Browsing Tag

wardrobe tips

Fashion

What I’ve stopped wearing in my 30s

20th March, 2021

My style, like most women, has evolved as I’ve gotten older. There are things that I wore when I was younger that I probably wouldn’t even consider now because of changes in lifestyle i.e not practical when chasing after two little girls and because my tastes have matured, there are simply pieces I just don’t think are right for me anymore.

Whilst I’ve given up wearing a few different styles, on the flip side, there are certain things in my wardrobe which are now ideal for where I’m at in life and I wear them non-stop. It’s a style evolution and I think it’s one that I’ve happily embraced and has allowed me to discover the new Kate. Reflecting on it, here’s what I’ve firmly left behind in my 20s and those that I’ve welcomed with open arms in my 30s…

The things I’ve stopped wearing

Sky high stilettos

When I was in my 20s I was working as a fashion editor and was either in an office or out at events so my look had to work around this accordingly. As such I used to be happy to walk around in stilettos all day. I used to wear them all day, everyday and looking back, I’m not sure how I even managed that. My poor feet!

Fussy outfits

Upon reflection I used to wear a lot of outfits that I’d have to adjust all the time to look perfect. Whether it was a particular neckline or a certain dress style, I’d constantly be fixing myself up. As you can imagine I can’t do that now so when it comes to my looks I steer clear of anything that remotely requires fussing about.

Short hemlines

When I was younger I used to wear lots of ultra minis and short shorts. Why not when you can get away with it, right? These days if I was to wear something of a short-ish length I’d probably do a more understated, conservative blouse up the top, whereas I might have done something with a plunging neckline in my 20s.

Westfield Bondi Junction Street Style campaign by Candice Lake in my 20s – and in short shorts!

The things I now wear to death

Flat shoes 

My motto is comfort, comfort, comfort. So unless I’m going to a big event I’ll often be in flats. Styles like loafers, sneakers and slides are now my go-to. I think flats have evolved a lot and are now equally as stylish as a pair of high heels so I’m happy to be in them all the time.

Structured pieces

Shirts and blazers are key pieces in my look. I like things that are comfortable yet can look polished at the same time. They’re also really versatile and can be worn with myriad pieces in my closet, which is a must as I like to have a tightly edited wardrobe nowadays.

High quality staples

I probably spend more on key purchases now than I did in my 20s simple because I now appreciate why quality is often better than quantity. I’m always willing to splurge on things such as a classic designer bag or a pair of leather pants which I know I’ll wear to death and will be good value for money.

Understated silhouettes

Maxi and midi lengths and long, flowy styles are now favourites of mine. I have more fun playing with those lengths than I do with anything that’s tight and short. I’ve also found myself gravitating more towards one piece swimsuits than bikinis this summer. I think those styles just simply flatter my shape more.

Accessories

I like to play with accessories a lot more. I have my accessories which I wear day in and day out have great sentimental value to me such as my watch, wedding and engagement ring and a gold antique medallion that my dad gave to me. However I also like to add the occasional statement earring to elevate an outfit. I’ve learned that accessories really can make an outfit.

What are some style lessons you’ve learnt in your 30s? What are some things you’ve firmly left behind in your 20s?
Fashion

Rules of wearing statement pieces

7th March, 2021

Kate Waterhouse statement pieces bec and bridge shoes marco de vincenzo

A beautiful statement piece can often elevate an outfit from good to great. I’m a big fan of using statement pieces to add interest to an outfit, especially when I’m wearing something that’s quite understated. It’s a great shortcut to employ on those days when you’re wearing an outfit that you know requires some punch but you don’t want to rework the entire look again. The addition of an eye-catching element to your ensemble can really make it pop.

Whether it’s an elaborate pair of shoes or a great pair of embellished sunglasses here are my rules for working with statement pieces.

Stick to your style

Trends for statement pieces come and go so it’s important to stick to your style. Whether it’s a brightly coloured bag or the latest designer accessory ensure that it’s still very “you” whilst being an attention grabber at the same time. It’s also important to remember that whilst a statement piece is designed to stand out it’s also crucial that it can work seamlessly with what’s within your wardrobe already otherwise it will sit in your closet gathering dust.

