look for relaxing.

Culottes

Wide leg pants aren’t as scary to wear as they sometimes might seem (check out my tips for how to style them here) and are so easy to change up according to what day of the week it is.

On Duty: A blouse with heels and you’re set.

Off Duty: Wear it with a tee or a cami and pair with great sandals.

A black skirt

Consider a black skirt a close cousin of the little black dress — it can be styled in myriad ways with so many different pieces. It’s wearable and versatile which makes it the ideal transition piece to take you from the office to the weekend.

On Duty: Wear it with a button down shirt and a cami for a professional look that’s ultra chic.

Off Duty: When paired with sneakers and a tee this look is polished yet made for an easy breezy day.

Fashion, What I Wore

My three can’t-live-without items

15th November, 2018

One of the questions I’m often asked is what items in my wardrobe I can’t live without. There are definitely plenty of pieces that form the foundations of a lot of my looks but if I were to really narrow it down there are three MVPs in my closet that I know I definitely would struggle without. They’re easily the most versatile pieces I own and I can work them back with virtually everything that I wear.

The thing with can-live-without items is that they’re not the most extravagant or up-to-the-minute designer items, they’re the pieces that work the hardest. They’re the pieces I reach for when I’m in autopilot mode because I know they’re guaranteed to work. It’s often critical to identify these pieces because it helps you drill down into your style and really know what forms most of your looks and as such what you should be investing your hard earned fashion dollars on.

So here are the three things I couldn’t get dressed without (and I bet they’re also already in your closet)…

A pair of great jeans

Denim is such an integral part of my wardrobe and I’m in it most days of the week. This is why for me, a pair of blue jeans in a flattering cut, cropped at just the right length is something that I’d struggle without. I can dress them up or down according to what I pair them with and these days, jeans are welcome almost everywhere so I definitely get value for money from a pair.

 A white tee

The humble white tee is a staple of most of my outfits. I use a t-shirt as a layering piece such as under a slip dress or pair it with a statement skirt or a pair of shorts in summer. And what’s great about it is that it’s also an inexpensive item that I could find a million and one uses for. I have a few white t-shirts in my wardrobe and they’re constantly on high rotation.

A black blazer

I can pair a simple black blazer with almost everything I own which makes it a piece that I couldn’t possibly do without. The good thing about a blazer is that it can act as the focal point of a look or be a support piece to pair with another statement element of an outfit making it supremely versatile. I can wear it to pretty much all occasions and it’s guaranteed to make whatever I’m wearing look chic.

What items in your wardrobe can you not live without?

Fashion

How to ensure your look goes the distance at the races

31st October, 2018

Being at the races is great fun but it can also be a long day. This is why it’s key that you ensure your look is able to go the distance and still look as great as it did when you first arrived. There’s nothing worse than looking dishevelled after a few hours when you’ve still got the whole day ahead of you. Having gone to countless racing events over the years, this is what I’ve found will ensure your look still looks fresh throughout the day.

Break in your shoes

I cannot stress this point enough. Wear your shoes a number of times before the actual day so it’s comfortably broken in. You don’t want to be dealing with major blisters from heels right out of the box on a day that you’ll likely be walking and on your feet for hours.

Choose a heel height that you can last in

It’s not compulsory to wear sky high stilettos to the races so don’t force yourself to do it if you’re going to be uncomfortable. There are so many gorgeous shoes available at varying heel heights to choose from so if you think you’ll be hobbling around in agony with a super high heel then opt for one that’s a little shorter. Also wear something with a thicker, sturdier heel as you don’t want to be sinking into the grass throughout the day.

Opt for a bag that has a strap

A clutch is great but it can admittedly become tedious carrying it around for hours, especially when you’re trying to eat something and have a drink but don’t have a hand free to do both. One thing I like doing is bringing a bag with me that has a hidden strap that I can use to go hands-free if I need to.

Keep makeup to a minimum

As the races are a day time event your makeup should be quite subtle and understated anyway but I’ve found that this has an additional benefit: less touch ups. By keeping your makeup quite simple then you won’t risk having it smudge away throughout the course of the day and you won’t have to spend an inordinate amount of time touching up in the bathroom when you could be enjoying yourself.

Choose comfortable headwear

It’s annoying having to constantly adjust your headpiece so I always like to wear pieces that I know will stay put. If you don’t fancy devoting time to fixing a fascinator that’s become askew, then a great hat, a headband or a turban is great for this reason.

Tell me—are you going to any racing events? How do you keep your look fresh?

