Summer Wardrobe Essential: The Denim Skirt

wardrobe essential denim skirt
wardrobe essential denim skirt
wardrobe essential denim skirt
wardrobe essential denim skirt
wardrobe essential denim skirt
wardrobe essential denim skirt

Perhaps just as versatile as my silk cami’s, a slim line denim skirt has quite quickly become a wardrobe staple that I find myself reaching for on a weekly – and sometimes even daily – basis. Nine times out of ten, I tend to favour a no frills approach to styling, and a denim skirt is such a great blank canvas for the rest of an outfit, and has become my summer equivalent to a well fitting pair of jeans.

It’s only taken me about six months to curate a small but versatile collection of denim skirts, of which my favourite has to be this one from J. Crew. I picked this up when I was in Dallas last year, and it’s really the key piece that has encouraged me to branch out and add a couple of additional denim skirt styles to my wardrobe.

I’m always on the lookout for pieces that can do double duty, and because I’m conscious of keeping my closet to a manageable limit, I feel like every item I own needs to work for its place in my wardrobe. I haven’t worked in a formal or corporate office setting in years, so for me, this is the type of wardrobe staple that is incredibly versatile. It’s a foundation piece for so many of my casual weekend looks (just add a tee and go!), and it’s easily dressed up for the office with a silk top or cashmere knit (this is my favourite), and a pair of pointed toe pumps.

While I’ll generally try and show some variation in my outfits on the blog and on my YouTube channel, when I find something I like, nothing will stop me from wearing it on repeat. The denim skirt has quite easily been one of the most worn items in my wardrobe over the summer months, and it’s a style I know I’ll be continuing to reach for as we transition into autumn, paired with slouchy oversized knit sweaters and ankle boots.

I’ve picked out some of my favourite denim skirts below…

Six wardrobe mistakes we all make

wardrobe mistakes minimal outfit
wardrobe mistakes minimal outfit
wardrobe mistakes minimal outfit
wardrobe mistakes minimal outfit
wardrobe mistakes minimal outfit
wardrobe mistakes minimal outfit
wardrobe mistakes minimal outfit
wardrobe mistakes minimal outfit

Personal style is such a fickle thing, and as our style is constantly evolving as our tastes and preferences change, it’s only natural that our wardrobe will fall victim to the odd bad purchase. In my case, I’ve made countless wardrobe mistakes over the years, however as someone who shares their style online, I’m constantly feeling inspired to try out new silhouettes, or track down good wardrobe staples that won’t break the bank. So today, I wanted to share six common wardrobe mistakes that we all make…

Wearing Grana white tee (10% off with JAMIEXGRANA), Dr Denim shorts (also here), Chloe linen blazer (this is a great affordable option and I also love this lighter linen blazer), Isabel Marant belt, Vaneli two tone pumps, Chanel boy bag, Amber Sceats earrings, Daniel Wellington watch

shopping when you’re feeling emotional or stressed

I’m guilty of doing this a lot, and it’s probably the biggest contributor of those shopping mistakes; the items that either go unworn or that you throw on once or twice before realising that it isn’t right for you. This is one of those wardrobe mistakes that can get expensive very quickly… it’s pretty easy to let your shopping habit spiral out of control if you’re constantly using it as a crutch whenever things aren’t going quite to plan – trust me, been there, done that (many times!). If you’re still itching for that quick fix of something new, try picking up a book instead – it’ll cost you far less, and I’ve found that immersing yourself in a great read is wonderful nourishment for the soul.

wearing clothing that doesn’t make you feel good

Life’s too short to wear bad clothes; if something doesn’t make you feel good, then it’s okay to let it go. Sometimes, it’s when the sparkle of that new wardrobe addition has worn off (and you can see the item for what it really is – not ‘you’), and sometimes, it’s that you’ve made a wardrobe mistake that you’re too proud to admit to yourself. I like to think of these as those ‘guilty’ purchases that we might have bought impassively, but it just isn’t right for you.