Make statement pieces the hero

It goes without saying that you should allow your statement piece to take centre stage. If I’m wearing a statement bag or shoe I often like to keep my outfit quite muted to allow it to stand out. This is why bold pieces are often a great way to bring an all black outfit to life with just the addition of one accessory.

My Gucci loafers with floral motif

It’s all in the detail

A statement piece doesn’t have to be all about the bling. It’s important to choose something with a striking detail that will really make an outfit pop. My favourite Gucci loafers which I wear to death have a floral motif on them which make a statement but are definitely not overly bright or embellished. Just find something with an eye-catching detail that will allow it to shine and make it unique.

Find the right balance

If I’m wearing a statement piece I often do a scan of the rest of my outfit to see whether it’s just right or might be just a bit over the top. For example one of the key statement pieces in my wardrobe is my Gucci Dionysus bag which features lots of embellishments and I’ll often wear it when I need to jazz up an outfit such as when I’m wearing a plain white tee with jeans or leather pants. It acts as the final finishing element but it doesn’t overpower the rest of the look.

What’s your favourite statement piece in your wardrobe?

 

Fashion

The one thing I always do when I plan an outfit

13th February, 2021

Oh dress codes. I find that some people are either a stickler for sticking to a dress code or they will just try and remain in the vicinity of it. I’m the former. In fact, it’s the one thing I will always consider when I plan an outfit. My job often requires me to go from a casual launch one minute to a black tie event the next so to me dress codes are a way of guiding my outfit planning for the week. Even without a stated dress code my brain tends to go into that mode and I will allocate one to whatever event it is I’m going to as it helps provide me with some styling structure.

When it comes to deciding what I’ll be wearing the one thing I never do is start with a single accessory such as a hat or shoes. I know lots of women who will tend to work around a particular piece but it’s just one of those things that has never really worked for me. I tend to get in a better styling frame of mind when I can work with a solid base such as the dress I want to wear (in keeping with the dress code of course!) and then visualise the pieces that will work with it. Usually I find this gives me a more cohesive look and I’m able to pull together something a little easier.

I find that if I’ve got a dress code in mind it helps everything to fall into place and gives me some focus on the outfit I need to plan. For example if I’m going to a work lunch, I’ll generally stick to a particular section of my wardrobe—dresses, skirts, tailored pants and it having this in mind helps pulling an outfit together. If it’s a Sunday morning and I’m heading out for coffee, I’ll generally even have my unspoken dress code for that—it’s all about comfort, comfort, comfort! It’s a little tactic I’ve adopted for as long as I can remember and it really does help me avoid a wardrobe dilemma or two.

Which camp do you fall into? And how important are dress codes to you when it comes to styling your outfits?

Beauty, Fashion

Little things that help you look polished all the time

6th February, 2021

Looking polished all the time isn’t simply about an expensive outfit or perfectly applied makeup day in an day out I’ve found it’s often all about paying attention to the tiny details that will ensure your appearance is always on point. I’m constantly around women who have to look polished as part of their work and these are some of the small things I’ve found ensure they look consistently put together…

Neat nails

Unkempt nails will always derail anything else you may have done with your outfit. One of the simplest things you can do is keep your nails tidy – ensure they’re all the same shape and size. Take the time to keep your nails in top shape and while nail polish is always an easy way to pull an outfit together if you’re not a polish person a simple buff and file so they’re neat works too.

Clean shoes

Scuffed shoes, scratched heels or shoes that look like they’re on their last legs will always negate any effort you’ve gone to to look nice that day. To avoid this be sure to use waterproof spray on your shoes so they don’t get ruined during inclement weather and repair any shoes as soon as you notice damage so they don’t get worse.

Tidy bag

A clean bag will always add to a polished appearance. I know when you’re carrying around a bag all the time that it can easily get dirty or damaged so be sure to spray any leather with protectant spray to avoid it getting stained. If it’s a canvas bag make sure that you keep an eye out for any stains or marks and attend to them straight away.

