How to transition your summer dresses to fall & winter

how to transition summer dresses for fall
how to transition summer dresses for fall

Karen Walker dress, Kate Sylvester skivvy (this is a great alternative!)

While I’ve parted with my fair share of summer dresses since first starting the wardrobe cull, those I do have, I love enough to want to be reaching for them all. year. round. But backless dresses, cut outs and bare legs are far from the first thing that comes to mind when planning my winter wardrobe.

We’re lucky to have relatively mild winters here in Sydney, but for those dresses that I’m not quite ready to retire during the colder months, I’ve taken to layering, to make them go the extra mile.

A thick sweater loosely thrown over the top of a dress (cinched in with a belt) or a sleek skivvy worn underneath basically e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g, plus a pair of opaque black tights for good measure. It’s a fail safe that’s seen me through the last two winters, and works just as well with a dress that is cut close to the body as it does with one that’s a loose fit.

Given I’m one for a wardrobe that sits on the more discreet side of the fence than one that’s loud and proud, I make a rule of tucking away anything that isn’t navy, dark grey or black for warmer days – a white floral dress will always look better with sun kissed skin and bare legs than it will with a skivvy and tights.

My go to has been a black semi fitted skivvy from Kate Sylvester that I nabbed in the sale a couple years back, but Everlane and Uniqlo have some great options for those of you on the lookout; because trust me when I say, a little layering goes a long way.

Transitioning to Spring

We’re a mere few days out from Spring, though judging by the cloudless skies and warmer than usual days, you’d have thought the season of blooms had already arrived.

I’m in the process of giving my wardrobe a little refresh, and aside from the odd wild card, I’m opting for some more colourful neutrals; think pink, army green, and camel. So I thought I’d take a quick minute to share some of the styles I’m loving for for Spring, as well as a couple of pieces I currently have my eye on.

ALL PINK EVERYTHING
Ever since Italy, all I’ve had on my mind is all pink everything, and it’s probably no surprise that about 80% of the items sitting in my wishlist are some shade of blush. I recently picked up this slouchy midi dress from ASOS which I plan on pulling out on those cooler Spring days, paired with with some cute flats or sneakers. I also love the idea of pink accessories – handbags in particular! – to add a subtle flush of colour to an all white look.

OFF THE SHOULDER
I’ve been dying to bare a little bit of shoulder all winter long – it’s been hands down one of my favourite trends of late, and one which I can quickly see taking over my wardrobe. Given it’s a statement in itself, I’ll be opting mostly for neutral tones, paired with some denim or a cute mini skirt.

TRAINERS
I’ve never been much of a girl to reach for trainers, but I spotted a pair on my morning walk to work in the windows of Topshop and have been smitten since. I like the idea of wearing trainers with a loose midi dress on my casual days off.

NECK TIES
My outfits are typically on the more minimal end of the scale, and given I don’t reach for jewellery that often, I love the addition of a neck tie to help jazz up a look. J Crew and Madewell have been my one stop shop for affordable bandanas, plus I love the fact that they come in a range of really sweet prints.

VICTORIAN BLOUSES
Playing around with mixed proportions is something that I love to do daily, and I feel like the addition of a lace victorian blouse will just take things to the next level. I imagine it paired with a fitted skirt to really play up the volume!

ARMY JACKETS
An army jacket has been on my wishlist for years, and I’m determined to narrow it down and finally pull the trigger on one this Spring. I figure this will pair perfectly with anything blush, and be a great transitional piece as we move out of winter.

JUMPSUITS
Basically anything that’s an entire look in one (dresses completely included) is a bit of a no brainer to me, and I’ve currently got my eye on this polka dot number from J Crew. I love that it gives the illusion of a two piece, and I can envision it being dressed down with a pair of slide sandals, or dressed up with some killer heels.

STRUCTURED BAGS
About 90% of the bags in my closet are slouchy, so I’m definitely keen to add in something that has a little bit more structure. The Givenchy antigona seems like an obvious choice (and in the salmon pink – yes please!), though I’m currently keeping my eyes peeled for a slightly more affordable option.

Sparkle Toes

chloe crystal embellished sandals heels

Chloe embellished heels

Sometimes, a pair of shoes just speak for themselves…

What to wear to a Wedding (part 2)

what to wear to a wedding dion lee dress
what to wear to a wedding dion lee dress
what to wear to a wedding dion lee dress

Dion Lee dress (I also love this style!), Chloe embellished heels

Basically breaking all the rules I mentioned in part one; for Luke’s brother’s wedding in the rolling hills of Tuscany, I opted for this little black number from Dion Lee. Admittedly, I spent the better part of three months trying to track down something that a) didn’t break the bank, and b) wasn’t black, and in the end, instinct won out. Black FTW right?

