New Season Know-How: Cuts and Styling

I’m back with part 2 of my new-season series! Yay! In case you can’t be bothered heading back to my last post on this topic, here’s a recap of most of the colours that are going to be dominating AW16:

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I spotted these tiles on Grote Street and they’re basically a summary of the colours you’re going to see a lot of in stores this A/W. You’re welcome.

Now we’re onto cuts and styling. What shapes should you be looking for in the shops (or the depths of your own wardrobe for that matter)? And how should you wear them to prevent looking like you’ve stepped straight out of 1974? I’m glad you asked, pal! Here’s a quick crash course in just a few of the main looks for the season.

Generally speaking, you’re looking for balance in any outfit. Sure, having everything chunky and oversized can make a statement but most of us will need some finer details (accessories like skinny scarves, fine jewellery, belted waist) to get the right proportions happening. Simple tricks like tucking the front of a larger top into your bottoms can make a huge difference in creating a more flattering shape, so all is not lost if you think some of these styles aren’t for you. Try stuff out, have a chat to well-dressed shop assistants, scour Pinterest and find what works for you. Here are some of the things I’ll be trying this A/W:

Flares all ’round!

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Image via Pinterest

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Image via Pinterest

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Image via Pinterest

Bell sleeves, bootleg jeans, feature peplums… anything with a bit of a kick is going to be sitting pretty amongst the fash crowd this season. If you’re nervous, stick to a basic like mid-rise bootleg jeans in a dark denim wash. Pair with a plain white tee, a block heel and a long boyfriend cardi and you’ve nailed simple but stylish everyday wear. If you’re game to get a bit more stuck-in, try a fitted top with big bell sleeves and a cropped kick-flare pant or pencil skirt that kicks out at the bottom. If all of this sounds far too 70s for you, just pull out those wide-leg pants or culottes from last year. They’re still sticking around. Or try a swishy midi-skirt in an A-line cut.

 

Knit on Knit

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Image via Pinterest

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Image via Pinterest

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Image via Harper’s Bazaar Pinterest

Knitwear ain’t just for your torso, folks! Knitted pants, skirts and dresses are all worthy additions to your rotation. Layer them up for extra cosiness or just add in a new texture or colour to freshen things up. Worn with block heels, boots, sneakers or point-toed pumps, knitwear takes on a new versatility this season. Roll-necks and turtle-necks are still go, as is layering knits over longer line tanks or collared shirts.

 

Keep it tonal but add texture

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Image via Pinterest

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Image via Pinterest

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Image via Pinterest

Last winter was all about head-to-toe tonal outfits and the trend is still in for this season, but try adding interest and movement by working with textures. The knitwear trend above is a great way to do this, but so it embellishment or just clashing fabrics. Denim with velvet, wool with leather, silk with cashmere… Have a play!

 

So there you go, another little nugget of (hopefully helpful) inspiration for the coming season. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and feel free to let me know if you’ve tried any of these looks too – I’d love to see some pics!

Until next time,
Lxx

 

5 Print Clashing Basics

I love a good print clash. They’re a great way to shake up your look if you’re not comfortable buying into the latest trends (I’m lookin’ at you: midriff-baring, culottes, funnel-necklines, long layers, et al.) but still want to look edgy. My Mum is going to baulk at the idea of this post, as she doesn’t “get” the print clash and she often gives me a very perplexed look when I emerge from my bedroom wearing spots and florals at the same time (an awesome combo, if you ask me). It is, however, a topic I get asked about a lot at work so I thought I’d share some tips and pics with you.

1. Start with monochrome

Black and white are always chic, and usually pretty forgiving when it comes to mixing prints. They rarely look too ‘busy’ and are able to be worn just as easily at work or off-duty. Olivia Palermo rocks this look a LOT.

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2. Keep a classic print as your base

Whilst trends constantly swing between florals, geometrics, tribal, and so on, there are certain classic prints that will be around forever. Stripes, spots, leopard, checks and snakeskin are my top five. They work just as well together as they do clashed against busier/brighter prints because they are often found in neutral tones like black, white, tan, khaki and grey. As I mentioned at the start of this post, I reckon florals work particularly well with spots and stripes.

