Browsing Tag

wardrobe tips

Fashion

How to save money on clothes without compromising on style

6th November, 2021

Truth: clothes can at times be a little expensive. Depending on the brands you like, they can be really expensive. So how can you still splurge on pieces that you love without having to completely break the bank? It’s all about having the right shopping strategy. Over the years I’ve learned a few things that have helped me ensure that I’m not paying more than I should. And sometimes you may not even have to spend any money at all! I’m all about maximising style but minimising cost, and here I’m sharing how to save money on clothes without compromising on style.

Do your research

When I have my eye on something I like to do a reconnaissance mission before I buy it. I’ll make sure to check across several different stores or sites to see which is selling it for cheaper so I know that I’m getting it at the best price possible.

Wait for sale time

There are a few designer pieces in my closet which I really, really wanted but made myself wait till sale time to buy. And I’m glad I did because it saved me a lot of money. I just make sure to do my research beforehand so I know exactly what I’m looking for so I can pounce on it the moment it’s reduced.

It’s a good idea to sign up to the mailing list of your favourite brands and stores so you can be alerted whenever they are having a sale. You may even be given early sale access by doing this which means you’ll have a better chance of finding what you’re after.

Use fashion search engines

Sites like shopstyle.com.au and lyst.com.au are like Google for fashion. You can use them to search for whatever it is you have your eye on whether it be a pair of Gucci loafers or a new Givenchy handbag. It will scan across a range of stores, bring up the search results and you can see which retailers are selling it and for how much. If you find something that you like you can ask to be sent a sale alert the moment the price is reduced so you don’t miss out.

Do regular wardrobe edits

There are things in my wardrobe that I forgot I even owned until I stumbled across them during a closet clean out. All of a sudden I felt like I had something new to wear and I didn’t have to spend a cent. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of doing a seasonal edit of your clothes, shoes and accessories. This process will allow you to see what you own, find things you’d forgotten about and see where the gaps are. Also it lets you see what you really should be spending your money on instead of ending up with another pair of shoes identical to seven other pairs you already own.

Make a style hit list

Post-wardrobe clean out I always like to list down what I’m lacking. If left to wander aimlessly, I’d often end up things that I probably didn’t need but a list helps me stay on track. I know exactly what will be useful to me as opposed to just something that I want. This helps me direct my fashion dollars to the right things.

What’s your favourite way to save money on clothes?
Fashion

Good wardrobe habits to get into

24th October, 2021

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.

Fashion

What to do when you feel you have nothing to wear

23rd October, 2021

It’s something that happens to most of us at one time or another. Staring into your closet and feeling less than enthused at what’s in there can be annoying, but if it’s happening with great regularity then it’s high time to look into employing a few style strategies to avoid a wardrobe dilemma.

When you feel you have nothing to wear, it kickstarts your day into a more stressful state than it has to be. Given we would all generally have enough items in our closet to work a multitude of different outfits, it’s not the amount you have but how you work it that’s important.

Here are a few tips and tricks to try the next time you encounter “I have nothing to wear” syndrome.

Have a bank of go-to outfits

When you’re having a good style day consider banking that outfit on your phone somewhere so you have a record of a look that you love and you know that works. Aim for at least 10 different looks so that you have an emergency stash of outfits to rely on when you’re encountering a wardrobe dilemma.

Do a closet tidy

Being able to visually clock every single thing you own can free up a little mental space to help get those styling juices flowing. If you’re staring at a pile of clothes it can be really hard to think of how to put them all together. If you’re unable to fit everything in, it’s probably a sign that you need to look at what you own and what you actually need — doing so can help free up valuable closet real estate.

Theme it

Sometimes it helps to narrow down your options. Even something as simple as giving yourself a particular colour to wear or narrowing things down to a denim look can help you hone in on certain pieces and in turn make it easier on yourself to work them together.

