The fluid capsule wardrobe

fluid capsule wardrobe

As much as I’ve loved – or should I say relished? – my capsule wardrobe experience, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about its longevity. Is this something I’m going to be doing forever? What if something I love doesn’t make the cut, and I miss wearing it for an entire season, or two?

If there’s one question that I’ve received more than any other, it would have to be: Do you get bored of wearing just the same 30 items over three months?

For the most part, the answer has generally been no, and where I have wanted to dip into my wardrobe, I’ve let myself, mostly as the experience should be fun, and the rigidity of adhering to a defined set of rules with no flexibility just doesn’t cut it for me. But lately, there’s been the part of me that really wants to have fun with her wardrobe, explore a little more texture, pattern, and colour; things that aren’t really all that possible if slipping in and out of capsule wardrobes from season to season.

There’s a lot that I’ve learnt, and taken away from the whole capsule wardrobe experience, things that I’m not ready, nor do I ever want to give up. While I’m sure eventually, I’ll go back to the standard day-to-day of pulling whatever I like from my closet (honing in on a few fast favourites, no doubt), I’m still not quite ready to give up my capsule wardrobe just yet. Instead, I’m shifting away from a seasonal wardrobe to something that is a little more fluid; something that lends itself to change, yet is still a tightly edited selection of what I want to wear right. now.

It’s a capsule wardrobe for beginners. It’s a capsule wardrobe for those who don’t like rules. It’s a capsule wardrobe for those who like variety, and don’t want to commit to just 30 items over three months.

Rather than focusing on building a capsule that will see me through a 1-3 month period, it seemed more practical to base my winter capsule around a shorter time span of anywhere from 2-4 weeks. This is for several reasons; firstly, in late June I’ll be heading overseas for three and a half weeks, so a typical capsule didn’t seem to be the best approach given this, and I wanted something which offered much more flexibility and allowed me to reach into my closet and ensure that all those pieces that I lover actually have a chance to be worn, given I have about 80-100 items of clothing in my closet at any one time.

The fluid capsule will be composed of just 15 items, including shoes, and after two, three, or four weeks, depending on how I’m tracking, I’ll look to pull out anything I’m no longer loving or that isn’t currently seasonally appropriate in favour of pieces which are.

To me, it’s a foolproof way to rotate your wardrobe and consistently be wearing the things that you absolutely love. It offers the flexibility that isn’t present in any other capsule wardrobe systems I’ve seen (making it perfect for those who live in temperamental climates), yet it also calls for a carefully curated selection of items that make you feel, and look good while wearing them.

My initial fluid capsule looks a little like this:

Tops, Jumpers & Cardigans
Dries van Noten white shirt
T by Alexander Wang stripe top
Everlane charcoal cashmere sweater
Kate Sylvester black skinny (similar)
ASOS white sleeveless pleated top
Everlane black silk tank

Trousers, Jeans & Skirts
Dr Denim faded black zoe skinny jeans
Forever New black ¾ ankle grazers
Country Road black a-line mini skirt
Dion Lee charcoal a-line mini skirt
Lover navy drifter mini skirt

Blazers, Jackets & Coats
Acne Studios mape black leather jacket
Helmut Lang black blazer

Shoes
Acne Studios black leather Jensen boots
MaxMara black pointed toe pumps with mirrored heel

Given that it’s really started to cool down in Sydney, I’ve started to hone in on anything black, grey, or navy, as aside from pairing together so effortlessly, I feel a much more comfortable throwing on a pair of black opaque tights with a dark grey, navy or black skirt – it tends to suit the season.

I’ll be back in a few weeks with an update; how I’ve tracked, whether this is sustainable long term, and what I’ll be switching in and out! x

Office space

office home decor inspiration

image source; pinterest

While most of the home decor plans I have for our place are a bit of a work in progress, I’ve started to turn my attention to my study, given how much time I spend working on my littler corner of the internet. It’s not a large space; big enough for my vanity, a free-standing wardrobe, and soon, a desk complete with a full desktop computer.