Fashion

What to do when you have nothing to wear

22nd October, 2018

This is a dilemma most women have encountered at one point or another. If you’ve ever stared into your closet, filled to the brim with clothes yet still yielding nothing to wear then you’ll know the frustration it can cause. However all is not lost. Instead of tearing your hair out and hitting the shops to buy yet another outfit to add to the pile, you can employ a few tricks to help you unearth a look you’ll love. These are strategies I’ve used from time to time and I can guarantee that they’ve helped me break out of my momentary wardrobe rut, get dressed and walk out the door in no time.

Look for external fashion inspo

Staring at your clothes for ages won’t magically make a new outfit appear. You’ve got to get the styling juices flowing. To do this have a quick scroll through Instagram to see what your fave stylish ladies are wearing. Alternatively hit up your favourite online stores and check out their lookbooks or ‘new in’ section to see what’s trending. By seeing what’s new, it could ignite an idea or two for a look you could pull together.

Set yourself a theme

Having seemingly endless options but feeling bored of all of them is a major cause of being stumped for an outfit. So why not narrow it down to make it easier? For example you could tell yourself that today is stripe day and that you need to incorporate a striped piece into your ensemble. By giving yourself some parameters to work with it becomes less overwhelming and more manageable.

Work a new colour combination

We all have our favourite colour combinations which is great but sometimes in order to overcome an ‘I have nothing to wear’ situation you need to think outside the box. For example try working an unexpected colour combination like pink and red — by exploring pieces in those shades, you’ll inadvertently force yourself to look beyond your usual favourite items and expand to the rest of your wardrobe.

Help a favourite make new friends

We all have favourite pieces in our closet but we tend to work them back with the same things over and over again. This can exacerbate a nothing to wear situation as you see reliable staples but are also uninspired by them because you’ve already got your go-to pairings in mind. So the next time this happens, take an old fave but make an effort to pair it with something different. It could be that you wear a particular jacket with a certain pair of pants all the time. So instead, why not pop on the jacket over a dress, which instantly gives it a different vibe. This allows you to still get plenty of use out of things you love but overcome your style boredom too.

What are some strategies you use to overcome an ‘I have nothing to wear’ problem?

Fashion, Shop

How to avoid an impulse purchase you’ll regret

8th October, 2018

We’ve all been guilty of making an impulse purchase that seemed like a good idea at the time but later on turned out to be a not so good buy. The thing with buying items on a whim all the time is that you’ll end up wasting money and end up with clothes you’re not actually going to wear. Wouldn’t you rather put your shopping funds towards something that you absolutely love? I know that it can be difficult to resist buying a pair of cute shoes or a great dress when you first spot it but it’s so important to step back to ensure that you’re making a good buy. Here are a few things that you can do to try and curb an impulse buy before it happens.

Walk around the shop or step away from the laptop

If you’ve got the overwhelming urge to buy something and it really wasn’t in your plan to do so then do the the equivalent of taking a deep breath and counting to 10 by walking away from it. Either walk out of the shop for half an hour or step away from your laptop and make yourself a cup of tea so you can try and get that ‘buy, buy, buy’ feeling under control. Whilst you’re doing this think about the below.

Outfit check it

Think about what other things in you closet this potential buy could work with. If you’ve managed to mentally work it back with a number of outfits then it’s likely to get plenty of use. If you can only come up with a handful of looks then think twice about buying it because it might not get many outings and won’t be worth the spend.

Have a shopping list

I always like to think strategically about any potential purchases to avoid impulse buys that may or may not work. This is why I’ve always got a shopping list of things that I need in my wardrobe. Whether it’s a gap I’ve spotted in the clothes I have, something I need to replace or a look I need for an upcoming event, I always have a list so I can refer to it whenever I’m shopping and usually try to tick an item off the list before adding something to it again. Having an idea of what I actually need as opposed to just shopping based on what’s caught my eye has really helped stop many an impulse purchase.

Wait 24 hours

If you can do this it’s really a useful tactic. I do it all the time because whenever I see something I like in a store I’ll most likely have the girls and won’t have the time to try something on. So I wait until I can get to the shop again on my own (at least 24 hours) and If I’m still thinking about whatever I saw I’ll try it on and decide whether to buy it or not. I adopt the same principle for online buys. I’ll pop something in my shopping cart, sleep on it then revisit again the next day. Usually waiting gives me the time to mull a purchase over and determine if it’s a worthwhile addition to my wardrobe.