Have a reliable staples

Having a few key pieces that can be worked in a few different ways is a great thing to have in case you’re unsure about what to wear. A great pair of pants, flattering jeans, a dress and a skirt are great failsafe pieces to have. You can always fall back on them on the days where you’re really struggling to pull a look together.

Start small then think big

Often just starting with a single piece can help everything fall into place. So start with a small decision such as for example deciding whether it’s a skirt or pants day. Once you’ve done that, then you can hone in on the pants in your closet, as opposed to having to look at absolutely everything. Limiting your choices once again can make it a little easier to tie a look together.

What are some strategies you use when you’re having an “I have nothing to wear” day?

Fashion

Great alternatives to try when you’re tired of wearing jeans

5th September, 2021

I wholeheartedly admit that I’m in jeans a lot of the time but there are times when I look in my wardrobe and think that I want to be comfortable but I just don’t feel like putting denim on. A great pair of jeans is always a failsafe option, but sometimes I just want to mix it up and try something else without having to compromise on comfort. So, what do I do then? Well I have a go-to alternatives to jeans that are equally as stylish, effortless and perfect for days on the go…

Culottes

I’ve found that the billowy, relaxed silhouette of a pair of culottes such as the pair above is one of the comfiest things you can wear. Wear them with a shirt or tee, tucked in or out, and pair with everything from sneakers to heels, slides or flats. So versatile and effortless too.

Cropped chinos

Chinos have always been a handy staple to have but a cropped version of the style feels a lot fresher and more modern. You can easily dress them up or down which makes them ideal for workwear or a relaxing weekend.

Tapered jogger

These have all the comfort of a pair of tracksuit pants but infinitely more stylish. A tapered jogger looks great for days when you want to wear something simple and unfussy yet remain stylish and comfortable at the same time. You can easily throw on a great knit or pop on a casual trench over them and look put together.

Leggings are one way to look stylish and be comfortable at the same time

Leggings

I live in leather leggings throughout winter as I’ve found them so easy to wear with everything in my closet. I can easily pair them with a blazer or a knit and be ready to walk out the door with minimum fuss. If leather leggings aren’t your thing, I think the silhouette is still great in other fabrications, just be sure to look for a thick, sturdy material that will retain its shape. If there’s one thing that’s a no-no it’s saggy leggings.

Midi skirt

When I’m in the mood for something a little more feminine but still equally as comfortable I opt for a midi skirt. One of my favourites is a knitted midi skirt which I’ve found to be really wearable and perfect for days on the go. It’s a great way to do casual dressing in a more elevated way.

Wide leg pants

I’m a huge fan of wide leg pants simply because they’re effortlessly stylish, making them an easy option when I want to style an outfit quickly. That said, there’s nothing quite as comfortable as a pair of billowy pants so I would definitely recommend them when you want something super easy to wear, that still looks polished.

A midi skirt is a feminine way to do casual dressing, and is such a versatile staple to have
Fashion

Fashion habits to adopt for great style

14th August, 2021

Who’s your style icon? I have a number of women whose style I admire and whilst they may make it look effortless, I’ve found that often the thing with looking stylish is it doesn’t have to be difficult—as long as you have a few key things in place. If you get into the habit of doing a few things regularly then you can instantly make walking out the door looking polished and pulled together a whole lot easier.

Planning outfits

I’m betting if you’ve ever really loved someone’s look it’s because everything works and there’s cohesion. The shoes work with the outfit, the bag is in keeping with the colour palette… it all just works. And to do this isn’t hard, it just requires putting in the effort of doing a little outfit planning. If you stop and put together a few outfits ahead of time, whether it’s the night before or you do a weekly styling session, you take that hurried dash for clothing out of the equation, which is when outfits tend to go awry.

Doing a tight edit

I think an outfit always has to have an individual element but also a considered edit that allows everything to work together. So always think about striking a balance and ensure that no elements are competing with each other but are instead complementing one another.

