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wardrobe tips

Fashion

The key to knowing a true fashion bargain

1st May, 2019

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.

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

The one thing I always do when I plan an outfit

13th April, 2019

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.

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

 

Fashion

How to elevate your date night outfits

20th February, 2019

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

Style update: 10 things to add to your summer wardrobe

8th January, 2019

Whilst I do like to top up my summer wardrobe with a few great trend buys I always like to start with a solid foundation. This means having the key pieces that I know I’ll be using throughout the season on hand so I make pulling outfits together a whole lot easier. Whilst this list might differ slightly according to your own tastes and style, I do think the majority of what I’ve included will be the same for the majority of women. So if you’ve found it hard to find a decent outfit the last few weeks, it might be time to stock up and ensure that you’ve got all the right pieces for the perfect look.

1. A versatile lightweight dress

I’ve all for having at least one summer dress that you’re absolutely in love with as a go-to throughout the season. Whether it’s a wrap style, shirt or slip dress there are a plethora of silhouettes available to suit everyone. The great thing about dresses is that they require minimal styling—just add shoes and you’re pretty much done.

2. A neutral sandal or slide

Speaking of shoes it’s a good idea to have one trusty pair of sandals or slides in your wardrobe. If you get one in a neutral colour such as tan or black then you’ll be able to mix and match it with several different outfits. Keep it simple and you’ll be able to maximise how much use you get out of it.

3. A straw bag

If you’re going for one bag in summer make it of the straw variety. I like a small straw bag that I can use for going out but you can invest in one that’s slightly roomier to carry your essentials for a day of shopping or hanging at the beach. If you work in a relaxed office environment you could even take it to work.

4. Lightweight pants

I took a pair of colourful printed pants on my recent trip to Hawaii and got so much use of of them that I’d highly recommend everyone to consider adding a pair of summer pants to their style repertoire. I went for a bold print but you could opt for a classic white or navy for something that’s got plenty of versatility.

5. Classic sunglasses

I am a sunglasses person through and through so I’ve got a collection of frames I rotate. However if you prefer just having one trusty pair you can wear to death then choose one in black or tortoiseshell to ensure you get plenty of use out of them.

6. A quality swimsuit

A great swimsuit is a must living in Australia. I am particularly drawn to a classic one piece style at the moment in shades such as black, navy or khaki to ensure that I can wear it on multiple occasions. Be sure to try on a few different style to make sure you find the one that’s flattering to your shape.

7. A white tee

I couldn’t live without a white tee, especially in summer. I’ll often pair it with everything from a skirt to denim shorts and pants. It’s ultra wearable so stock up!

8. Anything in linen

Who else is in love with all things linen? Nothing screams resortwear more than a gorgeous lightweight linen number. Whether it’s a dress, a skirt or a pair of cute shorts, it’s definitely the fabric of choice this season.

9. A statement skirt

I generally love a statement skirt most days of the year but they’re especially great in summer. Whether it’s a wrap skirt, mini or a sleek midi, find a style with a standout print or colour and you’re guaranteed to wear it to death this season.

10. Statement earrings

There’s no better time to have fun with your accessories than summer. If you’re going to invest in one particular piece I’d highly recommend a pair of statement earrings. You could wear them to drinks with the girls, date night or a work function so you’re definitely going to maximise the cost per wear.

Fashion

How I plan my outfits

5th January, 2019

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

My tips for dressing when you’re petite

5th December, 2018

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 that there are some easy ways to have a great wardrobe that works for you.

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.

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

The best things to pair with a statement skirt

21st November, 2018

I’ve spoken of how much of a fan I am of a statement skirt whether it be for casual wear or something a little more special. Whilst this skirt style holds its own simply because it will usually feature striking colour or print, the key to letting it truly stand out is what you pair it with. And there’s such a plethora of choices you really will have no trouble making it your new go-to (especially when it comes to party season). So here are some amazing options for the next time you want an outfit that truly delivers.

 The statement top

Even if you’re wearing a skirt that’s already a focal piece on its own it doesn’t meant that you can’t also take it up a notch with your top. If your skirt is in a vibrant shade, has extra embellishments or lots of texture just be sure to keep your top a neutral colour but feel free to go for a design with elevated details such as a dramatic sleeve or ruffles such as the one I’m wearing below.

