3 Ways To Wear Your Favourite Summer Pieces This Winter

Written by Shloka Narang, The Silk Sneaker

As winter gets closer and closer it’s time to transition the wardrobe from sandals and sun hats to turtlenecks and jumpers. If you’re feeling especially sad this year about having to retire your favourite summer dress, don’t! There’s no need to shove your favourite summer pieces to the back of the closet just yet – it’s just time to pair them up! We all know that the key to winter dressing is layering, and that includes all your favourite summer dresses, skirts and tops too! Without further ado, I’m sharing my three no-fail ways to wear your favourite summer pieces this winter and feel as stylish as ever! Layering is key to bringing those pieces into your autumn/winter wardrobe. After all, layering is the key to all winter dressing! The best part about it is that it’s not only a super stylish way to create an outfit, but it also adds colour to your seasonal ensemble, while making every piece you have that much more versatile. Who could ask for more right?

  1. The Summer Skirt

Although usually paired with a favourite cami or crop top, the summer skirt finds a cosier pairing with your favourite turtleneck this season. Pair your most loved flowing skirt with a neutral turtleneck for the perfect balance. For that extra special touch, don’t forget the thigh high boots! As the temperature continues to drop, don’t be afraid to throw on chunkier knits over your favourite summer skirts for that effortless yet chic look! It’s always a winning combination!

  1. The Summer Dress

There is nothing better about a summers day than waking up, and throwing on an easy, no fuss summers dress. Nothing better except for being able to continue that great feeling with that same no brainer dress during the winter months! Layer a turtleneck or sweater underneath your favourite summers dress to stay warm, yet still, keep that cool factor. Paired with the perfect pair of boots, the ensemble is able to create a great contrast between the femininity of a summers dress and the masculinity of boots. The best part about an ensemble like this is that you are able to add that extra dose of colour that can sometimes get lost in our winter wardrobes. After all, everything doesn’t have to be black, grey and white this winter!

  1. The Summer Crop

Gone may be the day of crop tops and shorts, but now are the days of crop tops and jeans, as long as you don’t forget your trusty layers! Elevate your sweater and jeans combo by throwing a crop top over for that extra level of interest! Extra points if you’re top is coloured – something like blue or khaki would look fabulous with a combination like this as well! Of course, neutrals also work best when working with layering different pieces together. This is another great way to take the cami over white shirt layering technique to the next level this winter and stay ahead of the street style pack!

With three easy looks, every morning should be a no-brainer when it comes to layering! Whether it be dinner, a movie or just a weekend with friends, each look will make sure you never have that “I don’t know what to wear!” feeling this winter. The best part about being able to wear your summer clothes in the colder months is the feeling of having a whole new set of pieces to experiment with. Layering is, after all, the most enjoyable when you’re ready to have fun with it, so don’t be afraid to try new and bold combinations with some of your other favourite summer pieces! Happy layering!

Fashion Designer and Stylist – Sprinkle

Name: Sprinkle

 

Occupation: Fashion designer

 

Describe yourself in three words: Playful, quirky, loyal

 

When did you first become interested in fashion?  

For as long as I can remember I have always had a love of clothes.   My parents were both very stylish people and I’m sure their flair had an impact on me.  I also started out as a performance artist and costumier and then evolved into fashion.  I’m curvy and tall and found it very difficult to find stylish clothes that looked good on me…so I started making my own.

 

Who introduced you to fashion?  

My family in London and Rome were involved in the fashion industry since the 1940s but I grew up in Australia and I wasn’t exposed to that.  However I was able to sew from a very young age…I believe it’s genetic and passed through the bloodlines.

 

How did you get to where you are now in your career? (Study, past experiences)

I actually never studied fashion but have been sewing since I was about 10 years old.  My experience has come through more than 25 years of hands on creating, trial and error and the belief that if you truly love something, you will succeed in the long run.   I have also worked tirelessly in an endeavour to be a self sustaining artist.  Something that I’m very proud to have achieved.

What brands or people have you worked with?

As a costumier I have worked with the iconic Australian band TISM, cabaret performers The Town Bikes, Yana Alana & Die Roten Punkte.  I’ve also had my fashion on a variety of Australian television shows.  Cyndi Lauper has also worn my garments on a number of occasions whilst in Australia.

 

What is your dream job?

To be able to travel the world searching for the most exquisite fabrics and adornments, so I can create incredible masterpieces without having to be restricted by budgets and conservatism.  I would still want to ensure my garments are created ethically and designed to flatter.

 

If you could work with anyone in the world, who would it be?

I’d luv to work with Grace Coddington….I think she is a styling genius!    If Alexander McQueen was still alive, I’d also love to work with him.  He was so incredibly creative.

 

What is the proudest moment of your career to date?

Opening my boutique in 2007 was pretty amazing!  Still being around 10 years later is also a pretty incredible feat being retail is so up and down.

 

What is the most fun part of your job?

When I’ve decided on a theme for a new collection, all the fun stuff starts from there… There’s lots of gathering of inspirational images, searching for fabrics, and creating new designs.  

I also love being in my boutique and helping out my customers so they feel as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside.

 

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Mass manufacturing and big department stores who constantly go on sale, have made it very difficult for small designers to be sustainable.  As a small designer you are also constantly time poor, and have to be able to ride the wave of inconsistent cash flow.

 

Is styling/ designing a profitable industry to participate in?

It ebbs and flows…Sometimes it can be profitable and other times you are struggling to make ends meet.  I’m not in this business purely to make money.  It is a passion of mine and something I’ve dedicated many years of my life to.  I always wanted to be a self sustaining artist, and I’ve definitely achieved that.