Have a set budget

It’s amazing what a limited shopping budget can do to reign in unnecessary purchases. If you’ve give yourself a set amount to spend on wardrobe buys, you’ll be much more likely to consider potential buys a lot more carefully. So instead of just picking up a top or pair of earrings and buying it because you like it that second, you’ll stop and take a moment to decide whether you really do want it or whether you’d rather direct your hard earned dollars to something you absolutely want.

What’s an impulse buy that you’ve regretted?

Fashion

How to wear the sheer trend in a classy way

4th October, 2018

I’ve dabbled in sheer looks a number of times such as here, here and here but each time I do, it’s still a daunting prospect. How much skin is too much? Am I revealing more than I bargained for? There’s something about transparent pieces that are edgy and sexy, and when it’s done well, it can really make for quite a striking look. But how do you balance modesty without completely taking away from the see-through nature of this trend? Whether it’s a blouse, a dress or a skirt, it’s definitely a strategic game of knowing what to cover up and what to bare. With a little experimentation, here’s what I’ve found makes for wearing the sheer trend in a classy, polished way.

Invest in the right underwear

I cannot tell you enough how important it is to get your underwear right with this trend. You need to get maximum coverage underwear— so opt for a beautiful cami or bralette or plain full briefs which will cover up a lot and not reveal too much. Also a nude coloured slip is a handy thing to have in your closet, and works great under a dress or skirt.

Layer over clothes with more coverage

If you’re planning to wear a sheer shirt with a bra, it’s great to pair it with something high waisted such as pants or a skirt so you can show a touch of midriff without feeling like you’re revealing a lot of skin. You could also layer things to achieve strategic coverage such as a transparent dress over jeans or topping a see-through blouse with a blazer.

Find a balance

As wearing anything sheer makes quite a bold statement it’s important to temper it with slightly more subdued pieces. If you’re wearing a skirt with sheer panelling, pair it with a top that offers a little extra coverage to strike the right balance. A transparent top worn back with denim instantly grounds the look. As with most things with fashion, it’s all about striking the right balance.

Keep it simple

You’re already making quite a statement with anything sheer so try and keep the rest of your look quite subdued. Classic, simple accessories make the ideal complementary finishing touches as opposed to anything too loud which will compete with the bold nature of transparent pieces. You want the alluring flash of skin to take centre stage.

Have you jumped aboard the sheer trend yet?

Fashion

What to spring clean from your wardrobe

3rd October, 2018

Now that spring is here there’s no better excuse to do a big wardrobe clean out. I always like to do one at this time of year to ensure that I’m utilising my closet space with pieces that I truly love and use often—otherwise I’m just losing precious real estate that could otherwise be occupied by new purchases! That said, it’s also great to take stock of everything to see what gaps I currently have and what I’ve got way too much of so I know what to look for when I’m shopping. Also, it reminds me of old favourites that I can incorporate into my fashion repertoire.

If you’re about to embark on a clear out, take the opportunity to weed out the below items from your wardrobe and donate them to charity so someone else can make better use of them. After this process I guarantee you’ll rediscover clothes that you’d forgotten about and in turn create some fresh looks that will make everything you own feel new again.

“Someday” clothes

You know what I’m talking about—these are the clothes that you’re saving for “someday”. So whether you’re bookmarking something for that time when you reach your ideal weight or are hanging onto an old dress in the hopes you may wear it to an event down the track (even though you’ve been to multiple occasions and didn’t even think to pull it out) then it’s time to be brutal and say goodbye.

Ill-fitting pieces

If something is a bit loose you can either get rid of it or if you think you’d actually get a lot of wear out of it if only it fit, then make the effort to get it tailored. If the problem is that it’s too tight then it’s time to bid it adieu. You want your clothes to sit well and flatter your shape not look like you’re squeezing yourself into something that just doesn’t work.

Anything you haven’t worn in a year

There are some things that obviously don’t fall into this category such as a wedding dress, but generally if you’ve managed to get through four seasons without once reaching for a particular garment then it’s a good sign that you can live without it.

Irreparable garments

There are some things that you may be keeping in your closet as they need a few repairs. Pull all these items out and take the pieces that you actually want to keep and wear to a tailor to see what can be done. For anything that’s not able to be fixed, instead of binning it, try recycling it. There are certain organisations that take clothes that are in poor condition and recycle them into things like rags, insulation or stuffing. Do a quick Google search to find a place near you.

Photography by Adrienne Leonard on Unsplash

 

 

Fashion, Shop

12 sandals that will take you through summer

28th September, 2018

Every summer I love shopping for a new pair of sandals. I pretty much live in them all season so I make sure to scour all my favourite stores to find a pair that I know will work back with most looks, but also liven them up and give them a special touch. This season there’s a healthy selection of light and airy footwear to choose from. Whether you’re looking for an embellished pair to add a glam touch to a look, or a sleek pair that will make an elegant addition to any outfit, I’ve rounded up the best sandals to provide the perfect finishing touch to any ensemble.

