How to organise your closet

bangles

shelves pic

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?

Enjoy!

 

 

 

H&M v Zara who does it best?

Zara Melbourne has a new player in town, H&M have arrived!

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It’s on. Oh yes, it’s very much on here in Melbourne as two global fashion powerhouses face off for title of best overseas chain in Australia.

I wish I could give you my point of view however two futile attempts to access H&M including feigning ignorance by trying to get in on the second floor via the lift (don’t even get me started on Uniqlo) resulted in sweet FA and self-mutterings about fad-shopping tourists and ridiculous queuing.

A quick comparison online however, reveals what our European cousins already know… Zara is trend led and – at least here in Australia – significantly pricier, focusing on smart glamorous pieces and leather bags and shoes.  H&M is the thrifty answer to instant, contemporary fashion with the focus on basics, trend pieces in cheaper fabrics and a huge range of accessories at sometimes eye-wateringly good prices.

So … any thoughts about these fashion institutions – or at the very least, anyone want to snaffle me an H&M staff pass?

image courtesy of Zara.com

 

One easy way to update your style

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.

Enjoy!

Autumn – its all about texture

How to get some texture into your style

CHANEL trainers

image copyright Susannah Lau

Scan any magazine lately and all the fashion spreads have one thing in common, texture.  The level of beading, embroidery, quilting, applique and general jazzing-up of the humble pieces we cover ourselves with has reached new and dizzy heights. 

Speaking personally, I'm singing hallelujah!  Gone are the gentle florals and subtle pastels of 2012/13 and instead we have net, mesh, neoprene and plastics, ready to jump out at you for Autumn/Winter 2014.

If all this scares the bejesus out of you, fear not – just tread lightly and start off with a small accessory or minimal shapes.  Don't try a new colour AND lots of embellishment until you find out whether this new direction is for you.  Take a deep breath, its going to be alright…

sg charlotte quilt backpack

image copyright Sportsgirl.com.au

sg waffle stitch sweater

image copyright Sportsgirl.com.au

chanel karl

image copyright Susanna Lau

 

 

New year revolution!

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!                                    41  68

3 tricky trends

Dare I say it, has summer finally arrived in Melbourne?  If you found yourself frantically searching in your wardrobe for your summer clothing today (yep, me too) and wondered what the hell possessed you to buy into tricky trends such as neon clingy dresses/huge sequin platforms/harem pants (don’t even go there), read on for advice on what to wear and avoid this time around…

1.  Platforms/Flatforms

So what are these meant to do anyway?  Well… the idea is to give you some height but allow you to comfortably run for a bus in them.  The key to this trend is contrast, platforms can toughen up a floaty dress and give a 70’s nod to flared jeans.  They are not for just chucking on as an afterthought.  These shoes need some serious consideration so you avoid looking like Minnie Mouse!

Extreme platforms worn by the inimitable Susie Lau of Style Bubble to the British Fashion Awards…

susie b bfa2011

2.  Neon

Like most trends, the trick with neon (as I have written about before here) is moderation and most crucially, mixing with neutrals.

Unless you are a teenager/early twenties (in which case, wear pretty much whatever you like) wearing a small amount of neon with grey is the key to looking stylish without trying too hard.  The easiest way to achieve this is through accessories, as shown here by these subtle espadrilles.

 

neon espadrilles

 

3.  Pale Pink

If the thought of wearing this colour makes you feel queasy and pre-pubescent, again the key is to keep it simple.  Use as an accent, be it through a lipstick shade, a printed top, a small cross body bag or just pink nail polish, it’s a nod to this fresh trend that will dominate this summer and next.

pink coat

pink eyeshadow

Enjoy!

Friday Night Drinks Ideas

Nat and me

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.

 

fridaynightdrinks2

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.

 

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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.

Enjoy!

 

5 quick style tips for busy mums

We’ve all been there (some of us are there most of the time!) … your littlest is yelling for his brekkie, you realise the shirt you’ve flung on has Vegemite on it and your eldest won’t brush her teeth before school… arrrgghhh!
Here’s a few quick ideas to make you feel instantly less like a bedraggled mum on the school run.

We’ve all been there (some of us are there most of the time!) … your littlest is yelling for his brekkie, you realise the shirt you’ve blindly pulled on has Vegemite on it and your eldest flatly refuses to brush her teeth before school… arrrgghhh!

Here’s a few quick ideas to make you feel instantly less like a bedraggled mum on the school run.

  • Ditch the fleece/sportswear

Unless you’ve literally just been to the gym or you have no other jackets AT ALL, ditch the fleece jacket or sportswear for the school run.  Even if your bum looks like Liv Tyler’s, cladding it in lycra, knee length gym leggings can be unforgiving and just waaaaay too much visual information in the morning!  As for Fleece jackets – they make everyone look frumpy, there’s lots of stylish alternatives, try Witchery or Country Road for well cut light jackets or go to Temt or Valley Girl for cheap but stylish throwaway ones.