 

As you are in an industry that is currently facing stores closures, liquidations and financial stress, globally. How do you plan to avert their financial misfortunes and keep positive, mentally and financially?

I’m constantly thinking of ways to make money, bring in new customers, keep my old customers happy and so on.  I’m generally a positive thinker but consistent quiet days can still get you down. It’s important to take time out or yourself (even if it’s only 1 day a week).

Social media and being in contact with your customers is very important to a small creative business.

 

How do you feel about the growth of online stores in relation to your line of work?

I suppose it was inevitable that online stores would become quite prominent, but it doesn’t beat coming into a boutique, being greeted by a welcoming face, having the ability to try the garments on and having someone to give you personalised styling and fashion advice.

 

What is your opinion on the merging of fashion and technology?

I’ve got more of an old school approach to fashion….but I also think it’s great there are creative innovators who have access to that type of technology.

 

Who is your style icon?

Sophia Loren….elegant, sexy, curvalicious

 

What is your favourite style/ trend?

To be honest I don’t really follow fashion trends….I prefer to dress to flatter my curves.  Being I’m cello shaped, I like tailored cuts and vintage inspired garments that taper in at the waist. I also like to wear contrasting textures and prints. You also can’t go past a funky pair of shoes and chunky jewellery.  

 

Favourite item of clothing?

Silk Satin wrap blouse (one from my collection).   You feel like you are wrapped in silk sheets…very sexy!

 

Describe your style in three words.

Curvalicious, Funky, Tailored

Do you have a fashion regret?

Wearing mesh singlets in the 1980s….I have totally left the 1980s behind now 🙂

How do you stay up to date with trends?

I don’t worry about what are the up to date trends.  I design and wear garments that I love, not ones that are based on the latest trends.

What skills or qualities do you think are most important in this line of work?

Time management, honesty, creativity, ability to think rationally, passion, ability to design and construct a garment.

What is your creative process like?

It can be a bit random at times.  Sometimes I gather fabrics over a  long period of time (I have a storage unit full of fabrics) until enough of the fabrics inspire me to think of a new collection.  Then I start checking out inspirational images.  Next I talk to my pattern maker about design ideas…eventually a first draft pattern is created.  It gets sampled and we make changed from there.  It can be quite a lengthy process to get the right look and fit.

What materials/ textiles are your favourite to work with?

I love beautiful wools and silks.  I also work a lot with jerseys as they often have a wonderful drape about them. When jersey is cut the right way it can be very flattering on curvy women.  I make many wrap dresses and tops from jerseys which women just love.

How do you overcome creative blanks?

I check out the internet…see if anything inspires me.  It could be fashion, flowers, buildings, animals…it could really be anything that sparks an interest.  I also just sometimes put it all away and just not think about it…sometimes the best thing to do is take some time out.

How do you stay organised and productive?

I have a great team around me.  I also have the ability to start something and finish it….I can take many detours along the way to get to the finish but I always get there in the end.

Best piece of advice that you can give to aspiring stylists/ designers?

Get in the industry because you have a passion for it.  Stay focused and believe in yourself.   Be open to taking advice and treat people as you would want to be treated.

What is up next for you?

More designing and creating of garments that make women feel beautiful.  I’d also like to increase my social media presence.  And of course continuing to keep happy, be ethical and smile.

Website – sprinkle.com.au

Merrin Schnabel – Stylist, Fashion Blogger, Social Influence

Name:

Merrin Schnabel

Occupation:

Stylist, Fashion Blogger, Social Influencer

Describe yourself in three words.

Creative, Driven, Fashionista

When did you first become interested in fashion?

For as long as I can remember I have always had a keen eye for impeccable style and design. So much so that as a young girl brothers gave me the nickname Maj as in Majestic because of my taste for the finer things in life.

Who introduced you to fashion?

The two most important role models in my life, my Grandmother and Mum always had immaculate taste, even if they were picking me up from school – I was always so impressed by their outfits.

How did you get to where you are now in your career? (Study, past experiences)

During my teens and twenties it wasn’t unusual to find me making my way up and down the catwalk during Melbourne Fashion Week, modelling the latest fashion range in front of the camera or on the TV screen which included cameos on Neighbours, blue heelers and numerous TVC’S

I also completed studies at Cindy Newstead’s Professional Styling Academy. Cindy is one of the industry’s most successful personal stylists, it’s an amazing course and I definitely learnt a lot about what it means to bring personal fashion styling services to the everyday person.

What brands or people have you worked with?

I have worked with a number of brands over the years  and just wrapped up a week working on the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival that exposed me to so many wonderfully creative and talented designers.  

What is your dream job?

I feel like I am doing it now – with the fashion styling aspect of my business progressing well with a growing client base, I am now focusing my efforts on becoming an Influencer in the space. With over 5K Instagram followers and a healthy readership of my fashion blog, I am amassing a global following of people who are really into the fashion and style content I am curating and posting. This online following has led to a number of discussions with big brands and influencer platforms about collaborations in 2017, super exciting time ahead!

 

If you could work with anyone in the world, who would it be?

I really admire local Melbourne boy that’s celebrated on the global stage Toni Maticevski, he just has this sixth sense about how to dress the female body. Whether he’s creating graceful costumes or designing and creating his ready-to-wear label – he’s a super talent and one we can be proud of.

What is the proudest moment of your career to date?

Like many others in my field, I put my dreams on hold (still keeping abreast of the latest fashion trends and following my role models) while I got married and had my two boys, the most joyful experience of my life.

I am quite proud of not giving up on my dreams and finding the time, drive and courage to get back into my passion once the boys had grown up – they are truly my inspiration as I seek to get back into the swing of things. I’m also very lucky to have such a supportive husband who picks up the slack when times are busy.

