Winter uniform #1

minimal winter uniform outfit

Country Road sweater (I also like this one), Topshop jeans (these are a great alternative), Charlotte Olympia kitty flats (affordable alternative), Byredo Mojave Ghost (or here), Chanel Rouge Allure in Coromandel

This is a little round up of some of my current winter staples, and one of my favourite (and simplest!) winter uniforms. An oversized sweater, a pair of ‘mom’-style jeans with a frayed hem, flats with a little bit of pizazz, and a nice red lip.

It’s fair to say that this isn’t anything groundbreaking, all it takes it finding the right sweater that you want to spend all winter wearing, the right pair of jeans that give you that peachy behind, and the right pair of shoes which make you feel ever so light on your feet. If there’s ever a way to keep looking chic, it’s to know what outfits work best for you – which is where my winter uniform comes into play. Think stripes, tapered trousers which nip in at the ankle, cotton shirts, and an a-line leather skirt so good I just had to get a back up.

If I go back through my archives, this is the kind of simple winter uniform that I’ve gravitated towards for the longest time, even if the specifics change in an ever so subtle way. The fit of the jeans, the type of top I’m reaching for, the shoes I’m favouring – it’s always to recreate this one simple look which is always, always elevated with a punchy red lip.

I have a few other looks which have undeniably been go-to outfits for me this winter, though they’re a lot more boxy, and a lot less focused on what would traditionally work for my body shape than I’m used to. I’ve been building some new style principles which have formed the foundation of these looks (based on my style overhaul from a couple of months back), but there are always those creature comforts that I can’t help but keep coming back to!

Three ways to wear culottes

My love of the culotte is no secret; in the space of a year it’s gone from a style I’ve chosen to largely steer clear of, to a style favourite and wardrobe essential. My hesitation to add this particular style of trouser definitely stemmed from the fact that I was largely at a loss of how to style them. These days, I’m on the other side of the fence (I sort of think, how wouldn’t I style them?!), so I thought I’d share my most recent video, which features three ways to wear culottes.

After a little bit of experimentation, I’ve found that they go with *practically* everything, and while I consider them to be more of a summer or transitional season piece, with a little bit of clever layering, I’ve found that you can easily make them work for winter too.

So, have a watch, and let me know which of the three looks was your favourite. To keep things a little interesting I added a simple update for each look, which I think shows how one item can totally transform your outfit. Everything featured in the video is shoppable via the carousel below, or you can head over to YouTube where I’ve listed all the details (as well as a link to the soundtrack) in the description box.

How do you like to wear culottes? x

Violetta

elleme raisin bag review
elleme raisin bag review
elleme raisin bag review
elleme raisin bag review
elleme raisin bag review
elleme raisin bag review
elleme raisin bag review
elleme raisin bag review

J Crew sweater, Blank NYC skinny jeans (also here), Wilson Trollope coat, Two tone pumps (I also love these), Elleme raisin bag in vieux rose*, Mademoiselle X Mejuri loop earrings

It’s no secret that winter is my least favourite season – I’d rather be soaking up some sunshine than wrapping up in layers to battle (arctic) gusts of wind. So in an ode to my spring/summer preferences, I’ve been trying to soften up my winter wardrobe’s colour palette, with a few key pieces.

Let’s start with my coat; I wore this in a recent blog post where I was brave enough to venture out with bare legs, and it’s been a favourite ever since. Personally I love the dropped shoulders, standing collar, and cocoon-like silhouette. It’s much more lightweight than some of the other coats I currently have on rotation, so I’m looking forward to when it starts to warm up a little more as I have a feeling it’s going to be a fantastic transitional piece.

The sweater I’m wearing is an old J Crew number I purchased the first year we moved to Sydney. Summer was on the horizon yet I couldn’t help be drawn to it, and I’m glad I pulled the trigger as it’s one of my go to’s when I don’t know what to wear.

Heading to the other end of the spectrum are these jeans from Blank NYC, which are undeniably a newer addition to my closet. The lace up fly and creamy hue were giving me major Isabel Marant vibes circa 2013. They’ve well exceeded my expectations, and for a light washed denim, are incredibly easy to style.

Of course we can’t forget the accessories… I’ve been wearing a pair of two tone pumps basically on repeat the last few months (when I haven’t had these glued to my feet), and I’ll take any glimpse of sunshine to whip them out – it’s a good thing Sydney winters are notoriously mild.

And when it comes to the bag; Elleme kindly sent me one of their ‘raisin’ bags to road test, so I jumped at the opportunity to stray outside my comfort zone in both silhouette and colour. While black might have been a safer bet, the vieux rose shines when paired with milky, creamy hues. Aptly named, the raisin bag feels a little like a sculptural take on the bucket bag, which has been making strides as a wardrobe staple since the style’s resurgence in 2012.

