Autumn Workwear Essentials

autumn workwear essentials
autumn workwear essentials
autumn workwear essentials

As much as I love wearing a pair of jeans every day with an oversized sweater, unfortunately that’s not going to cut it at my 9 to 5. Working in the media industry, our dress code is fairly relaxed compared to more corporate environments, though that doesn’t stop me from reaching for pieces in my closet which look smart (but that do double duty for the weekend as well!). So I thought I would share some of my current autumn workwear essentials that I’ve been reaching for on a daily basis.

It’s really only just starting to cool down in Sydney (I know!!), so I’ve been continuing to reach for one of my favourite summer staples, the silk cami. I particularly like the v-neck versions from Grana as they are made from a heavyweight double layered silk (I have this in black and white), though on warmer days I’ll reach for my target=”_blank”>Everlane cami’s as the silk is more lightweight. I’ll usually wear these underneath a cardigan or a blazer, as the air con in our office can get a little cold.

A little more dressed up that the silk cami, I really like how just simply wearing a silk shell can instantly make your outfit look ten times smarter. I have a few different versions – including one with ruffle detail – though my favourite for the office is this simple black and white striped shell top from Everlane. This silk is really hard wearing (and machine washable!), and the pinstripe adds an unsuspecting detail that helps to liven up an otherwise plain top. Plus, it goes with basically everything.

I love a good t-shirt and when it comes to the office, I keep an eye out for versions that are a little more dressed up. My favourite comes from Karen Walker (though it’s a few seasons old!), however there are some alternatives available on ASOS here. I’ll usually pair mine worn loose with some slim fitting trousers, or tucked into a pencil skirt.

Cashmere sweaters are one of those wardrobe staples that I tend to reach for almost year round – any time it’s cold really, as I find that it works for most situations. I love the ones you can get from Everlane; they’re one of the first that I really invested in and I’ve found that the one I have has truly stood the test of time (plus they are super warm!). It’s one of those no brainer pieces which just goes with everything, particularly if you opt for a neutral colour, like I did (I went with charcoal for reference!).

The blazer is a quintessential work wardrobe staple, and a piece I think I’d find myself feeling completely lost without. It’s formed the cornerstone of my wardrobe since I first entered the workplace, and is well worth investing in. One of my favourites is from Helmut Lang, a classic single breasted black blazer which I bought from Barney’s six years ago and still looks practically brand new even though I feel like I’ve worn it to death. I’ve recently added a couple more from Isabel Marant (The Real Real is a great place to look if you’re hoping to score a bargain) that have been leading the charge in terms of being serious workhorses, and I love Stella McCartney for more tailored styles.

A-line skirts have got to be one of the most universally flattering styles of skirts that you can get your hands on. My waist is my smallest point so what I love about this style is that it accentuates my figure. I’ve had so many iterations of the a-line skirt over the years, though the ones I’ve been reaching for most the last couple of months have been from Lover and RUBY, though I also love this skirt from J Crew.

Probably the biggest change to my wardrobe – and my work wardrobe – this year has been the addition of the culotte. I love the slightly awkward length and relaxed silhouette through the leg, and the cinched in waist; it makes for something a little more interesting. I picked up two from ASOS just to introduce myself to the style, and haven’t looked back since (I have this black pair and this pink linen pair). Truth be told it is starting to get a little too chilly to wear these now but I’ve been loving this new take on tailoring and the effortlessly cool vibe that it has added to my everyday work wardrobe.

Gone are the days where I used to wear platforms or 10cm plus high heels; aside from the fact that it’s just not that practical for me, it’s not really necessary in my current office environment. Now, I tend to prefer a low or mid-heel; comfortable enough to walk around in all day, with just that little bit of added height. I’ve been going crazy for Everlane’s day heel, which I nabbed in both black and nude, though for something a little lower I have a very Chanel-esque pair from Vaneli that add a little bit of Parisian chic to every outfit I pair them with.

As much as I love a mini bag or a cross body satchel, a tote bag is generally what I will reach for, on most working days. Generally, I’ll take my lunch to work so I love the option of being able to tuck this away in my bag, along with a sweater or a scarf for if it gets cold. I’ve been using Linjer’s soft leather tote almost daily since I got it a few months back (this has been an absolute dream!), though when I want something a little more throw about I’ll switch it out for the twill zipper tote from Everlane. If I had my time over I’d probably pick this up in the black, as it’s less likely to show up marks, but it’s still a favourite of mine all the same, and I like that it adds another tone to my often all-black outfits.

What are your current workwear essentials?

Styling bell sleeves

how to style bell flared sleeves
how to style bell flared sleeves
how to style bell flared sleeves
how to style bell flared sleeves

Lonely ‘lost’ knit top in soot (similar more affordable option here), H&M patent skirt (similar here), Everlane day heels, The Daily Edited clutch, Astrid & Miyu rings

There’s a couple trends this season which I feel like I can really get on board with: anything with a ruffle, and oversized bell sleeves. After trying out a more affordable option, I decided to invested in this merino knitted sweater with exaggerated bell sleeves from NZ label Lonely, while visiting home in March.

This is knitwear that makes a statement, and I love how a simple update to the sleeve elevates what I would otherwise consider a basic wardrobe staple.

Given the huge focus I try to put on truly investing in my closet, trying to incorporate a trend-driven piece can always be a little bit of a gamble, particularly when trying to stay true to your own personal style. It’s really only just been starting to get cold enough in Sydney to whip this out, and as more of a trend-focused piece, I have had my doubts about how much wear this one would get. But given that I wore this three days out of seven in the last week, I have a feeling this is a trend that’s going to stick.