Common Projects minimalist leather sandals

With its beautifully unfussy design and crisp white colour, this is one sandal that will get plenty of use.

Musa crystal-embellished leather sandals

Just the right amount of bling can turn an outfit from good to great.

Sophia Webster ruffled leather slides

With its architectural design this is one slide that will stand out in a crowd.

Carrie Forbes Carree raffia slides

A woven rustic style slide is one addition to your summer wardrobe that will get plenty of outings.

Balenciaga slash flat sandals

Its luxe embellishment will ensure that every outfit has a glam element.

Gucci Sylvie web-trimmed leather sandals

With its classic Gucci colours worked back with gold, this one shoe that will see you through this season and beyond.

Ancient Green white and black hara satin and leather sandals

Bows and polka dots? This too cute combination is hard to resist.

Senso Zilda VI sandals

A monochrome sandal that will become a versatile addition to any wardrobe.

Aquazzura Almost Bare metallic leather sandals

Pared back and elegant, this minimalist style sandal will make an easy pairing with any outfit.

ATP Atelier snake print leather sandals

A hit of edgy snakeskin will instantly liven up a look.

Sophia Webster Madame Butterfly embellished slides

Clear PVC shoes are all the rage at the moment but this pair gets a gorgeous contrasting element in the form of a laser cut butterfly design.

Ancient Greek Christina leather sandals

Gold can be paired with almost anything, and when you throw in a sexy ankle strap it’s a sandal that’s destined for many a summer outing.

Fashion

The pieces every spring/summer wardrobe should have

26th September, 2018

Have you started planning your spring/summer wardrobe yet? I’ve been planning my checklist for awhile now and I’ve noted a few key staples that I’d like to add to my closet to welcome the warm weather that’s about to descend upon us. Before doing this I think it’s always a good idea to do a little reconnaissance mission of what’s in store and online so you know exactly what pieces you’re going to be snapping up. It also allows you to pick the best of the bunch and get a really great deal on key items that you know you’re going to be investing in for your new season looks.

I’ve been keeping an eye on everyone from my favourite celebs, to my stylish friends and checking out my go-to blogs and magazines over the past few weeks to pinpoint what’s going to really update my outfits for this time of year. If you’ve yet to compile your list, here’s what I think you should definitely be adding to it.

A Midi-dress

Dresses are one of the most wearable, stylish things you can add to your spring/summer wardrobe. Opt for one in a gorgeous print that will take you through many a sunny afternoon looking effortlessly chic.

A Co-ord set

A co-ordinating set is an easy way to look polished without really trying. There’s something about a matching top and bottom that just screams stylish whether it be a blouse and shorts or a skirt and slip, there are so many different sets to shop this season you’ll be hard pressed to limit yourself to just one.

Sandals/slides

Summer calls for at least one trusty pair of sandals or slides that you can easily slip on. I’ve really started gravitating towards slides as I like how wearable they are, however it really depends on what feels comfortable—some people like the support a sandal gives. You can always go for classic colours such as black, white and tan however I think the sunny weather at this time of year is a great excuse to embrace vibrant shades that will pop against any outfit.

A straw bag

If you’re going to buy one bag this season make it a straw one. Whether it’s a satchel, top handle or bucket style there’s definitely a trend towards embracing natural, earthy materials as far as bags go.

Lightweight trousers

I think there’s nothing better than a pair of linen trousers to keep cool during spring/summer. They’re also super easy to pair with everything from a button down shirt to a plain white tee so you’re guaranteed to get plenty of wear out of them.

Bold sunglasses

Don’t step outside without a pair of great sunglasses by your side. I think now is the perfect time to push the boundaries a little—think coloured frames or interesting embellishments for a little fun.

A statement skirt

I am loving bright printed pleated midi skirts at the moment as they’re seriously easy to wear whether I’m off to work or on mum duty. However if midi’s not your style, there are still plenty of options whether it’s a knee length wrap skirt or a cute mini. Just don’t be afraid to go bold!

Sneakers

A pair of trusty sneakers always has a place in any wardrobe, whatever the season. Chunky dad style sneakers are in at the moment but if they’re not your scene, you can always turn to a pair of classic white trainers. Whether they be from classic French brand Superga to urban-ready Adidas or a designer pair by Gucci or your favourite go-to brand you’ll be guaranteed to be turning to your sneakers multiple times a week.