Pressed clothes

Walking out the door in wrinkled clothes will leave you looking less than polished. If you hate ironing be honest with yourself before buying anything that requires complicated pressing and determine whether you will actually ever find yourself reaching for the iron to attend to it. If it’s a no, let it pass. Even if you tell yourself you’ll get to it, take it from someone who isn’t a fan of ironing you’ll avoid it for as long as you can. An alternative to ironing is to buy a steamer which makes it much easier to get wrinkles out of garments and is great for delicate pieces.

Minimal makeup

I’ve always been of the philosophy that less is more when it comes to makeup. By avoiding going over the top, it achieves a far more elegant finish and by default makes the rest of your outfit look polished. One of my rules when it comes to makeup is to choose either my eyes or lips as the focal point, so it’s either a bold eye or a bold lip, I never do both.

Inspect your clothes

It’s the little things that can often let you down when it comes to clothing. Loose threads, fraying hems, a stain here, pilling there—these are all things that can compromise your whole look. Make a point to attending to signs of wear and tear or damage straight away to keep your clothes looking pristine.

What are some ways you stay looking polished?

Fashion

The key to knowing a true fashion bargain

16th January, 2021

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years is that there’s a difference between something that’s cheap and a genuine fashion bargain. The former means yes, it’s inexpensive but it might not become the type of item that will get used often. The latter is something that may be a good price but it’s also guaranteed to get plenty of use, meaning it’s great cost per wear and therefore a true bargain buy.

Whenever you’re hitting the sales, whether it’s end of financial year markdowns, Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals or a good ol’ fashioned bricks and mortar warehouse sale, it pays to know what’s definitely worth spending your hard earned fashion dollars on. Here’s how I can tell whether something is definitely a good sale buy.

What does it work with?

When shopping anything that’s been marked down I always ask myself if it’s something that can work back with a number of things in my wardrobe. Because even if the price tag is right, if I can’t see myself wearing it with several things I already own it negates the discounted price I may pay. I’m better off buying something full price that won’t just gather dust in my closet.

Does this have longevity?

Trying out trends is all part of the fun of fashion but if I want to know what I’m buying is a genuine fashion bargain then I need it to make sure that it’s going to stand the test of time. I want to know that I’m going to be able to wear something beyond a season to ensure that I’m maximising the cost per wear on it.

It’s all about maximising cost per wear by being discerning when sale shopping
Is it versatile?

The other way I can tell a true fashion bargain is if something is truly versatile. Can I style it in a number of different ways? Can it be dressed up or down? I always look for things that I can wear to a multitude of events and settings. If for example I can wear a pair of shoes on a shoot, to the office and at a party then I know purchasing it is true value for money.

Would I buy this full price?

The allure of a discounted item is sometimes hard to resist. You’re saving money after all, right? But sometimes we can be attracted to something purely because it’s cheap, not because it’s something we genuinely want or need. If I ever come across something I want to buy that’s on sale I always ask myself if it’s something that I would have considered paying the full price for. If it’s a yes, it means I definitely love it and can see it working with my wardrobe, if it’s a no, it means I only really want it because it’s cheap. And a bargain isn’t really a bargain unless it’s going to end up getting used. I find the pieces I truly love and want are the pieces that will always be on high rotation.

What are some ways you know you’ve got a genuine bargain on your hands?

Fashion

Fashion New Year’s resolutions that are actually worth keeping

1st January, 2021

The start of a new year is always the perfect time to make a few resolutions. And whilst going to the gym regularly and ensuring you get more sleep are definitely goals worth pursuing it’s also worth noting that reassessing your style is also one area in your life that might be worth reevaluating. Considering the fact you have to deal with your wardrobe every single day it makes sense to ensure that it’s working for you as best as possible to guarantee that only do you look and feel great everyday, but also to avoid having to contend with regular style meltdowns to get there. To help you get started here are a few fashion new year’s resolutions that are definitely worth adopting…

Invest in the best quality pieces you can afford

Think about the workhorses of your wardrobe, the items that are constantly on rotation. Are they well made and built to last? If the answer is no, then it’s time to make a conscious effort to invest a little more in the clothes that you wear all the time to ensure longevity. This means things like a beautiful coat, a flattering pair of go-to jeans and an LBD. These are the building blocks of a functional wardrobe, and once you’ve found pieces that work and that you love, you need to ensure they will be around for a long time.