Currently, I’m looking at getting a white desk with plenty of drawer space (a la Home Oh My), a plush and cosy blush hued armchair (West Elm, I’m looking at you), a tall lamp to brighten things up a little, and an incredibly leafy fiddle leaf tree with plenty of height, to give the space a bit of character.

Mostly, things are on hold until we get back from the US (I feel like I’ve been saying this a lot lately), but that doesn’t stop a girl from looking…

Everlane’s shipping internationally again!

everlane international shipping
everlane international shipping
everlane international shipping
everlane international shipping

Everlane linen t-shirt dress*, Everlane wool coatigan*, Everlane E1 ankle boots*, Everlane twill zipper tote*

While the title definitely gives it away, I’m really excited to be sharing that Everlane is offering international shipping again, given the trouble I will typically go to just to get my hands on one of their silk tanks and incredibly soft cashmere jumpers.

For the next two weeks, they’ll be shipping to more than 50 countries (you can find out more via Everlane’s website), which means that it’s your golden opportunity to pick up those pieces you’ve had your eye on.

The team at Everlane kindly let me pick out a few pieces ahead of launch, and I went for the easy, breezy basics. The semi-sheer linen t-shirt dress (perfect as a throw on for days at the beach), their long knitted coatigan which makes me feel as snug as a bug, staple black leather boots from their E1 Capsule range which are as slick as I’d imagined, and their classic keep-all; the twill zipper tote in the reverse denim and black leather combo.

The twill zipper tote has fast become an everyday staple for me (it fits a tonne and it looks nice worn with neutrals, and the E1 black leather boots are stashed under my desk at as they make a great everyday boot.

While I’ve certainly had my fill of Everlane these past few years, I’m planning on making a cheeky wee order ahead of our trip. I’ll be picking up a backpack for Luke – he’s decided to go for the Modern Snap – which will be perfect for hiking along the trails of Cinque Terre – and I’m going to grab another linen tank (they really are that good), in heather grey.

If you’re thinking about making an order, I’d love to know what you’re planning to pick up in the comments below, and if you’re still hemming and hawing over the sizing, I’d recommend taking a quick peek at the last couple of reviews I’ve shared (here and here). Happy shopping! x

The wardrobe essentials worth investing in

acne studios jensen boots grain leather

Investing in your wardrobe to me is more than just a new purchase. It’s thinking about the future; what your style is going to be a year, two years from now, whether the piece will be durable enough to withstand everyday wear and tear, and whether the purchase is truly going to be worth it.

I’ve spent a lot of time talking about the essential pieces every woman should have in her closet, and why CPW should be an important factor when dropping a month’s worth of rent on a pair of shoes, but what I haven’t focused on, is which essentials I’ve found to be actually worth splurging on.

The everyday bag you will want to wear forever
One of the first big investments I ever made for my closet was a handbag from Proenza Schouler. I’d spent a good year (or was it two…?) thinking about this one bag and no other. I balked at the price – it was more than I’d ever spent on one item – but in the end I decided to just go for it, and I haven’t looked back since. That was almost five years ago and my PS11 is still going strong; so the proof is in the pudding.

If you’re planning to purchase your first expensive handbag, there are a few things worth considering. Is the style timeless (enough that you’ll still be wearing it five years later…)? Is it appropriate for the office and for play? Does the quality of the bag match the price? and, is it practical?

A luxurious wool coat you’ll wear all winter long, and then some
I may now live in a climate where a wool coat is almost redundant, but for me, it’s still one of those pieces that I think is well worth the investment. I’ve owned quite a few from Karen Walker over the years, and while they’ve set me back more than your average, they’ve really lasted the distance.

