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The T-Shirt I Never Thought I Needed

woman wearing the frankie shop shoulder pad t shirt
Wearing The Frankie Shop shoulder pad t shirt, Mango pants

I can’t remember when I first saw this tee.  A boxy muscle tee with shoulder pads… I immediately ruled it out as not for me.  I didn’t think it was with my style and that it was too trendy for little ol’ conservative me.  But then I saw it being styled with beige chinos, jeans, pencil skirts for work – and it became the shoulder pad t shirt I never thought I needed.

While the roots of the design are a bit murky, Dries Van Noten made one for Spring 2019 and the replicas shortly followed.  The Frankie Shop have both a black and white version and it’s now available on the high street. 

It sells out almost immediately after being released. And it’s not hard to see why.  I’m surprised at how versatile it is and I’ve been loving bringing something a bit extra to the table while I’m working from home for the foreseeable future.  The shoulder pads and exaggerated proportions are really playful. 

I’ve linked some options for you to check out below, including some affordable high street options.

Hope you’re staying safe (and staying home!). 

As always, thanks again for stopping by.

SHOP BLACK SHOULDER PAD T-SHIRTS

SHOP WHITE/GREY SHOULDER PAD T-SHIRTS

P.S. The 5 workwear pieces you need for this Autumn and how my family will be spending our time for the foreseeable future.

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On a personal note…

artwork about social distancing
Artwork by @lizandmollie

Where do I even start?

The past few months have had us all on tenterhooks. These are anxious and stressful times we live in and it appears that it will only get worse before it can get better.  

While this platform is intended to provide you with fashion inspiration, it felt wrong not to address the COVID-19 pandemic that is affecting us all.

I’m worried sick for my parents – both of them have underlying health problems – as well as the elderly, those who are high-risk, our doctors, our healthcare workers, those working in essential services like supermarkets just to name a few.

Given what is going on around the world, I’m strongly of the view that we need to do our part in flattening the curve to ensure our healthcare systems don’t get overwhelmed.  

For me and my family, it means we have been practising social distancing by staying home for the last week.  We’re not visiting family or friends and my husband and I have been working from home. We’re lucky we can. The kids have been home with us too. They’ve had a few runny noses and coughs – likely the usual daycare lurgies that seem to always be around – but it’s also given us peace of mind that they are out of school even though the official government advice has been for them to stay in class. 

To prevent us all from getting cabin fever (because we live in a small terrace), we’ve been taking a quick afternoon walk around the block being careful to keep away from others. We’ve been able to pick the time between school finishing and close of business to successfully avoid any crowds. 

Right now, I’m so thankful that my husband and I have jobs that allow us to work from home.  I’m grateful that our older boys understand why they’re not in school and they continue to be nurturing big brothers to our 3 year old and our 1 year old.  

I hope that you’re all staying safe and taking care of yourselves during these trying times. 

Lots of love, Vee

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My top workwear picks from Everlane

For a while there, Everlane was one of those labels that you could only buy in the US. Sure, there were ways to acquire their pieces – including through those mail forwarding services. But when it ends up costing almost as much for postage than it does for the item – it becomes a little counterproductive.

Thank goodness Everlane heard the cries of its international fans and finally offered shipping to the rest of us.

For my fellow Australians, Everlane offers free shipping on your first order and free shipping for orders over $100 USD (that’s around $153 AUD). From its leather shoes to its wide range of knitwear, everything Everlane makes is a hit, so it’s no surprise that it’s garnered a loyal following.

I’ve recently added some Everlane pieces to my wardrobe – including these 40-Hour Flats, this statement coat and this cashmere mock neck knit – and they are fast becoming firm favourites in my rotation of workwear. The minimal aesthetic of their pieces makes them versatile enough to be styled for both work and weekend.

Keep scrolling to see my top 12 Everlane workwear favourites from their current collection that I’ve got my eye on.

Oversized double-breasted blazer and Oversized blazer

#1 – Houndstooth jacket

A double breasted oversized boxy jacket? Yes please. This oversized double-breasted version is right up my alley. The brown tones and the checked pattern are perfect for Autumn.

In terms of sizing, I wear a US 0 for their oversized pieces and would opt for a US 2 if it was a more fitted cut.

