On Brand Loyalty

If there’s one thing that you’ll have noticed about me, it’s when I find a brand I like, it sticks. Cutting back my closet over the years, I’ve garnered a pretty good understanding of what I do, and what I don’t like, and I’ve found that I tend to stick to the comforts of a brand I know, over the ones which feel… unfamiliar.

I’ve read enough to know that the general consensus is that brand loyalty just isn’t for millenials, but in my personal experience, that has been far from the case. The first brands I truly *discovered* as a lost girl in her teens, are ones that I still love and buy from today – Karen Walker and Lover – even if I’m a little more cautious these days about how many pieces I’ll bring home from each collection.

Not even moving to a new city (and country!) has been enough to cause a seismic shift in my brand loyalties, though if anything, it has played a hand in helping me to branch out and uncover some new locally-based designers and international ethical brands which have since become a huge part of my current wardrobe.

Aside from brands like Dion Lee, Josh Goot, and Ellery, which have all fast become a regular part of my vocabulary, there’s one label which has really stuck; Everlane. It’s been the high-quality-low-cost products, the excellent customer service, and the overall transparency and real show of ethics that have had me using mail forwarding for the better part of three years just to add a few of their basics into my closet (of which I now own many…).

It’s the comfort of knowing what to expect, whether it be quality, sizing or service; and it being delivered upon, every. single. time.

There’s a few labels that do this for me, and it only takes a glance at the last couple of seasonal capsule wardrobe to get a pretty good idea of which brands I have that soft spot for.

As I always say, I’m a creature of habit, and there’s just something comforting about sticking with the familiar…

Engineered

t by alexander wang engineer stripe dress cameo collective cardigan proenza schouler ps11
t by alexander wang engineer stripe dress cameo collective cardigan proenza schouler ps11
valentino black leather tango pumps
t by alexander wang engineer stripe dress cameo collective cardigan proenza schouler ps11

T by Alexander Wang stripe dress, c/meo Collective cardigan, Valentino tango pumps, Proenza Schouler PS11 satchel

As you’ll probably know, it’s not often that you’ll catch me in anything that hugs the body quite so much as this little number from T by Alexander Wang, but those stripes just had me at hello. It’s definitely a little shorter than I’m used to, but I think it makes for a nice change of pace, and is one of the newer additions to my wardrobe that is helping to keep things fresh. And if anything, it’s a reminder to continue to step outside of my comfort zone every so often.

Autumn Capsule Wardrobe Update

autumn fall capsule wardrobe update

I’m a good month and a half into my autumn capsule wardrobe now, and so I thought it was time to give a little update on how it’s been going. I’ve finally rounded out my capsule to a total of 30 pieces, favouring the classics over anything particularly trend-driven. Combining a capsule wardrobe with the 5PFW Challenge means that there isn’t quite as many new pieces – or standouts – coming into my wardrobe, which is both a blessing and a curse at the same time. I’d say for the last six months or so, I’ve been feeling a certain restlessness with what I currently have, and I’m definitely ready to branch out and have a bit more fun with my wardrobe.

As much as I loathe circling back to the weather, it’s been a pretty mild autumn so far. Temperatures have ranged between 24-34 degrees celsius on any given day, dipping down to the mid-teens at night, which has meant that I haven’t needed to reach for opaque stockings, and my cosy sweaters have only been coming out about twice a week.

In terms of my colour scheme, it’s been working well, and I’ve been loving the admission of a few blush-toned hues as they’ve really helped to brighten up the occasional dreary day. I’ve aimed to complement what I’d already selected with my new additions, focusing mainly on grey, navy, and pink to keep things consistent.

Without getting too in-depth, or too analytical, one thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve started to skew towards a more relaxed wardrobe, which I think is in part due to the creative and relaxed working environment that I’m in. Plus most days, I’m wearing a pair of flats (walking 1.5 hours a day isn’t ideal in a pair of heels, nor is it good for your back!), which while I’m of the opinion that they can make a lot of outfits look a little flat, they’ve become such a practical daily companion for me that I couldn’t imagine swapping them out for heels on a daily basis.

But moving on to what I’ve actually added to my capsule… and needless to say, stripes may have been involved…

ADDED TO MY AUTUMN CAPSULE
Everlane silk cami in dove grey | Everlane’s silk tanks and cami’s have featured in every one of my capsule wardrobes so far, and it only made sense to include one for autumn, given how unseasonably warm it has been. This looks great worn with jeans for a more undone look, or tucked into a skirt for something a little more dressy.