having too many options

A few years back I read this great book about the psychology of choice, and how when we have too many options available to us, making a decision becomes overwhelming. It’s that old adage, ‘a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear’, and it rings true every single time. It’s part of the reason why I tend to give my wardrobe a frequent declutter, because as much as I like being able to add a new key piece into my closet, I also like it to be pared back and edited, so that it doesn’t take longer than a couple of minutes to find an outfit every morning. Truth be told, I probably wouldn’t cycle through my wardrobe nearly as often if I wasn’t sharing my outfits online, but I try to have the approach of ‘quality over quantity’.

buying things just because they’re on sale

This is usually a sure-fire way to end up taking home something you wouldn’t normally consider buying, and during sales season, can be a pretty quick way to amass a number of new pieces that stay hanging in your closet with the tags still attached. Scoring 70% off the RRP can seem pretty appealing, especially if it’s on a big ticket item. The best rule of thumb to stick to, is to ask yourself: would I consider buying this if it was full price? If the answer is no, then it’s probably one that’s best left in the store.

saving a piece for a ‘special occasion’

If you’re spending a large chunk of change on a new wardrobe addition, whether it’s a luxe silk shirt or a plush winter coat, it’s only natural to feel a little bit hesitant about wanting to wear it out all the time. These can feel like a major investment in your wardrobe, and it’s only natural to want to savour these pieces so that they really do stand the test of time – when you’re spending that kind of money, you want to make sure it’s worth it, right? I’ve fallen into that trap before, saving more delicate items in luxurious silks or atrociously expensive pairs of designer shoes for special occasions, and generally what I’ve found is that they end up going unloved and unworn – my Valentino rockstuds were a major case in point. Classic to a tee but the $1,000+ price tag stopped me from giving them the love they deserved. These days, if I think I’m going to be precious with an investment piece I’m considering, I know it’s time to move on and find something a little more budget friendly.

not understanding your personal style

It can take years to truly develop and get a keen grip on your personal style, but once you do, it makes getting dressed and shopping for those gaps in your closet so much easier. Learn to appreciate styles that don’t suit you from afar, and focus on wearing and buying styles that are inherently you.

What wardrobe mistakes have you made?

wardrobe mistakes minimal outfit

Autumn wardrobe essential: Black Boots

autumn wardrobe essential black boots

Black boots are one of those wardrobe staples that are synonymous with the colder months, and they’re usually one of the first things I start to add into rotation as I transition my wardrobe from summer to autumn. Aside from the obvious fact that they go with absolutely everything, I love that a simple pair of black boots are one of those autumn pieces that I can start reaching for in March, even though it’s usually another good month or two before the temperatures in Sydney really start to drop.

More often than not, it all comes down to the details. How pointed is the toe? How narrow is the opening around your leg? Pull on or zip up? Hardware or none? Classic black leather or a rich hued suede (personally I love these)?

The latest addition to my own shoe-drobe are the above pair from Jo Mercer. They’re slightly edgy, with the silver buckle detail, yet have an elegant almond shaped toe, a narrow fit on the leg, and a sturdy block heel – perfect for running around in. It’s been a little too hot and humid to even consider trying to break these in yet, but I can’t wait to pair them with black skinny jeans and oversized sweaters, a shirt and trouser combo, or with a more feminine dress and a biker jacket.

If I learnt anything about my style in my 20s, it’s that I tend to go for more classic styles; essentially any pieces that I know will become a wardrobe workhorse for months – and hopefully years – to come. It’s those pieces I know I can fall back on, like a simple pair of black leather boots, which will work harmoniously with the rest of my wardrobe.

For those of you who have your eye on something a little lower, the jensen boot from Acne Studios is a gorgeous option, and comfortable from the get go. Or, if your budget is a little lower, I highly recommend investing in this dupe – they are even more comfortable than the Acne boots, and the quality is superb for the price point.