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3. Pick a common colour

Start with one print and pull out one colour you’d like to highlight. This doesn’t have to be the colour that dominates the piece – in fact it’s probably better if it’s not to maximise clashage (yes, that is the technical term). Your second print should also feature this colour to make it stand out. Finding a common colour between two or more prints helps create some flow through your outfit and again, prevents the busy-ness from being too overwhelming. The pics below are some awesome examples.

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4. Keep styles classic

If you’re just starting out, try not to overcomplicate things. Start with a simple t-shirt/collared shirt on top and slim or straight pants/pencil skirt on the botton and keep your accessories in a complementary neutral tone (black/white/nude and metallics are the easiest). Opt for a classic silhouette and build from there.

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5. Trust your gut

There are certain combos that you would never think would work, but somehow do. Ultimately, if you feel good in what you’re wearing and you wear it with confidence, it’s probably going to work. People will either not notice at all, or (like my mother) still be perplexed, but kinda accept it anyway. Wear what you love.

Here are some other print clash collages/posts for inspiration: 1. and 2. and 3. And here are some of my other fave print clash outfits: 1. and 2. and 3. and 4. Margherita Missoni, Olivia Palermo, Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine and Miroslava Duma are reeeeally good examples of print clashing done right. There’s also HEAPS of awesome pics over on Pinterest if you search “print clash” and refine from there using key words for colours/styles/shapes/prints you already have in your wardrobe or are looking to buy. So there you go! Hope that’s got you excited to start print clashing and given you some confidence to get started!

Lxx

4 Ways to Wear Linen (and not look like a dag)

Working in fashion, I’m expected to know a lot about fabrics. One that I get asked about all the time is linen. Linen is a summer staple in many a wardrobe and across a stack of popular brands. It’s a natural, lightweight, breathable, durable fibre, so particularly good for summer. With the introduction of new technologies in fabric production, there are new blends being developed all the time, and linen is no longer the super-expensive luxury choice it once was. However, it does crease very easily and has the potential to go from sleek to scruffy pretty quickly. I get asked a lot for suggestions of how to wear linen in a more polished, less beachy way so I thought I’d put together a little file of images and some styling ideas for you to refer to when considering making a linen purchase.

Idea #1: Prep it up!

Shirt from Shop Heist, found on Pinterest

Shirt by JCrew, found on Pinterest

Styling found on Pinterest


Keeping your pants and accessories preppy and more on the conservative side help bring polish to the whole outfit. Another plus: stripes are great for hiding creases!

Idea #2: Try a tee

A lot of brands are doing linen or linen-blend tees (try these faves of mine from Witchery, Country Road, JAG or Sussan). These are especially great if you’re young and fear linen might make you look like your Mum or Grandma (although in my case I’m always flattered when people say I look like them) OR if you’re a curvy gal like myself and feel a bit frumpy in linen. Tees are the ultimate layering piece and choosing a linen one is a smart move for a blisteringly hot Aussie summer.

Idea #3: Keep pants roomy.

Try a complete tonal outfit and keep accessories fine

Yes, you CAN layer with linen!


Tight linen is all kinds of uncomfortable, and can be all kinds of unflattering. Whilst it certainly stretches out a little (and actually doesn’t bounce back into shape very well), it’s not one to buy two sizes too small on your butt just because you like the skinny fit on your legs. If you do, you risk pulling and tearing. If in doubt, go oversized. Feel free to play with proportions up top, but always keep in mind your body shape and the overall look you’re going for with the outfit.

Idea #4: Have fun with colour and print.

Bright blue modernises a preppy cut

Who said linen isn’t office-appropriate?


As I said before, stripes can minimise the appearance of linen’s creasing, but so can other prints. And don’t feel constricted to a white linen shirt or cream linen pants. Colour is a great way to make your linen feel more youthful and fun, without being too ‘out there’. The natural, earthy texture of the fabric will tone it down a notch anyway, if you’re scared.

So, I hope those little ideas have inspired you to try something new and include a bit of linen in your winter wardrobe.

If you have any other fabric or trend you’d like me to investigate for you, let me know!

Lxx

P.S. One more thing! When you do buy linen or a linen blend (or really any other fabric for that matter), please read the care instructions!! Every fabric is slightly different and can behave differently depending on the cut of the garment too, so following them will ensure your garments remain in tip top shape for years to come.