13th March 2013
Can I get a ‘hell yeah’ for the fact that we’ve officially landed in Spring? Although in Hong Kong Winter isn’t cold relative to other parts of the world, the clouds hang low and they pretty much take my mood with them. Not ideal! But no matter where you live in the world Spring brings a beautiful pungent-ness to the air (seriously, put your head out the window and take a big wiff), maybe it’s the blooms coming out but more than that, it’s a renewed sense of optimism that sunnier weather brings. If you’re like me, it’s time for a little Spring wardrobe refresh. Kind of like a wardrobe cull but not so full on, a wardrobe refresh involves working through your clothes and planning outfits in order to find out what you have and where the gaps lie – a poorly planned Spring wardrobe can leave you riffling through piles of tees when you could be out boating – the horror! A Wardrobe Refresh is great for people who have already put a little thought into curating their closet – if yours is need of a bit more TLC you can use this time to start at the beginning with Wardrobe Rehab!
Spring Outfit 1. Pink shift dress (similar here), Zara heels (love these!), Asos cat eye sunglasses , PVC belt, DIY transparent satchel. Spring Outfit 2. Cut off denim shorts (similar here), Vintage Breton top (similar here), Asos hat , Zara ballet flats (I used to buy these when I lived in London but also bought these recently and they’re the most comfortable I’ve ever worn), Brahmin Bag
Spring Wardrobe Refresh
The Spring refresh is about creating sample outfits out what you already own to see if what is in your closet will be chic and wearable for another season – and working out where the gaps are if this isn’t the case. I found that with a little thought, cute Spring outfits came out at me that I never would have thought of at a push when I’ve got 15 minutes to be out the door.
1. Start with the basics – I’m sorry to sound like a broken record but checking that you have your Spring basics nailed is pretty key to perfect outfits everytime, one that will take you from a picnic to a bar without those horrible ‘but what will I wear?’ moments. But what are your Spring basics you ask? I say, start with a pair of cut off denim shorts, add a breton top, a circle skirt, a white tee, a shift dress, a couple of singlets, a pair of coloured jeans and you’re well on your way. Here’s an illustrated version of my essentials for those who are interested.
2. Recycle colours- Think about what colours you have in your wardrobe and work out how you can possibly wear them this Spring. My belief is that certain colour trends tend to never go out of style or come and go so quickly that they’re back ‘in’ before you know it. Look at how you can refresh and co-ordinate pieces from seasons past into your new spring ensembles.
3. Think about accessories - Your Spring accessories such a ballet flats and sandals have probably been hiding at the bottom of your closet collecting dust – pull them out and and give them a polish.
4. Swimwear – Don’t forget swimwear – there’s nothing worse than being ill prepared for the first bbq of the season because you forgot to check out how your kinis fared since last September. Try them on (imagining yourself a little more tanned than you probably are right now) and see if they’ll work for another season.
5. Identify gaps – Understandably some pieces won’t last through winter and there’s no doubt that you’ll have gaps in your wardrobe that need to be filled in order to give you the easy dressing Spring wardrobe you want. Make a list of items you need – the perfect breton top? another pair of denim shorts? a fresh pair of ballet flats? the perfect black bikinis? And then work out your strategy for getting those key pieces into your closet
Spring outfit 3. DIY circle skirt, Zara tank, Asos Hat, Zara heels (similar to these),Brahmin Bag. Spring outfit 4. H&m white tee, DIY Mara Hoffman inspired skirt, Zara sandals (these = love), Brahmin Bag
7th March 2013
As winter slowly transitions into Spring, most of have started thinking about our warmer weather wardrobes. At this time of year there’s often a major rush to buy new season trends – surely I’m not the only person who feels the urge to go out and acquire a floral dress. Maybe it’s something in the less-chilly air but for me, this is the time of year when I make the most of my wardrobe mistakes, buying new season items without much thought for how they will fit into my closet. This year, I’ve decided to take a moment to work out what my wardrobe needs this Spring. And in the meantime, it’s the perfect time to stock up on spring basics that I’ll wear all year – like the white tee. An all important wardrobe staple, it’s the perfect segue into summer.
Choosing the perfect white t-shirt is not as easy as one would think, it’s all about choosing the right cut and fabric for your body. I bought this white t-shirt from a thrift store a few years ago and have worn it over and over, the rounded neckline and slightly stiff fabric have meant it can be worn with just about anything and has lasted a long time. Here are some thoughts on the humble white tee before you click ‘add to cart’.