The bag is crafted from a smooth cowhide leather which cinches in at the opening with a hidden metallic clasp. The opening itself isn’t huge (I can’t see my lunch box squeezing in there..), but the interior is incredibly roomy – enough to fit all my handbag essentials and then some. What surprised me most was the luxurious suede lined interior; while the bag may only be comprised of one large compartment, there’s three inner pockets which you can use to store any essentials you need to access easily. Plus it’s worth mentioning that the bag retains its structure incredibly well, and while the first reaction might be to carry the top handle (with whipstitch detail) in your hand, I love the fact that there’s the option to wear this cross body, as who doesn’t love being able to go hands free?! It’s definitely a little more architectural (read: fashion forward) than I’m used to, the kind of bag that I could envision the likes of Tamara et al. rocking on the streets of Paris – I’d love to know what your thoughts are on the style.

Finally, while they might not be a focus of this overall look, I was also wearing the earrings I co-designed with Mejuri the day we snapped these photos. It’s been a good few months since the prototype pair arrived, and I’m still reaching for them on repeat. If that’s not a sign of a wardrobe staple (or a wardrobe classic…), then I don’t know what is!

Three reasons why the little – blank – dress is one of my style staples

Why a dress is one of my style staples
Why a dress is one of my style staples
Why a dress is one of my style staples
Celine trotteur bag in black
Why a dress is one of my style staples

Ever since paring back my closet, starting my very first capsule wardrobe, and being more mindful of what I add to my closet, I’ve focused on trying to build up a healthy stable of style staples: those easy go-to pieces I can reach for in a pinch. For years, this has mostly revolved around separates; the kind that you’d find on any top ten wardrobe essentials list, that give you a classic look, yet can be mixed and matched at the same time. If it wasn’t versatile by any traditional means, I didn’t need it.

Though as I’ve tried to strike that healthy balance of femininity in my wardrobe and inject that Parisian nonchalance I’ve been craving (even more so as of late), I’ve found myself being drawn to the effortless elegance of a simple dress – whether it’s a classic black or otherwise (like this cutie I recently snapped up…!). I’m currently on a bit of a self-imposed shopping ban (after this winter haul and some sneaky Nordstrom purchases, I think I’m set for the next few months at least!), but I’ve found myself so much more drawn to the ease of throwing on a dress and instantly feeling put together. This little flirty ruffle dress from Storets is case-in-point. It’s a deep navy hue – a subtle difference that sets it apart from my stable of little black dresses – the ruffle hem adds a playfulness to the silhouette, and it’s instantly dressed up with the striped shirt detail. It’s probably not hard to see why this has become a recent favourite of mine. So, let’s talk about why the little – blank – dress has become one of my style staples…

IT’S AN EASY THROW ON PIECE

Never underestimate the power of a dress; unlike separates, it’s an outfit in itself. Just add accessories. I’ve been taking full advantage of this on those mornings where getting out of bed feels like an effort – I can hit the snooze button one more time as I know I’ll be dressed and out of the door in less than five minutes. If that’s not reason enough to make a dress one of your style staples then…

YOU CAN LAYER IT UP

It’s winter here in Sydney, and while I can’t quite put my finger on why, it’s been feeling colder than ever. Rather than invest in a long sleeved dress, I’ve been throwing my favourites over the top of a skivvy (this one from Uniqlo is perfect for layering) or a silky blouse, with a thick pair of tights on for good measure – 60 denier or higher, of course! This has helped me to breathe new life into so many of my dresses that I’d typically save for the warmer months, and you look chic while you’re at it. Alternatively, I love the look of the flouncy skirt of a dress peeking out underneath an oversized sweater, or something I did a lot during spring last year was to tuck some my more lightweight dresses into skirts and wear them as a top!

IT’S A CULT CLASSIC

While I’m a firm believer that you shouldn’t buy something just because a list on the internet tells you too – no two people are the same – there’s usually a reason why the same items keep popping up on those lists. The little black dress will always have a place in my closet, and for good reason, it’s a cult classic and timeless too. I don’t think you need a better reason than that! x

wearing

Storets dress, Everlane heels (more affordable here), Celine trotteur bag (also here)

The gamine look

gamine parisian style outfit with stripes

See by Chloe stripe top, Uniqlo wool trousers, Celine trotteur bag (also here), Everlane chelsea heels (not pictured)

gamine. noun
a girl with a mischievous, boyish charm.

My sister-in-law kindly snapped this photo of me during our recent trip home to New Zealand, and it sums up what I’ve been wearing a lot lately very neatly. Lots of stripes; oversized sweaters; wool trousers; a chic black bag and a pair of heeled booties.

A huge part of my recent style overhaul has been this shift towards a more gamine look; an undone feminine look, with masculine undertones that is as effortless and easy as rolling out of bed and throwing on your favourite trousers and a crisp white shirt.