Add one special piece to elevate a look

Adding one special piece

Aim to incorporate one standout piece when styling an outfit. It could be a great pair of earrings, a beautiful bag or a striking top, but whatever it is, ensure that it’s the kind of thing that can elevate a look.

Ensuring everything is in good condition

One of the things that can let an outfit down is if anything looks a little worn or shabby. Get into the habit of checking your clothes for damage so that you can get onto repairs straight away or replace it if need be. Also little things like pilling, discolouration, fading and even tiny stains are all things that can compromise the stylish feel of an outfit so be sure to either attend to the issue or phase it out of your wardrobe.

Ensure clothes are the right fit

Wearing the right undergarments

The right underwear is so important to the overall finish of a look. A rogue bra strap under a cami, or underwear that’s the wrong colour under what you’re wearing are all things that can make you look less than pulled together. Invest in quality undergarments from bras to slips and underwear (including Spanx if you want a smooth finish under certain clothes) and you’re already ticking all the style boxes.

Aim for the right fit

Bid adieu to clothes that don’t fit perfectly. If it can be repaired then get them altered straight away. If not, then it’s time to donate them to charity so someone else can enjoy them. Also those “someday” clothes you’re saving? It’s time to farewell those too and instead focus on clothes that work for you now. You deserve to look nothing less than stylish after all.

 

Fashion, Shop

The investment purchases that have been worth every cent

4th August, 2021

 

Investment purchases often involve a significant financial outlay, hence the investment part. However what I’ve discovered from this is that yes, there’s a fair bit to pay upfront but what you save in the long run ends up being more than what you’ve paid. It’s often the smart way to shop, as you end up getting high quality, which equates to longevity.  For me, I’d rather save up and pay more for a jacket and then not have to worry about replacing it next season or the season after that, or the season after that. And I’ve not yet found any investment purchase I’ve made that hasn’t exceeded my cost per wear expectations. It’s a fashion no-brainer. So, what buys have lived up to their promise and then some? These are the pieces that pull their weight time and time again.

Balmain blazer

It pays to do your research when it comes to investment buys as often you may not have to pay retail if you have patience to wait for it to go on sale. The thing with investment buys is that if you are able to find a design that is a part of a brand’s core collection you’ll be able to find it season after season, which means you can afford to wait for the sales to buy it in case it gets reduced. I bought this blazer years ago, on sale from Net-a-Porter and it’s been my most worn item.

Goyard tote

I can’t rave about this bag highly enough. I used it as my baby bag and every day bag—it’s so roomy so it’s really easy to throw everything in. And because it’s made of a coated fabric, if bottles leaked or water spilt on it, it didn’t matter as I could easily wipe it. It’s also a great travel companion as it’s very light and it can be folded up to put away or within a suitcase.

Louis Vuitton carry on luggage

I have used this bag for years and years. I tend to have a few trips interstate for work throughout the year (when we could travel that is!) and it’s such a good size for taking my essentials. I take it on overseas trips too and it’s an incredibly sturdy bag, it really stands up to travelling, whether it’s through the cobblestones of Europe or through many an airport terminal. I actually gave one to Luke for his 40th and he still uses it all the time.

Chanel slingback flats

I adore these flats. I wear them all the time for dressy or casual events, and they can be worn day or night. The classic Chanel two-tone gives it a little extra personality, plus the minimalist colour palette means I can easily work it back with multiple looks. I’ve found that the slingback design also makes them a little dressier than the traditional Chanel ballet flat.

Cartier Un Clou Bracelet

Technically this isn’t a purchase I made, I was lucky enough to be gifted it by aunt for my 30th. However, it’s a bracelet that I have worn every day since. It goes with absolutely everything and it adds an elegant touch to anything I’m wearing. It’s one of my can’t-live-without pieces.

