I have recently been working with a fabulous lady who is fully ready to overhaul her style and it occurred to me how many women choose black over neutrals. Therein lies the conundrum, is black really a neutral?
Across the globe in developed countries black is chosen as a default for everything from uniforms to funeral wear. This colour which can look so amazing is often relegated to the bottom rung of the ladder in style terms – the first thing people grab to wear or a safety colour for can't-be-bothered days.
Well, its time we all looked at the vast array of options that do so much more for shape and style than any old black t-shirt can do.
These ladies show us how its done. Enjoy!
For some, the thought of organising your closet is right up there with root canal dental work … for others, its an enjoyable afternoon at the end of which you feel a smug sense of satisfaction knowing that everything you have in your wardrobe works perfectly for your life.
Whichever category you fall into the above photos are taken from my recent wardrobe/bracelet reorganise to give you some inspiration.
I find it helpful to arrange both by colour – this means that depending on what mood I'm in, I can instantly pick out what I feel like wearing and grab accessories to match. This works for me because I have about half an hour maximum to get ready in the morning and out the door to work!
I like to play with colour which means pairing teal with neon pink or navy with peach. I also like to wear complimentary colours with my rings/bracelets.
What colour combinations do you like? What are your tips for organising your closet?
You may have noticed some new shapes hitting the stores this season and for those of us who enjoy eating the occasional (ok, regular) pastry we can breathe a sigh of relief because these shapes are more forgiving than any in recent years.
Boxy shapes simply mean a non-fitted looser style and can apply to tops, coats, and even handbags.
Above are a couple of examples for two different age groups but don’t be afraid to experiment with either one.
If you are curvy, remember to pair your boxy tops with a slimmer bottom half – think skinny jeans or bootleg that fits through the thigh. Also, make sure your heels are chunky, not stilletto or you will look like you’re about to topple over!
For you ladies with bigger busts, be careful the new boxy shape doesn’t give you the dreaded Queen’s mono-boob look! In this case, make sure your top has a deep v to compensate.
Revolutionise your new year look
Yes you read that right – revolution not resolution. As January sidles up with a shifty grin, make sure you've got the fashion nous to avoid common mistakes and start challenging your style and reassessing what you think works. I found this excellent article from (horror of horrors) the UK's Daily Mail (yes I know… it won't happen again!) It talks about your 'dress age' (in other words, how your clothes can indicate your age) and does a fantastic job demonstrating how clothes can prematurely age you, or reverse the ageing process! Take a look and here's the link to the original article too. Happy 2014 everyone!
I had drinks with my girlfriends on Friday (that’s me and Nat above, going to the fashion festival, natch) and as it was just a casual get together at our local bar there was no real cause to dress up… however, noticing what my girlfriends’ choice of outfits were, I realised they were predominately black, black and more black.
It’s a Melbourne thing after all but it got me thinking about what we choose what to wear on a casual night out, so I came up with a few ideas on how to look good without necessarily resorting to the black uniform.
Most of us don’t have a lot of time, particularly after putting kids to bed so outfits have to be quick and easy to grab and go.
For the majority of you, that means jeans. The key with the outfit above is choosing a subtle print – the navy background on the blazer which matches the jeans means you look like you’ve made an effort but without going over the top. The bling on the shoes is a nice detail to up the ante for a friday night. Just add lip gloss and you’re done.
This one is for those of you skirt-loving ladies – again the colours are neutral and the print is subtle whilst still being interesting. Black and white is a no brainer but more exciting than just boring black. This outfit can also be taken from work to drinks, just add jewellery. There is subtle print matching here with the dotty jumper and the graphic print skirt and its kept from being too prissy with the addition of a leather jacket and rock-chick style chain strap bag. The shoes are a neutral colour tan because black shoes would compete with the outfit.
Finally – it’s a dress with some game! A classic cut in a fire engine red, the dress does all the talking so keep your shoes and jacket in neutral grey. Personally, I think red and black doesn’t work as well as grey as it deadens the impact of the red. You can match your accessories with the red – again steer clear of black. If you wanted a more statement look, choose patent shoes/bag and wear a bit of bling as your accessories.
I have a pretty established scarf addiction, at last count upwards of 40! On a fairly regular basis, people stop me and say “that’s a great scarf, where did you get it?” so I thought I’d show you 3 styles to try first with links to buy too.
I have a pretty established scarf addiction, at last count upwards of 40! On a fairly regular basis, people stop me and say "that's a great scarf, where did you get it?" so I thought I'd show you 3 styles to try first with links to buy too.
buy here. leopard print is surprisingly easy to wear and can act as a neutral, especially to all black outfits as Ashley Olsen shows here. It can also give some visual kick to neutral colours like beige and grey too.
buy here Graphic is when you want to punch above your weight and get some statement colours going. As shown here, the easy part is that the rest of your outfit can be very simple and basic – just chuck it on and go!
buy here the chunky scarf is a no brainer and psychologically as well as literally makes you feel super cosy and warm even when its howling outside. the only thing to avoid is if you have a short-ish neck, in that case stick to narrower scarves. wear this one with a blazer, jeans and heels and voila!
