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How to Dress Outside your Fashion Comfort Zone

I recently had the pleasure of spending the morning with the creator of Nevenka, a fashion brand from my home town of Melbourne. Every Nevenka piece is a delicately created, detailed work of art, each piece more dreamy than the last. I tried on dream dress after dream dress, wishing I was the kind of woman who would just wear a bright pink, transparent, tiered, embroidered gown with a leather jacket and trainers on a daily basis. I had just finished the second series of Killing Eve and had Villanelle’s outfits in mind – so godamm extra. I so wish that I was that woman (the flamboyant dresser, not the sociopath gun for hire).

So what’s holding me back? It’s my fashion comfort zone. Granted, my fashion comfort zone stretches pretty far and wide these days. I wear sequins during the day. I mix prints that theoretically shouldn’t really go together. But day gowns is just that step too far for me… for now.

This is a dilemma that almost all of my personal styling clients encounter – how to break out of their fashion comfort zones. So I’ve put together my tips, first on whether you should consider dressing outside your fashion comfort zone, and second how to do it. Continue reading “How to Dress Outside your Fashion Comfort Zone”

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The Ultimate Tucking Guide

I recently worked with a client who almost never tucked her tops into her trousers or skirts. When I asked her about this, it was clear she (wrongfully) believed that she had a tummy that she needed to hide and that by wearing her tops over her waistband she would hiding unsightly lumps and bumps.

In a few swift styling moves, I was able to prove her wrong. First of all, she had a lovely defined waist. And second of all, even those of us with a tummy will look much better with a strategic tuck of the shirt, than by trying to hide it with an untucked top, which can tend to look a little frumpy.

The power of a tuck can transform an outfit from frumpy to fabulous, and there is more than one way to skin that particular cat. Here are five tucking tips and styles you can experiment with to achieve vastly different outcomes: Continue reading “The Ultimate Tucking Guide”

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Eight Brands I Discovered on Instagram (and Love)

For all the (justified) bad press social media is getting lately, there’s also a lot of good that comes out of these platforms. For me, the most pleasantly surprising thing was the connections I have made with women all over the world who have a similar love of fashion to me. But it’s not just people I’ve connected with. Thanks to Instagram, I have also discovered brands that might not have come across my radar so early in their evolutions had it not been for the time I spent disappearing down an Instagram vortex or two, all in the name of research for my personal styling clients.

The fashion brands that stand out to me are the ones with a unique aesthetic, that don’t follow trends or that have a strong ethical standpoint. Here are eight of my favourites, ranging from the accessible to the more “aspirational.”  Continue reading “Eight Brands I Discovered on Instagram (and Love)”

Sustainable fashion

Los Angeles Focus: the Rose Bowl Flea Market

If you are fortunate (or strategic) enough to time your trip to L.A. so that it coincides with the second Sunday of any given month, then you are in for a shopping treat. Because the second Sunday of every month is when the Rose Bowl Flea Market takes place. And it is truly awesome.

The Rose Bowl Flea Market boasts the West Coasts’ best and most extensive vintage clothing and furniture stalls. For any vintage enthusiast or keen bargain hunter, it’s like your Christmases have all come at once. From vintage cowboy boots to a 1930s chartreuse evening slip gown (which, while spectacularly elegant, sadly didn’t fit me), it’s a shopping-related dream come true.

The market is located on the east side of the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, and it is huge. So huge, in fact, that it is easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of treasure troves you feel you need to trawl through. So here are a few pointers to help prepare you and  avoid shopping fatigue. Continue reading “Los Angeles Focus: the Rose Bowl Flea Market”

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Master the Art of the Repeat Wear

There used to be a time when you could repeat wear outfits at different occasions with different crowds without fear of having the offending repeat outfit identified as such. Enter the age of social media and we are now faced with a world where every outfit can end up on Instagram, seen by most people you know, thereby immediately outing itself and limiting its ability to dazzle and amaze a new crowd at some future event.

