My newest 5PFW addition

sophia webster loren sandals
sophia webster loren sandals

Sophia Webster loren sandals (I love the ballet flats version and I’m also completely smitten with this style!)

It’s little secret that I have a soft spot for shoes. When it comes to any kind go embellishment, I’m basically sold, and these beaded beauties from Sophia Webster were no exception. These are a far cry from the A.T.P Atelier heeled sandals I’d had my eye on, but they struck me as such a special shoe and when I cast my eyes on them, I just couldn’t say no.

I’ve got a little over a month left on my 5PFW Challenge and this marks my fourth key wardrobe addition since February. There’s one more purchase that I’ve been planning – the Louis Vuitton’s ’twice’ bag – but as I’ll be spending most of July travelling, I think it’s one of those things that will have to wait.

I will admit, I’m looking forward to the freedom of having less structure around my purchases for the season; as a girl who does love to indulge in the odd spot of shopping every now and then, this is still every much as bit of a challenge as it was when I first put myself to the shopping test – French style – last year. And I know exactly where I’m likely to start as soon as freedom sets in, because it’s all about that fancy footwork…

The best of Everlane

everlane review
everlane review
everlane review
everlane review
everlane review

It’s been a good two and a half years or more since I first started talking about Everlane on Mademoiselle that they have to be doing something right. With campaigns that are minimal at heart, to their clean cut and quality design, upfront transparency and no frills approach, there’s little question as to what that might be.

My wardrobe is founded on the basics, and a good proportion of that comes from Everlane. I’ve been sharing my experiences (and reviews) with the brand and thought that a little reflection might be useful for those of you contemplating your first order, or planning to purchase something new.

While I promise that an updated Everlane review is most certainly in the works, I thought I’d share some of the hits and misses that I’ve picked up over the years.

MY TOP PICKS
There’s a lot that I love from Everlane; not a capsule wardrobe has gone by that I haven’t included one of their silky tanks or super-soft cashmere sweaters, so I’m going to try and narrow it down to the bare essentials.

The silk cami OR the silk tank – Sorry, I couldn’t narrow it down, but I don’t think it’s necessary to have both (unless you want to, which then by all means, go for it!). These have worn really well, can be washed gently, and are great essentials when entering the workforce (bearing in mind that cami’s or sleeveless tanks might not be appropriate in all offices). I’ve purchased multiples of each style as they’re an incredibly easy piece to throw on. The quality of the silk is lovely – nice and thick, and not sheer at all (the same can’t be said for the blush shade, though!), and I believe both styles are universally flattering. The silk cami runs on the large side so I’d recommend sizing down, whereas the silk tank you have a little more freedom depending on how loose you like your tanks to fit. Personally, I went for the S, although I’m pretty certain the XS would have fit perfectly too.

The silk blouse – When I first heard of Everlane, it was because of their silk shirts. It was a combination of the affordable price point, quality, and online claims that it was a great alternative to Equipment (which as much as I love my Equipment blouses, I think we can all agree isn’t exactly affordable…) that really sold me enough to take the plunge. The quality is almost on par with Equipment, although the style and sizing differs; no pockets on the bust, a closer cut fit, and shorter through the body and the sleeve. As someone who often spills on her silk blouses, I’m of the opinion that there’s no reason not to opt for Everlane over Equipment. Again, avoid the blush silk option at all costs. It’s sheer, and I found that the shade completely washed me out. Also, sizing wise, these fit true to size, for a slightly loose fit through the body.

The cashmere sweater – I’d almost go so far to say that I live in Everlane’s cashmere in the winter time. Super snuggly and soft, the crew neck version is such a classic style that seems to go with everything; a must when you’re trying to maximize your morning sleep ins. The quality definitely surpasses any other cashmere piece I’ve come across – to date – at this price, and while you will notice some wear and tear over time, I’d like to think that mine still look like they’re in pretty good nick. I handwash mine or pop it in a delicates bag on a cold cycle; the shape is still completely intact although I’d say that there’s been a small amount of shrinkage, mostly in the sleeves, which in my books is enough to recommend purchasing your usual size. Definitely a staple I can’t bear to be without.

The trench coat – There isn’t a wardrobe essentials guide out there on the internet that doesn’t include a classic trench among the must haves that you should have in your closet. Everlane’s has that Burberry-esque look, without the tartan, and the $1,000+ price tag, although at $150 USD it’s still definitely what I’d consider an investment. I think the quality of this is great; the cotton really is water-resistant (tried and tested!), and it makes the perfect transitional jacket when it’s not yet cool enough to opt for a winter coat. I love to wear mine buttoned up with a bow at the waist, with a Parisian inspired stripe dress underneath. My only complaint? The body of the jacket isn’t lined, which for the price, I would expect this little detail to be included. The sizing is on the larger side for this style; I picked this up in a size S although if I had my time over I’d purchase it in the XS.

