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wardrobe tips

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.

Fashion

5 fashion habits to adopt

5th August, 2020

When it comes to style there are some fashion sins I make sure to avoid but I also have some key habits that I’ve adopted to help making pulling together a great outfit much easier. Here are five things I always do…

Only buying things I genuinely love

This sounds simple but I’ve made my fair share of purchases that were only somewhat right and ended up not wearing it later on because I was only so-so about it. Whereas the things I’ve bought that I couldn’t stop thinking about are the pieces that have remained in high rotation. Ensure that it’s always a case of true love before buying anything and you’ll wear a garment to death.

Ensure everything fits perfectly

And this means everything from avoiding buying things that aren’t the ideal size “in case it fits one day” to ensuring that I take anything too big to be tailored so the fit is just right. This is the one thing that will ensure a garment looks great.

Think quality not quantity

Knowing the colour palette that works for me

I make sure that most of my wardrobe falls within a particular colour palette to make it easier to mix and match. I always gravitate towards neutrals for this very reason. They always look classic and are easy to work back with a variety of different pieces plus I can easily build on them with a few key accessories.

Working with my shape

I know sack dresses don’t work with my shape so I make sure to avoid them whereas I know shift dresses are flattering on my frame so I have a few of them in my wardrobe. I love experimenting with different silhouettes from time to time but I also know that there are just certain things that will work on a petite frame and I will tend to gravitate towards those styles. If something works then there’s no need to stray from the formula.

Think quality not quantity

I have a few items in my wardrobe that I would qualify as investment pieces. I’ve spent a bit more on them but I’ve also been able to get plenty of wear out of them over the years. This includes pieces like my leather jacket, designer bags like my Chanel crossbody bag and my winter coats. When it comes to things that I know will be on high rotation I’m not afraid to spend a bit more to get something that is truly of a great quality so I won’t end up having to replace them time and time again.

What are some of your key fashion habits?

Fashion

What to do when you feel you have nothing to wear

13th July, 2020

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

How to save money on clothes without compromising on style

28th June, 2020

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

How to do winter layering

14th June, 2020

The one thing I really love about winter dressing is the ability to layer different pieces for a warm and cosy look. I love experimenting with textures and big statement pieces such as a coat or boots to create an outfit that will easily withstand cooler temperatures without compromising on style. Effective winter layering requires consideration of the whole look from top to bottom including colours to avoid looking like you just threw on everything in your wardrobe! Over the years I’ve managed to refine my layering formula to a few key things…

Start with the basics

I always start with a cotton singlet or t-shirt underneath as a foundation especially if I’m going to wear a jumper or some sort of knit. Also I find wearing multiple lightweight layers provides ample warmth without your outfit feeling too bulky and cumbersome. I will always finish the look off with a big coat or jacket – this is a great opportunity to make a statement by opting for outerwear in a strong pattern or colour. If it’s especially cold outside I wear a big scarf, my favourite being an oversized Louis Vuitton scarf which makes for a nice (and warm) finishing touch. One thing to be mindful of when layering is to watch out for materials rubbing together, sometimes certain fabrics don’t work well against each other and can end up getting damaged or causing pilling.

Mix textures

One of the things I always do when it comes to winter layering is mixing different fabrics and textures. I find this adds a bit of depth to your look and helps to break it up. I normally do a cotton t-shirt, a knit and then I’ll do a wool coat or a leather jacket or denim jacket.

Choose a base colour

Great winter layering for me requires wearing similar tones. I might choose to go with various shades of grey or stick to neutral tones. If I’m wearing black I won’t do all black, I’ll actually add another piece such as a charcoal knit to help break up what I’m wearing. The same with camel colours – I might do beiges or cream and mix the tones up. Whilst I’ll play with various shades I’ll always ensure that there’s one base colour to ensure the whole look works together.

Finish with a great coat

The final finishing flourish of any winter look is a great coat. It’s easily one of the first things people see but it’s often relegated as an afterthought, so I’ve always tried to build up a few go-to coats throughout the cooler months. I always go for a statement coat, and then some plain, failsafe options in black, navy, cream or camel—I’ve found these to be so effective at finishing off a look, and also maintaining cohesion from top to bottom.

What are some of your tips for winter layering?