What is the most fun part of your job?

Making my clients feel amazing and giving them the confidence to wear what they have always wanted.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

It may sound cliché but I am one of the lucky ones that loves my work, I guess I always try and challenge myself to build and grow my business but that’s always a fun challenge.

Is styling/ designing a profitable industry to participate in?

Yes, I believe so – if you are committed and do it well.

As you are in an industry that is currently facing stores closures, liquidations and financial stress, globally how do you plan to avert their financial misfortunes and keep positive, mentally and financially?

In any business you need a positive mind set from the get go as it’s brutal out there, couple that with relentless focus on creating revenue streams around digital, social, tech and online channels and I believe you can really take advantage of the transition we are currently seeing in bricks and mortar retailers. My advice to anyone still holding out hope for traditional retail is to embrace the digital disruption we are currently seeing with open arms and to adapt to the new world we live in.

How do you feel about the growth of online stores in relation to your line of work?

Clients will always want advice or a second opinion when it comes to fashion choices, whether they buy it online or in store – I‘m well prepared for both. Online chat apps such as Skype, Facetime, Facebook Messenger etc make it easy to maintain an intimate style session anywhere in the world without having to leave you’re the comfort of your own house.

What is your opinion on the merging of fashion and technology?

FashionTech is the future; I have been really impressed with startup companies such as Rent the Runway, Shoes of Prey, Stylitics, Glamazon etc – I am watching the space closely and will no doubt have a dabble in the area down the track.

Who is your style icon?

Miranda Kerr, she is just so elegant.

What is your favourite style/ trend?

Style = classic- you can’t go wrong.

Trend = painterly prints, corsets and sneakers.

Favourite item of clothing?

I’m currently vibing the graphic tee – wardrobe is full of them Gucci, Vogue, Calvin Klein, etc etc dress it up or down it’s so versatile.

Describe your style in three words.

Classic, Chic, Vibrant

Do you have a fashion regret?

Yes, have had a few, as have we all through the ages and different fads. Owning a number of Hypercolour t-shirts in the early nineties wasn’t my proudest moment.

How do you stay up to date with trends?

I consume fashion wherever I can, whenever I can – online, blogs, social, runways, friends, mentors.

What skills or qualities do you think are most important in this line of work?

Dead eye for style, getting in front of next trends, be creative, ambitious, passionate, think skinned and most of all just have fun.

What is your creative process like?

Giving myself the space and time to really focus and allow the creative juices to flow, for me this in an intimate process that I like to undertake on my own – much like meditation

What materials/ textiles are your favourite to work with?

I can’t pick a favourite – it really depends on the brief of the project at hand.

How do you overcome creative blanks?

Explore other creative disciplines, I might visit an art gallery, see a show/band or simply go for a soul nurturing stroll outdoors and try and capture the beauty of Mother Nature for inspiration.

How do you stay organised and productive?

This is hard with two young boys but I just need to be disciplined and create space and time dedicated to my work – loving what you do is a big part of being productive – when it’s not a chore, you can really get lost in it for hours on end.

Best piece of advice that you can give to aspiring stylists/designers?

Love what you do and have fun with it – life’s too short not too.

No matter how hard you might get knocked down or knocked back, never give up, if it is your passion – keep dusting yourself off and having another go at it.

Find yourself a good mentor who knows the fashion space – you will be surprised how much people like to give back in this industry.

What is up next for you?

Keep pursuing and building a global fashion empire, growing my brand, helping my clients feel good, engaging the new technology frontier as much as I can. I am off to do a study tour of the New York fashion tech scene in September – this will be a lot of fun and will no doubt give me a lot of ideas to come back to Australia with.

 

How to Look Effortlessly Chic with Lucinda King Jewellery

By Elisabeth Rilatt

“Less is More”

I’ve always been a lover of the simple, classic and ‘clean’ look and this applies to all areas of my life.   My home is very classic in style with simple clean lines and muted colours.  My wardrobe is minimalistic mix of whites, blacks, greys, camel and navy blue with my shoe and bag collection mirroring that! The plus side of this? Everything mixes and matches and I find it very easy to put outfits together.

There are occasions where I long for a little flash of colour (and I have been planning some purchases going into Spring and Summer to satisfy this craving – watch this space!) but on the whole I prefer to stick to classic items of clothing that fit well and are timeless and I will spend more on these, opting for items that I see as an ‘investment’.  I will occasionally follow a faddy trend but for this type of thing I’ll purchase from the likes of ASOS, Zara, Topshop or Missguided.

Jewellery and accessories are another area where I apply the ‘less is more’ mantra…

“…encapsulates my style perfectly”


Now I don’t wear a lot of jewellery and for me to fall in love with something it can’t complicate my ‘minimalistic’ approach to dressing.  My watch is plain and classic in design and I only every wear small diamond studs in my ears day to day (these may get switched up for a night out on a rare occasion!)

So I guess you could say I’m a bit of a fussy cow when it comes to jewellery!

However….

I’ve recently discovered Lucinda King, a Welsh jewellery line that encapsulates my style perfectly.  The designs are dainty, clean and contemporary and very in keeping with my style.

The Designs

When you think of classic items of clothing that everyone should have, what do you think of? For me it’s a pair of comfortable blue jeans that you can dress up or down, the perfect white shirt, a classic black handbag, a pair of nude high heels, a fitted blazer – do you catch my drift?! Staple items that will last you a lifetime. 

Lucinda King designs are the jewellery ‘equivalents’ of these items.  

A mixture of both silver and rose gold (next on my list!) with delicate and simplistic designs.  Think pretty hearts, stars and sparkling tiny set-stones that you can wear alone or stack without looking ‘overdone’. 