The key is to pick a classic silhouette, and opt for a fairly neutral shade; I’d recommend black, grey, or camel. If you’re spending more than $200-300, you really want to be sure that you’re going to get wear out of the coat beyond the current season. As much as I love the idea of adding a fairy floss pink or soft powder blue coat to my wardrobe, it’s not exactly a piece that I see myself wearing for years to come.

Ridiculously soft cashmere everything
Perhaps one of the most worn pieces in my wardrobe is a cashmere sweater that I picked up from Everlane a good two years ago now. It has an incredibly simple silhouette – crew neck, loose fit through the body, slim fitting sleeves – yet I can’t help but reach for it time and time again. As much as I love merino wool (the price point is much easier to swallow), it doesn’t quite have the same luxurious feel as a well-made cashmere sweater, and I find that generally, it won’t wear anywhere near as well.

Expect to pay upwards of $150 for good quality cashmere; it should be thick, yet feel light, fluffy and soft. My favourite cashmere piece is a light grey cardigan from Karen Walker’s ‘The Village’ collection, a good five or six years ago, and while it has seen years of wear and tear, it looks practically immaculate (and for the $400 price tag, you’d sure hope so!).

A hard wearing pair of jeans
I’m no stranger to Topshop’s Leigh Jean, I’ve owned a fair few pairs in my time, though there’s no denying that they’ve done their dash after a good six months of solid wear. Personally, I find it’s much better to spend a little more and get a pair that will last years, that won’t fade after wearing them only for a month.

It’s probably worth noting, not all denim is created equal. J Brand, Nobody Jeans, Dr Denim, and Acne Studios are my go-to brands for a well made, good-fitting pair of jeans.

The only blazer you’ll ever need
The first wardrobe essential I ever truly invested in, was a classic black blazer. Structured in the shoulder, with a relaxed fit through the body, it’s seen me through the last five years, and if luck is on my side, at least another five more. I opted to go for Helmut Lang, spending more than triple what I normally would on a jacket, but I haven’t looked back once, since.

Good blazers can be hard to come by, when you take into account tailoring, fit, cut, and quality; there’s a discernable difference between one that you’ve just nabbed off the rack at Topshop (though there’s nothing wrong with that!), to one that you’ve purchased based on those four merits. It might not be the star of your wardrobe, but it’ll be one of the biggest workhorses you’ll ever invest in.

Boots that are made for walking
Lastly, one of the pieces that I’ll always spend a little more on is a sturdy pair of leather boots. During the cooler months, a great pair of low heeled boots is something that I will reach for on a daily basis, and given how much I walk I want to be certain that I’m not going to be wearing the soles into the ground.

While I always recommend getting TOPY soles on your shoes (particularly if you wear yours as hard as I do mine), I find that a well made, and generally pricier boot, will tick all the boxes for me. Thick soles with metal toe points and supple yet sturdy leather that is comfortable right off the bat. I splurged on a pair of Acne Studios Jensen boots last year and these have really stood the test of time – they’re a little beaten up given how much I thrashed them last winter, but with a polish I know that they will look as good as new.

Perhaps the most important thing when making any investment, whether it be for your wardrobe or otherwise, is to really think it through. There’s no joy in dropping a weeks worth of rent on something that’s going to gather dust at the back of your wardrobe.

What wardrobe essentials do you invest the most in?

Tips for tripod photography using a remote

tips for tripod photography remote
tips for tripod photography remote

J Crew fuzzy jumper, ASOS pleated midi skirt, ASOS sandals (they also come in black!), Karen Walker belt

Today I wanted to share with you all one of my biggest (and hopefully best kept) secrets – tripod photography. It might come as a bit of a surprise (especially when I tell you that the photos from this post, this one, and this one were all taken using a remote and tripod), but not all of my outfit photos have been taken with the help of a friend or a family member. When I purchased my first DSLR – a Canon 550D – the Sales Assistant suggested I also buy a tripod, and while I didn’t think it would be something I would use, it was relatively inexpensive (compared to the camera) so I just went for it. Pretty early on, I discovered the ‘self-timer’ button, although I wasn’t always completely happy with the results. A lot of the time I was out of focus, and I’d have to take over 100 photos just to find a few that I liked. Once I discovered that I’d have a much better outcome using a remote, I promptly nabbed one off eBay (because what if it didn’t work out?) and began heavily relying on a remote and tripod to produce a lot, if not most of, my content.

