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Serotonin, Style & Sustainability

This happens to me, I wake up and all of a sudden have an urgency to write about something that has been pulling on my heart strings (without having realised it).  The upside is I get so excited I don’t waste timing putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), the downside is, I don’t plan the post, which means you lot could end up reading a lot of babble…

Over my years of styling various people in various careers and walks of life, as well as following my own journey of ups and downs, one thing I have come to realise is that no matter where you are at or what you are doing we all benefit from feeling good.  Ive been through periods of feeling great, possibly because Im fit and healthy, and other times of feeling really miserable about myself, probably because Im going through a slump, not keeping up with exercise and poor diet.  That’s step one, feeling good from within.  Following closely on the heels of step one is looking good, dressing well! Whether I’m fit or not I need to maintain a level of style in my life otherwise I begin to feel even worse.  Ive noticed when I have let myself go a little on the dressing front I really do feel awful.  I totally can see how I’ve let this slide over the last couple of years and I’ve decided this year, whilst I certainly don’t have a new wardrobe to parade, I’m going to try and be clever and think out the box, whilst Ive adapted to a more classical look (for simplicity) I will try to add a (teeny tiny) edge to give it a touch of “me”, and these small efforts, I know will boost my happiness.  I will be trying my best to get fit and eat cleaner (mental note to self – stop eating children’s leftovers).  Ive seen it through so many women, how taking care of appearances boosts confidence and happiness.  Everyone has their own level of standards and they know when they are at their best or worst.  I could feel amazing in myself but to others out there look very average (hopefully nobody would tell me that – haha) and visa versa, but if you’re healthy and fresh faced then you should shine from the inside out and that counts for everything.  Once you’ve started with your body and mind you then move onto wardrobe and dressing well, present yourself well to show you care.  So that rounds up the bit about confidence and serotonin.

Next up is style.  Style is a very personal thing, Im sure everyone knows that.  Everyone has their own style and way of expressing this.  Style is not stepping out in the latest Zara/Topshop/Country Road and H&M haul, very far from it.  It is a slow and progressive collection of pieces that build up a wardrobe of pieces that you should always love.  They should be able to be worn with confidence and ease, if you ever feel uncomfortable in something, it’s not you, take it off and get rid of it.  Sell it, pass it on, alter it. Being trendy is not stylish! Dressing to suit your character is a good start although there are many women and men out there who battle with what works for them and will seek advice which is a great start.  I certainly don’t try and do my accounts, Im hopeless, so somebody else does that bit.  I do the parts I love and feel capable of doing and that is what we should all be doing.  Seek advice or help in the areas where you lack the ability to do it yourself.  My aim this year is to feel like Im trying my best from a wardrobe front (next mental note to self, try ditch all my t-shirt wearing and certainly NO more Havaianas every day)… if I want to wear a t-shirt, Im going to put it with something really striking at the bottom (haha lets see how this unfolds).  A friend popped in yesterday and said, wow look at you, is this just you strolling around in your best.  I have been “trying” a little harder this week, wearing bits that haven’t had a look-in in forever! So Im pleased to to say it never went unnoticed.  I’ve often had compliments on pieces that I’ve worn that are really old, but that’s where choosing a timeless shape helps as it doesn’t look outdated in 3 years.  That’s the bit about Style…

Now onto sustainability.  Like many others that share the same values out there, Ive become extremely conscious of our human footprint on this planet and Im desperate to be less of a consumer and more of a recycler.  We can all do little bits which will add up to a lot.  My goals for this year are to grow as many of my own veg as possible, buy less plastic, not purchase one plastic water bottle, I will continue to recycle all my rubbish as we have done for years and use earth friendly cleaning products (in fact vinegar is best, but Im not quite there yet). Being fully sustainable is quite a task and can be very overwhelming when thinking about absolutely everything we can and cant do, so baby steps makes me feel better and less stressed by it all.  Whilst there’s no way I will never ever buy another item from a high street store again, I am taking the saying “Buy Less.  Choose well. Make it last.” literally. (Thanks Viveinne Westwood).  When buying a dress for a wedding or special occasion, choose something that really suits you and that you absolutely LOVE so you will want to wear it for years to come.  Choose classic tailoring, simple sneakers, coats and jackets that suit your frame as well as being timeless. AND if you can buy from small business’s that are using sustainable practices & fabrics as well as having ethical values.  Choose raffia, straw, cotton or vegan material handbags over leather.