Before I wrap up this post, I wanted to flag that there’s going to be a little jumping back and forth between my summer wardrobe essentials, and those pieces that I know are my tried and tested workhorses for autumn, just as I get through everything that I want to share with you all (which is always more than I have time to pull together! The joys of working a full time job and blogging).

Shop black boots below:

What I Learnt about my Style in my 20s

what i learnt about my style in my 20s
what i learnt about my style in my 20s
what i learnt about my style in my 20s
what i learnt about my style in my 20s
what i learnt about my style in my 20s
what i learnt about my style in my 20s
what i learnt about my style in my 20s
what i learnt about my style in my 20s
what i learnt about my style in my 20s
what i learnt about my style in my 20s
what i learnt about my style in my 20s
what i learnt about my style in my 20s
what i learnt about my style in my 20s

Since turning 30 last week, I’ve found myself reflecting a lot about the last decade. I’ve thought a lot about how far I’ve come, in terms of settling into a career that I love, how much I’ve grown emotionally, and how grateful I am for everything I have in my life now. And I’ve also been thinking about what I learnt about my style during my twenties. When I take a look back at how my style evolved during my twenties, a few things are immediately apparent; my hemlines have gotten a little longer, my heels have gotten a little lower, and I’ve started to focus more on a cohesive, neutral, wardrobe over one bursting with colour. But some of those hallmarks of my early twenties are still around, from classic cut blazers, to high waisted everything and then there are some that I’m glad that I’ve moved on from! While these probably aren’t the most revolutionary of observations, I wanted to share what I learnt about my style in my twenties; so get ready, ‘cos this is going to be a long one.

I don’t really do colour

My early twenties were punctuated with vibrant bursts of colour; a kaleidoscopic rainbow and cacophony of prints that I wore for the mere sake of it. At the time, I could barely fathom the thought of wearing the same outfit twice, particularly given that most items I wore were a real statement in themselves. My wardrobe was constantly changing, as I sold on old pieces to make room for something new (seems like things might not have changed too much…), but there was a real lack of consistently or cohesion to what I was wearing.

After doing a complete wardrobe overhaul where I sold approximately 90% of my wardrobe, and a tonnes of experimentation since, I’ve come to the conclusion that for the most part, I don’t really do colour. My colour comfort zone is firmly rooted in the neutrals, which is a reflection of the kind of style that I’ve come to gravitate towards, particularly during the latter half of my twenties. While I am experimenting a little bit with colour – evidence here and also here – it’s distinctly as an accent, rather than for a focal piece.

My go-to print is the polka dot

My mum always told me that if you want a wardrobe that will be truly timeless, then you should avoid prints and patterns. They just date too quickly. And you know, like with most things, she was completely right. But, as I tend to favour that neutral colour palette, I crave a bit of variety to help mix things up, which is where anything with a polka dot comes in. Not only does it seamlessly slot into my existing wardrobe schematics, but it adds a splash of playfulness and whimsy that makes getting ready in the morning ‘fun’.

Basic is best

But, when in doubt, stick with the basics as they’ll always reign supreme. I have something of a ‘uniform’ or ‘style recipe’ I reach for most days, and the foundations are typically those basic style pieces, like little silk cami’s (my go-to in the summer), a well cut blazer, a chic black leather loafer or a great pair of jeans. It’s always when I’m wearing these basics that I feel most confident, and at my best, and I know that sartorially it’s the basics that I know can rely on. It’s part of the reason why I’ve spent so many years investing in the basics, or at least trying to track down good quality wardrobe workhorses, that flatter the figure and won’t break the bank. Brands like Everlane and Grana have been key, but I also know I can rely on Charlotte Olympia for a great pair of shoes, and Dr Denim for jeans that are going to last the distance.

Experimenting is a good thing

When I first started to downsize my wardrobe, I was pretty strict on what could be included. Everything was simple; there were no frills or fuss. I wanted a pared back wardrobe complete with select pieces that were the very definition of ‘classic’. But it was all too easy to find myself falling into a style rut. Sure, I had what I considered to be an enviable wardrobe stocked full of Karen Walker, Equipment, Helmut Lang and Alexander Wang, but it didn’t feel exciting. Perhaps it was a symptom of trying to grow up to quickly, but my wardrobe seemed boring, at a time in my life where I should be having fun with my outfits.