The modern point loafer – I picked these up during a week of international shipping last year, after they had spent months sitting in my wishlist. If there’s anything that I can promise you, it’s that Everlane does shoes very, very well. The style is on point, the leather is thick and sturdy (if not a little stiff), and the quality is excellent. These have been a mainstay of my autumn/winter wardrobe; a modern take on the classic penny loafer. Sizing runs small; I’m an EU40 and opted for the US9 and wish I’d gone for the US9.5 – breaking them in was a b*tch so do yourself a favor and size up half a size. Your feet will thank me for it.

I also have an incredibly soft spot for their linen; it’s semi-sheer, super soft, and easy to care for. Oh, and runs a size large, for those curious!

WHAT I WON’T BE REPURCHASING
There isn’t much that I won’t be buying again. The purchases I’ve made, have been for the large part, to the quality and standard that I’d expected. Mostly, I bought a little on the large side (the perils of online shopping with no returns!), but there was the odd piece which came across as far less lackluster than I’d anticipated.

The boyfriend sweater – In theory, I loved this sweater. The perfect cut; not too slouchy, not too long through the body, and not too thick. But this washed t-e-r-r-i-b-l-y. I ordered this in the XS in black and grey (and I highly recommend sizing down for this style) and I’m not sure if it was the temperature of the water I washed it in, or just the quality of the cotton itself, but after a few washes both sweaters looked like I’d had them at least a year, which was disappointing to say the least. I also think it’s fair to say that my style has evolved since I first purchased them, and a cotton sweatshirt isn’t something that I’d often reach for. So, for those reasons, this isn’t a piece that I will be choosing to repurchase, unless I’m looking to pick up some snuggly wintertime pjs (because honestly, isn’t that what all sweatshirts eventually become?).

The ryan muscle tank – While this was something I wore a lot over the summer, this is just one of those things that I wouldn’t consider repurchasing, even though it’ll only set you back a week’s worth of coffee. This is quite a sheer tank (much more so than I’d anticipated), so it isn’t one you’re going to want to wear to the office, but perhaps most disappointing was the quality of it. Mine ended up with a small hole after the second wash, and a couple more since, the most discerning of which is at the collar. For the record, I’ve always washed mine in a delicates bag on a cool setting which would suggest to me the only way to avoid holes is to handwash this tank, which for an everyday basic piece, is something I wouldn’t expect that you would need to do.

The collarless silk blouse – I have to admit, this isn’t a style that I’ve given much of a shot. I ordered this in the ivory about two years ago, and found that unlike the collared silk blouses which are true to size, these ran small. The fabric gaped at the bust – and I’m by no means busty – the fit was slightly off, and the ivory silk was far too sheer for my liking.

The wool coatigan – As much as I love the fit and the length of Everlane’s wool coatigan (I have it in black!), unfortunately this was one of the few things which just hasn’t worn well at all. As you can see from this blog post, the coatigan is a ribbed wool, which looks absolutely beautiful when brand new, but after a week of wear, I found that the merino had rubbed to the point of becoming fluffy, and the sleeves were pilling quite badly. I really do hate to say this about anything from Everlane, given how much I love the brand, but this just really hasn’t worked out. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been wearing this every. single. day. But it just hasn’t worn how I’d expected. I have used a de-piller to remove the pilling on the sleeves and the fuzz from the whole coatigan though it’s fair to say it’s never looked anywhere quite as good as when I first received it.

So, there you have it. For a brand that I’ve bought every piece sight unseen, I’ve had more hits than misses, and overall have found the quality to be consistent, and I’ve been incredibly impressed by their overall ethos, which is part of what keeps me going back (that and the great clothes, of course!). If there’s one piece that I would wholeheartedly recommend above all else, it’s the cashmere sweater. I continue to get compliments on mine and the quality far surpasses what I ever would have dreamed. Definitely an 11/10.

I’d love to know about your own experiences and if there’s anything that I’ve missed, that you think is worth – or not worth – picking up. I for one am really looking forward to a couple of their upcoming launches, and eventually pulling the trigger (read: splurging) on the petra crossbody in black. Heart eyed emojis all round.

How to wear all black without looking boring

karen walker acne studios leather jacket benah bag isabel marant mademoiselle
karen walker acne studios leather jacket benah bag isabel marant mademoiselle
karen walker acne studios leather jacket benah bag isabel marant mademoiselle
karen walker acne studios leather jacket benah bag isabel marant mademoiselle

Karen Walker slanting frill top (similar and in white), Country Road pencil skirt, Acne Studios leather jacket, Isabel Marant heels, KW x Benah satchel (newer style & I also love this style), ASOS sunglasses, The Peach Box earrings (similar)

It should be pretty obvious by now that anything and everything in the colour black is a mainstay in my wardrobe. But, as with wearing anything over and over again, wearing all black all the time can quite quickly start to look a little stale and one-dimensional.

It’s become a little bit of a uniform of mine; partly due to years of working in hospitality as university student, and partly because, let’s be real, black goes with e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Over the years, I’ve picked up the odd trick to make all black look anything but boring, so today I thought I’d share my top five tips to keeping an all black wardrobe looking fresh.

