March 30, 2014

Style Your Work Week - Fashion From Monday to Friday

Do you ever have days where you feel like a hot mess, maybe on a Monday morning after a particularly busy weekend where you didn't get to bed until after midnight and snoozed your alarm 10 times? We've all been there, and on days like these, not one of us has the time or the creativity to put together a stylish ensemble anyway.

It is, however, totally possible to have a whole week's worth of fabulous outfits, with very little time or effort involved. The key is to plan ahead! This is especially important if you have children (the mamas out there know what I'm sayin') because your time is both precious and elusive, but really there's no reason why even the busiest mom should look frumpy at work.

The first step is inspiration. My favourite thing to do in order to get my creative style juices flowing is to go to one of the many fashion resources out there; runway look books via www.style.com, street style fashion, style blogs, print media, retailer websites, etc. (this list is endless) I find that looking through different perspectives on how to combine clothing and accessories, to really influence the way I dress myself. This does not mean that you should go out and literally buy every item of clothing you see and copy their look completely, but rather to interpret the essence of the look they created, and put together an outfit with what you already have in your closet.

The second step to looking your best is imagination. This may sounds silly, like something a little kid would do, but allot of the outfits that I come up with are first created in my mind. When I first started planning my outfits, it didn't come to me so easily but with practice and with the right style influences, it became second nature. I learned to think about what I would like to wear, starting with either a specific item of clothing  or a colour scheme and build on that. Style is something that comes very natural to some people but it's also something that you can learn and that we are all capable of achieving. Your style may be very different from mine, fashion is diverse and allows for the individual to be just that: individual. So feel free to customize to your tastes.

The third step is to have an idea of what you will wear on each day ahead of time. If you wait until the last minute to decide what you're going to wear (especially if you don't do well under pressure) you will not enjoy the process of dressing and you outfit may not look as good as it could. So take some time on Sunday evening to plan for the week or a few minutes before bed each night to lay out your clothes (just like when you were in school) and you are sure to have your co-workers and other commuters wondering why you look so put together on a Monday.

The fourth step is to always, always, always trust your instincts, and do not ever be afraid to wear something avant guard, even if you think people may talk about it (if they are talking about you it may mean that they admire your bravery to think outside the box fashion-wise). I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's not all about the brands that you wear, what's more important is how you put things together that will make your look a hit or a miss. Also, never underestimate the power of accessories to turn more conservative clothing into something more innovative.

Every day this week I will be posting an outfit idea suitable for work (assuming you dress up for work) so stay tuned! If you want to stay updated on these posts, please sign up for my email notifications or follow me on Twitter or Bloglovin'.


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March 28, 2014

Floral and Lace for Coachella

Floral and Lace for Coachella


Billabong tank
buckle.com


Maison Scotch flight jacket
$205 - psyche.co.uk


Valentino lace shorts
farfetch.com


Topshop sandals
topshop.com


Mulberry leather satchel
$2,160 - harrods.com


Burberry watch
nordstrom.com



Rose gold ring
$285 - thegrandsocial.com.au


Coach jewelry
coach.com


Flower earrings
etsy.com


Accessorize derby hat
accessorize.com



Stila lipstick
revolveclothing.com


Butter London nail polish
net-a-porter.com

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March 26, 2014

Back to Work: Shopping After Baby

Now that you've been through the pain of childbirth, and have spent a wonderful year tending to your baby's every need, it's time to think about a major transition - going back to work.

After having Audrey, I had a dilemma, all my pre-baby work clothes either didn't fit me the way that they used to or I simply felt that they no longer fit my style. So if you are returning to work after a maternity leave, no matter what you budget is, you should definitely do some back to work shopping, especially if you are not looking forward to the transition.

The issue that I encountered was that I had lost allot of weight postpartum due to breast feeding and my weight didn't start to normalize until nearly 6 months later (thanks to the gym, less nursing and a heathy appetite). Then, once my weight went back to normal, all of the pants and skirts that I purchased for going back to work were too tight.

In order for you to avoid this problem, my advice would be to invest in more blouses, sweaters, and blazers until your weight goes back to normal (this will depend on many different factors from person to person) because it's not fun to have all these lovely trousers and skirts that are too tight and uncomfortable to wear several months down the road.

If you work in an office, the style of the clothes you buy will depend on how conservative the dress code is. My work is fairly lenient, in that you can wear any colours or styles you want but there is no flip flops, no leggings as pants, skirts must be a reasonable length, no extreme cleavage and no shorty shorts. All of those guidelines are fair and easy to follow, and I feel gives me ample room to be creative.

The first thing to decide on is a budget, this will make it easier for you to decide how many pieces you can buy and approximately how much you can spend on each item.

The second thing to consider, is whether you will go for quality or quantity in the clothes you buy. I now believe that certain wardrobe staples (a structured blazer, a pencil skirt, and a tailored pair of trousers for example) are worth spending a bit more money on - especially in neutral colours - because they are the classic pieces that will last through the years as trends come and go. On the other hand, things like t-shirts, dresses, blouses and accessories can be more affordable and are more likely to be trendier pieces that can fall out of favour relatively quickly.

My third and last recommendation, is where to buy this news and wonderful wardrobe. Over the last few years I have really fallen in love with online shopping, there was once a time when the concept seemed foreign, when I would have said "you're crazy" to anyone who said I would prefer shopping on my computer to the real physical experience, but here we are. The reason why I recommend online shopping for a larger purchase like a
back-to-work wardrobe is because it gives you the opportunity to visualize all the items in one place; you can add many items to your "cart" and sort through them to decide which you really want without the pressure to buy right away; most sites have serveral pictures of each item of clothing and the ability to zoom in; and the majority of large online shops have free shipping when you spend over a certain amount and free returns which is helpful if you happen to order the wrong size.

So there you have it! Those are my mom tips for getting yourself back into the work groove and looking fabulous while you're at it. Let me know if you're returning to work soon and how you went with your work wardrobe shopping.

Erin

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