My philosophy as a personal stylist is that true style is not always about buying something new. Everyone has the building blocks of a stylish wardrobe already in their closets. Before we add to the excess waste created by our fashion habits, lets maximise what we already have before we identify the gaps that need to be filled with a strategically chosen piece here and there. It also involves creating a working wardrobe for my clients where each piece can be worn on repeat in a way that won’t get boring or tired.

Continue reading “Master the Art of the Repeat Wear”

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Winter Wedding Outfits

Winter weddings are so romantic – candle light, ice sculptures, white swans (natch) and fairy lights peaking out through the ivy. But winter wedding outfits are an altogether different challenge compared to your run-of-the-mill spring/summer wedding.

How much time are you going to spend outdoors? Are you going to be required to pose in family photos for prolonged periods of time? Do you anticipate rain or snow? Are there muddy paths to be navigated from the church to the charming local pub? What’s the likelihood of developing frostbite?

Stress not, I’m here to provide some useful pointers and suggestions this winter wedding season. Continue reading “Winter Wedding Outfits”

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Eight Ways to Get Out of a Style Rut

Do you find you’re wearing the same colour over and over again (usually black)? Do you have a “uniform” that you can’t stand the sight of any more? When you shop, are you trying on pieces that are exactly the same as ones you already have hanging forlornly in your wardrobe at home? Do you find yourself despairing that you have nothing to wear?

You, my friend, are in a style rut. And you’re not alone. So many of my personal styling clients come to me because they are in this exact situation. At the base of it is the inability to connect with your clothes any more. I’ve been there many a time too, and I’m not the most inspiring version of myself when I’m there. So here are eight ways you can pull yourself out of that rut, and go back to being awesome every day. Continue reading “Eight Ways to Get Out of a Style Rut”

Helsinki City Guide

Helsinki Summer City Break Guide

Helsinki is one of those dark horse city-break destinations. It doesn’t feature top of everyone’s list of cities to visit. Not when you have the grandeur and flash of Stockholm and the understated cool of Copenhagen so close by to get your Scandi fix. But as a summer weekend destination, I have found it to be all of quirky, eccentric, creative, stylish, hilariously fun and beautifully scenic. Continue reading “Helsinki Summer City Break Guide”

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My City Break Wardrobe

I was recently appointed the new London Resident Editor for Luxe City Guides to my absolute delight. Aimed at the more sophisticated traveller, Luxe City Guides gives you the insider guide to the world’s major cities across Europe, Asia, the USA and Australia. I always describe it to people as being a very cool friend you have in each city who tells you where to go for the best, exclusive places to eat, drink, shop, chill and get your dose of local culture (without bumping into the track-suit wearing tourist hoards).

This got me thinking about my city break wardrobe. With the amount of travelling I do, I am constantly planning city break outfits, primarily for trips to Europe. And I am the kind of person who feels better when I think that my outfit is working for me. A bad outfit can affect my mood (not for the better). In those situations, I usually claim it’s because I’m hangry so as not to appear completely materialistic to whichever poor buggers are travelling with me at the time.

So what are the ingredients of a fail-safe, mood-enhancing city break outfit? Continue reading “My City Break Wardrobe”

Rome Shopping 10

Rome Shopping Guide

A lot has been said about Rome here on Second Sister (all of it good), so in the third of my Roman travel instalments, I focus on Rome shopping – in particular, fashion (with a touch of interiors).

Now I’m not for a second ignoring the fact that Rome is chockas full of culcha (and anyone who’s seen the Australian classic film “The Castle” will recognize that reference). However a good way to get to know a city is through its local shops and designers (or is that just my way of justifying being basic as f*©k? Either way, I’m owning it).

Following extensive research I bring to you my top tips for Rome shopping – a little light relief following extensive cultural activities if that’s your bag. Continue reading “Rome Shopping Guide”