(not a sponsored post, all opinions my own)
The leather jacket – probably the most versatile item in your wardrobe that looks good on both men and women and immortalized by everyone from Jim Morrison to Kim Kardashian. If you don't own one, go out IMMEDIATELY and find one that makes you feel sexy, beautiful and just a little bit rock! Here's some different ways to wear it …
Kim's chosen a drapey style jacket, worn with simple grey tee, black skinnies and platform heels complete with neutral bag. This is an easy outfit that looks especially good on curvy figures. The tee finishes just at her hips drawing attention to her great curves and the pants and heels create a long lean line giving the illusion of height. This is an example of the clothes showcasing the beauty of the woman in them.
This style looks great on mature women as all the elements are classic, blazer cut leather jacket in soft brown, dark classic shift dress and pointed heels in burgundy, ray ban sunglasses, neutral bag. Not showy, just classically beautiful. The jacket makes the look slightly edgy whilst still being age-appropriate.
With a coloured jacket, it's a statement piece so the rest of your outfit must be neutral otherwise you'll end up looking too christmas-tree-ish! On the left image, Rachel Zoe wears a beautifully cut turquoise jacket to perfection, making the jacket the show piece of her outfit. On the right, tones of burnt tobacco and olive green make the outfit visually interesting but not overwhelming.
What makes a cropped leather jacket work so well is that it can give the illusion of length and height. If you're less than 5 foot 5, make sure whatever you wear underneath the jacket isn't too far away in tone from the colour of the jacket itself to give that elongated look. If you're long and lithe like Nicole Richie here, then you can get away with more colour and pattern underneath the jacket but again bear in mind that she is still wearing a floor-skimming dress which creates the illusion of height.
This is not a look for everyone (doing the weekly shop anyone?) however what makes it work is the contrast between the toughness of the studded leather jacket and the fragility of the white flowing dress. Its also the unexpected – a leather jacket worn to a formal event. It takes fashion savvy but sometimes its just fun to wear something that makes a big statement.
Imagine getting together with your besties on a Saturday night, sipping champagne, trying on all sorts of outfits and having a great laugh whilst a stylist gives you all fashion advice…
Well imagine no more because last night was the very first SESS – Saturday Evening Styling Sessions from Style Revival!
Hosted flawlessly by the lady of the house, myself and 4 very game lasses (including one inspirational nine-year old) had so much fun exploring different looks and talking about all things fashion, specifically how to make looks work and why.
If this is something that interests you, check out my What we do or Prices pages for details…
A slightly edgier approach to wedding outfits
Ahh weddings – the anticipation, the excitement, the nerves… and that’s just the guests!
Dressing for weddings oddly throws us into a panic and we throw everything we know about our own style out the window, instead buckling under pressure from over-eager sales assistants or dredging up a black dress we haven’t actually tried on in 3 years. So, to keep a cool head take a look at the following:
- Think about what you feel most comfortable in usually. If its pants, wear them, if its flats wear them. Nothing will make you feel worse than teetering on 6 inch stillettos if you rarely wear heels. Just dial up the luxury – choose pants made of silk or flats with serious sequin/embellishment and you won’t look out of place
- Luxury fabrics are a must – steer well clear of denim, cork, raffia and even linen (unless you are overseas in a tropical location where the dress code is much more casual) and stick to classic shapes rather than statement styles/colours. No neon!
- As weddings usually involve A LOT of standing around, often on grass, think about wearing a wedge instead of a thin heel which will sink into grass, so make sure they are comfortable and have a fairly sturdy base.
The above photo is of me from a wedding I went to in March 2011 – I’m wearing a green silk maxi dress (ebay score), green silk blazer from J Crew (secondhand) and cobalt blue suede flats from Zara. I also wore a fringed blue silk scarf. I had lots of comments on my outfit and was the only one who wasn’t freezing during English March spring weather!
I do love that the name of this MAC lipstick shade is Lady Danger! Taking that as inspiration, along with my friend’s upcoming girls-only birthday celebration, this is an outfit that (depending as always on your body type/style) should be comfortable whilst looking fantastic.
Things to note:
I’m not usually a fan of black with a colour, however this outfit is tailored towards my friend who is a red-head. If you’re brunette or blonde, swap out the colour accordingly and choose a colour that suits your skin tone.
- If you have the pins, wearing jeans with a slight waxy sheen (don’t go over the top unless you’re auditioning for a remake of Saturday Night Fever) worn with classic suede heeled pumps is a standout look that never dates.
- If there’s a meal involved and you’ll be sitting down chatting with your girlfriends, think about wearing a top that isn’t too clingy so you can enjoy your food without being conscious of sucking in your stomach! Also, if you have long hair you might want to ditch dangly earrings for the night so you can throw your head back and laugh without being given a black eye by your jewellery!