Have a fail-safe outfit combination

For those times when a fashion crisis hits it’s important to have at least one outfit combination to turn to that you know is guaranteed to work no matter what. This will obviously differ according to your individual style. A structured dress and classic flats may work for one person whilst a pair of jeans, tee and a blazer may work for someone else. The key is pinpointing what makes you look good every single time you wear it, then have it at the back of your mind as a back up for those times when you’re feeling uninspired.

Keep your wardrobe organised

It really is easier to get dressed when you can see everything in you closet. Being able to assess what you own at a glance can often make pulling together a look a faster process as you avoid wasting time trying to find a long lost t-shirt or the skirt you wore last weekend but now can’t find. I keep my wardrobe organised like this but it’s important to come up with a system that is easy for you to maintain. To avoid having to do epic clean ups make a point of putting things away as soon as you get home at the end of the day as that way your closet stays neat all the time.

Embrace outfit planning

Yes it does require a bit more time and effort but making a point of organising your outfits ahead of time can help you avoid throwing everything you own on the floor in a panic every morning. If you really want to be ultra organised invest in a rack that you can hang the week’s ensembles on, ironed and ready to go. There’s actually something quite satisfying about seeing your clothes nicely lined up within easy stress-free reach.

Take at least one fashion risk a month

It’s great to have a clear idea of your style but sometimes you can stumble upon new looks simply by making a conscious effort to think outside the box. Eschew your favourite pieces one day a month and pull out pieces that you rarely wear and see how you can make them work. This could also mean wearing a vibrant shade you wouldn’t usually turn to or accessories that you usually only wear with a specific look. You may find an outfit combination you never knew you always wanted.

Shop more consciously 

This takes willpower but stopping yourself from buying something simply because you’ve seen a sale email pop up in your inbox or spotted a dress in a window can often lead to a more wearable wardrobe. Considered shopping ensures that everything you own is something that you love and will work back with what’s already sitting in your closet. By making this your shopping mantra it also saves you wasting your money on pieces you’ll only wear once and instead allow you to direct funds to purchasing quality and timeless items that will get constant use.

What are your style resolutions in 2021?
Fashion

My tips for dressing when you’re petite

20th December, 2020

A few weeks ago a lovely reader named Melissa messaged me on Facebook asking me for tips on how to dress when you’re petite. She found that often clothes would be too baggy and would look like they were overwhelming her frame. I can definitely relate! Finding things for your shape when you’re diminutive in size and stature can often involve a few extra steps to ensure the right and most flattering fit. If you’re in the same boat then rest assured because there are some easy ways to have a great wardrobe that works for you. Here are my tips on how to dress when you’re petite,

Get everything tailored

This is my number one tip to anyone, especially when you’re petite. Find yourself a great tailor that you like and start getting your clothes altered to fit perfectly. Often buying off the rack can mean that clothes can be a little too loose, too long or just not sitting perfectly and it pays to take the time to get everything tailored to fit. This is especially true of pants and jeans which can often be miles too long. The added benefit of getting clothing tailored is that you’ll always look polished. Win-Win.

Go for cropped lengths

I tend to favour anything cropped, especially when it comes to pants and jeans. I’ll usually make sure that my pants hit at the ankle or slightly above as I’ve found this can help elongate the frame. If you’ve got a pool of fabric gathering at your feet it can look messy and also end up making you look even shorter.

Always keep proportions in mind

Consider proportions

If something has too much volume it’s going to really swamp you so always pay attention to the proportions you’re working with. Try to go for pieces with structure as opposed to anything too floaty as this will help define your shape. Anything high waisted is great as it draws the eye upwards and ends up giving you a longer looking frame. Also if sleeves are too long try rolling them or pushing them up so you don’t look like you’re walking around in oversized clothing.