T by Alexander Wang striped top | I’m a huge fan of the nautical stripe and I just couldn’t resist the urge to throw in a couple more options, this sheer long sleeved stripe top being one of them. This works well as a layering piece and can be worn both with my pencil skirt for the office, or a pair of jeans for the weekend.

Everlane charcoal cashmere sweater | This is a favourite of mine year round, and after coming to the conclusion that just one black jersey wasn’t going to cut it, throwing this into the mix was a no-brainer. I can’t recall exactly when I purchased this, but I want to say about two years ago, and it is still going strong.

J Crew beige fuzzy sweater | The heaviest of the three ‘sweaters’ I added in, this is super soft and warm, and great for those icy morning commutes (or when it’s just a bit cold). I haven’t had as many opportunities to wear this one yet – it’s been too warm – but I think that in May it’ll be a solid go-to for me.

C/meo Collective navy longline cardigan | Taking a step back and looking at my colour palette for the season, navy has played a huge part in the make-up; not surprising given that as far as I’m concerned, navy is the new black. What I love about this oversized (and snuggly) cardigan is that it isn’t the most typical shade of navy; it adds a bit of much needed vibrancy and pairs perfectly with my RUBY off the shoulder dress in pink (which I’ll talk about a little more down below).

Christina Chiti black wool fringed cape | I brought this home with me following my trip back home in February; it’s one of the pieces in my mum’s wardrobe that I had always loved, and I really like that I can look pulled together, yet essentially be wearing a blanket while sitting at my desk at work.

RUBY grey wrap skirt | It’s been a while since I’ve added anything to my wardrobe from Kiwi-label RUBY, but I’ve been absolutely loving their current A/W collection and I couldn’t resist nabbing a couple things for myself. I’ve worn this quite a bit recently with a sweater tucked in and I think it’ll look nice come the cooler weather with a pair of tights too.

Lover the Label navy drifter mini skirt | I tend to pick something up from Lover every season, usually opting for a bit of lace but I decided to be a bit more pragmatic this time around. This skirt fits in perfectly with my wardrobe as a whole, and given that it’s navy, will work well even with tights on those days when it’s really chilly. I’m a huge fan of the a-line style, and I love the rivet detailing on the waist.

RUBY off the shoulder pink dress | This really is one of the more wildcard pieces in my capsule, but also one of my absolute favourites. I’ve been on the hunt for an off the shoulder piece for months now, and this dress from RUBY really ticked all the boxes for me, not to mention it’s such a playful style. I’m fortunate enough that I can get away with wearing this dress to work, and it also pairs well with a long cardigan for when I need to cover up a little more. As I mentioned earlier, the weather has been pretty mild lately so this has turned out to be a great transeasonal piece.

T by Alexander Wang striped mini dress | You’ve probably noticed that I seldom tend to wear anything fitted, preferring voluminous and floaty silhouettes over anything form fitting. But, I’ve been wanting this dress for a couple of years now, so when I saw it pop up on The Real Real in pristine condition, I just had to pull the trigger. It’s a little shorter than I’m used to, but it looks great worn with a longline cardigan, or as a ‘mock’ top underneath my Lover navy drifter skirt.

LAST MINUTE CHANGES
Last minute, I decided to swap out my Equipment silk shirt and white Lover mini skirt for a couple of options that were a little more versatile – in my opinion at least. To make up the shirt component, I decided to opt for my Dries van Noten white cotton shirt, which is easier to care for (meaning I don’t need to be quite so precious when wearing it) and a little more structured in fit.

I swapped out the white Lover mini skirt for a Lover midi skirt; it seemed more appropriate given that we are in the thick of autumn, and felt like a more appropriate choice for the office – it’s just one of the pieces that looks great with a pair of flats or some low pointed toe heels.

So there you have it; the ins and outs of my capsule wardrobe (in perhaps a little too much detail). Have you built a capsule wardrobe this season; and if so, how’s it going? x

My MAC lipstick collection

mac lipstick collection swatches
mac lipstick collection swatches
From l to r: Viva Glam (L), Shanghai Spice (C), Runway Hit (RM), Velvet Teddy (M), Cosmo (A), Twig (S), Craving (A), Positively Dashing (PLL), Dozen Carnations (C)

I’ve become quite the makeup junkie as of late, and while I try to whittle down my wardrobe – as much as humanly possible! – my makeup collection just seems to keep growing; apparently my love of lipsticks knows no bounds.

I think we can all agree, my love affair with anything beauty-related has been short and sweet so far, but my foray into the real world of makeup began years ago when I picked up my first lipstick ever, from MAC (a Viva Glam nude, if you were wondering). While it’s no longer a lipstick that I reach for, I’ve definitely fallen down the MAC rabbit hole and picked up more than my fair share in the last couple of years.