  • Converse or ballet flats

White, knackered running shoes that look like you do the gardening in them just won’t cut it anywhere outside the garden itself!  There are now a million options in trainers/sneakers and Converse do a really good basic shoe that looks smart but allows you to run around after your kids in comfort.  If you can’t bear the thought of trainers – swap out for ballet flats.  Ideally buy leather good quality ones in a colour that goes with most of your wardrobe (navy, camel, peach, beige) or you can always buy cheap ones from Rubi shoes and keep replacing them every season.

  • Wear a hat!

Rather than suffer through another bad hair day (greasy hair scraped into a limp ponytail) get yourself a couple of hats that suit your face shape.  If you have long lustrous wavy hair stick to wider brims, if you’re hair is short or cut into a bob generally you will suit a narrower brim.  Have fun one day trying on hats in Myer and see what suits you.  Then wear one with some great cut jeans, a trench and you’re good to go!  EVERYONE suits at least one hat shape, so give it a try!

  • Get your pants tailored to fit

jeans

Ok, this one isn’t exactly quick but I can’t emphasize enough how much difference it will make to how you look and feel to wear a pair of pants that fit perfectly and aren’t trackies (not that you’d wear trackies for the school run right… right??)  This is so important, you will wear and wear them if they fit right and trust me they’ll make you feel you can run the world!  If you can’t find pants to fit or they fit everywhere except the length or waist then get them adjusted by a tailor.  There’s one in most shopping centres now.  Just don’t buy pants that need extensive re-shaping, they should fit 90% at least before you buy them.  A bootleg or wide leg shape in a dark colour suits most women or go for a skinny leg if you’re happy with your shape.  Look for pants with 3-5% elastane so they give a little and feel comfortable.

  • Vaseline is your friend

vaseline blusher

An old trick but a good one, on the palm of your hand, mix a small amount of vaseline and your fave lipstick and apply a TINY amount onto your cheeks as blusher… it will give a natural glow with subtle colour and make you look like you’ve had 9 hours sleep instead of six!

Enjoy!

latest obsessions

If you’re like me, when you’re browsing in shops or online, your eye is drawn to the same things over and over, especially if you have been obsessing – check that – THINKING about them for a while!  Here’s mine for this month…

Socks/tights with open-toed sandles

open toe tights

bridget fleming / fashion.telegraph.co.uk

tightssandles

forums.soompi.com

I think it’s a much edgier more contemporary way to do the tights/shoe thing, especially if those shoes are statement making.  My advice, don’t do statement tights AND statement shoes unless you have the personality to match!

Mint Green

mint

http://shilupoudel.blogspot.com.au

mint loafers

refinery29.com

mint sweater

http://www.fashion.allwomenstalk.com

Ahh the clean, cool, crisp shade of mint green – doesn’t it just make you feel like your teeth are shinier and your life is that bit better?  Well, its this colour that magically makes people feel all shivery and special whilst skipping down the streets in their minty shades, or maybe that’s just me…

Platform Loafers

jil sander navy mytheresa

Jil Sander Navy platform loafers mytheresa.com

prada platform loafer

Prada platform loafer with cork sole lyst.com

The platform loafer, or ‘Flatform’ as they are often called, is a new kid on the block and for me instantly allows me to wear midi dresses and skirts without feeling like a librarian.  It has also virtually wiped out any interest I have in wearing my ballet flats as they now look ridiculously teeny and girly as though I should give them all to my 5 year old daughter!  These chunky mothers take some beating, are super comfy and make me feel invincible – all that from a shoe you ask? Why yes.. go see for yourselves!!

Enjoy!

 

Fashion Hayley lovin!

I was happily doing some serious browsing at Lenko in Flinders Lane today when I swung around to see one of my favourite bloggers hayley Hughes of Fashion Hayley!

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I was happily doing some serious browsing at Lenko in Flinders Lane today when I swung around to see one of my favourite bloggers Hayley Hughes of Fashion Hayley!

Now as I am wont to do in these situations, I instantly felt a little star struck and so totally downplayed how exciting it was to meet her by mumbling incoherently – made worse with a streaming cold! She was very gracious and asked if I blogged (cue another unintelligible reply by me when I could have just replied yes) but I did manage to ask how she was settling back into Melbourne “loving it” and how much I enjoy her blog.

I read Hayley’s blog because its a refreshing alternative to the bajillions of selfie-posting, YSL loving blogs out there and she talks about interesting new labels you may not have heard of, whilst giving us a well-written glimpse into her exciting life. Along with Susie Bubble, Jess at Whatwouldkarldo Sarah at sarahsstyleemporium and Phoebe at Ladymelbourne – these ladies keep me in the know, help sate my voracious appetite for all things fashion and keep me smiling along the way.

Enjoy!

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