TEXTURE, TEXTURE, TEXTURE
It’s so easy to look flat while wearing all black, and one of the easiest ways to switch things up is to mix a few different textures into your look. In winter, tweed is a great option, but usually my go to is leather, ribbed knits, cotton and suede.

IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS
An otherwise simple piece can really elevate your look but it has to be all about those details. A little ruffle with a bit of white for contrast, a subtle sequin strewn through a knit, a ponte side panel in a pair of leather leggings or a frayed hem on a structured jacket. When you wear the basics, it’s important to focus on those minor details that can really make your look.

PLAY WITH YOUR PROPORTIONS
I’m typically a loose on top and either loose or fitted on the bottom kind of girl, but I find that mixing up the proportions of your outfit can make it look a lot more interesting. Play around with different silhouettes – it can really make a difference!

MIX IT UP WITH YOUR ACCESSORIES
Personally, I think the only real accessory you need – aside from a great pair of shoes – is a bold red lip. When you’re wearing all black, it really stands out and adds a bit of elegance to your look, even if you’re just in jeans, a tee and a pair of sneakers.

While black definitely complements more black, I find that a coloured mini bag adds that sartorial pop of colour; your outfit can make for a relatively black canvas, and a cute blush or cobalt blue mini bag will really stand out. And if coloured bags and bold red lips aren’t your thing, a great pair of sunglasses – whether they be patterened, an interesting shape, or have metal details – are also a great option.

WHEN IN DOUBT, PUT A HEEL ON IT
I’d say that this last one is pretty self explanatory… But, when in doubt, throw on a pair of heels – it’ll make you feel like a million bucks and as far as I’m concerned, it’s a fail-safe solution to any (and I mean any) fashion conundrum.

Tartelette In Bloom Palette Review and Swatches

tarte tartelette in bloom palette review and swatches
tarte tartelette in bloom palette review and swatches

Tartelette ‘in bloom’ eyeshadow palette

I know… I’m a little late to the party. I’ve been keeping this palette to myself for the last few months, but I really wanted to make sure that it was worth its salt before I shared with you just how good this is. I was dead set keen on nabbing their latest offering, the ‘in bloom’ palette (or Amazonian Clay 2), as along with a decent array of mattes, it included three shimmer shades, something which felt a little lacking from Tarte’s original Amazonian Clay Palette.

tarte tartelette in bloom palette review and swatches

In the palette, you get 12 shades; 9 mattes and three shimmers:

  • Charmer (off white)
  • Jetsetter (warm taupe)
  • Rocker (shimmering taupe)
  • Smokeshow (black brown)
  • Flower Child (peachy nude)
  • Smarty Pants (tan)
  • Firecracker (bronze copper)
  • Activist (dark brown)
  • Funny Girl (champagne)
  • Sweetheart (peach)
  • Rebel (chestnut brown)
  • Leader (aubergine)

Just like the original, the pigmentation is excellent, overall. Funny Girl is probably the only shade of the lot which takes some work to get a decent colour payoff, however I think it works best layered over deeper shadows to add a little bit of sparkle. The shadows do kick up a little bit of powder, however they blend out beautifully, and the formulas themselves are incredibly smooth. The wear time on them is also excellent; my eyelids are on the oilier side, but with a primer I find that these shadows last all day on me and then some.

For me, this has become one of those palettes that I reach for frequently, as the shadows range from cool to warm, and it’s incredibly versatile – you can make it work for day and for night (and the HUGE mirror makes it very travel friendly). What really surprised me about this palette wasn’t how good it was, but the scent. It’s a little bit of a cross between Too Faced’s Chocolate Bar Palette and a fresh marshmallow plucked straight from the bag, and makes the whole palette seem that much sweeter (as long as you have a sweet tooth like me, that is!).

My favourites in the palette are hands down Flower Child, Smarty Pants and Sweetheart, plus I love a little bit of Leader packed onto the lash line and smoked out for a little bit of depth.

Personally, this definitely sits within my top three favourite palettes; it’s fairly neutral, high quality, and has a large enough variety of shades to keep me coming back to it on a daily basis. Have you added this palette to your collection yet? x

The sweater I’ll be reaching for all winter long

hope grand sweater mademoiselle
hope grand sweater mademoiselle

Hope grand sweater (lighter option here OR similar more affordable option here)

If there’s one thing that you can bet your boots that I’ll be wearing all winter long, it’s this oversized ‘grand’ sweater from Hope. I don’t deal well with the cold (says the girl who wants to spend three weeks in Scandinavia during their winter…) so anything warm and snuggly has been alllll I’ve wanted to reach for these days, even if that means showing up to work looking like a peach coloured marshmallow.

Typically, I’ll throw it on with a pleated skirt and a pair of heels for the office (case in point), but when I’m just lounging around at home, I’ll wear it on its own (it’s just long enough to wear as a tunic) or with some dark wash skinny jeans. Bold red lips are optional.