#2 – Oversized blazer

This long-line blazer would look perfect over a pair of black slacks or jeans on Casual Fridays. The grey menswear-inspired herringbone version is a modern twist on an old classic.

Italian GoWeave Classic Blazer and Silk Relaxed Shirt

#3 – Italian blazer

This is a bit of a given. This black blazer is a classic workwear staple and will serve you for years.

#4 – Relaxed silk shirt

A relaxed take on a classic staple. Polished and easy. I’m loving this french blue version.

Slim wool pants and Cashmere lantern sleeve knit

#5 – Slim wool pants

These navy cigarette pants look polished and effortless. They have a touch of stretch to provide a comfortable wear.

#6 – Cashmere lantern top

Cashmere wool has long been my favourite knitwear fabric. It’s cosy, soft and luxurious and Everlane offers a wide selection with an affordable price point. This on-trend subtle puff sleeve camel knit is both fabulous and functional.

everlane cashmere and workwear favourite
Cashmere fitted turtleneck and Cashmere boxy mock neck knit

#7 – Cashmere turtleneck

I live in cashmere turtlenecks during the winter months and love this cosy navy version.

#8 – Cashmere boxy mock neck

I’m lucky enough to own this piece myself and can vouch that it is the perfect shade of camel. I’ve long been a fan of high neck knits and loved the relaxed vibe the boxy cut gives. You can shop the camel knit here.

everlane workwear favourites
Boss Flats & Cashmere Tee

#9 – Boss flat

These pointed toe loafers are the epitome of effortless-meets-edgy. These black points only ever look expensive.

#10 – Cashmere tee

The coziest short sleeve tee ever. Perfect for office aircon.

everlane workwear favourites, 40 hour flat in taupe
Editor Heels in Chocolate Suede and 40 Hour Flat in Taupe

#11 – Editor heels

I’m pals with pointy shoes and these chocolate suede pumps have been on my radar for a while. I opt for mid-heels to the office to provide me with the comfort to wear them all day long.

Shop the other colours below:

#12 – 40 Hour Flat

One of the newest shoe releases from their collection, the taupe pair are my pick from their range of 40-Hour Flats. Check out my comprehensive review of the flats here.

For full disclosure I did select and receive the Cashmere Mock Neck knit and the 40 Hour Flats as gifts from the brand, however I was under no obligation to post it or share a review. All thoughts are my own.

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The Everlane 40 Hour Flat

woman wearing everlane cashmere, celine belt bag and everlane 40 hour flat in taupe
Everlane Cashmere knit, Uniqlo pants, Everlane flats and Celine bag (comprehensive review here)

Pointed toe shoes have always been my friend. I think they provide a polished silhouette suitable for more conservative work environments like law firms.  Having been on the lookout for a pair of classic pointy flats that can do double duty for both work and play, Everlane’s 40 Hour Flat ticked all the boxes.

Minimal design? Check.

Soft, supple leather? Check.

Go-with-anything neutral shade? Check.

I don’t have many closed toe flats – it’s either heeled shoes or sandals for me. Suffice to say, I was pretty excited about these shoes!

I received these a week and a half ago and I’ve been putting them to the test – full days in the office (including the usual drop off and pick up routine with my kids on foot) and a weekend outing with my husband and kids.

Everlane Cashmere knit, Uniqlo pants, Everlane flats and Celine bag (comprehensive review here)

SHOP THE LOOK

The 40 Hour Flat in a nutshell:

– unlined Italian leather

– rubber sole

– back pull tab

– cushioned insole

Sizing notes

In my experience, Everlane shoe sizing has always run small. However, it appears as though they have sought to address the widely-known size discrepancies and the flats are advertised as being true to size.

I’m usually an AU 6.5 / US 6.5 / UK 4 and I have wide feet – so I opted to size up half a size and stuck with my usual Everlane size in these – a US 7. (You may recall that I also got a US 7 in my Day Heels too – and they fit perfectly.)

When I first tried the flats, they were really comfortable and fit me well – not too snug and not too loose. After several wears, I think I probably should have gone with my actual size – a US 6.5. As the weather has cooled here in Sydney, my feet haven’t expanded as much and while it’s not a deal breaker and the flats aren’t flopping off my feet, they are slightly looser than I would like.