Chanel 2.55 bag

Generally when you buy anything Chanel, it’s pretty much a purchase for life. I bought this quilted bag over 10 years ago and still wear it all the time. It’s a classic design so it works with everything and the straps are able to be adjusted so I can wear it as a shoulder bag or crossbody style. It definitely ticks the versatility box which is so important with any investment purchase.

Diamond Earrings

I love playing with costume jewellery but there’s something about timeless pieces that you can’t beat. These diamond studs are simple and elegant and can be worn every day or to any nighttime occasion. I’ve used it for both and it works seamlessly with pretty much anything I’m wearing, making them a truly worthwhile buy.

Fashion

How to perfect the comfortable and chic work from home outfit

17th July, 2021

Perfecting the work from home outfit takes a lot of experimentation and a little trial and error. When I first began working from home after working in an office for so long I had to try and strike the right balance between sitting in my pyjamas the whole day and putting on my usual work outfits and feeling very overdressed. I knew I wanted to get dressed as if I was going somewhere as I found it helped boost my productivity and helped get me in the right frame of mind but I also wanted to take advantage of one of the perks of working from home, which is being able to dress in comfortable clothes. So, how to get it right? Here are a few of my tips.

Have an outfit formula

This is a good place to start if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the fact your entire wardrobe has suddenly opened up to you as office options. If you’re generally used to wearing a suit to work, the fact sweats are suddenly not a no-no can make it tricky to decide what to wear. So it’s a good idea to have an outfit formula that you can revert to when you’re stuck. For example one comfortable piece + one polished piece + one accessory = work outfit sorted. You can tweak this to work with your own style and what you feel great in.

Opt for comfortable staples

One of the best parts of working from home is being able to wear comfy pieces. Think a cosy knit, jeans or a classic white shirt or a jumpsuit to add a fun fashion element. Also choose fabrics carefully. You want breathable fabrics like cotton, linen and wool which will feel great to wear all day. These pieces will form the building blocks of most of your looks so be sure to be well stocked so getting dressed in the morning for work is a no-brainer.

Jeans and a white shirt is a great WFH uniform

Pair basics with polished pieces

Just because you’re aiming for comfort it doesn’t mean you can’t add something to maintain an element of polish. For example a great blazer over the top of a white tee and jeans feels put together but will still be perfect for a day of working from home. While a cosy cardi looks great with a simple, but sleek slip dress. It’s about the high-low mix.

Have a dress code

Implement a home office dress code for yourself. You want to give yourself some parameters to work in, which will in turn make choosing your outfits in the morning easier. For example perhaps track pants are out but a comfy leather legging or mum jean is in. It’s all about what helps you feel productive and signals that it’s time for work not play.

Accessories are your friend

Add accessories

As with most outfits, accessories are a fun way to inject a little personality into them. The addition of a silk scarf with jeans and a denim for example will instantly elevate it, making it look chic and polished. While understated jewellery can help your outfit feel a little more finished.

Embrace flats or a block heel

Shoes tend to be optional when working from home but if you do want to go for a full outfit then definitely embrace a beautiful flat or a comfy block heels. Shoes such as a leather loafer or a ballet flat are perfect for staying in. But if you’re a heels girl through and through, perhaps park the stiletto for another time and become friends with the comfy block heel—there’s no better time than now to truly embrace comfortable dressing.

 

Fashion

How to elevate your date night outfits

16th May, 2021

Heading out for an evening to ourselves is something Luke and I try and do every so often. I think when you have been together for awhile, especially when kids enter the picture it’s nice to be able to reconnect and remember what it was like during the early days. It’s also the perfect time to enjoy the process of pulling a great outfit together and getting all dolled up! Here are a few of my tips on how to elevate your next date night outfit.

Push your boundaries

I always like to make a point of wearing something that’s just a little more special than what Luke would normally see me in. That could be something such as a great dress that I’ve been wanting to wear or just an outfit that I would never usually wear when I’m just in everyday mode. Also it’s a great time to experiment with a new look — if there’s a particular trend you’ve been wanting to try or something that you’ve been eyeing but haven’t found the occasion to wear it, why not do it during date night?

