Browsing Tag

wardrobe advice

Fashion

How to get more wear out of your wardrobe

21st July, 2018

Neutral pieces will always get plenty of wear

Have you ever bought something only to find that you wear it once and it ends up collecting dust in your wardrobe? It’s easy to fall into this trap when we’re flooded with options and an impulse purchase is so easy to make. If you’re in the situation of having an overflowing wardrobe with absolutely nothing to wear then it might be time to rethink your shopping strategy. I’ve managed to hone mine down over the years to pinpoint the purchases that I know will have multiple outings. If you want to avoid buying something that’s a one hit wonder it pays to keep a few things in mind—it’s what I use when I’m considering buying something and I guarantee it works…

Stick to neutral tones

I always try to keep items like dresses and staples like coats in neutral tones. With dresses I’ll always opt for a little black dress, a white dress, denim or khaki. And with a staple like a blazer or coat I always opt for black because it’s a colour that’s really versatile. When it comes to basics (my everyday wear such as t-shirts and jumpers) I always stick to neutrals. Whilst a pink t-shirt is fun I’m guarantee to get more than a few wears out of a plain white tee. Also if you want to add a bit of colour to your wardrobe it’s easier to work back with a simple muted colour palette than try to work with multiple bold hues.

Buy separates

I think separates are always a really good option because you can mix and match them. It’s much easier to wear something like a quality silk blouse or a great skirt in various ways as you can just switch out the top or bottom when you want to change up your look. One thing I’m loving is that more and more labels are releasing matching separates which not only look chic when paired together but are great when worn with other pieces too.

Quality separates are a great way to get more wear out of your wardrobe

Keep statement pieces on top

If you find something that’s a bit of a showstopper, find something that sits on top such as a jacket or coat, which you can throw on over an outfit. Everyone remembers if you wear a really bold dress but if you wear a striking  jacket you could mix and match it and nobody would really even notice if you wear it multiple times. I’m a fan of pieces that have a bit of personality and are a standout piece but if I want to guarantee maximum wear out of it then outerwear is the best way to incorporate it into my look.

Don’t be a slave to trends

There are multiple trends each season and while it’s fun to try them you don’t always have to wear a trend from head to toe. You can incorporate a trend into your look with a really great jacket or small accessories. For example if you want to get into the 70s, buy one trend piece such as a pair of flared jeans. It doesn’t mean that you have to look like you stepped off the set of Saturday Night Fever. Exercise a bit of restraint when it comes to trends as invariably they will come and go.

Avoid too much embellishment

If you want certain pieces to last season after season avoid having too much embellishment on it. Having a lot of detail on a particular garment makes it more difficult to work back with other items in your wardrobe. Not only that, it also it makes it easily identifiable so it’s harder to have it be a chameleon piece that can be worn for multiple occasions. If you look at the celebs who tend to outfit repeat, they’re always wearing a classic piece that’s simple and streamlined.

What are some ways you get more wear out of pieces in your wardrobe?

Fashion

Simple ways to elevate denim

27th June, 2018

I am the first to admit that I would be lost without denim in my wardrobe. Jeans often make an appearance in many an outfit that I wear throughout the week and it’s a staple when I’m in off duty/mum mode as it’s just so easy. That said, I can also attest for how simple it is to elevate it with the right accessories and statement pieces and make it ideal for an event or a special occasion.

When it comes to denim I’m a skinny jeans girl all the way as I think it works best with my frame. However with the numerous styles available out there it’s not difficult to hone in on the ideal style for you—it just pays to persevere and check out a few different cuts (check out my tips for buying denim here) as what works for one person may not work for another. I also tend to gravitate towards a formfitting style as I find it works with most of my go-to items in my wardrobe. All my jackets to blazers, shirts and heels all work back with a pair of skinnies.