So how do these three topics all roll into one another? Well its simple.  Feel good, care about yourself, increase your serotonin levels by starting with the your health and fitness.  Style in turn makes you feel better, care about your appearance and I can promise you, the amount of people that I have seen transform in front of my eyes has been extremely gratifying.  Do good for your planet where you can and feel better about making a difference.  Transform yourself but be sustainable at the same time, choose carefully and don’t get sucked into consumerism, chasing the next trend.  Sure, from year to year you may want to update your wardrobe from the chunky knit to the twin set but generally trends like that last at least two seasons (so two years) before feeling the need to switch things around. Small updates can make all the difference and if you choose the classic version of a trend it’s likely to go the distance.  Keep it Simple! But hey, this is nothing you haven’t heard before, right 😉

I leave you with some of my favourite classic looks (most have been on my Pinterest boards for years, at least 3-4, and I still love them), so it shows, choose well, it lasts.

Have a fabulous week ahead everyone.

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Featured

SS20 STREETSTYLE

Hello again.

It’s been forever, and I had no intention of posting until earlier today when I fancied sharing some of my takeaways from all the streetsyle photography from the various SS20 fashion weeks around Europe and NYC. I then realized I had too much to share on IG stories (which is where I was going to post it) that I thought I may as well sum it up here. This is by no means a full round up but just my identification of what was on repeat. Fashion today is such a vast term, as really, there is so much under the trend umbrella, there are so many silhouettes and fabrics being covered at once with the style influencers putting it all together with their own personal style stamp.

Some clear shoe shapes, fabrics and silhouettes shone through. For me some of the incredibly obvious ones were: square toed shoes (all shoes from sandals to boots) , kitten heels, flip flops and chunky sneakers. Mainly dresses and skirts being worn, and when it came to trousers and jeans, they were always oversized, wide leg, high waisted or straight, absolutely not a skinny pant in sight! Beautiful prints, from floral, to check, tartan and granny’s curtains to lots of monotone and tonal dressing. Floaty oversized, puffy sleeved and tier skirted dresses. Big! Leather …. lots and lots of leather. 80’s blazers, longer in length, oversized and shoulder pads (not always all rolled into one). Trench coats for days. Although I think it’s actually compulsory to wear a trench coat in September in the northern hemisphere because that’s probably the only month of the year you are able to wear it, so in order for it to not be made redundant, it must be worn. Not too many jeans around unless in the way of knee length shorts which were everywhere in all fabrics from leather to denim. Denim shirts (never really went out) but are back in a big way. Part of the western style that’s making a comeback too, western boots it is for the upcoming winter in the northern hemisphere (if not square toed or pointed kitten heel – you see what I’m talking about). I took some snaps from various sources (Popsugar and Style Dun Monde mainly) to round up the above in a visual for you. Oh and pastels too. You get it. A little bit of everything and the kitchen sink. It’s certainly awoken the fashion fire that’s been buried deep in my belly and I’m itching for a small splurge on some big trend items (even though I’m trying to be more classic and simplistic (think clean, understated and natural, thanks to my current geographical location), and of course consumerism….and the fact that if you wear anything out of the ordinary in my home town you may be eyeballed the entire day.

Enjoy the visuals.

Let’s start with the leathers as there’s lots of it.

Leather knee length shorts and THE belt of the moment
The 80’s blazer of the season in leather and note the square toe sandal
Leather knee length shorts
Leather skirt (also note the shoes) this vest style has been a huge hit this summer

Leather pinafore dress and the white boots still hanging around and no sign of going anywhere

TRENCHES IN THEIR DROVES:

Note the square toed boot

Loved this trench and the print on print

BLAZERS:

DENIM SHIRTS

Denim shirt with the tiered skirt style.

TIERED SKIRTS AND BIG SLEEVES

The big dress and note the slip slops

BOILER SUITS

WIDE, OVERSIZED OR STRAIGHT TROUSERS AND JEANS

Tonal Pastels and kitten heel mules

TONAL

Tonal
Tonal, wide leg and strappy sandals were everywhere too!