I think we can probably all agree that the tradition of not wearing black to a wedding is a little antiquated; these days, I think you’re more likely to spot a guest wearing an LBD than you aren’t… or at least that’s what I figured as I was in the process of trying to talk myself out of buying this dress while in the changing room. And just for the record, the navy was already sold out in my size, and as far as I’m concerned, a girl can never have too many little black dresses. And I figure, where you’re unsure, getting the ‘all clear’ from the bride is always going to be your best bet, especially if it’s going to be a particularly intimate affair.

I’m fairly certain I can count the number of times I’ve worn anything fitted like this in the last five years on one hand, so if there’s one piece of advice that I think is worth sticking by, I would say: don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. x

5PFW Challenge A/W ’16 Update & Recap

With another 5PFW Challenge under my belt, I thought I’d share a quick recap and update on what entered my closet, and whether I’m still just as smitten with it as the day I bought it.

I ended up adding six new ‘key’ pieces to my wardrobe this time around, and a good 15 new basic pieces, at least thereabouts; proof that you can easily find yourself adding to your wardrobe with the excuse that it’s just another basic piece, rather than a replacement or a particular piece you actually need. Given that we’d had a holiday planned a good six months before I even decided to take this challenge on, I decided to cut myself a little slack, you know, on the off chance I spotted something I wanted to bring home with me on holiday.

Unlike last year, I chose not to plan out my purchases; it didn’t work out too well for me the first time around, and I wanted to have some flexibility and not feel obligated to purchase something, just because it was on my list. Given how much my shopping habits have changed over the years, this was just the right approach for me; it gave me choice, freedom, and the ability to have a little more fun with my new purchases, rather than feel bound to add luxe takes on otherwise basic pieces to my closet.

Lover drifter mini skirt – Lover is a label that I will forever go back to, time and time again; it’s been one of my favourite labels from the age of 15, and that definitely hasn’t faded over the years. When I spotted the drifter mini skirt, an a-line canvas skirt with rope and rivet detailing at the waistband, I just couldn’t say no. As much as I have loved and worn this skirt over the last few months, I recently decided to part with it – as nit-picky as this is going to sound, it wasn’t quite the right shade of navy, and second guessing has me wishing I’d opted for the slightly less practical choice of white.

RUBY vasilisa off the shoulder dress (no longer available but LOVE this one) – Hands down my favourite buy this year, and honestly it was about time that my wardrobe got a little off the shoulder action. Given that this dress launched as part of RUBY’s A/W collection, I haven’t had as much opportunity to wear it as I would like, but I love the slightly neon hue, the option to wear it belted – or not – and the fact that I can just throw it in the washing machine.

Country Road grey mohair longline cardigan – I’ve had my eye on the Acne Studios Raya Cardigan for some time now, and when I spotted this in my local Country Road, it seemed like the perfect affordable alternative. This has gotten more than its fair share of ‘air’ time, as it works just as well with a mini dress as it does with an easy sweater and jeans.

ASOS criss cross back midi dress in pinstripe (this style is also cute!) – This was a pre-holiday purchase, one that I grabbed almost on a whim, as it looked like the perfect travelling companion for 30+ deg C temperatures that we were expecting in Italy and the USA. It turned out to be one of the most worn items I packed with me, and it’s something that I suspect I’ll get a lot of wear out of here in Sydney once the weather starts to heat up. For now though, I’m planning on wearing it layered over a merino knit skivvy to see me through the brisk mornings we’ve been having lately.

Sophia Webster ‘loren’ sandals – Along with the off the shoulder dress from RUBY, these are quite possibly one of my favourite purchases of the year. I bought these as a (fancy) replacement for my Opening Ceremony black heeled sandals which I absolutely thrashed through most of Spring, Summer and then some, the last couple of years. These are a little more delicate, with thin leather straps, a beaded heel, and two baubles at the toe, but they’ve been comfortable from the get-go and pair perfectly with basically everything in my wardrobe. I’ve already managed to scuff them after trying to navigate Florence’s cobblestoned streets with a little fancy footwork, but I figure that it’s nothing a cobbler can’t fix.

COS navy asymmetrical hem t-shirt dress – My final purchase, and the one that tipped me over the goal of sticking to just five key piece, but definitely a welcome addition to my wardrobe. I nabbed this in Florence, during a spur of the moment stop in COS, and while I haven’t had an opportunity to wear this yet, I have a feeling that it’s going to become a solid workhorse in my wardrobe.

One thing I definitely found myself gravitating towards was dresses; which honestly, came as a little bit of a surprise to me given my fondness for separates. I’m definitely starting to find myself wanting to experiment again and find that playful spirit that my wardrobe so desperately seems to be lacking.

Perhaps it’s without surprise that I’ve decided I probably won’t embark on another round of the 5PFW Challenge – as much as it’s helped to shape my perceptions and decision making where new wardrobe additions are involved, sometimes, a girl’s just gotta have fun! x