It’s a pretty tightly edited collection – for now – of nude, mauve, and berry tones; the perfect year-round lipstick wardrobe if you ask me. Ultimately, it’s the quality and the shade selection that keeps me coming back, and while I have plans to add a few more shades to my collection (the entire Charlotte Olympia collaboration included), I thought I’d give you a quick peek into which MAC lipsticks are currently sitting pride of place on my vanity.

mac lipstick collection swatches Viva Glam Shanghai Spice Runway Hit Velvet Teddy Cosmo Twig Craving Positively Dashing Dozen Carnations
From l to r: Viva Glam (L), Shanghai Spice (C), Runway Hit (RM), Velvet Teddy (M), Cosmo (A), Twig (S), Craving (A), Positively Dashing (PLL), Dozen Carnations (C)

Starting from lightest to darkest….

VIVA GLAM | Lustre
Viva Glam is one of the first makeup products I ever purchased, and for that reason alone I just can’t bear to part with it. I’d best describe it as a ‘no-lipstick’ lipstick; it’s very subtle, adds a slight shimmery sheen to the lips, and can be applied without a mirror (the best kind of lipstick if you ask me…!).

SHANGHAI SPICE | Cremesheen
My first cremesheen purchase and one of my absolute favourite shades. It’s a pretty peach colour with tiny gold flecks that don’t seem to translate on the lips. Incredibly easy to wear and a moisturizing formula that is a dream to wear on the lips.

RUNWAY HIT | Retro Matte
While I’m not afraid to admit that the retro matte formulas are my least favourite (they come off chalky on me and are difficult to apply), I l-o-v-e the shade of this. It’s a subtle peach toned pink; I like it best applied over a thin layer of the Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm for a creamy finish.

VELVET TEDDY | Matte
Perfect if you’re after a brown-toned nude matte lipstick; although admittedly I was completely drawn in by the hype surrounding this shade. MAC’s matte formula is pretty comfortable on the lips, and has a creamy texture which dries down over time.

COSMO | Amplified
Of all the reviews I’ve read online, Cosmo is pretty much always referred to as a my-lips-but-better shade, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s slightly brown toned, with a pink base, making it a perfect go-to every day shade. Not to mention the fact that the amplified formula is beautifully creamy and rich, and opaque when applied.

TWIG | Satin
Twig is definitely a firm favourite for me, and sits dangerously close in shade to Cosmo, albeit leans a little more mauve on me. If you’re yet to try one of the lipsticks with a satin finish, it applies creamy and dries down to matte, and has pretty good lasting power too.

CRAVING | Amplified
I picked up Craving in October last year, and having been waiting for it to cool down so I can start wearing this one. It’s a plummy toned pink which looks absolutely gorgeous on, fitting nicely at the lower spectrum of the berry family.

POSITIVELY DASHING | Pro Longwear Lipcreme
A muted raspberry pink with cool undertones, this is a winter staple for me. While I find that the pro longwear lipcreme formula doesn’t have the best lasting power if you’re drinking tea all day like I tend to do, it does stain the lips and makes re-applying throughout the day really easy.

DOZEN CARNATIONS | Cremesheen
The latest addition to my collection, and one of my current go-tos, this to me is the perfect Spring/Summer shade. It’s a punchy orange-toned red, with a gold shimmer running through it, that can be layered up for a glossy, bold lip, or worn as

If you’re keen to get a peek at what these look like on the lips, I recently collaborated with Doris from LookMazing, to share our MAC Collection’s on YouTube. You can check out my full collection and swatch video here.

We might be well into autumn here in Australia, I’ve been reaching for Shanghai Spice and Dozen Carnations, as the cremesheen formula is so light on the lips, and I love that that they add a subtle wash of colour (not to mention are easy to maintain!). And as far as I’m concerned, a good nude and a punchy red are all the lipstick essentials a girl really needs… What are your MAC lipstick must-haves?

The essential denim jean

wardrobe essential denim jeans
wardrobe essential denim jeans

If there’s one piece in my wardrobe that I think I’ll still be reaching for well beyond my 50s, it’s good denim; be it a skirt, a jacket, shorts, or a flattering pair of jeans. It’s one of the few things that I’d be surprised to hear most people don’t own, in some form or another.

My favourite is undoubtedly the skinny jean – it’s a mainstay for me, and I find the most flattering shape that I’ve come across for my figure. But whether it’s a skinny jean, a bell bottom flare, a boyfriend jean or something entirely different altogether, there’s no denying that it’s an absolute essential to have in your closet. And while I think styling denim is a complete no-brainer, I’ve shared three of my favourite ways to wear jeans over on YouTube which you can check out here.