DIY FRESH FLOWER HAT

Fresh flowers are clearly the mascot for summer, and so we thought before the end of the season we would show you how to quickly add a little floral goodness to the other symbol of warmer climes – the straw hat. Gemma and I recently enjoyed another day in the studio and couldn’t help but dream of the races or outdoor picnics we would go to in these floral creations – made even more acute by the fact that it was raining cats and dogs outside!

Fresh flower hat

You need:

  • A straw hat
  • Fresh flowers
  • Pins
  • Florist’s wire

Fresh flower hat

How to:

1. Cut up your fresh flowers and leaves into pieces, and then use the florist’s wire to contact them together into a bigger frond.

Fresh flower hat

2. Wrap the frond around the crown of the hat so it fits. Using the pins, anchor them to the straw hat. You’ll want to make sure the end of the pin it on the outer side of the straw so it doesn’t prick your head.

Fresh flower hat

Voila! It’s very very easy.

Fresh flower hatFresh flower hat

You can remove the flowers once they have died, and do it all over again next time!

Fresh flower hat

QUICK DIY: TURN A TEE INTO HALTER TANK

If you’ve been tuning in here for a while you’ll know that I have a penchant for pieces that you can wear over and over – those tan sandals being the perfect (perhaps nowadays ever a slightly annoying) example. Don’t hate me, when I love something I fall head heals regardless of how potentially un-insta-acceptable it might be to wear the same thing over and over. I guess for me that’s where the perfect tee comes in, something that pretty much defines the meaning of wardrobe essential that you can wear and wear (and wear). To celebrate (and you know, take scissors to) the humble cotton tee, my friends at Grana and I got together to show you how to do the easiest DIY update of the season – turning one of their Pima Cotton tees into a rope neck halter tank. Channeling a 90’s/nautical/last days of summer vibes – you’ve still got time!

Although in the past I’ve veered towards obviously wearable colours like Black, White and Grey Marl for tees, Grana have recently added a few other shades that I think could be considered foundational colours, including a gorgeous Olive and Navy, as well as a gorgeous statement Yellow and Mulberry tones. For under $20 you can afford to experiment!

TEE TO TANKGRANA COTTON TEES

Watch the video on how to make it below:

You need:

  • a cotton tee (like these ones)
  • rope
  • scissors
  • needle and thread

DIY tank from tee

How to:

1. Lay your t-shirt out on a flat surface.

DIY tank from tee

2. Using a chalk pencil, draw a straight line from your neck line to the side seam just under the sleeve.

DIY tank from tee

3. Cut along this line. Repeat on the other side.

DIY tank from tee

4. You then want to cut the body section into a halter style by  cutting the back off it, essentially you will cut a straight line along the back.

DIY tank from tee

5. Take your piece of rope and place it along your neckline, wrap the shirt around your rope.

DIY tank from tee

6. Make sure that it is not too tight so that the rope can be adjustable when it is used for fastening.

DIY tank from tee

7. Hand stitch along the back of your t-shirt to seal the loop your have created with the neckline of your t-shirt.

DIY tank from tee

Voila! The best thing about making things with this pima cotton fabric is that the edges roll over time which allows you to avoid sewing the edges. Winning! You can also fray the rope at the ends to give it some texture, or tie in little knots.

DIY tank from a tee DIY Tee To TankDIY Tee To Tank

If you’re interested in sizing, I usually take mine a little oversized and roll up the sleeves, so that’s an M in women or an S in mens if I’m after a more boyfriend look.

This post is in collaboration with Grana. Photos by Nicola Lemmon

MY HOLIDAY BEAUTY ESSENTIALS (AND A FEW TRICKS FOR USING THEM)

Hello from Hoi An! We’re having such a lovely time in this charming little riverside city staying at the Anantara Hoi An. I think I’ve fallen in love. Being on holidays is the perfect opportunity for a seriously low maintenance beauty regime, a lot of the time I’ll go sans make up completely, although I always try to moisturise and cleanse, sometimes I forget to do that too! Other times during a holiday I’ll want to feel a little special and so will reach for these products – ones that help to bring out a glow without covering everything up or being too heavy. After a few of you have been asking about travel beauty essentials, I thought I would share what I brought with me this trip and how I have been using it all.

Holiday Beauty Essentials

Skin

I feel like holidays are a great opportunity to let my skin breath (it’s always so much nicer after a few days of less products), but I still like to try to loom after it. So my number one skin product is a really good sunscreen (duh!), one that let’s your skin breath whilst also keeping UV at bay. Being Sri Lankan I’m lucky not to burn that easily, but the older I get the more I think sunscreen is essential. At the moment I’m using Invisible Zinc SPF 30. I also always reach for Kiehl’s Ultra Daily Cream and Cleanser to keep my skin clean and soft. Being from down under, naturally I’ll always have with me my trusty Lucas Paw Paw ointment. (Maaaate!)