While jeans, a white tee and sneakers are an eternally stylish combination it can sometimes be hard to think beyond that and see how to dress up denim in a modern way that doesn’t require too much fussing around. I think elevating your it is a simple as it comes if you know the right pieces to turn to. Once you’ve pinpointed those key items you’re guaranteed to always find a way to turn your old faithfuls into something special.

Killer shoes

Great shoes can make any outfit look great. A pair of amazing heels teamed with denim can instantly make it look dressy and polished.

Printed blouse

Swap out your fave tee for a blouse instead. This is a great combination that works dressed up or down—all you have to do is switch your shoes according to the occasion.

A post shared by Nicole Warne (@garypeppergirl) on

Statement jacket

One way to lift trusty denim that requires minimal effort? Turn to the most amazing jacket in your closet. Whether it’s a tweed number or an edgy leather moto style you can never go wrong with outwear that pops.

Classic blazer

I can attest for how unbelievably handy blazers are to have in your style arsenal. And while they go with most things in my wardrobe they’re a dream to pair with denim. A simple black blazer can really turn jeans into something special. Add a pair of knockout earrings and you’re done.

Understated flats

A pair of loafers is a no-brainer pairing with jeans. When you want to be comfortable to run around all day but still need to maintain an element of polish, stylish flats will fit the bill every time.

Fashion

How to improve the versatility of your wardrobe

11th June, 2018

Like most women I like to ensure that my wardrobe is wearable and versatile. This means that everything works together harmoniously and there are no one-off pieces that I can’t wear with anything else except for a particular pair of pants/skirt/top. The exception to this would be occasion wear such as a gown for a black tie dinner for example that realistically isn’t really going to be high on rotation. Given that my schedule is so mixed and I can be at a work event, doing an interview or hanging out at home with the girls throughout the week I have to ensure that what’s in my closet can accommodate all these different facets of my life. So, how do I do this? Well there are a few key things that have helped me do this…

Assess your wardrobe

The key with a versatile wardrobe is knowing what you already own. If you approach outfit planning and purchases strategically you’re more likely to have a wearable collection of clothes that can be worked back with multiple pieces. If you just buy things on a whim you may end up with a beautiful red top that goes with absolutely nothing in your closet and you’re then forced to purchase something else to go with it.

Opt for neutrals

I am a big fan of neutrals for the fact that they are so easy to mix and match. I can take one cream jumper in my closet for example and find that it can work with a multitude of pants and skirts quite easily. Whilst a few hits of bold colour is great if you want a truly versatile wardrobe you have to start with a fairly blank canvas to start with and that’s where shades such as white, cream, beige and grey work a treat.

I like to keep it simple, especially when it comes to denim

Keep it simple

Pared back pieces give you the luxury of being able to style them in multiple ways, dressed up or down. You’re more likely to get more wears out of a plain pair of blue jeans for example as opposed to one with lots of embroidery or embellishment because you don’t have too many other competing factors to take into account. By making simplicity your style mantra you can take a few key items and extend their wear.

Implement the 10 outfit rule

Before buying anything ask yourself if you can wear said item with 10 other things you own. If the answer is yes, you’ve got a great piece, high on the versatility scale. If it’s a no then it might be time to go back to the drawing board and look harder for something else that might be more wearable. You’ll soon find that by doing this you not only grow your wardrobe in a way that avoids the ‘I have nothing to wear’ problem but that you don’t waste money on unnecessary one hit wonder purchases.

I keep most of my wardrobe’s colour palette quite simple

 

Fashion

What to do when you’re bored of your wardrobe

17th March, 2018

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 become bored of your wardrobe 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 one 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 flares 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

My style formula can be summed up in just one word

22nd February, 2018

Kate Waterhouse street style in white off the shoulder top and jeans with Bulgari handbag

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

What you need to add to your wardrobe this year

29th January, 2018

Want a cohesive wardrobe that won’t leave you constantly thinking that you have nothing to wear? It pays to think strategically about the key items in your closet that will help you get there. Instead of constantly piling more clothes, more shoes, more accessories onto the pile and ultimately ending up at the same place, you need to start thinking about the few items that will work back with the rest of your wardrobe in multiple ways.