“Clean, contemporary and elegant designs”

Jewellery designer Sam, who founded ‘Lucinda King‘ and used to work for Clogau as a Creative Designer has ventured out on her own creating a unique collection of clean, contemporary and elegant designs.  I’m really drawn to the whole range as a result, I love the brand and the concept and can’t wait to see how it evolves. With Spring around the corner we will all be showing a little more flesh in the months to come and these designs are the perfect way to enhance this! 

I also must mention the packaging before I leave you to browse through the website because I’m one of those people who appreciates good quality when I see it! We are talking sturdy, expensive feeling jewellery boxes here and would make a perfect gift for someone (including yourself!!!) 

www.lucindaking.com 

Girl Gone West

The Ocean Minded

By Jordan Turner

Photography by Arabela Espinoza

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve undoubtedly seen outfits from Coachella flood your social media feeds over the course of the last few weeks. From retro pants, to rhinestone adorned faces, we’ve surely seen it all. These bohemian trends are a force to be reckoned with, and rightfully so— but what actually defines festival fashion?

Festival fashion is somewhere between “I’m with the band” and hippie-glam. It is comfortable and practical, but not while compromising style. It’s bohemian and it’s loud.

When it comes to festival fashion, more is more. It’s a denim jacket casually draped over your shoulders for no other reason then that it looks cool. It’s bodysuits and high-waist pants. It’s bolo necklaces and gold chokers, layered to perfection. It is western-inspired boots. It’s small leather belts with gaudy buckles. It’s bold lipstick and neutral makeup. It’s long dresses flowing in the desert wind. It’s all things crochet and lace. It’s faux fur and fringe, together. It’s hats in all shapes and sizes. It’s textured purses and artisan bags. It’s a lot of rings stacked on top of one another. It’s all in the details. It’s chasing the sun in a sundress and frolicking in a floral playsuit. It’s vintage Levi’s and edgy graphic tees. It’s messy and wild. It’s wearing whatever the hell you want, and wearing it with confidence.

The rule of thumb for festival fashion is that there are no rules.

I think adding your own flare is what makes fashion infinite, and festival fashion is no exception. Scrolling through social media, flipping through magazines and perusing Pinterest is a total testament to that—it’s a perpetual, curated mix of style.

I am constantly inspired by bohemian fashion— whether it has a beach vibe or a hint of rock-and-roll— because you never see the same outfit twice. Some styles are out of this world, while others rule on the side of simplicity. Bohemian style is creative and the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It’s an art, and you’re the artist.

Fashion is what you buy and style is what you do with it— or so they say.

1 Piece, 2 Ways

Spring/Autumn transitional lookbook

By Vikkipedia

I knew 2017 will turn out to be a good year when it started off with a nice little email in my Vikkipedia inbox.

This Is April, a womenswear brand hailing from Indonesia, asked if I was interested in collaborating with them!

I was absolutely blown away! How did they manage to find me – a spring chicken in the blogging world from Little New Zealand, hidden in the nooks and crannies of the massive interwebs?

As you may know already, New Zealand has one of the strictest quarantine/customs systems in the world. After a month of not knowing where the parcel was, I started losing hope, thinking it must have got lost in the system, when it miraculously turned up at my work desk.

I felt like I was working for Pablo Escobar – the box was completely ripped apart and duct-taped back in one piece. Thankfully, the clothes were unscathed and looked absolutely incredible!

Money ain’t a thang when you’re Jermaine Dupri and Jay-Z. Unfortunately I’m not Janet Jackson or Beyoncé. And when you have an insatiable shopping addiction like mine, your mind tricks you to keep buying stuff to ‘go with this top I bought the other day’. Your wardrobe is bursting at the seams but you STILL feel like you have nothing to wear.

All I’m saying is – don’t give in to that desire (famous last words haha…) ‘cos there are ways to stretch your wardrobe dollar further by styling the same clothes in different ways.

It’s like a petri dish – you start off with 1 item of clothing, you introduce 1 bacterial cell into the agar (in this case, accessories), then you sit back and watch your wardrobe multiply… 1 piece turns into 2 outfits, then 4, then 16, then 64… It’s endless! (I’m literally laughing at myself – how stupid is this analogy)

Partnering with This Is April, here’s a Spring/Autumn transitional lookbook where I challenge myself in styling 2 looks with 1 item of clothing. Let’s see how I fare:

Off-Shoulder Dress

Look 1 – Boho, No Hobo.

April = music festival season. If you have access to the internet, you’ll see that there’s currently 129318 bloggers and 392189 YouTubers doing a Coachella lookbook right now – a festival that annually makes me regret my past life’s decision for not choosing to reincarnate into an American body. Now I have to spend $2819 to fly over from New Zealand.

Not going to Coachella doesn’t mean I can’t dress like I’m going to Coachella! You gotta fake it ’til you make it, right?  

The off-shoulder trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. This dress is one of those, “I-can’t-be-arsed-thinking-of-what-to-wear” dresses. It’s not form-fitting but still very flattering. (Join the Collarbone Club and show off a pretty part of your body no matter what shape or size you are!)

To amp up the boho chic vibe, I wore my peacock feather earrings and carried a basket bag instead of a handbag. Chuck on some brown leather boots and you’ve got yourself a perfect festival outfit!  

Dress  |  This Is April (similar here)
Earrings  |  similar here
Boots  |  Soles (similar here)
Basket Bag  |  similar here

Look 2 – Go hard or go home.

Styling a white off-shoulder dress with boho vibes is like eating eggs for breakfast – it’s good for you, but very predictable. To challenge myself, I wanna create an ‘unexpected’ look by toughening up this little white dress.