A logo tee or sweater

A tee or sweater emblazoned with a logo is still very much a thing and it’s a dream to pair with a bold skirt. To keep your look cohesive try and incorporate a similar colour palette in your top as what you have on your skirt.

A tonal top

There’s something quite chic about incorporating similar tones throughout an outfit. I wore the below pink top with a midi skirt in a similar shade and loved that it worked to elongate my shape and also had visual impact. It’s an easy styling trick to try when you want a look that looks polished and pulled together.

A white tee

God bless the humble white tee for it really does work with pretty much everything. It’s also a great pairing with a printed skirt, allowing the skirt to take centre stage. This pairing has become a shortcut of mine on days when I want an outfit that looks like I tried but I really managed to get out the door in record time!

kate waterhouse australian open 2018 country road

A touch of lace

A glam top, one that incorporates luxe finishes such as lace is great with a skirt that features rich shades or a romantic print such as flowers. It also incorporates a little bit of extra texture to create a look that’s got flair.

A bold accessory

Whilst not in the clothing category a great accessory really makes for the ideal finishing detail when it comes to an outfit featuring a statement skirt. A great belt and a structured bag fall into this category and are easily paired with many a skirt, regardless of its print, colour or texture.

Fashion

Rules of wearing statement pieces

12th November, 2018

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 quick styling trick that will update your favourite dress

24th October, 2018

I’m all about a quick styling trick. If there’s something that I can do to my outfit that takes minutes but will do plenty to change its look and feel then I’m all over it. This is why this recent trend towards belting dresses is absolute genius in my mind. It’s something that you can do using an accessory that you more than likely already have in your closet and it will change the whole vibe of a dress. By simply cinching in the waist of an existing dress you completely change the shape, and also give it a strong focal point based on the belt that you choose.

The thing with this styling trick is that most styles of belt will work. You could opt for a classic black belt with statement buckle to give your dress a little edge. A simple skinny belt will add a sophisticated touch to any frock whilst a chunky style waist belt will act as its own bold finishing piece. And it’s so easy. Just pop on the belt and you’re done.

If you have a closet full of dresses that are currently putting you to sleep because you’ve worn them so much then consider adding a belt the next time you wear it. It’s an easy outfit refresh that won’t break the bank and that’s a definite win-win situation.

 

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Cinch in a dress with volume

Give a dress with a voluminous silhouette some shape with a waist belt that will instantly give you an hourglass figure.

 

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Add a statement feature to your dress

By simply adding a belt you can instantly give your dress a new focal point that changes its look and feel.

 

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Pack a punch

You could opt for a belt with a statement buckle (the classic GG belt like the one above is a fave) to give your favourite dress an added lift.

Tell me—have you jumped aboard this trend yet?

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Have fun with punchy prints

31st August, 2018

Classics have a definite place in any wardrobe but I think there’s always room to have a little fun. Enter vibrant prints. Usually incorporating loads of colour and punchy patterns that are guaranteed to lift any outfit consider these your go-to when you want to bring a little sunshine into your look.

You can approach this trend in two ways: choose one statement piece and team it with pared back pieces or go for a clashing effect and team a few different colours and prints. If you’re opting for the latter you’ll need to choose an element to tie everything together whether it be the same colour or similar prints. Often accessories are a helpful way to bring cohesion to your look and give it a more finished effect.

There’s only one way to carry this look and it’s to wholeheartedly embrace it because if you’re going to wear something that’s eye-catching, you need to own it. So whether you go for a beautiful printed dress or a statement coat, a pair of showstoppper shoes or a striking bag it’s important to not shy away.

Sold on this trend? Before you jump on it scroll down to check out how über stylish women like Glossier founder Emily Weiss to blogger Blair Eadie and Farfetch’s vice-president of style and creative Yasmin Sewell are rocking this look. There’s plenty of easy-to-do examples of how to rock vibrant prints in a totally wearable way. Once they’ve won you over, check out my edit of the best punchy styles to introduce into your wardrobe now.

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Shop my edit of fun punchy printed pieces to add to your wardrobe…