By planning ahead and really pinpointing the items that will be in constant rotation you are able to stretch your fashion dollar further and ultimately end up with more outfit options, simply because you have the building blocks in place for several looks. When it comes to what’s currently on trend, what will stand the test of time and also what’s going to be ultra wearable, here are five great buys to start with…

A great blazer

I will stand by this purchase over and over again. I kept an eye out for this Balmain blazer (similar style here) for ages and finally nabbed it when I saw it on sale and haven’t looked back since. It goes with so many different outfits and it instantly makes anything I wear look polished. Do your research and try on a few different styles before settling on the right blazer and make sure the fit is ultra flattering, not too boxy and is just the right length (I’m a fan of the longline style). Grab one in black and I guarantee you’ll wear it to death.

Dressy sneakers

Sneakers are not going anymore any time soon. They’ve become a wardrobe staple and rightly so given how easily they work back with everything and also how comfortable they are. It’s a bit of an oxymoron but find yourself a pair of “dress” sneakers. So think a style that’s sophisticated and sleek, with minimal embellishments. I love metallics and use it as an accent colour a lot so I knew these Gucci sneakers would work well with what I own, however you may prefer to stick to a nice clean, white palette to ensure that you can wear it with most of your wardrobe.

Statement slides

Slides are one of my favourite trends and whilst they’re great for casual wear I think a pair of slip-on loafers is the kind of piece that’s ultra wearable but can also lift an outfit. Find a pair that’s got a classic shape but perhaps has an interesting detail such as a great buckle or even an appliqué such as the above Gucci pair I fell in love with to turn it into a standout, statement piece. This style can work with everything from jeans, to dresses and skirts so you’ll definitely get your money’s worth with such a purchase.

Elevated white shirt

A white shirt has been a wardrobe staple for forever but lately, it’s become a whole lot more interesting than the plain button down of yesteryear. A style such as the above wrap shirt, also has great finishes that turn into something extra—think the tie detail, the lapels, the ruched sleeve, and the split back detail (you can see it here) that gives it an alluring touch. It has all the goes-with-anything elements of a traditional shirt but so many more extra finishing touches that make it fashion forward.

A quality bag

Think about how frequently carry your handbag. If you’re like me it probably gets quite the workout and is always jam packed with day-to-day essentials so it has to be stylish and durable. I think if you’re going to invest in one thing in your wardrobe it’s a quality bag. One that’s able to withstand constant wear and tear and is able to carry your entire life effortlessly. I love a bag like the above which is a neutral shade making it an easy piece to mix and match, but it has just enough detail to make it interesting.

What are some key pieces you’re planning to add to your wardrobe this year?
Fashion, What I Wore

How to incorporate dressier items into your casual wardrobe

28th November, 2017

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.

Credits: Dress, Karen Millen, Shoes, Gucci, Bag, Bvlgari,

Shop more of my favourite pieces from Karen Millen

This post was created in collaboration with Karen Millen

 

Fashion

The flattering way to wear a midi length skirt or dress

16th August, 2017

Knee length? Easy! Mini? Can do! Maxi? All over it! Midi length? A slightly tricker proposition. I am the first to admit I used to think the midi was an unflattering length (especially if you’re on the petite side). I just saw it as an awkward length that wasn’t particularly wearable. But the thing with fashion is even if you’ve discounted something once before if you see a trend often enough you start to think that it could be worth another try… And I’m so glad I gave the midi another chance. With a little experimentation on how to style it it’s now a go-to length of mine and I often favour it when it comes to skirts and dresses. Here’s how I’ve made it work…

Favour heels

If you’re going to rock a midi length skirt or dress the most flattering footwear option is a pair of heels. It gives added height which elongates the frame. As the midi lands below the knee to mid calf it can cut you off at an unfavourable part of your leg so the best way to combat it is to add a few inches in the form of a heel.