That was a good six years ago now, and while I’m lucky enough to have a fiancé who supports my little place on the internet and takes the majority of my outfit snaps for me, it’s good to know that on the weekends when we’re a little stretched for time, I can take some photos on my own, which typically tend to turn out just as well.

For those of you just starting out with a blog, or for those of you who are stumped as to how to successfully produce sharp and interesting photos (okay, let’s be real, not all my photos are interesting but you get the gist!), then keep reading for my tips and tricks for tripod and remote photography, using a DSLR camera.

Make sure you have the essentials: It probably goes without saying, but you aren’t going to get far without a tripod or a remote. Ideally, I’d recommend getting a tripod which extends to approximately 130cm tall (or more, if it’s within your budget), that can hold a decent weight. I’m using a Canon 5D Mark III, and it can get pretty weighty pretty fast depending on which lens I’m using. I personally love Manfrotto tripods; they’re lightweight, and I recently picked one up that is a total game changer for me as it allows me to tip my lens downwards on a 90 degree angle so expect quite a few flat lays coming up.

As for remotes, you can do what I did years ago and pick one up very inexpensively on ebay (just search your camera brand and the word ‘remote’) for less than $5, or you can pick one up at your local camera store. Mine is still going strong five years on and I think if you’re serious about tripod photography, it’s probably best to invest a few more dollars from your pocket for one of better quality.

Find a quiet or secluded location to take your photos: There is nothing more distracting (or embarrassing, depending on which way you look at it) than having onlookers watching you or asking you questions when you’re trying to snap a few photos for your blog. I get quite stiff if I know there’s a stranger staring at what I’m doing and tend to feel much more natural in front of a camera and tripod setup when I’m alone. If you’ve got a location in mind and are confident enough to take snaps when there are people walking past, it’s helpful to have a quick one-liner that ‘explains’ what you’re doing. In the past, I’ve told passers-by that I’m working on a self-portrait for a university class, although you could quite easily change that to ‘photography’ class. You might not think this is important – but trust me, I’ve had so many awkward moments when I’ve said what they’re actually for (the most awkward of which was when a passerby offered to take photos for me!).

While I was still living in Wellington, I used to take advantage of the early mornings or late afternoons, nipping down to one of the few wharfs near my home, which I’d generally find empty. If not, there was always another coastal spot around the bend so I was usually quite spoilt for choice.

You might not be quite so lucky, so look for quiet lanes or leafy residential streets where there isn’t a lot of foot traffic – usually you might get the odd person walking by but are generally left to your own devices undisturbed. If you live in a busy city like me, this can be a tricky one, and two and a half years on, I’m still hunting out the perfect spot, but if you keep an open mind (and know your city well), there’s no doubting that you will find something that works for you.

The alternative is to consider taking photos inside your home if you have a nice airy space with a lot of natural light, or in your backyard (which can both be great options, especially if they are visually appealing ones!). As you may have guessed, I tend to take a lot of snaps by the hedge in our front yard as it’s a great option and is literally a stone’s throw from my front door.

Or, if you’re looking for something a little different, see if there are any wooded parklands near your home – these are a particularly perfect backdrop for any fall or winter outfit posts!

Setting your focus point:
One of the biggest benefits to using a remote when photographing yourself is that you’re going to be in focus 90% of the time. I say 90% of the time as occasionally – and only occasionally – your lens will automatically focus on something else, like a wooden plank of a fence of the leaves on a nearby tree. Which is why it is so important to take lots of photos, but more on that later.