But everything in moderation, right? I don’t tend to jump on the bandwagon of many trends, but every season there’ll be the odd one which feels like a natural fit with my wardrobe, and it’s usually the chance to experiment that leads to some new favourite outfit combinations, and unlikely wardrobe staples.

I like to keep my jewellery minimal

When I first started (fashion) blogging at the age of 18, more was more. On top of my bold – yet often questionable – outfits, I wanted to ramp things up a notch with jewellery that made just as much of a statement. I chased after the oversized necklace from Lanvin’s collaboration with H&M, and I had a swag of J Crew-esque bobble necklaces in blue, lime and hot pink. Since paring back my closet, my tastes in accessories have also shifted; you’ll find me wearing a dainty set of rings and some subtle gold hoops over a statement necklace any day.

Ultra-feminine isn’t quite my thing

On the path to discovering my personal style – as in, what I enjoy wearing daily – I tried a lot of things. From Trelise Cooper tutu-esque skirts to boyfriend jeans. And, what I found is that while I love a feminine touch (like this gorgeous polka dot dress), I don’t quite feel comfortable in anything that borders on being too feminine. Pretty vague, I know, but sometimes those style revelations happy to just be those personal inclinations that only you can ‘get’.

Not every silhouette will suit me

As glaringly obvious as this last point seems, I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve seen a silhouette or style I loved, only to find it just doesn’t suit me. I’m usually the type to give anything a good go, but sometimes, you need to cut your losses. While I still fall into the trap of buying something that isn’t quite right on my body shape, I’ve come to appreciate certain shapes, silhouettes, and even prints from afar. Just because something looks incredible on someone else, doesn’t mean you need to rush to add it to your wardrobe.

Summer Wardrobe Essential: The Silk Cami

minimal outfit summer wardrobe essential silk cami
minimal outfit summer wardrobe essential silk cami
minimal outfit summer wardrobe essential silk cami
minimal outfit summer wardrobe essential silk cami
minimal outfit summer wardrobe essential silk cami
minimal outfit summer wardrobe essential silk cami
minimal outfit summer wardrobe essential silk cami
minimal outfit summer wardrobe essential silk cami
minimal outfit summer wardrobe essential silk cami

Grana silk cami (10% off with GRANAxJAMIE), J Crew denim skirt (similar), To Sir with Love cardigan (similar), Paul Andrew heels (flats version here), Chanel boy bag, Mejuri diamond necklace, Amber Sceats earrings

If there’s one wardrobe workhorse that I know I can rely on to consistently punch above its weight, it’s a little silk cami. Aside from being one of the key pieces in my closet on high rotation in the summer months, it’s also one I know I can reach for as soon as the temperatures drop a little too. Perhaps the biggest shift in my personal style over the last six or so months has been my heavy reliance on the denim skirt – which doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon – which pairs so effortlessly with a silk cami, whether it’s worn loose, as per the images above, or tucked in with a leather belt to cinch in the waist.

A black or a grey silk cami tends to be my usual pick for something quite classic, but I really adore this ballerina pink option from Grana (I’m wearing the shade ‘pink frosting’) for a more feminine pick, particularly when paired with a muted colour palette of soft greys and whites. For me, this piece is all about versatility, as it can transition from day to night rather effortlessly, by switching out the denim skirt for a skinny fitting pair of black trousers, or opting for a fitted knee length pencil skirt. Fortunately working in a more creative industry, it’s the kind of piece that also forms the backbone of my working wardrobe, though if you’re after something that covers up the shoulders a little more, this option is one of my favourites.

Before the summer’s out, I’m hoping to share four more summer wardrobe essentials that I’ve come to rely on over the last few months… Any guesses which piece will be next?