The secret to elevating a casual outfit

minimal outfit stripe top denim mini mademoiselle
minimal outfit stripe top denim mini mademoiselle
minimal outfit stripe top denim mini mademoiselle
minimal outfit stripe top denim mini mademoiselle
minimal outfit stripe top denim mini mademoiselle
minimal outfit stripe top denim mini mademoiselle
minimal outfit stripe top denim mini mademoiselle

T by Alexander Wang stripe top, Wrangler denim mini skirt (similar), Everlane editor heels* (similar here), Phillip Lim pashli bag, Astrid & Miyu bracelet

Whether you’re a regular here on my blog, or familiar with my what I wore this week videos on YouTube, then you’ll know that my style tends to be pretty relaxed these days. It’s a far cry from the heels and button down shirts I used to wear daily, which marked my initial foray into experimenting with fashion and my determination to project a timeless, classic style (even at the age of 18!).

The shift in my day-to-day style has been punctuated heavily with the addition of denim (and lots of it), low blocked heels, loose silk camis and a-line leather skirts; essentially, four of the key basic pieces in my wardrobe that I reach for almost daily. It’s this shift in style that has forced me to look at my wardrobe a little differently, and think about how I can elevate these more relaxed outfits to work for the office, or for a night out. So, I wanted to share four quick and easy tips that I apply to my outfits, to elevate an otherwise simple or casual look.

K.I.S.S; Keep it simple, stupid. This has pretty much been my motto when it comes to building my outfits. Coco Chanel once said that as you walk out the door, you should look in the mirror and take one thing off, and I ascribe to that daily – there’s an elegance to simplicity that can’t be matched. As much as I love the idea of wearing something that’s a little ‘extra’, a simple striped tee, a frayed denim mini, and a pair of heels can look just as good.

Wear a pair of heels; It’s about as simple as it’s going to get, but I find adding a pair of heels to a simple – and casual – outfit instantly adds a bit of lift and elevates your entire outfit in one swift step. The team at Everlane kindly sent me a pair of their new launch, the editor heel, which I’ve been pairing with more simple outfits such as the one above. I adore the combination of the pointed toe and delicate kitten heel, and the squared off cut at the foot. I decided to jump on the ‘taupe’ pair, which come off as a warm chestnut-hued tan shade in person, in my usual size – US 9.5/EU40. I haven’t had a chance to properly break these in yet, but I do find them quite snug in the toe box, though I’m not sure going up a size would be quite the right solution as they’d probably slip off your feet. It’s nothing too uncomfortable, but worth taking into consideration if you’re planning on picking up a pair.

Throw some fine jewellery into the mix; Playing on that mantra that it’s all in the details, the addition of some fine delicate jewellery to the mix provides a subtle elegance where costume jewellery might come off as a little gauche. Dainty little rings, fine chain necklaces and minimal bar bracelets are a good place to start.

Opt for a structured bag; My final tip is to opt for a structured bag. Adding another layer of refinement to a casual outfit, a bag can make a bit of an impact on how your overall look is perceived, which is perhaps one of the reasons why I tend to favour a structured bag over a slouchy one (especially with how relaxed my outfits are these days!).

How do you like to elevate a simple outfit?

Wearing boyfriend jeans with a frill tee

everlane modern boyfriend jeans
everlane modern boyfriend jeans
everlane modern boyfriend jeans
everlane modern boyfriend jeans
everlane modern boyfriend jeans
everlane modern boyfriend jeans

Karen Walker frill top (old but similar here), Everlane modern boyfriend jeans (also here), Valentino tango pumps (also here), Chanel boy bag (affordable version here), RUBY earrings (I also love these)

We’re about mid-way through spring now, and I’m still getting a chance to flex those denim-wearing muscles, thanks to some pretty mild weather this weekend. So, I took the opportunity throw on the modern boyfriend jeans from Everlane, which I’ve been dying to road test since sharing my thoughts on their skinny jean earlier this week.

I’m not sure if it comes down to the wash you opt for, but the denim of the boyfriend jeans is soft and has a good amount of stretch to it, and also fits very differently too. Again, I opted for the size 25, though there’s some give at the waist, so if you are after a closer fit, definite go down a size. For me, I love my boyfriend jeans to be slightly loose throughout the leg, and have a decent enough length that I can roll them up (twice) at the ankle. For me, this is the most flattering fit – and the ankle cuff is a must have – as it helps to create some much needed shape and expose the narrowest part of the leg. Let’s just say, these are a huge winner for me, and it’s likely that this won’t be the last time you see me wearing them.