FLIP FLOPS

KNEE LENGTH SHORTS

And lastly I wanted to end with this image, a great depiction of many of the trends all summed up.

I hope you’re all having a great weekend and let’s hope it’s not another half a year until I post again.

XXX

Featured

Coats and Jackets

I love winter and the opportunity to layer up, wear beautiful jackets and coats, and snuggle up in gloves and beanies. I LOVE a beanie!

A jacket or coat is not something to be taken lightly, when purchasing this item it should be properly considered, things to take into account.  Does the cut suit your figure, the colour your skin tone, does it work for your wardrobe and lifestyle.  Do you need to wear formal coats for work or are you a stay at home mom and need something more relaxed and casual.  Most of us will have a few options in the wardrobe for various occasions.

My picks for jackets and coats this winter are below.  Remembering here in the Southern Hemisphere our climate is mostly very mild.  The opportunity to actually wear thick socks, boots, and beanies are few and far between.  So I bare this in mind when selecting my pieces.

The double breasted jacket

This chic item is so versatile. It can be used in varying climates and worn over anything from tailored pants and jeans to silk dresses and skirts.  Layer this style over a fitted polo neck jumper to warm up or for milder weather over a t-shirt and jeans.

Double breasted blazer Witchery

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Ways to wear it

 

There’s no better way to create a cinched waist and a feminine look than with a belted jacket.  Whether you do this with a military style jacket, blazer or coat, there are many options and you don’t need to buy one with a belt, you can simply add your own to get the look.

Utility Jacket H&M

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Ways to belt your jacket or coat

 

Relaxed fit coat H&M

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Ways to wear the relaxed fit coat

 

And that’s my round up. Hope you find some inspiration here to head out and get the look that works best for you and your lifestyle.

Happy Sunday x

Summer Essentials

I haven’t quite digested the fact that December is 1 day away.  Its such a cliche but every year goes faster and every year Im less organised by the time December comes around.  I think as soon as your children get to school going age, life becomes a bit more hectic not only having your own diary but all of a sudden you have another person’s schedule to consider.  In saying that I am not ready, I am still so excited for the holiday’s to arrive and for schools to break up so we can all wind down and enjoy some well deserved relaxation.   Once holidays begin, the last thing I want to do is have to pack up a ton of stuff to lug to our holiday destination (although some stuff can’t be avoided) the less there is to cart the less stress around the big trek.  Some summer essentials that are pretty much always on my list below are not only things I love and I’m sure loved by many others, but also a good little gift guide.  The odd thing on the list changes from one year to the next but generally Im getting into a habit of always going back to what works for me.  Here’s a small collection of what I WONT leave behind, these bits along with swimsuits, beach wear and the odd dress is all that I will be packing.

I love a Moleskine notebook and have carried one every year for about the last 5 years, ever since my husband bought me one as a gift and have loved them ever since.  I always go with the small pocket size so it fits into any handbag.  This is essential for all the list making: Shopping lists, present lists, packing lists, meal ideas, furniture measurements, bank details, you name it, it’s all in there.  I wouldn’t remember a thing without it!  I was very excited to see them for sale in South Africa at Exclusive Books and then even more thrilled when I googled it and they have an online store in SA with tons of wonderful products to choose from here

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Next on that list (in that Moleskine) would be sunblock.  I still have this UltraSun anti ageing for sensitive skin for the face which I use mostly but I have also recently been introduced to Cetaphil which is also wonderfully moisturising without being greasy.  Both UltraSun and Cetaphil are fantastic for children too.  Cetaphil is widely available in SA but I have not yet come across UltraSun

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From here on it’s in no particular order.  I find my hair does bizarre things when moving around, the water is always softer or harder, less chemicals, more chemicals, salty or full of limescale, wherever one goes, who knows what it’s going to come out looking like after a wash.  Mine quite often goes very soft when washed near the seaside so something to give it a bit of texture (apart from a dive into the sea) is EVO, it is essential for a half decent head of hair.  I was introduced to this little bottle of miracle powder about 1.5 years ago and couldn’t imagine hair days without it.  EVO gives your hair a feeling of dirtyness once applied (whilst still looking wonderfully clean) but it means you can manipulate your hair that much more to do what you need it to.  This along with some Oribe texturising spray will be packed before I even pack a brush!

