Spring Wardrobe Essential: The Midi Skirt

spring wardrobe essential midi skirt minimal mademoiselle
spring wardrobe essential midi skirt minimal mademoiselle
spring wardrobe essential midi skirt minimal mademoiselle
spring wardrobe essential midi skirt minimal mademoiselle

Hollister top (old but similar here), Lover midi skirt (old but I love this one or similar here), Atmos & Here denim jacket (old but this is the same in a mid blue wash), Senso flats, 3.1 by Phillip Lim bag

Following on from my post last week, I wanted to talk about another spring wardrobe essential; the midi skirt. Warmer weather has been coming in waves, which has had me trying to get on top of my spring wardrobe staples a lot sooner than I’d anticipated.

This white cotton broderie midi skirt from Lover has been a wardrobe workhorse the last few years, as the cut and colour lend themselves well to the spring season, and this year is no different. If you go back through my archives you’ll see my favourite way to wear this skirt is either with a cashmere knit sweater, or a slinky silk cami – two silhouettes I absolutely love, though to mix things up a bit I’ll probably be pairing this with more fitted ribbed tees and off the shoulder crop tops, in addition to simple white tees with embroidery on the bust. I’m not really planning to add to my closet in a big way, so I’ll mostly be making do with what I have.

While I’ll usually throw on a cute mid-heeled sandal, a trusty pair of dressy flats is usually the much more practical option, and this pair from Senso has been a welcome addition to my closet for the upcoming season. As much as I love a black bag, the combination of this outfit called for much softer, muted tones, making my mini pashli bag the perfect pairing (it’s the perfect size for a weekend day bag!). I

Aside from being a great staple at home, I also feel like a midi skirt is perfect for packing in your suitcase for any holiday – I took this one with me to Italy and the US last year and it worked really well for both casual and more dressed up looks, plus it was nice to have something that I could rely on (that wasn’t denim!) when the weather cooled down a little.

I’m planning to share a few more of my spring wardrobe essentials in upcoming outfit posts, but in the meantime it would be great to know what some of yours are! x

My best second hand purchases

Hope Grand Sweater

I think I can categorically say that for many years I spent just as much time browsing eBay as I spent checking my emails (read: a lot). Defining my style and exploring new designers which weren’t readily available in New Zealand, eBay was the #1 destination where I would stumble across a bargain second hand buy, or investment purchase for (much) less. These days, I’m more like to browse The Real Real – mostly down to the fact that they have a return policy – but one thing still remains true; I love a good second hand purchase. It’s that thrill of the hunt, and the best finds always turn up when you least expect them, and honestly, it can often be much more rewarding that buying something brand new. I’ve had my fair share of gems, as well as complete duds over the years, so I thought I’d share and reflect on some of my best second hand purchases to date.

HOPE GRAND SWEATER

Of all the knitwear I have stashed in my drawers, the grand sweater from Hope makes the biggest statement. It’s not hard to see why; the apricot hue, luxe waffle knit, and general oversized nature are what drew me to it in the first place. Mine was a lucky find on eBay, a good fraction of the RRP, and a good investment considering this is a staple style from HOPE – if you’re after one of your own, you can find it here or here, alternatively this option from Everlane is a little kinder on the wallet. I typically tend to enjoy wearing this with milky tones: cream denim, white pleated skirts, or layered over a midi dress. Sizing wise, it’s a large fit. I nabbed it in a EU36 which is the equivalent of an AU8, but you could easily size down if you didn’t want it to be quite so baggy. The only downside is laundering this sweater; you have to do it by hand, then lay it flat to avoid it from becoming misshapen. Hasn’t stopped me from reaching for this sweater whenever it gets chilly though!

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KAREN WALKER FRILL TOP

There are a few items in my closet that I spent years trying to track down – no exaggeration – and this simple frill top was one of them. Hailing from my favourite Karen Walker collection to date, ‘The Believers’, I’ve always been drawn to the combination of the sheer floral patterned silk, keyhole detail and frill hem. This is a good ten years old now, and while it looks a little weathered and worse for wear, I can’t help but love it all the same. A wardrobe addition that was truly years in the making, it’s one that I know I’ll continue to cherish for years to come. If you’d like to see this piece in action (as I can’t seem to find a snap of it on…), I featured it in my Summer 2016/2017 Wardrobe Lookbook which you can watch here.

Willow Leather Skirt

WILLOW LEATHER SKIRT

I knew I wanted a leather skirt from Willow just weeks into starting a job at David Jones. During my lunch breaks, I’d take the lift down to level 2, and make a mental note of all the ‘investment pieces’ I’d love to add to my wardrobe (Celine cashmere… anyone?). But somehow, I managed to leave that job without the leather skirt of my dreams, and shortly after, Willow become defunct, dashing any chances of buying one of their iconic a-line leather skirts brand new. But, luck has been on my side and I’ve found not one, but two of the old Willow leather skirts on eBay, a simple silhouette which has become something of a uniform for me, particularly during these cold winter months.