Avoid clunky shoes

I avoid anything with too much bulk and gravitate towards a streamlined aesthetic. Most of my heels tend to have a stiletto heel as I’ve found this helps elongate my figure and looks more in proportion. As for flats, I don’t really do flatforms or styles of that nature as I’ve found they just look too bulky. I go for sleek flats, sandals and slides that are quite minimalist in nature and don’t have too much extra ‘padding’ to them. Even my boots these days tend to be of the sock boot variety as I like the tighter fit compared to regular ankle boots.

Incorporate a fitted silhouette

I steer clear of anything too voluminous these days as I’ve found a fitted silhouette is far more flattering. I’m not saying you need to live in bodycon dresses 24/7 but you do need to be mindful that what you’re wearing is cut close to the body in some way. At a minimum, I like to keep one aspect of my look streamlined. Whether it be a pencil style skirt, a fitted top or a dress with either a tight top or bottom or a close fitting pant, there’s always got to be one element of my look that’s a little more figure hugging. This avoids the issue of looking like your clothes are wearing you and not the other way around.

Once you’ve found ways in which to ensure that your clothes fit perfectly, dressing when you’re petite doesn’t seem so much of a drama. In fact, you’ll probably learn to appreciate even more that good things really do come in small packages.

Do you have a fashion question you’re dying for advice on? Leave me a message below and I’ll answer it in a future blog post.

Fashion, Fashion & Beauty

Wardrobe tips for petite women

21st October, 2020

Dressing when you’re on the petite/short side can be quite the challenge at times. You’re often faced with the quandry of having things that are too long or too big and the proportions of garments are often not quite right as a result. However all is not lost. There are some easy tricks to ensuring that you get an amazing fit every single time. Here are my tried and tested wardrobe tips for short women.

Make a tailor your new best friend

Tailoring is one of the easiest ways to ensure that a garment is the perfect fit. So find a reputable tailor whose work you like and make them your new go-to person. It’s easy to have something taken in or up and end up with a new garment that fits like a glove.

Try cropped silhouettes

Oversized garments will swamp a small frame so instead look for cropped styles that will elongate your figure instead. Cropped tops look great with high waisted garments whilst cropped pants work beautifully to showcase statement footwear.

Opt for structure

Go for cuts that are close to the body as anything too boxy or flowy will look like it’s wearing you rather than you wearing it. This will flatter your figure and avoid your outfit looking like it’s not in proportion to your size.

Consider proportions

A diminutive shape calls for diminutive accessories. Go for mini bags which work better with your frame rather than giant, oversized bags which can often look way too big worn by a petite person.

Keep everything balanced

I’ve found that incorporating at least one fitted piece into an outfit will ensure a flattering look. Whether it’s a fitted skirt or a tapered pant worn back with a blouse or a fitted tee worn back with culottes, maintaining the balance with loose garments vs tight garments is important for achieving a cohesive look that works with your body.

Fashion

The 7 fashion sins I always avoid

11th October, 2020

I’m all for experimenting and taking a style risk here and there but there are some things I always make sure to avoid. These fashion sins can often subdue the impact of an outfit by taking away its polish–which is often the last thing you want when you walk out the door!

The below is a short, easy to follow list of simple things that you can do to ensure that you always look great every single day. I definitely swear by them and follow them when it comes to my wardrobe. And I’m always open to new additions to the list so if you have any suggestions let me know in the comments below.

Accentuating too many things

If you’re going to accentuate a particular part of the body, whether it be your legs or your décolletage I’ve always believed it’s important to make sure to only pick one to maintain the balance of your look. I’m all for flaunting whatever features you wish but it can sometimes throw your look off if there’s no counterpoint. For example if I’m going to wear a plunging neckline I usually opt for a slightly more conservative hemline or bottoms to balance it. The same goes for a a mini skirt, where I’ll usually go for a a button up shirt or a shirt with a high neckline to ensure I’ve chosen one focal point and to avoid my outfit look too overwhelming. I make sure to adopt this approach with every single outfit.

Ill-fitting garments

Even if you’ve spent a fortune on a standout designer garment if it doesn’t fit well then you’ve essentially taken away its wow factor. I think tailoring can really make or break an outfit. If something doesn’t fit properly make sure to get it altered whether it be getting sleeves taken up on a shirt so they are the perfect length or taking a jacket in because it’s a little too baggy on the shoulders. These small things will ensure that you always look sharp.