I’ve been wearing this top with anything and everything – from culottes and a skinny leg jean to a-line and pencil skirts – but I especially love this combo that I wore the other week to head out for dinner. A faux patent/vinyl skirt, my favourite pair of everyday pumps, and a deep burgundy toned clutch to tote around all my necessities.

While it’s safe to say that I’m pretty sorted when it comes to bell sleeves with this beauty of a top, I’ve popped a few cute alternatives to carry you from summer right through to winter. Have you gotten onboard the bell sleeve trend? x

How to choose the right red lipstick for your skin tone

how to choose the right red lipstick for you
how to choose the right red lipstick for you

Nothing makes me feel quite as confident as a red lip does. It’s such a classic look; a touch of that old Hollywood glamour, that makes for the perfect signature beauty note or a bold choice for that special occasion you have coming up. But, with so many different reds out there, it can be tricking figuring out just which one is the perfect red lipstick to complement your complexion. So, to avoid seeing red – literally – these quick tips can help you to figured out which is the right red lipstick for you.

There’s just one key step; you need to identify what your skin tone is. Does it have cool, warm, or neutral undertones? If you’ve ever felt like a red lip just hasn’t worked out for you, it’s probably been because you’ve been wearing the wrong shade for your complexion.

how to choose the right red lipstick for you
how to choose the right red lipstick for you

Those with fairer cool-toned complexions should opt for a bright red with blue undertones to add a bit of vibrancy; Love Bite from Charlotte Tilbury (also here) is p-e-r-f-e-c-t for this and such a long lasting option too. If you have cool-pink undertones in your skin (think: girls who epitomise the ‘English Rose’ with porcelain skin), go for a raspberry hued red or anything with a bit of a pink undertone to it.

If you have a yellow-based undertone or warmer skin, then an orange-based red is the perfect pick me up to really brighten up your complexion – I especially love Lady Danger from MAC. If your skin sways more olive, then opt for an orange-based brick red, which will help to not only brighten, but reduce the appearance of sallowness in the face.

Finally, those with a darker complexion have a few different options. A candy apple orange-based red contrasts beautifully against darker skin tones, though if you’re hoping to make less of a statement, a plummy or oxblood-toned red is a little more subtle for a day-to-day look.

What to wear on date night

what to wear on date night

Tobi slip dress (also love this option), Everlane black leather pointed slide*, The Daily Edited leather pouch, Byredo Eau de Parfum in Mojave Ghost, Glossier Haloscope in Quartz, Chanel Rouge Allure in Coromandel (98), Essie Nail Polish in Good as Gold

When it comes to date night dressing, I like to take the same approach as I do for picking my outfits for the rest of the week; a signature look, which I’ll reach for, nine times out of ten. Because I try to put a huge emphasis on effortless (read: easy) dressing, I like to keep things easy with just a few key pieces that I know will work together and that I don’t have to think too much about. Given we’re planning to head out for drinks and dinner this Saturday night, I thought I would share my go-to essentials for an easy date night look.

There’s nothing more timeless than a little black dress, and given my predisposition towards all things classic, it should come as no surprise that it’s typically my first pick for any special occasion – date night included. I have a few that I’ll reach for, like this relaxed backless version from Karen Walker which is still a favourite after more than three years, this sexy buckled beauty from Bec & Bridge which I wore while I was in Dallas, and I’m also drawn to anything slinky which skims over my figure in a really flattering way, like the above dress from Tobi. It’s one of those blank canvas pieces which you can build on, and I’ve found them to be one of the few dresses in my wardrobe which doesn’t have an expiry date. I especially love the sheer panel of chiffon which adds an unexpected twist, making what is an otherwise minimal slip dress, more of a statement piece.

While I’ll usually reach for a simple black suede court shoe if I’m doing any kind of dressing up, I find that nothing quite complements an LBD like a black strappy sandal – I have a pair from Isabel Marant which I love because the ankle strap has a metal bar that wraps around the front of the foot. If I’m not up for wearing heels, I’ll opt for a dressy pair of flats, and my current pair of choice are these black leather pointed toe slides from Everlane. Like most of their leather shoes, these take a little bit of breaking in, but I think that they’re a really elegant take on the slide, and transition pretty well from day to night (I also love the ‘bone’ version!). If you’re planning on picking up a pair, go up half a size as I found that these fit on the smaller side (for reference I’m typically an EU40 and went for a US9.5).

By day, I’m a crossbody girl through-and-through, but by night, I don’t think there’s anything more chic than a sleek leather clutch. I’ve been reaching a lot for this burgundy leather zip-up pouch from The Daily Edited – an incredibly thoughtful gift, monogrammed with my initials – which holds just the right amount; not too much and not too little. I love that in addition to an inner zip up compartment it has some card slots to pop your credit cards, which helps me to streamline the contents to my absolute essentials for a night out.

The perfect accompaniment to any date night is undoubtedly a red lip – it’s bold, sexy, and just a little bit daring. I have a couple favourites that I tend to rely on; for an orange based red I’ll reach for either Tom Ford’s ‘wild ginger’ or ‘lady danger’ from MAC, and for a blue-based or more neutral red, I adore ‘love bite’ from Charlotte Tilbury or Chanel’s Rouge Allure Lipstick in ‘coromandel’. I’ve put quite a few red lipsticks to the test – from budget beauty to high end – and these four for me, are comfortable on the lips, have a creamy texture, and I know I can rely on them to last me through the night.

There’s no such thing as too much highlighter, especially when it comes to date night. I’ve been absolutely loving Glossier’s Haloscope (I picked mine up in ‘quartz’); it’s a little more subtle that my HG Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate, but it gives you a really fresh and dewy looking glow. I’m quite liberal with this as the result is always really natural – you don’t have to worry about going overboard with this one!