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It’s always lovely to have nails painted in a colour that will compliment a tan, I love white in summer, it goes with all the outfits and enhances even the slightest of tans.  There are tons of good nail varnishes out there to choose from but I do love Essie

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Laura Mercier has been my go to foundation for many years, I have always loved their tinted moisturiser and its so perfect for holidays, very subtle. a low coverage that gives a natural and fresh finish.  A lovely new Skin Care store recently opened in Sandton called Skins Cosmetics, selling Laura Mercier amongst other great products, unfortunately I cannot find my product online but hopefully they have it in store!

As the days go by and the tans darken, it’s great to have a bronzer to get your face up to speed with the rest of your body.  And if you prefer not to tan then its nice to have a little colour to add on anyway.  The Chanel Healthy Glow powder comes in a few shades.  Chanel is another favourite when it comes to make-up and this fantastic bronzer can be built up depending on the intensity of the colour you wish to achieve.

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Highlighters are great for evening when you want to add extra definition and a healthy glow to your face.  I’ve always used cream illuminating products but this MAC powder is brilliant if you want to minimise oil on your face.  During summer with all the sunblock, and hydrating creams I find to add more cream to my face can just make me look like Ive got an oily skin and makeup tends to slide off quicker the more moisture I add.  I like to add the highlighter just above my cheekbones and brow bones (below and above). Im no beauty guru but that’s just what I have always done.

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Lips also need continuous hydrating, finishing off the face naturally with a soft dewy lipstick can perfect the summer natural look.  I prefer a lighter colour and have used a super hydrating Laura Mercier lipstick called Angelic for some time but was recently given the most luxurious feeling lipstick by a friend, which is Givenchy Nude in the Dark.  (colour not available online in SA)
Screenshot 2017-11-29 19.13.10From all the barefoot walking, coarse sand and sandal wearing the feet can become hard and cracked quickly so keeping them moisturised with foot specific cream is the cherry on top after a hot soak in a bath.  This award winning beauty product from L’Occitane is always on holiday with me.

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Fragrance is not something I wear a lot of and anything strong makes me feel nauseas so discovering Byredo was a God send.  Not something you find in your typical Beauty department its only sold in certain stores but worth the search and pennies! Perfect for day and night.

Earrings as you would have heard me say before, small accessories to pack with large impact on the overall look.  Its the easiest hack to add glamour, colour or interest to a simple outfit.  Splurge out on bright colours for summer.  Great spots for accessories that will last the season and wont break the bank are H&M, Lovisa, Lulu Belle and then there are always stacks of little boutiques around SA selling local products that are not only world class when it comes to quality and style but also just so good to support local.

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Then last but not least a December essential, from throwing in all your bitty pieces that you don’t know where to pack, to using at the market, beach or trips to town the Woven Green Roundie is a summer must have!

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So that is my round up. Wishing you all a very happy festive season, travel safe and I will hopefully be a little more active on my site next year.  Thanks for following! Xx

Double Breasted Blazer

It’s Sunday night, I’m feeling pretty shattered and I’ve been trying to put this post together for a while now so please bare with me and the very weak piece that I am about to produce! I really just want to show you how awesome the double breasted blazer is and why it’s such a great investment piece (not here to sell my journalist skills, or lack of, for that matter).

An update on the oversized double breasted blazer.  Its a great piece that goes with loads, from mini skirts to wide leg trousers, you name it.  Its a wonderfully masculine style that looks so feminine (think subtle shoulder pads and the longer length give it the girly edge) buttoned up to show off a waistline or left undone for a more relaxed look.  Keep it casual with a tee underneath.  Its really an all year round piece that I’m positive you will find a go to when you’re feeling unsure.  It dresses up casual to the right degree and dresses down formal to perfection especially if you push the sleeves up and let the front fall open nonchalantly.

Whilst you want to buy a relaxed fit, a blazer must fit well, even an oversized one.  You want it to have a certain element of softness and to not be too stiff.  Opt for the obvious grey or navy blue for longevity.  Whilst plaid or houndstooth will get you all the extra style creds now! So I won’t apologise for my pathetically written post because I provide you with some awesomely inspirational pics to get your trend juices flowing!

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Have a fantastic week everyone

xx