- Fabric – The fabric you choose will be one of the biggest factors in how it looks on, a softer marl fabric will be more clingy, a ribbed fabric will stretch out horizontally while a thicker fabric will have more shape. To be honest, I often bypass super slouchy tees because I find they are the ones that are more likely to fall apart, opting instead for the thicker, closely woven cotton fabric.
- Sleeve Length - Cap sleeve or mid-way between the shoulder and elbow? There are so many options for sleeve length when it comes to the white tee and what you choose will come down to your body shape and where you want to wear said tee. For ease of wear I usually go for a slightly longer sleeve when I buy white tees rather than a super short capped sleeve, I’ve always found that length a little more flattering, and when you want a casual look you can always roll it up a few times.
- Sheerness – Sheer slouchy white tees are the perfect weekend look but tend to be a little unforgiving when it comes to any bumps you may have.
- Neckline – I find that a high rounded neckline is often more versatile than a v neck, but it will come down to your body shape in terms of choosing one that works for you. Some say that V necklines are more flattering for all body and face shapes, but it’s best to just experiment with a few different looks before deciding.
Where to look in your search for the perfect white tee? This soft cotton J Crew tee is so incredibly comfortable you may find yourself wanting to wear it to bed (although in my experience they stretch more than most), while this Cos tee is great because it doesn’t suffer from the twisty seams after washing that you find is other tees. This Zara tee is a simple basic with a nice heavy fabric, while this Velvet one is a little more luxe. I love these Kain tees while this Mango one is a steal. For a slightly different look I love this cropped Topshop version, perfect for wearing with high waisted denim shorts or showing a little skin when wearing maxi skirts. And it wouldn’t be a t-shirt conversation without saying that these Alexander Wang Tees are the ultimate in shirting for those of you who love a slouchy style – but obviously come at a pretty penny. Does anyone else have recommendations about where I can find the perfect white tee?
See below for a few options on how to wear your white tees – tucked into a high waisted skirt is my personal fave!
19th February 2013
Like it or not there’s no doubt that by now you’ll have seen hoards of people wearing their jackets as capes. If you saw even a few of the streetstyle pics from the last couple of weeks at fashion month you’ll know that it’s a trend that’s alive and kicking. Most likely started by magazine editors a few years ago, shoulder caping has an amazing way of making a person seem nonchalant to the point of not needing arm holes (or even arms for that matter!), but in reality wearing your jacket as a cape involves being anything but nonchalant – it’s actually pretty damn hard work. So if you plan on wearing your jacket as a cape in the near future (the whole short suit trend that’s hitting hard in spring is sure to tempt you), here are a few thoughts – mainly learnt through trial and (a lot of) error on my part. Big thanks to Jess for perfectly illustrating how to wear your jacket as a cape!
Shoulder Span: From experience, one of the major issues you have when wearing your jacket as a cape is that it has a tendency to fall off your shoulders when you raise your arms ie to wave or hail a cab. When choosing the perfect coat for caping, in my experience a wide and well structured shoulder span is much easier to wear (and keep on). Fighting over a cab in rush hour is soooo much harder when your favourite vintage jacket is lying on the sidewalk…
Clutch it: From experience the best bags to use when wearing your jacket as a cape are clutches, otherwise where to hang the strap of your tote bag becomes a major issue – been there done that. Get it wrong and you usually have to wrap the strap of your bag around your hand and end up having it drag on the ground (or is that just me?).
Proportions: Because capes, and indeed jackets worn as capes, can overwhelm your shape (unless you’re six ft tall), for me wearing a slim fitting style on the bottom half of an outfit can give a clean line and proportion, sort of essential when throwing on a bulky coat-cum-cape.
Birds of a feather: Shouldn’t flock together. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that too many jackets as capes amongst a groups of friends can look like (fingers crossed) french Vogue editor dress ups or (more likely) amateur superhero hour. If you arrive at a party and notice that six of your friends are wearing coats as capes (true story), you may want to draw straws as to who has to wear theirs normally. Or not. This is fashion after all and as they say, more is more, right?
Accept the fact: That some people just won’t like it or get it. And move swiftly on (whilst trying not to pump your arms too much lest your cape fall off).
What are your thoughts? Are you down with jacket caping?