Perhaps the one thing I do find tricky about boyfriend denim, is styling, so I figured I would keep things pretty simple with a minimal colour palette, and some of my favourite accessories. For a casual lunch and a few drinks at the pub, I opted for this frill tee from Karen Walker, which I’ve had in my wardrobe for a good few years now. This is a staple piece in my wardrobe, as I love the dressed up take on the humble basic t-shirt. For shoes, I went for my Valentino tango pumps; I haven’t worn these much since the day heels from Everlane entered my life, but these have little details to them that I absolutely adore, from the slightly rounded almond toe, to the little panel that extends up the back of the leg. Finally, after investing in a Chanel boy bag a few months back, I’ve been making a real effort to start getting the cost-per-wear down, so it’s been my go-to bag for the weekend as it’s a little too small to fit all my office essentials. I love a good monochromatic look, and this fits the bill, while stepping *slightly* out of my usual creature comforts of an all black outfit.

#DamnGoodDenim | An Everlane Denim Review

Everlane Denim Review
Everlane Denim Review
Everlane Denim Review
Everlane Denim Review
Everlane Denim Review
Everlane Denim Review
Everlane Denim Review
Everlane Denim Review

J Crew polka dot tank (this one’s cute too!), Everlane mid rise ankle skinny jeans (also here), Everlane day heels, Chanel boy bag (affordable dupe), Daniel Wellington watch, Mademoiselle X Mejuri earrings

Everlane’s #DamnGoodDenim has been a long time in the making – six years in fact – as founder Michael Preysman was set on doing it right, and ensuring that the manufacturing processes lived up to their ethical standards; now that’s something I can get behind.

While denim forms the backbone of so many wardrobes (there is a reason it’s a wardrobe staple), the manufacturing process is incredibly water intensive, and it’s an industry whose processes can have some harmful effects on the environment. Taking on the challenge to source a factory that can produce denim in a clean and efficient way, Everlane’s denim is produced in a Vietnamese factory that recycles 98% of its water, and air dries its denim.

SIZING

After reading a few of the reviews on the site, I actually bought myself a pair of the mid rise ankle skinny jean in a size 26, before very kindly receiving the size 25 from Everlane the very next day, which was incredibly helpful as it allowed me to gauge which of the two sizes was a better fit. For reference, I generally wear a size 25 denim, and as my widest point is my hips and I have quite a narrow waist, I tend to favour denim which has at least a little bit of stretch to it. Everlane’s denim line by contrast has a rigidity to it that I haven’t encountered in years – it’s solid, sturdy denim that isn’t going anywhere. Of the two, I preferred the fit of the size 25, which you can see my wearing above. The size 26 slipped on pretty easily with breathing room in the legs, though I found on me they were loose at the waist, whereas the fit of the size 25 was a little more snug (something I think is a must for a slim fitting jean) and fit me perfectly at the waist. It’s worth noting that while the denim will relax slightly with wear, these aren’t jeans with any stretch so if in doubt, you’re probably best to size up. The other thing I think worth noting is that I do find that the fabric bunches up a little around my knees which does remove the aesthetics of having a streamlined silhouette.

Given my height (5’8″ or 172cm) my legs aren’t even what I would call deceptively short. I have a longer torso so often find myself opting for a shorter leg length when I comes to trousers or denim. Keeping this in mind, I decided to go for the ankle length in the mid-rise skinny style, which I actually prefer rolled up once to show a little bit of skin just above the ankle. This is a great length for me, however I know there’s a lot of petite girls out there who might find the leg length a little on the long side, so if you aren’t up for either cuffing or hemming your jeans, then these probably aren’t for you. The other thing I’ve found is that The ankle opening on the size 25 is a little narrow (particularly for my size EU40 feet) – not a deal breaker by any means but it can make getting them off at the end of a long day a little bit of a challenge.

QUALITY

As with most things I’ve purchased from Everlane, the quality is there. The denim might not be to everyone’s liking (I do love my denim to come with a nice side of elastane…), but it’s thick, sturdy, and doesn’t pull at the seams. When pulling the jeans on, I don’t feel like the belt loops are about to pull off (trust me when I say this has happened to me many times before), and they have enough give in the fabric to sit down comfortably without feeling like the waistband is digging in to you. I can be a little fussy when it comes to blue wash denim especially when trying to judge the colour online, so I went for ‘stay black’, which comes off as a true black hue – something which is worth noting can be incredibly hard to pull off.