Pay attention to your accessories

When I’m looking after the girls, simplicity and comfort is key. I don’t have time to fuss around with earrings or bags because kids just don’t wait for things like that! So I always like to make an effort when it’s date night. Statement earrings are always a great option to consider but it’s also the perfect time to introduce a new bag into the mix or a beautiful necklace. I know it’s easy to stick to your tried and tested pieces but consider this the perfect time to do something a little different.

Throw practicality out the door

Date night is the perfect excuse to wear something that’s a little bit sexy and yes, completely impractical. That means letting your fave silk blouse out for the evening or wearing your favourite skyscraper heels—it’s the time to just focus on feeling and looking great and not if you’re going to be able to run after a toddler in your outfit.

Wear amazing shoes

I think wearing a killer pair of shoes is always a guaranteed way to feel great. If you’re always in flats or sneakers then the next time you head out, take it up a notch and let your beloved statement heels take centre stage. Think of it as a way of getting more out of your wardrobe too.

Spend time on your beauty look

Don’t let your look down by forgetting about your hair and makeup. Date night’s actually the perfect reason to stop and take your time with your beauty look. Try a new hairstyle or do a smoky eye or statement lip and enjoy the process of getting all dressed up.

Fashion

How I plan my outfits

24th April, 2021

Planning outfits helps me stay organised

I’m an outfit planner. My days are so varied that I like to take wardrobe dilemmas out of the equation as much as possible (that said, I’m not totally immune to a wardrobe crisis here and there) by mapping out my outfits. Some days I’m in full mum mode which means comfort is key but other days where I’m juggling work functions and Date with Kates I need to look a little more polished. Here are a few key ways that I make it work.

I always have inspo at the ready

Planning outfits is made much more stress-free if I have a few looks I’ve seen at my fingertips to inspire me. I tend to collect these as I go along whether it’s saving images on my Instagram or screenshotting particular looks I come across. If I am a bit stumped as to what to wear a quick scroll through these images will immediately get the styling juices flowing.

Wardrobe organisation

If there’s one thing that will make pulling an outfit together easier it’s an organised closet. My wardrobe is organised according to category so jackets together, jeans together and so forth so I know immediately where to look. There’s nothing worse than having a particular outfit in your only to find the shirt that pulls it all together is M.I.A. And to make things even simpler I compartmentalise all the pieces I wear all the time into a section in my wardrobe so I don’t have to search the rest of my closet and mess everything up in order to find what I’m looking for.

Wardrobe organisation is key for a seamless outfit planning session

Having a hero piece

I know some people start with a pair of shoes or a great necklace and work their outfit around that but I like to start with a particular garment whether it be a dress or pants. From there I build on the outfit with a jacket, shoes and bag. I think by just having one key item to start from it helps with creating an entire look rather than just trying to match random pieces together.

Making it versatile

There are times when my day is quite mixed so I need to make sure my outfits are versatile so they’re appropriate for a few different occasions. I sometimes have multiple events in a day so I have to ensure that I only need to change one thing to mix up the look as I don’t often have time to change. This can be as simple as changing the jacket I’m wearing to give the outfit a different vibe.

Giving myself enough time

I’m a planner but there are those people who plan their outfits the night before, even the week before and I’m the first to admit that I can’t work that way. I’d love to be that organised but I find I won’t feel like wearing something if I lay it out beforehand which totally defeats the purpose. So to combat this I try and factor outfit prep into my morning routine so I don’t get frazzled and end up running late. Even just an extra 10-15 minutes of time is enough to pull something together with minimal stress. I don’t want to completely leave it to chance though so I make sure most things I’m likely to reach for are clean and pressed so they’re ready to go.

What are some of your major wardrobe tips? I’d love to hear them so share them in the comments below.

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?