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wardrobe advice

Fashion

Easy ways to refresh your work wardrobe

14th January, 2019

One of the things I like doing every year is re-evaluating my work wardrobe and seeing what pieces need updating and what gaps there are to fill. Having my own business means I have a little more flexibility in my office attire but I’ve always still approached what I wear in much the same way I did when I was working a full time job at a newspaper and that is to look professional and polished at all times.

If getting dressed for work every day has become a bit of a struggle then you know that it’s time to reassess what you have and think about giving your style a bit of a refresh. Here are a few great places to start when it comes to your office style.

Have the basics

The concept of office basics really depends on what kind of environment you work in. A corporate workplace will have a different dress code to a more relaxed creative environment, but the most important thing is identifying the building blocks of every look. So whether it’s a well tailored suit or jeans and a blazer, you need to ensure that these pieces are front and centre in your closet. Having this in place means you can afford to play around with your looks a little more.

Incorporate new accessories

Accessories are one of the easiest ways in which you can take your look up a notch and inject a little more personality into your work wardrobe. A great pair of earrings, a stylish bangle or a necklace are all simply ways in which you can inject a little new energy into your attire.

Change your work bag

It’s easy to carry the same bag day in and day out but it can also get a little monotonous. Your work bag is one of the easiest places to give your office wardrobe a refresh. This year, why not try something different? If you usually carry a tote, swap to a shoulder bag and vice versa. Push the boundaries as far as your office dress code will allow and have a little fun. After all, it’s the one accessory that you will carry with you every single day so you may as well love it.

Experiment with new silhouettes

Everyone has their go-to pieces for work. I know I have a few that I turn to all the time. However this year why not make a commitment to try new things? If you tend to favour knee length styles opt for a midi instead. If you’re a fan of voluminous pieces try incorporating a few more form fitting items into your wardrobe. A new silhouette can often make your work attire feel new.

Introduce bold accents

It’s easy to get caught up in the wonderful word of wearability that is neutrals but an easy way to refresh your work looks is to incorporate a few bold items into your ensembles. A striking print here or a vibrant shade there can easily lift an outfit and bring it to life. You can also temper this according to your office dress code so it’s easily adaptable.

Fashion

What to ditch from your wardrobe in 2019

9th January, 2019

A brand new year means it’s time to take a good hard look at your wardrobe and pinpoint the things that you need to say goodbye to. Doing a big purge of your closet means that you’re left with the pieces that you’ll wear often and genuinely love, meaning less style dilemmas. Here’s what to consider ditching this year…

“Someday” clothes

If you’re still hanging onto things that you hope will fit sometime in the not so distant future it’s time to bite the bullet and toss them. If “someday” does come you can always make a few new additions to your wardrobe. In the meantime all those clothes are just taking up valuable real estate.

Clothes that don’t fit your lifestyle

If you’ve got a closet full of party dresses but you barely go out these days or you’ve got corporate clothes aplenty but have started working at a more casual office then perhaps it’s time to consider farewelling those pieces. You can always hang onto 2-3 favourites then donate the rest to charity.

Scuffed and worn shoes

Shoes that have seen better days are probably best retired. You want to always put your best foot forward (pun intended) and wearing footwear that looks tired doesn’t make a good first impression. If shoes can be re-soled or revived in some way then by all means go for it but if they can’t be salvaged then it’s time to bid them adieu.

Shoes that are uncomfortable

While we’re on the topic of footwear, if there’s a pair of shoes that leave you in agony every time you wear them which in turn means they hardly ever see the light of day then it might be time to retire them.

Underwear that you’ve had for years

Good undergarments are often where good outfits start so it pays to replenish your supply every so often. Ill-fitting bras that no longer offer support and underwear that’s faded or stretched are both good places to start.

Costume jewellery you never wear

Investment jewellery is an entirely different thing so it’s exempt from a wardrobe purge but inexpensive costume jewellery is fair game. I’m talking earrings that you only wore once, tarnished necklaces, or bracelets that are gathering dust are all things you can afford to farewell.

Anything that doesn’t fit right

Looking polished is all about wearing clothes that sit well. If you’ve got things in your closet that have never sat right then consider having them tailored. If they’re beyond the alterations stage, for example if you’ve already tried to have it fixed but it still doesn’t look right, then it’s a sure sign that you should probably let it go.

What are some things that you’re vowing to ditch from your wardrobe this year?

Fashion

The pieces every spring/summer wardrobe should have

22nd December, 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.

Fashion

10 outfit ideas for Christmas Day

17th December, 2018

Christmas Day outfits are always a funny thing. You want to look your best given you’ll generally be catching up with loads of people but at the same time you want to be as comfortable as possible. Let’s face it— it’s a giant eating fest that awaits you and the last thing you want to be dealing with is a way too tight ensemble. So if you’re still trying to piece together something to wear on December 25, scroll through for some great looks that will have you looking amazing.

 

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A gorgeous printed skirt is one of the easiest things you can wear. Flowy and very summery it’s the perfect thing to wear during the festive season.

 

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A dress (especially a wrap style) is such a gorgeous option for Christmas Day. It’s an outfit that requires minimal styling and will be appropriate no matter where the day takes you.

 

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Cropped trousers and a fun cami make for a stylish look that’s not too over the top and appropriate for the day.

Grab your favourite white tee and pair it back with a skirt and slides and you’ve got yourself an effortless ensemble that will work for any family occasion.

 

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Avoid this if you’re prone to food spills but if you want something classic and polished you can’t deny the appeal of white pants and a crisp white shirt. Swap out the heels for sandals or slides for something a little more comfortable.

 

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Anything pink is a fun hue for such a festive time, especially when it’s of the gorgeous blush variety. Team with a boxy tee for a look that’s got a hint of French girl styling.

 

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A flowy dress accompanied by your favourite belt is one of the best things you can wear on Christmas Day. (Read: plenty of room for feasting—just take off the belt if you need a little extra space!).

 

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A shirt dress teamed with sandals is a no-brainer outfit option as it’s chic, requires minimal styling and suits virtually everyone.

 

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A colourful jumpsuit is such a fun look for Christmas Day. A shirred bodice also offers the added bonus of extra stretch should you need it…

 

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If your Christmas Day requires something a little dressier try a blouse with wide leg pants. It looks oh-so classy without being too formal.

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

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.