FINAL THOUGHTS

As excited as I was (and still am!) about this launch, my overall thoughts are that while I do like these jeans, I don’t love them, which I think can be make or break if you’re considering buying some new denim. The things I do love? Everlane’s commitment to producing denim in a clean and ethical manner, something I wish we’d see more of, and the focus on just a few key styles, of which I do think that there’s something for everyone. Speaking to the quality of the denim, these are jeans that feel like they’re going to last y-e-a-r-s, and while I can’t see them loosening up like my favourite pair of ASOS mom jeans after a couple of wears, I do anticipate that the fabric will soften over time and wear. I guess what I’m saying is that I’d liken it a little bit to raw denim.

I may have had my fair share of black skinnies in my time, but since moving to Sydney it’s been one of the areas in my wardrobe where there’s been a bit of a gap. Safe to say, that I’ll be reaching for these a bit, especially once Autumn comes back around in 2018, as they’re such an effortless piece that pairs well not only with a jazzy polka dot top like above, but with crisp white shirts, silk cami’s, or a simple breton and classic trench combo. And, if you’re still on the fence, but in dire need of some autumn/winter wardrobe essentials, then make sure you check out Everlane’s $100 cashmere – almost four years on and it’s still the number one item that I recommend to anyone thinking of investing a little in their closet.

Now of course, I do actually have a second pair of Everlane denim to share with you in the coming weeks; the modern boyfriend jean in bone. Unlike the jet black skinny, these have a little more give to them, and are more relaxed in fit (as you’d expect from a boyfriend jean), so keep your eyes out in the coming weeks for my thoughts on these… xx

Everlane Boss Boot Review

everlane boss boot review
everlane boss boot review
everlane boss boot review
everlane boss boot review
everlane boss boot review
everlane boss boot review
everlane boss boot review

T by Alexander Wang stripe top, ASOS mom jeans, Isabel Marant blazer (also here), Everlane boss boot in black pebbled leather, Daniel Wellington watch (or also here)

From the get go, I knew the launch for the Everlane boss boot was one that I wasn’t going to miss – even if boot season in Australia is almost over for the next six months. I’m always on the hunt for high quality wardrobe classics that pack a punch but don’t necessarily break the bank, and on first impressions, these boots hit the nail on the head with their simple yet strong design, right down to the pointed toe, classic silver zipper pull and block heel in a lush pebbled leather. Safe to say, I was pretty quick to pull the trigger… I mean, to quote Everlane directly, ‘it’s a boot that means business’, and boy does it mean business.

Since getting my hands on these boots, I’ve been putting them to the test, and I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on the quality, comfort, and fit, in addition to a comparison between the Everlane boss boot and the Acne Studios jensen boot, for those curious on how they fare in terms of quality and design to their more expensive counterpart.

QUALITY

When it comes to quality footwear, Everlane always seem to come to the party. I tend to play favourites a lot when it comes to my shoes, and Everlane generally tends to come out on top (I’m a sucker for their day heels), and this latest launch looks to be no exception. Crafted from 100% Italian leather, the Everlane boss boot is made in a Florentine factory that has a long history of manufacturing high quality leather shoes. And boy, are these lovely. The leather has a nice pebbled grain to it, and while malleable, has a decent structure to it, which I can only imagine will soften and age beautifully over time. The zipper has a stiffness to it which narrows in at the ankle, and the 2 inch block heel adds a decent amount of height, while still remaining comfortable to run around in all day. There’s also a little pull tab at the back of the shoe to help with pulling the boots onto your foot. The sole is thick enough that it should last at least a full autumn/winter season or two before needing to be resoled, and perhaps the only major element of wear that I can foresee is a bit of creasing across the toe, and around the opening at the ankle.

COMFORT & FIT

There’s no hiding the fact that it’s summer in Sydney, so it’s not exactly boot weather, but I’ve taken to wearing these at every opportunity to break them in. As mentioned earlier, the leather does have a sturdiness to it, however it’s not as stiff as the leather on Everlane’s modern loafer or chelsea boot; two pairs of shoes which require a little bit of patience to break in (thought it’s totally worth it when you do!). If I had to put the ‘suppleness’ of the leather on a scale, I’d put it somewhere right in between the day heel and the chelsea boot; it has a little bit of a Goldilocks element… the suppleness of the leather is just right.

When it comes to sizing, these are true to size; I’m almost always an EU40 in designer or European-crafted shoes, which translates to a US9.5 in Everlane footwear (and the size I opted for). Fresh out the box these fit snug across the foot, with room at the toe. It’s worth noting that I do have quite a wide foot and I don’t experience any pinching when wearing the boss boot.