If you want to add edge to your look, a bandana is your best friend. Here I’m wearing my Yelawolf bandana I picked up at his gig while he was touring down under (shout out to the “Slumkiwis / Slumaussies” reading this, if any).

Add a fedora hat and black lace-up booties and you’ve got yourself a completely different outfit – one that is tough enough to not look embarrassing at a rock concert! (Not if the band is Metallica…)

Dress  |  This Is April (similar here)
Bandana  |  Yelawolf (similar here)
Boots  |  Topshop (similar here)
Hat  |  Anthropologie (similar here)

Shirt Dress

Look 1 – Uni Chic

My uni days are waaaaay behind me but I still know what it’s like – you’d be kidding yourself saying you’re just there to study for your degree. Of course you’re also there to impress the cute guy across the lecture room! BUT it’s not easy to trade comfort for style. So how can you talk yourself out of sweatshirt and sweatpants?

I think a shirt dress is the answer. It’s such a great piece to have in every girl’s wardrobe. It looks put-together but still very comfortable.

I styled this striped shirt dress with a pair of white canvas shoes and added the little pineapple pin that came with it for a cute, relaxed vibe. By using simple tricks like rolling your sleeves up, you could instantly make the shirt dress look more laid-back.

To achieve a more fashionable look, I’d opt for a leather backpack instead of a big schoolbag or canvas tote bag.

Now you can look uni chic without looking like you’re even trying!

Dress  |  This Is April (similar here)
Shoes  |  Eytys
Backpack  |  Deadly Ponies

Look 2 – Girl Boss

Shirt dresses are like Worcestershire sauce or anything from Maccas if you’ve watched Supersized Me. You can literally keep a shirt dress in your wardrobe for years – once you graduate from uni you can wear the same thing to work!

The sleeves are down for a more formal look. I cinched my waistline with a thick leather belt to create a more feminine silhouette. Add a bit of height with a pair of black mules and sprinkle a pinch of attitude with a pair of sunnies + oversized clutch + red lippy.

This outfit is sooooooo #girlboss I might actually try wearing it to my next client presentation! I’ll keep my sunnies on in the boardroom like a rapper in a nightclub and see how that goes down…

Dress  |  This Is April (similar here)
Sunnies  |  Karen Walker
Clutch  |  ASOS (similar here)
Belt  |  ‘Thrfted’ from Mum lol (similar here)
Mules  |  Nine West (similar here)

Culottes

Look 1 – Blogger’s Uniform

Culottes + off-shoulder shirt = every blogger’s uniform. Now that I’m living the #bloggerlife, I need to give this outfit a go!

You can actually wear a normal shirt off-shoulder!

  1. All you need is a shirt that is slightly oversized or boxy-cut.
  2. Button it up unevenly as if you’re buttoning up your PJ’s when you were 6.
  3. Leave the top 3 buttons undone and drape the shirt off your shoulder on one side.
  4. You’ll find one sleeve longer than another but don’t worry – just roll up one of your sleeves to even them out and voila! You got yourself an off-shoulder shirt without spending anymore money!  

As for the culottes, the vertical stripes added about 10000 inches to my 159cm frame. Pairing them with black heels and big sunnies, I felt like a fashion blog veteran even though my area of expertise lies in alliteration and stupid metaphors.

Culottes  |  This Is April (similar here)
Shirt  |  This Is April (similar here)
Sunnies  |  Karen Walker
Heels  |  H&M x Maison Martin Margiela

Look 2 – V.I.P.’s Uniform

Wanna look like someone who knows fashion? Wear a black cutout top. It oozes attitude and instantly makes you look like someone important even if you’re just at an event for the free canapés.

I’ve styled the same culottes with a fitted cut-out top from my new fave Kiwi designer Jojo Ross and made myself look 5’5″ by tucking the top in to make my waistline higher.

I wore my chunky Jeffrey Campbell statement sandals that are super comfortable yet not too dressed down. This outfit is fit for any occasion – I can literally go from work to a dinner, to a night-out, then straight back to work in the same outfit if I don’t mind being mocked by my work fambam.

Culottes  |  This Is April (similar here)
Top  |  Jojo Ross
Sunnies  |  Karen Walker
Sandals  |  Jeffrey Campbell

Overalls

Look 1 – Victoria Beckham as Victoria Beckham

I did say Sporty Spice was my favourite Spice Girl in my Beauty and the Beast post but when it comes to fashion, Sporty has nothing on Posh.

I feel like Posh upped her fashion game since she became Victoria Beckham. Here I’m channeling my inner Vicky and rocking her signature monochromatic style.

I wore the same white shirt in my previous look and black knee-length overalls from This Is April. I buttoned the shirt all the way up so I can look as posh as a European art gallery curator. To make the look less uptight, I rocked my Jeffrey Campbell platform oxfords to make the vibe more fun and quirky.

For a fraction of the price of Victoria Beckham’s fashion line, you can still look like a million bucks!

Overalls  |  This Is April (similar here)
Shirt  |  This Is April (similar here)
Shoes  |  Jeffrey Campbell (similar here)

Look 2 – Victoria Beckham as Posh Spice

Victoria Beckham is arguably one of the best looking mother of four in the world, but her days as Posh Spice had a bit more sex appeal ‘cos she was rocking more daring, revealing outfits!

To make the overalls ‘less Victoria, more Posh’, I’ve just simply took out the shirt and rocked them as a jumpsuit!

Adorn the plunging neckline with a metallic choker like this one from Captve (They ship to NZ!). Chuck on a pair of black strappy heels, aviator sunnies, a clutch and you’re ready to hit the clubs!