Maintain balance

Keep proportions in mind and ensure that you have the right balance. For example if you’re wearing a voluminous midi skirt then make sure your top is fitted whilst it would be the reverse with a slimline skirt. If you’re too top heavy or bottom heavy it can throw the entire look off.

Experiment with details

Interesting details such as a bold print or pleats are one way to make a midi length skirt or dress stand out. The midi makes a strong sartorial statement so why not allow it to really make its mark by choosing impactful elements.

Tell me—for you, is a midi skirt or dress a yay or a nay?

 

 

Fashion

How I style lounge wear

27th February, 2017

When I’m off duty I’m all about comfort. Leisure wear is all about a relaxed silhouette but at the same time I still like to give it a stylish touch so 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.

Opt for dressier shoes

Your choice of footwear can often help dress up an otherwise super 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.

Stick to a specific colour palette

I stick to neutrals such as black, white and grey when it comes to leisure wear. It’s easy to mix and match and often I’ll add a pop of colour with a scarf just to give the outfit a little injection of personality.

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.

 

Fashion

How to dress for an event when you’re pregnant

22nd November, 2016
IMG_9656 2

At Fashion Week this year with a bump

During both my pregnancies I had to attend a few big events and particularly during the last pregnancy I also had to navigate Fashion Week which was certainly a challenge for my wardrobe! Whether it’s a wedding, a birthday or now that we’re heading into the festive season a slew of Christmas parties dressing up with a bump can admittedly be a little trickier than when you’re you’re usual shape. Here are some things I learned about event dressing when pregnant

Consider going a size up

Keep in mind that you don’t have to specifically buy a maternity dress you could also consider going a size up to give you more room for your stomach. This is great when you want to buy something from one of your fave labels as you like their styles but don’t necessarily fit into your usual size. I remember buying a dress from Scanlan Theodore who are one of my go-to designers as I really loved the style but I simply bought a bigger size to accomodate my belly.

Voluminous isn’t always good

It can be tempting to go for a billowy dress that simply just “hides” your belly but it’s not always the most flattering silhouette for a pregnant figure. I find that you still need to maintain some degree of shape to what you’re wearing so often something in a stretchy fabric that is quite figure hugging and that shows off your bump is the best style. It’s also super comfortable which is a plus.

If you prefer floaty dresses try adding a belt under the bump to nip in the dress a little and give it some added some shape.

Try layering

I found adding a blazer or jacket over a dress really helped to give my outfit some structure which in turn looked more flattering. It also gave me a tether to my old wardrobe so helped me feel more confident and “myself” in what I was wearing.

Accessories are key 

The one area of your wardrobe that definitely doesn’t get affected with a burgeoning bump is your accessories. A great pair of shoes, a pretty clutch and amazing jewellery are all great for topping off an outfit and giving it a bit more oomph. Plus you know no matter what it’s definitely going to fit!

Don’t spend a fortune

Yes, you want to look great but you also don’t want to spend a fortune on a particular outfit if it’s something that you definitely won’t wear post-pregnancy. I find that ASOS has some great maternity dresses specifically for events that are both on-trend but also budget-friendly. The upside with buying from a maternity range is that whatever you buy, you know it’s been cut to accomodate a bump so there are no issues with fit. Aside from that they also do great casual and work clothes for pregnancy so definitely check out the range if you haven’t already.

Always remember your style

Just because you’re dressing with a bump in mind it doesn’t mean you have to completely change your style. If you usually wear black from head to toe then do it. Yes, your shape may be different but it’s important that you always anchor what you’re wearing back to your usual tastes and style. Remaining true to your wardrobe aesthetic will definitely make you feel more comfortable in anything you wear.

 

Stuck for event-appropriate pregnancy look ideas?

Here’s a look back at a few What I Wore looks that could definitely work for a big occasion – just tweak and adjust according to your own style!

Check out my building blocks for a great pregnancy wardrobe