Everlane have certainly rectified the sizing situation and I can vouch that the sizing for these shoes is true to size.

Initial thoughts on wear

The flats were comfortable from the get-go – I was really surprised by this.  The cushioned insole and flexible rubber sole makes the shoe feel like it’s been shaped to your foot.  

I imagine these will perform well at the airport or just as I’m running my general mum-duties. 

In addition to the go-with-anything taupe, they come in black as well as brighter shades if you’re after a pop of colour. 

woman wearing everlane cashmere, celine belt bag and everlane 40 hour flat in taupe
Everlane Cashmere knit, Uniqlo pants, Everlane flats and Celine bag (comprehensive review here)

The verdict

The flats retail for $115 USD (approximately $175 AUD at the time of this post – though likely to increase with the current state of the market!).

For a pair of well-made leather flats – I think they’re a great price.

The colour for me is a real winner.  I was a little apprehensive about the taupe considering my warmer skin tone but I honestly believe that this tone is universally flattering.  It’s a cross between khaki, beige and grey.

I’d love for them to come in a suede finish. Though I’ve got my eye on the black pair next!

SHOP THE 40 HOUR FLAT

Thanks again to Everlane for kindly sending me this pair to road-test. For full disclosure I did select and receive the 40 Hour Flats as a gift from the brand, however I was under no obligation to post it or share a review. All thoughts are my own.

I’m planning to do an updated review after a few months of wear to let you know how I’m getting on with them.

P.S. Check out my review of the Everlane Day Heels here and my Autumn Workwear Wishlist here.

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The five workwear items you need this Autumn

As I type, we’re entering the second week of March, and the weather feels like it’s finally transitioning to Autumn, which is reflected by all the coats, knits and boots that have hit the stores downtown Down Under.

As much as I’d like to wear a turtleneck knit and jeans every day, unfortunately it doesn’t cut it in a conservative work environment like a law firm (…or a government agency where I’m currently seconded). Autumn outfits require a bit of additional planning – how many layers to wear, coat or no coat, bare legs? I’ve been taking stock of my workwear to consider any potential gaps in my wardrobe that need to be filled.

Keep scrolling to see my five Autumn workwear essentials that you should have in your wardrobe.

#1 – Double-breasted blazer

double breasted reiss jacket, autumn workwear essentials
Reiss blazer, Marks & Spencer Knit (similar here), Nobody Denim Jeans, Tony Bianco Mules (sold out – similar here and here), Celine Belt Bag (see my bag review here)

The weather in Sydney is fortunately quite mild. For days when I don’t need to wear a coat, a long-line jacket like this one I’m wearing is enough to keep the chill out. I typically gravitate towards darker hues during the colder months but I’m making a conscious effort this year to wear lighter neutrals throughout the whole year (…the Labor Day moratorium on white clothing doesn’t really apply here in Australia. But tell me – is it still a fashion crime in America?!)

I’ve been loving this Reiss jacket. It’s such a flattering colour and after a quick trip to the tailor to take the sleeves up, the jacket now looks like it was made for me.

SHOP NEUTRAL JACKETS

#2 – Knit dress

woman wear light knit dress by reiss and celine belt bag for autumn
Reiss dress, Gucci belt, Tony Bianco Mules (sold out, similar here), Celine Belt Bag (see my bag review here)

Now I’m sure this addition to my list would come as no surprise! To date, this dress has been my favourite piece that I’ve added to my wardrobe this year. An effortless way to look chic for work during the cooler months.

SHOP OFF SHOULDER KNIT DRESSES OVER $200

SHOP OFF SHOULDER KNIT DRESSES UNDER $200

#3 – Suede pumps

H&M coat and knit (similar here), Gucci belt, Scanlan Theodore skirt, Celine Small Cabas Tote, Vince Camuto Suede Pumps

A pair of pumps just screams Autumn workwear essential! Personally, I wear suede pumps all year round – I love how the fabric is a bit softer and provides me with a bit more comfort. For work, I opt for mid-heels or mules so I can wear them all day long.

SHOP SUEDE PUMPS

#4 – Statement coat

Everlane coat, COS knit, Gucci belt, H&M pants, Chanel slingbacks (affordable dupes here and here), Tory Burch Tote (see my comprehensive bag review here)

For a non-bright-colour-wearing person, you can imagine that I have strong feelings on any colourful trend. That said, I actually wore a lot of vibrant colours in my 20s – bright pinks and greens. But one colour I never thought I’d come to wear? Orange.