Overalls  |  This Is April (similar here)
Choker  |  Captve
Sunnies  |  Gentle Monster
Shoes  |  New Look (Super-saver alternatives here and here)
Clutch |  COMME des GARÇONS

Thanks for going this deep in my blog post – I ain’t gonna hate on you if you didn’t read everything ‘cos that was a lot of words but I had a lot of fun writing them!

Let me know which look is your favourite! x

Vikkipedia

http://www.vikkipedia.org/

https://www.facebook.com/vikkipedia.org

https://www.instagram.com/vikkipedia_org/

Petite Perspectives

petiteperspectives.com

To each individual, fashion can have very different definitions. To one person, fashion could mean the trendiest clothes and the most expensive brands. To another person, fashion could mean creating an attire with vintage pieces. What does fashion mean to me? To me, fashion is a medium that I use to inspire petite women around the world to dress and feel amazing about their body.

I started Petite Perspectives as a little venture after I couldn’t enter the modeling world because of my height. I didn’t let rejections from modeling agencies get me down, instead I searched and found an avenue where I could do what I loved. One year later, my fashion blog has helped me meet amazing women from all around the world who share the same passion for fashion as me. My blog has helped a multitude of petite women out there feel inspired through fashion.

A lot of thought goes into the outfits that I feature on my blog. I try and put together looks that are high fashion, yet comfortable. I have always been a fashionista, as a young girl I created outfits from hand-me-downs given to me by my mum and cousins. I still wear a lot of my mum’s vintage pieces.

With autumn just around the corner for New Zealand, I decided to put together this particular look.

Distressed jeans are a staple in my Autumn wardrobe and will most probably make its way into my winter wardrobe as well. It gives your outfit an “edgy” look. Pair it up with some ankle boots and a knitted jumper and you are ready for a perfect coffee date with your girlfriends! The same jeans can even make a fine debut into your evening attire; just switch the boots up with a pair of heels, and the knitted jumper with a blouse and you are ready for a night out in no time.

Details, shape and length are three important things to consider for a dress. Dresses easily become bags for girls with a petite frame. I love details; I’ll wear anything with intricate or unique details in a heart beat. I love my outfits to have a bit of difference to the next persons.

With a heavily detailed dress, it’s always better to go for plain, nude shoes as I have done with this Sherri Hill dress. The whole look works like a package; this starts from your hair and ends with your accessories. Everything needs to be able to compliment each other. It is handy to own a nude clutch and nude shoes, which can easily be paired together with a detailed piece.

My channel aims to provide new, innovative but also a comfortable approach to fashion. My main focus is on fashion for petite women but my blog also features day-to-day looks that can inspire any wardrobe. Follow my blog on Instagram to see all the daily posts of the looks that I pair up. My goal for this blog is to keep inspiring women out there to feel sexy and beautiful in their bodies and always make life your own little catwalk! One day I am hoping to inspire more petite fashion shows and more petite women on catwalks.

By the end of this year, I am hoping to launch a Petite Women’s convention where women can get together and talk about fashion, lifestyle and beauty. From doing this, I am aiming to bring together like-minded women where we can all work together to boost women’s morale through fashion.

A Glimpse into the Life of Leilani Chandler

Name:

Leilani Chandler

Occupation:

Self Employed

Describe yourself in three words.

Persistent, Intuitive, Open Minded

When did you first become interested in fashion?

I have always been interested in fashion, since I was a little girl. My mum used to sew me up some pretty crazy colourful little numbers when I was in primary school, as I always liked to be able to wear something a bit different to everybody else, and there wasn’t as much choice as there is nowadays. You couldn’t just jump online and get the latest trends.

Who introduced you to fashion?

I suppose my mum was my first influence with fashion. She was one of the cool mums, she always looked fashionable and trendy. She also used to have her own bikini shop long before I was born, and my  grandfather was also a bit of a fashionista in his day, and he also used to own a mens clothing business in Sydney back in the 60’s/70’s.

How did you get to where you are now in your career?

A lot of hard work and long hours and never giving up. I’ve been in business for almost 14 years, so experience definitely plays a big part too. But ultimately, I suppose a lot of it comes down to a few important traits that I think anyone that wants to be successful in business needs to have. Persistence and the determination to never give up, no matter how many challenges you may face. Being intuitive and perceptive enough to notice trends and opportunities and to be able navigate so many uncharted waters every single day – problem solving and thinking fast on your feet. And also being open minded, which includes being open to criticism and being aware that there is always something new to consider. It doesn’t matter how long you have been in business or how smart you are, there is always going to be new things you can learn, every single day.

What brands or people have you worked with?

We haven’t really worked with many other brands, ‘but we have been affiliated with a lot of fitness/bodybuilding federations and events, such as the INBA, the ICN, the ANB and the Miss Fit Bikini Model Extravaganza and also the all female fitness competition, the Miss Athletica Show. As far as people go, we have focused more on aligning ourselves with smaller, more local influencers and fitness enthusiasts, bloggers etc as opposed to bigger name celebrities, however in the coming 12 months we will be looking at reaching out to more mainstream public figures to help us push our message of body positivity and to also become ambassadors for our brand.

What is your dream job?

Being my own boss and being able to build a brand that is truly aligned with my own personal philosophies on life, fitness etc. Essentially, the job I have right now… Although I would like to be in a position where I didn’t have to work quite so many hours, but this will come in time. Experience has taught me, that if I put in the work now, in the short term, then eventually I will be able to work less hours and still get paid. This is a process that just takes time and isn’t really something you can avoid or speed up when you in the start up phase of a business.

If you could work with anyone in the world, who would it be?

Oprah is definitely someone I would find inspiring to work with…. Some Australian entrepreneurs that would be interesting to meet would be Janine Allis the founder of Boost Juice, Naomi Simson of Red Balloon Days and Jane Lu the founder of ShowPo.

