Top Five Basics

The temperatures in Melbourne have just started dropping into the 20’s and with it comes an excitement in me for chunky sweaters, coats and boots.  So with that, I thought I’d share my absolute favourites, the top five basics that no winter can be gotten through without!  Here they are…

Tan Ankle Boots

boots

I am sure many would disagree but for me tan ankle boots are an absolute must, more so than black.  For the last couple of years I have been wearing an Italian leather pair that were actually given to me for free by a colleague who got them from a friend who had realised they were a size too big for her.  Cue my absolute joy, I have worn them to death, so much so that in the last winter sales I was forced to buy another pair because the originals are almost on their last legs!

Tailored Jeans

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I had a pair of H&M dark denim flares that were perfect in every way, except they gaped at the waist.  I took them to my lovely tailor Gabriele (Carlton’s finest) and he removed the waistband, took in the waist and sewed them up again.  Suffice to say I wore them and wore them and they have finally given up the ghost, but what a difference the tailoring made.  I recommend this wholeheartedly, money well spent!

Black, Cream or Dark Grey Blazer

image

Ok so I have blazers in all 3 colours … again an absolute, can’t-live-without staple and oddly I have to say I get most wear out of the cream one!  It just sets off my jeans and boots mentioned above perfectly.  Add a trilby and i’m good to go.

Scarves

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Yes, all patterns and colours really, no winter outfit accessory works harder in my wardrobe than scarves.  I especially favour big chunky ones in neutral colours, I just feel so warm and snuggly on a cold day and it adds that colour or texture to my outfit in an easy, understated way.

Fake Fur Jacket

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This has been a relatively new revelation to me, but last winter I purchased one on Ebay in a rich tan colour and I wore it almost every day.  I found it added a touch of glam to jeans and boots but also worked for nighttime looks in a bohemian, Marianne Faithful way.

All in all, take these items away and my outfit choices feel much less pulled together.  Bring on winter, I’m ready!

Enjoy!

 

 

The power of neutrals

neutrals

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!

neutrals

blog.needsupply.com

neutrals stockholm street style

neutrals needsupply

blog.needsupply.com

Micro trend – Fringe and Fray

fringe 3

fringe bellevivir.com

fringe & fray

juliannemoore fringed bag

Fringe? Frayed? Noooooooooooo!  I hear you cry….  Well fear not friends, I’m not talking about diving headlong into Festival territory where you start dressing like your teenage daughter and tripping through the tulips in your ripped denim hotpants.  No, take deep breaths, this is a mature, adult take on fringe and fraying, done with a modicum of decorum and a soupcon of style. 

Look for bags with fringe at the base (they’ve been around for seasons so try Asos or H&M) or the easiest way is to find a lightweight scarf with a larger than usual proportion of fraying around the edge and voila, there you have it, a nod to the trend without feeling like Kim Kardashian wants you on speed dial stat.

Enjoy!

Get ready for spring

Ahh Spring… blossoms, crisp sunshine, light colours … this season make it really easy on yourself and draw inspiration from these stylish women who have kept things very simple.

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all images courtesy of Pinterest

  • the details are all important. Round sunglasses, different fabrics together like leather and silk, the right size bag, don't overlook the impact they make.
  • keep your sillhouette simple, purchase the best fitting pair of straight leg or skinny black pants you can afford and invest in a classic leather jacket in either a biker or suit jacket shape.
  • don't be put off by models and tiny dress sizes, what works on a slim woman can easily look great on a curvy shape, just emphasise the parts of your body you're most proud of.
  • wear one statement piece at a time and keep the rest of your look neutral. A kimono jacket or a bright pattern or colour is the only thing you need to express your style. If you like wearing paler colours, keep the tones similar from head to toe for a savvy put-together look.
  • Enjoy yourself… its nearly spring!

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!

 

 

 

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.

 

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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.

 

fridaynightdrinks3

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!

 

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!