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Valentino Tango Pump

THE VALENTINO TANGO PUMP

I bought these almost two years ago now from The Real Real, after stumbling across a pair in my size, like new with rubber soles applied. These cost a pretty penny when buying brand new (the beige patent is lovely though…), so as you can imagine, I jumped at the chance to score these at more than half off. They’ve turned out to be a real wardrobe staple, a shoe that I know I can rely on to make any outfit look chic. And even though they’re on the narrow side, I don’t find them to bring too much discomfort to my wide feet – at least no more than other shoes! In terms of quality, they really are exceptional and have held up well, despite being worn many times on my daily trek to and from the office.

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Lover Wiccan Lace Midi Dress

LOVER THE LABEL WICCAN MIDI DRESS

The final second hand purchase I wanted to mention is one which I hunted on eBay for seven years. Seven. I first became obsessed with Australian label Lover at 17; aside from Karen Walker it was one of the few brands whose collections I would pore over, season after season, and still all these years on, their ‘Black Magick’ collection seems to have made a lasting impression on me. I finally managed to track down this dress via eBay in my size, at the start of this year, and have been saving it for those special occasions. The same French lace as my wedding dress, it’s as delicate as it looks, and miles more beautiful in person. I suppose good things really do come to those who wait… x

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An outfit from my weekend in Canberra

minimal white and grey outfit
minimal white and grey outfit
minimal white and grey outfit
minimal white and grey outfit
minimal white and grey outfit

Grana cashmere sweater (10% off with the code JAMIExGRANA), Lover a-line skirt (old but this is cute & I like this option), Vaneli two-tone pumps, 3.1 by Phillip Lim mini pashli

It feels like it’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks, but I wanted to share this outfit that I wore a couple weekends ago while we were visiting my family in Canberra. We can probably all agree that it was perhaps not the most practical of outfits to wear while wandering down dirt tracks and rocky roads on our way to each wine tasting, but I get the feeling that I couldn’t wait to throw on one of the latest additions to my wardrobe; a new pair of Chanel-inspired shoes (at a fraction of the cost), which have been coming with my literally everywhere.

I’ve been reaching for this grey cashmere sweater from Grana for those cooler days when it starts to feel a bit like Autumn here in Sydney, which turned out to be a welcome surprise in the small suitcase I packed for our long weekend in Canberra. While I gravitate towards the darker pieces in my wardrobe as soon as the temperature starts to drop, I love the combination of this mid-grey and creamy white wool skirt – a colour duo I’ll probably try to replicate a little more as we head towards winter. Admittedly, I probably could have done with a couple of extra layers, but sometimes when you’re packing light, you have to make do with what you’ve (hastily) stashed away in your suitcase…

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lover the label wiccan lace midi dress
lover the label wiccan lace midi dress
lover the label wiccan lace midi dress
lover the label wiccan lace midi dress
lover the label wiccan lace midi dress
lover the label wiccan lace midi dress

Lover wiccan lace midi dress (old but I LOVE this option, and this is gorgeous too!), Dior marble patent heels (these are a cute alternative), Kate of Arcadia leather clutch (similar), Kate Spade earrings

Celebrating becoming a year older in one of my favourite labels – Lover. I managed to stumble across this beauty on eBay just a couple weeks ago, after being on the hunt for it for seven (!!) years, and there was no way that I could pass it up. Besides, is there any other way to celebrate a special occasion than in Lover? While this beauty might be no longer available, I’ve had a ‘shop’ around for some of my favourite lace dresses which you’ll find below; can you guess which ones I have my eye on? x

Summer whites

white outfit summer mademoiselle
white outfit summer mademoiselle
white outfit summer mademoiselle
white outfit summer mademoiselle
white outfit summer mademoiselle

Maven West top, Lover the Label denim skirt (similar), Nicholas Kirkwood sandals (also love this version), Charlotte Olympia feline purse (this velvet version is stunning!), ASOS sunglasses

This summer, if it’s white, cream, nude or blush, I’ve been all over it, and I think years of wearing black opaque tights and my cosiest winter coats in the ‘height’ of summer have pretty much seen to that… never mind the fact that I’m likely to spill something on myself within 15 minutes of getting dressed (creamy oats with raspberries first thing tend to get a little messy…).

For the weekend, it’s usually a nice airy tank, like the one I’m wearing above from Maven West, paired with some sort of white denim – shorts, skirts or jeans, I don’t discriminate – and my current bag of the day. It’s that easy kind of dressing, a uniform of sorts, that I have a feeling will be seeing me through these warmer months. Plus it helps that if I’m heading out for dinner with Luke, or some drinks with my girlfriends, all I need to do is add a strappy black heel and a bold red lip, and I’m practically ready to go.