Hair

Full disclosure, often I’m wayyyy too lazy to spend too much time on my hair when on holidays, particularly when I’m visiting a humid beach destination like Vietnam! Often I won’t wash it for a few days at a time (I usually addictively wash every day), simply swimming in the ocean and pool seems to be enough. I usually just add some Moroccan Oil when it gets to dry or if I want to style it – or try to tame that crazy frizz! Scrunching it onto wet hair and then twisting and pinning up will give you some nice waves when dry. On holidays I also like to experiment with up dos – a Swedish braid or a topknot look best when your hair isn’t too clean so it’s perfect. My fave is the braid because it looks hard but isn’t – I simply part my hair and quickly braid each side all the way around to the back, and then pin up. A good supply of bobby pins is something I always need for these (and also always seem to forget – it’s amazing what I can do these days with one bobby!).

Make Up

After a day of hanging out by the pool without any make up on, I’ll often get a bit pretty (or at least try to) for the evening. This means evening out my skin with a DIY tinted moisturiser – mixing a few dabs of Bobbi Brown Even Finish foundation (in ‘honey’) to my moisturiser for a base that’s not too heavy. I’ll also perhaps blend in some Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer (also in ‘honey’) on any blemishes or my dark circles. I’l then do a dusting of my cheekbones with some Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick  in ‘rose’ (to make that sunshine related glow pop). For eyes, I’ll use the lightest shade in the shimmer brick to lighten the corner of my eyes, and and then add a lick of mascara which I’ll even out using wet fingers. On holidays I try to avoid anything too powdery on my skin so it’s more dewy than caked. I always take my brow pencil with me but it turns out I rarely use it!

Lastly, I always (as in like ALWAYS) paint my nails with white polish, often needs a few touch ups during the holiday – at the moment I’m using OPI.

Holiday Beauty Essentials

What are your holiday beauty essentials? And any little tricks for using them?

WARDROBE REHAB: THE DENIM SKIRT

Denim skirts have been around in one form or another for the past 50 years, and I have to admit that when I first saw the 70’s inspired version on the cards for the coming seasons I was on the fence. But after hitting my local second hand store and finding perfectly suited styles that just needed a few lazy alterations (read: cutting to the right length), I found myself wearing them over and over – and an addiction was born.  They first came on the scene in the 60s when creative and resourceful hippies made full length denim skirts by opening up the inseam of old jeans (and my DIY idols are born!). Since then the denim skirt has managed to evolve with the times over and over. With the huge variation of denim skirt styles there are many considerations if you’re on the hunt for a modern version of this classic piece.

I have shared a few thoughts, ok ok some strong opinions, on the topic below. What can I say? I’m a denim skirt junkie!

Blue and white summer outfit

Choose the right genre

Relaxed 70’s styles like the A-line button down midi and/or the shorter grungier version from the 90’s are perfect. Opt for mid or high-waisted. Personally I would stay away from 80s styles that are too structured or fussy, like, for example, a stone washed pencil style with a peplum and the teeny-tight-low-rise minis we all had in the 00’s. Think Margot in The Royal Tenenbaums rather than Mariah Carey in Glitter.

High or low

Think of it the same as your favourite pair of jeans. Paired with a t-shirt and sneakers for every day, crop top and sandals for the beach or a silk shirt and heels for a night out. It can even be appropriate for an ‘on-duty’ look if you work in a casual or creative work place when styled carefully.

Don’t be afraid of

Double denim! Unless it’s a perfectly matching set like a cute dark denim crop and high waisted floaty midi, go for at least a few shades different between the top and bottom. The safest option is a light washed shirt tucked into a darker skirt.

Take it into next season (and beyond)

The best thing about the latest denim skirt styles is that they are totally trans-seasonal. Mid-length looks great with knee high boots, knitwear and a coat. While the shorter styles work perfectly with tights and ankle boots.

Don’t worry if

You have an outdated style currently in your closet. It is very likely to come back in fashion in a few years so pop it in storage. Or you can check out my denim skirt DIYs and give and old piece some new life!

Looking to add one to your wardrobe this summer, and your local thrift store not giving you any love? I love this longline version from Topshop, this flippy American Apparel one would be great for a festival, this Asos one would be great for casual Fridays, this J Crew one is so so perfectly styled for there weekend (they always get it so right) and finally this AG Jeans version comes Alexa Chung approved.

July  11Blue and white summer outfitBlue and white summer outfitBlue and white summer outfit

Wearing: Thrifted Denim Skirt (cut to the right length), Spell Designs top, Coach Bag, Daniel Wellington Watch, Panama bought in Athens.

Photos by Michelle Tng

Always with that blue and white these aren’t I guys? It’s so easy!