What is Exoticathletica’s message to its audience?

The number one key message that we promote to our audience, is to WALK THE WILD SIDE…. and what we mean by this is that we want to inspire as many women as possible to push through their comfort zones, face their fears and challenge themselves every single day, so they can become the true and exotic women that they were destined to be. This philosophy extends to everything in life, health, fitness, business, etc… because we believe that by questioning everything and testing our existing beliefs, that we are able to get closer to the core of who we are.

What is the proudest moment of your career to date?

Actually my most proudest moments are usually the smaller ones, like when customers send us emails saying how our clothing makes them feel more confident again, that they now feel like they can get back to the gym, and get back into fitness. Or when people do my 10 Day Self Love Challenge and say how it really helped them see themselves differently and they feel more confident about themselves and their bodies etc.

What is the most fun part of your job?

Everything is fun. The challenges of learning new things everyday, not knowing whether or not my crazy ideas are going to work. Having to always think outside of the box and coming up with new ways to build my brand.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The same as the above really. The challenges are fun, but they can also be challenging. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Why do you personally think it is so important to provide a product that is not only built for curvier women, but that is also customisable to any body shape?

Because women should not be made to feel like they’re body is wrong, or feel excluded because they can’t find clothing that fits. They should be able to find clothing that fits them properly and makes them feel confident and comfortable with the bodies they have right now. We should not be made to feel like we need to conform to a set standard, or be forced to fit inside a box. Our Made-To-Measure activewear fits all unique body shapes exactly and in turn encourages women to embrace their uniqueness rather than expecting to conform to an outdated idea of size, beauty and health.The fitness industry nor the fashion industry for that matter, should not be a secret society where you must look a certain way or be a certain size in order to join or to feel a part of it. It should be open to all of us, without exclusion and without judgment.

What is your opinion on local vs. global fashion culture? Is one better than the other?

No I don’t think one is necessary  better than the other, but I think today’s fashion culture is becoming much more global. Trends spread quicker nowadays, so you can’t really be successful in this industry without seriously considering both when you are putting together a new collection or product release.

As you are in an industry that is currently facing stores closures, liquidations and financial stress, globally. How do you plan to avert their financial misfortunes and keep positive, mentally and financially?

By doing things differently to everybody else. Thinking outside the box. By offering women a product that makes them feel good about themselves instead of making them feel excluded. And offering a high quality product of course. At the end of the day, if you can solve a real problem in the marketplace, and position yourself as a brand that women are proud to wear, then all of these external factors are much less likely to have an effect.

How do you feel about the growth of online stores compared to brick-and-mortar stores, in relation to your line of work within the fashion industry?
I think the growth of online stores is awesome, obviously, we wouldn’t be where we are today without it. Online gives women so many more options, and custom clothing online gives them even more. I guess the biggest downside to online shopping for most women is that they are never really sure  how a garment is going to fit until it arrives in the mail. That’s why we have tried to eliminate this problem as much as possible, by offering made-to-measure garments, so women can shop with confidence online, without feeling like they need to go into a traditional brick and mortar store to try things on first.

What is your opinion on the merging of fashion and technology?

I think for the activewear market especially this is such an awesome time because the advancements in fabric technology over the past few years has been huge. There are so many options out there to create high performance garments that provide added value to the customer, such as sweat resistance technology, moisture wicking properties, more stretch, more compression, more aeration etc etc… the list is virtually endless. Its great because it allows us to develop products with added features that women are really wanting and needing, which at the end of the day is what we are all about.

If you could change one thing within the fashion industry, what would it be?

The way the industry portrays the ultimate perfect women/body type. We want more body diversity in the fashion industry, more images of real women, real healthy women, so younger girls especially can find more imagery that they can identify with so they feel less excluded.

Who is your style icon?
I don’t really have one style icon. My style is very eclectic and changes just as much as my moods are. Everyone one from Rita Ora and Rihanna, to the Kardashians, JLO and Beyonce.

What is your favourite style/ trend?
I don’t really have one favorite. Although on a daily basis I tend to usually go for the smart/casual/active look of course. I like wearing activewear EVERYDAY and depending on what I am doing or where I am going, I might dress it up a bit with heels or a leather jacket or something. Comfort is also important to me. Comfortable, Classy and Casual…. I think that is probably my go to style on most days.

Favourite item of clothing?

Leggings in winter of course…. and booty shorts and bikinis in summer.

Describe your style in three words.

Ecletic, Bold, Sexy

Do you have a fashion regret?

NEVER!…

What skills or qualities do you think are most important in this line of work?

When you are in the early stages of a start up, it is essential to have skills and qualities in almost every area of business… you basically have to be good at everything, or at least know a lot about everything. Obviously creative skills are a must have, and this mostly includes digital based/graphic design skills,  because these days basically everything is digital. Marketing skills are also essential and overall business management/strategy skills are a must have as well.

What is your creative process like?

Depending on what I am working on my creative process can be very time consuming or super fast. But either way it still seems to go through the same stages… Firstly there is the brainstorming phase, or the inspiration phase, where I will come up with a million different ideas or scenarios in my head of how I want something to look or feel. And then the second phase would mostly involve sifting through all of these to try and work out which ones really stand out and which one I want to make a start on… And then I guess I get started. In essence this third phase is the proactive creative stage, where I am actually creating something, editing something, revising something, so I can visually see how it is all going to piece together… this stage involves a lot of evaluating, reflection and self criticism, to make sure what I am creating ticks all of the boxes that I need it to tick. And then voila, hopefully by that time I have been able to come up with something that does the job….

How do you overcome creative blanks?