You can choose to manually set your focus point to an object near where you are planning to stand (I’ll just note that there is a higher margin for error here, especially if you’re new to manual focusing!), although I personally prefer to leave it on an automatic focus. I set my camera’s focus setting to AI Focus, as I find that this helps to capture much more crisp snaps that when using AI Servo (which refocuses the lens just before the shutter closes, though in my experience has a higher margin for error), though I think it’s worth playing around with both focus settings to see which works best for you.

As I generally am front and centre in any photos I take, I choose to use evaluative metering, as this has been a winning combination for me when paired with the AI Focus setting.

The other thing that you can do, is ensure that the focus points are set to the centre of the frame (this should be the default setting anyway) and position yourself so that you’ll be the primary focus of the shot.

When pressing the button on the remote, ensure that you keep it close to your body as if you stretch your arm out it may alter the focus resulting in a slightly off-focus image. The last thing you want is to upload your snaps to your PC only to find that none of them are perfectly in focus. It’s happened to me a few times in the past and unfortunately no amount of the sharpen tool in Photoshop will fix that! As an example, if I’m taking a close up of my face, I’ll make sure to press the remote button as close to the level of my face as possible, ie. In line with where I want the camera to focus.

tips for tripod photography remote

Take a LOT of photos
Taking a lot of photos should be a bit of a no-brainer, especially if you’ve only just begun using a tripod and remote to take photos. It gives you ample opportunity to snap a truly great photo, and ensure that you will have at least a few photos (if not a LOT) that you would be happy to choose. It’s a lot easier to narrow it down than to struggle to find anything worth posting at all.

As a general rule, I usually take approximately 50 photos when I’m using a remote and tripod, although you may need (or want) to take more if you’re planning on using a lot of different angles or styles of images. And as I mentioned earlier, you may find that some of your photos are slightly out of focus however if you get a bit snap happy, you’re more likely to come away with a suite of images that you can use.

Also, make sure you allocate enough time for your ‘shoot’; some days, 15 minutes might be enough but on others, you might need a bit longer so just bear that in mind!

Nailing that pose
Quite often, I’ll have some kind of pose in my head which I think will look great on camera, but in reality, it completely falls flat and just isn’t worthy of seeing the light of day. Over time, you’ll figure out which poses work best for you, and it you’re having a bad photo day, it helps to be able to have those to fall back on.

One thing that you’ll have to think about when holding a remote in your hand is how to keep it discreet or out of view of the camera. There are a few different ways that you can do this, the obvious of which is to just hide it in the palm of your hand. Alternatively, wrapping your hand around a bag strap, popping it in your pocket, or getting the remote carrying hand just out of shot all work. Be creative – it can feel totally unnatural at first but you get the hang of it pretty quickly.

Get creative
The world really is your oyster – you don’t just have to take a full outfit shot front on. Work around with angles or points of view (I often like a ‘from where I stand’ style snap of my shoes), and you’ll find that you can get some really interesting results.

I often prefer to look away from the camera – mostly as I find that the photos turn out looking a lot more natural and un-posed (because let’s face it, that’s what you want to avoid!).

Experiment with movement, get some emotion on your face, and shoot a few detailed shots (because who doesn’t love seeing the details up close, like layered up rings or the quilting on a black skirt). Eventually, you’ll find your groove and the kinds of photos you like to take – but remember, to always, always, always think outside the square.

tips for tripod photography remote

Finally, don’t give up!
Tripod/Remote photography might seem a little hard to get right straight of the bat, but trust me when I say that practice truly does make perfect. You will have days when nothing is turning out right and you just wish you hadn’t even bothered (yes, I’ve been there), but the more photos you take, the more intuitive it will become.

So there you have it! Those are my key tricks for successfully snapping ‘the shot’ when using a tripod and remote. For those of you thinking of experimenting with this type of photography, I hope that this has been useful – best of luck and happy snapping! x

Photos taken on a Canon 5D Mark III using a 50mm f/1.8 lens and a 24.70mm f/2.8 lens.