But then, 2018 happened and we started seeing more of the colour on the runway… and it started to grow on me. And now that we’re well into 2020, it’s clear that orange is here to stay and I’ve jumped on the bandwagon.

This coat is a muted version of the bright orange hues that we’ve been seeing around (and pairs so well with navy, white and grey). It’s well worth trying if you too are ready to come over to the not-so-dark side.

SHOP STATEMENT COATS

#5 – Ankle boots

woman wearing casual friday outfit - autumn workwear essentials
Reiss peacoat, COS knit, Nobody Denim Jeans, Everlane boots, Chanel bag (unavailable online)

You can’t deny the power of black ankle boots. They are so classic and versatile and I live in them during the colder months. I always look for block heels to give me that additional height and comfort to wear all day. I’ve worn this pair I’ve featured solidly for the last two A/W seasons and they’re showing little signs of wear. They’re a staple for my Casual Friday outfits and one of my top Autumn workwear essentials.

SHOP ANKLE BOOTS

As always, thanks for stopping by!

P.S. Check out my Autumn workwear wishlist and the labels to shop in your 30s.

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Reiss A/W 2020 – My top workwear picks from the new season

Reiss is having a bit of a moment for me.  In recent days, I’ve been plugging this dress like it’s nobody’s business on Instagram (and with good reason too… it’s seriously amazing!).

It’s no secret that I love their pieces. They inject some luxe into my rotation of workwear staples. I’m particularly fond of their coats and their knitwear.

Now that I’m adopting a more conscious approach to shopping than ever before, any new pieces that I add to my wardrobe have to go the distance. For me, it means taking a step back from the more trend-based pieces and opting for more classic cuts and neutral colour palettes.

My very first Reiss piece was the khaki coat pictured below.  I purchased it at the end of 2016 – heavily pregnant too, so it could have been a disaster – but it has and continues to be a trusty workhorse in my A/W wardrobe.

woman in casual friday workwear look wearing reiss peacoat, ankle boots and jeans
Wearing Reiss peacoat (sold out – newer season release here), Nobody Denim jeans, Everlane boots and Chanel bag (not available online)

I’m sharing with you my top picks from Reiss’ current A/W collection. I’ve singled out my top picks of knitwear, dresses and some structured jackets for good measure.

#1 – Ruffle hem knitted dress

woman in autumn winter reiss workwear

A knitted high-neck midi dress with a ruffle hem? Yes please! I think khaki is a wonderful neutral. It pairs so well with black, navy and camel.

You can shop the dress in both khaki and black.

#2 – Draped knitted dress

It wouldn’t be a complete list of my favourites without the inclusion of a navy number. The subtle asymmetric neckline and draping at the waist are a real winner for me.

You can shop the navy dress here. It also comes in a beautiful beige neutral tone.

#3 – Camel blazer

My love affair with lighter neutrals continues. A camel blazer has been on my wishlist for the longest time. This long-line jacket is textured and structured. I’m also favouring double breasted styles over single breasted as I find they look so good fastened, open and belted.

You can shop the camel version or the equally chic khaki version.

#4 – Navy blazer

Continuing my love of double-breasted blazers with this textured navy number.

You can shop the jacket here.

#5 – Overcoat

woman in reiss workwear overcoat

I’ve got a pretty healthy coat collection but I’ve yet to add a lighter neutral to the mix. Personally, I consider this wrap style to be universally flattering. A softer structured coat makes it easily workable for the weekends too.

You can shop the coat here.

#6 – Drape knit top

Reiss has absolutely nailed the drapey neckline. This knit top is simply divine.

Shop the neutral drape knit top here.

Shop this black stretchy drape top here.

#7 – Sheer knitted top

I love the versatility of a sheer babywool knit. It’s a delicate piece and one that I consider works perfectly for the office with its simplicity and sophistication.

Shop the knit here. It also comes in black.

And here’s a handy round-up of my favourites:

As always, thank you again for stopping by.

P.S. See my Autumn Workwear Wishlist here and the best Trench Coats to shop now.

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