EVERLANE’S BOSS BOOT VS. ACNE STUDIOS’ JENSEN BOOT

I’ve had a lot of questions in the past asking me to compare Everlane’s heeled chelsea boot with the jensen boot from Acne Studios, but honestly, I’ve always felt like there were more differences than similarities. But the Everlane Boss Boot? A serious contender and a much more affordable option, if the silhouette and style of the Acne jensens are up your alley.

I’ve said this a few times now in many of my videos, but after owning the Acne jensen boots for a couple of years, I’m not quite convinced that you need to spend $550+ on a pair of classic black boot. When it comes to my wardrobe, I tackle new purchases in pursuit of quality, and as I’ve occasionally come to find, sometimes it isn’t always worth throwing money at a designer piece, particularly when you can get the same or similar look for much less (like these).

So back to the Boss Boots; how do they stack up against the jensens? I’ve had my Acne jensen boots for two years now and in that time, I’ve had them resoled twice as the heel has worn down and the sole at the toe split as a result of repeated wear. There are scuff marks on the inner side of the shoe where I’ve knocked my feet together a little to aggressively, and the boot has lost a considerable amount of structure. The elastic on each side has retained its integrity – they can be a bit of a stretch to pull on. Safe to say, they feel and look worn, yet they’re probably one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes that I own.

While I’d want to be able to wear these for at least a full winter season before making a final conclusion, I have a few initial impressions that I want to share – and I will try to update this as time goes on. The leather on the Everlane boss boot has a little more structure to it, which makes me conclude that these are more likely to hold their shape over time (though they might never feel like wearing a pair of slippers on the daily, like the jensens do!). The heel is slightly more substantial, which should be taken into consideration if that’s a deal breaker for you (I find it to be pretty comfortable though). The one key difference between the two pairs of boots is the silver zipper closure on the Everlane boss boot; this is something that I absolutely adore – it adds an edgy feel and I’m sucker for silver hardware – and I think it’s again a detail that will help the boot to retain the integrity of its shape over time, even after the leather has moulded to the shape of your foot.

FINAL THOUGHTS?

The Everlane boss boot is a strong new addition to the brand’s growing footwear range, and one that is certainly worth taking a second look at if you’re in need of a pair of winter boots. While I do think that some lines of shoes from Everlane tend to run on the narrower side, these boots not only seem to cater for girls with wider feet, but the mildly structured leather is a welcome reprieve. Excellent quality, brilliant design, and a pretty reasonable price point – there’s not much more a girl could ask for!

Breton Stripe Top + a Blazer

minimal outfit breton stripe top and blazer mademoiselle
minimal outfit breton stripe top and blazer mademoiselle
minimal outfit breton stripe top and blazer mademoiselle
minimal outfit breton stripe top and blazer mademoiselle
minimal outfit breton stripe top and blazer mademoiselle

Orcival stripe top, Pimkie blazer (love this alternative), RUBY skirt (love this indigo skirt or else this is a cute affordable option), Everlane day heels, Phillip Lim pashli bag (also here), Daniel Wellington watch

This outfit from the other week combines a few of my favourite things; stripes, a-line skirts, the day heels from Everlane (seriously do I wear anything else?!), a mini bag and a blazer. In some ways, it’s a little bit of a throwback to the kinds of outfits I was wearing a few years ago, when blazers were my ultimate jam, paired with basically everything and a killer heel to match. These days, the heels might be a little lower, and the rest of the outfit a touch more classic than I used to wear, but the bones of the style ‘recipe’ are still there.

The key piece that I’ve found myself reaching for a lot more frequently as of late has been a classic blazer. After shifting from a corporate industry to a more creative environment with a much more relaxed dress code, I’ve had less of a reason to wear a blazer to the office, and given I spend most weekends pottering about at home, even less to wear them during my days off. But, I’ve been feeling a little bit inspired to start throwing them on with little mini dresses and denim shorts, as I love the juxtaposition between the tailored suiting and effortlessly casual vibes. I’ve been on the lookout for a couple of more oversized or double breasted blazers which I think will be good to have in the mix, for a balmy summer soiree or even as a jacket option for 2018, once we start heading back into autumn. Can you tell I plan ahead?

What I love most about this outfit is the fact that it can do double duty. I’ve probably said this about a million times now, but I work in a pretty relaxed environment, which means a simple combo like this with a pair of heels is the perfect number to whip out during the working week. That said, it’s also the kind of thing that can work for an ‘off-duty’ or weekend look, perhaps with a pair of ballet flats switched in for running around in.