Getting out and doing something new and different, just anything outside of my usual routine… or talk to people, get their feedback or ideas on different concepts etc. Or research and look around at what other people have done and how they got their inspiration. Sometimes you can get inspiration from things that may have absolutely nothing to do with what you are creating, but if you are looking at things in a more creative way sometimes you can find inspiration in some really unexpected places.

How do you stay organised and productive?

Productive has never really been a problem for me, Organised is sometimes a little more challenging. Coffee is definitely a major contributor to my success 🙂 …. also prioritising plays an important role. Knowing when to move onto something else, knowing what things I want and making sure my day focusses on the things I need to do to get those things done.   

Best piece of advice that you can give to aspiring fashion creators?

Learn about business. Do a course if you have too. Because creativity and amazing talent design will only get you so far. I think a lot of designers underestimate the importance that these skills will have on their success.  

What is up next for you?
We always have something new and exciting going on in the world of Exoticathletica. But probably one of the most exciting things I have going at the moment is my 10 day self love challenge. This is a campaign I have been working on for a long time and I am really looking forward to rolling out this campaign on a national scale over the coming months. Body Positivity and Female Empowerment and confidence is something I am really passionate about and offering this free challenge is my way of sharing the things I’ve learnt along the way that will help other women find love, peace and happiness with their bodies. Anyone and everyone is open to join this Body Positive Movement and take part in the challenge, it is completely FREE – www.bopobabes.com.au for more info!

Work in Style

By Nicole Dickson

In many workplaces around the globe you are provided the freedom of not having a set uniform. For those who experience this, it is nice to have the choice of what to wear but also a constant battle within that choice. What can I wear? What is appropriate? What is functional? Assuming you are not doing heavy manual labour, the choices are endless… to a point.


Especially for those starting out in a position that requires a self-made uniform I am going to offer some tips so you can both look fab in the workplace but also not cross any lines. As we have learnt from schooling, there is a degree to which casual wear is appropriate. It may not be as strict as to when we were in school but there are definitely still some guidelines that must be followed.


Firstly, is skin. Let’s all remember that going out on the weekend and going to work do not require the same outfit. On your weekends, you can do what you want. Wear that sheer top or the short shorts, but maybe not to work. In this instance, imagine yourself meeting with the higher ups in your company (even working in fashion), if you would feel awkward about them seeing you in that attire, maybe take a step back and consider that. Low cut tops, overly short skirts and crop tops may not be the way to go in the office.


Instead, it may be best to go simple, even classic. A blouse and corporate skirt, a midi dress (or skirt for that matter) would be lovely, or even an awesome pantsuit, or dress shirt and long pants. If you’re ever in doubt about whether or not you think the top you’ve chosen is appropriate, SIMPLE! Chuck on a lovely monochrome blazer over the top and fear no more!


Now for the heels. Those who know me understand that I love heels as much as the next person (or maybe more). I wear heels on my days off, going to the shops and out to dinner, I’m obsessed. But as we all know, there are different styles of heels which are associated with different events. If you choose to where heels at work, I find there are two failsafe options; boots and kitten heels.


If you are on your feet more often than not, boots are a great way to still look good but also stay comfortable and practical. Heeled boots look lovely under flared work pants or jeans and let you live that comfort lifestyle. If you’re more inclined to wear stiletto’s or more delicate heels, the best option is kitten heels. These heels are not too high or flashy and go with almost anything. Kitten heels are practical for a full working day and let you feel great while not falling over constantly. These heels match perfectly with skirts, pants, dresses, you name it. Little black Mary Jane kitten heels are a staple in a working wardrobe.
Depending on your area of occupation the rules could be different, it could be much more lenient or much stricter. However not matter what, just remember, you don’t need to leave your sense of style at home and not put your own influence into what you wear, it’s more about simply using your key pieces and favourite trends and adapting those to your line of work.


I have always adhered to the saying, ‘dress for the job you want, not for the job you have’. No matter what you are doing, imagine yourself in your dream role and what you would wear in that setting. Never underestimate your ability to look good and professional at the same time.


Follow the rules of your workplace, but put your own little twist on them. Don’t lose yourself in it. Just remember that when in doubt, it is best to go safe, wear a blouse and pencil skirt on your first day and suss out from there, what you can wear.

Why off-the-shoulder look is here to stay

Looking forward to summer

Why off-the-shoulder look is here to stay

By Abbey Neeham

meerustyle.com

With the arrival of spring in Europe many of us are looking forward to heading north for some sun on the continent. My hubby grew up in Ibiza and we love to spend time there in the summer. For others, even though autumn has only just arrived in Australia, we are already looking forward to the arrival of next spring and summer.

Wherever you are going to be in the next few months it is clear that one of the must have’s for spring and summer is again an off-the-shoulder piece – a dress, a top or both. I’ve been wearing them throughout the summer and still am with the onset of autumn.

More and more designers, plus high street stores have included the off-the-shoulder outfits. Whether it is a pretty top with ruffled sleeves or a glamorous dress…you can’t help but think these off the shoulder looks are here to stay. I guess exposed shoulders are the latest – and chicest way to show some skin. On the up side, shoulders always look good, unlike abs! I just love this look.

This dress has been one of favourite off-the-shoulder pieces. It has an elasticated waist, so very easy to wear, plus it has a dolphin hem which gives it a real feminine touch. I have worn it casually for shopping and lunch in the city as well as to dinners and most recently my best friends 40th birthday party.

There is such a selection to choose from, catering to all tastes and all budgets. Most of the high street stores like Topshop, H&M and Zara have them as well designers such as Fendi, Victoria Beckman and Dolce and Gabana.

A tip to enhance this look, is to dab on some illuminating body lotion over the shoulders and you are ready to wear this latest trend!