Not paying attention to detail

They may seem relatively innocuous—a stray thread here, a loose button there but the overall effect is that your outfit will look just that little bit unkempt. To combat this, the moment you notice something is awry with your outfit attend to it as soon as possible so you don’t forget about it. Snip loose threads, fix missing or loose buttons and always ensure that you remove lint and fabric pill.

Consider every aspect of your look from your shoes to you accessories

Scruffy looking shoes

Shoes are often one of the first things people notice about your outfit so make sure that they always look pristine. If the soles of your shoes are a bit threadbare make sure to have them resoled. If the heel cover on a pair of stilettos has worn down then make sure to have it replaced so you’re not teetering along on an exposed nail. Also always spray suede or leather shoes with a protectant spray to keep them protected during inclement weather. There’s nothing that will take away from an outfit more than stained shoes.

Wrinkled clothes

If you can’t be bothered ironing then avoid buying garments that will most definitely require pressing constantly like silk and linen. If you’re a fun of luxe fabrics, then be prepared to invest a little time in ensuring that everything is perfectly pressed.

Wearing clothes you don’t feel comfortable in

It’s abundantly clear when you’re wearing something that’s not quite right. Whether it’s hobbling around in shoes that are painful to walk in or a top that doesn’t sit right, if it’s something that will have you fussing around repeatedly then it’s best to pull something else out of your closet.

Wearing one designer from top-to-bottom

The beauty of fashion is to be able to mix and match to curate a look that’s entirely your own. This is why it’s better to wear a look that’s injected with your personality as opposed to just copying whatever the mannequin in the window is wearing. Fashion is all about doing your own thing, not just doing what you think is in style.

Fashion

Good wardrobe habits to get into

31st August, 2020

Adopting a few good wardrobe habits will make getting dressed every day a whole lot easier

Every woman wants to look polished and put together however let’s be honest, this takes work. I know everyone has such busy schedules so sometimes trying to style the ideal outfit first thing in the morning can be the last thing you want to think about. The ideal outfit won’t just magically put itself together so if you want to save yourself a bit of time and effort there are a few habits you can adopt to make it a whole lot easier to look great each time you walk out the door.

Keep your wardrobe tidy

Having to dig through a disorganised mess to locate just the right t-shirt or the skirt you want to wear makes for a stressful time. So, start tidying up. It sounds simple but making sure to fold and hang clothes in an orderly manner so you know where absolutely everything is will make it much, much easier to pull an outfit together. If you want some hints on how to get started I’ve rounded up a few of my favourite organisation tips here.

Choose a focal point

Centre your outfit around one particular piece. By deciding to choose a central piece then you give yourself a starting point from which to build from. Whether it’s a pair of showstopper shoes or a statement jacket or a particularly gorgeous necklace, each outfit should have a point of difference that makes it stand out.

Choosing one aspect of your look to focus on will help you build a cohesive outfit

Do a final mirror check

It may sound obvious but before you walk out the door quickly check that everything works. That means making sure that your shoes, bag, accessories and outfit are all playing nicely together. For example sometimes you may think a certain pair of earrings will look great with an outfit but taking one last look when you’re dressed may make you think otherwise.

Repair or get rid of damaged clothing

As soon as something needs repairing do it straight away. Procrastinating may mean that you might find yourself in a rush with a particular blouse in mind only to find it’s missing a button which means double the stress! If something can’t be repaired bin it straight away. It’s important that your clothes are in great shape if you want to look polished.

Follow laundry instructions

Yes, it can be tempting to ignore the tags on your clothes but following laundry instructions are going to ensure your clothes look great but also for longer.

Hang up your clothes at the end of the day

Getting home after a long day it can be easy to just dump your clothes on the nearest chair and forget about them till later in the week. However this will only lead to a rumpled mess that will require more effort to fix later on. Hang up garments such as jackets and blouses straight away to ensure they’re ready for use the next time you want to wear them.