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Autumn Workwear Wishlist

After a pretty horrendous summer here in Australia, the cooler change couldn’t come soon enough. Our summers here are notoriously hot and as you all know, our most recent summer had periods of extreme dry heat that had devastating impacts.

Now more than ever, Autumn brings a huge sense of relief and reprieve from those hot and sticky conditions.

There are so many reasons why Autumn is my favourite season – the beautiful colours of the foliage, the temperate climate, the lightweight-jacket weather (and not yet needing to layer up like a marshmallow before heading out the door…). My husband and I also got married during the Autumn so it carries a lot of sentimentality for me.

In terms of fashion, I have my eye on a few pieces at the moment. Here is my curated Autumn workwear wishlist with all the bits and bobs I’d love to add to my wardrobe:

#1 – A cosy knit dress

I love this Reiss off-shoulder knitted midi dress. It’s perfect for the autumnal weather and I love its versatility. Now I know this is a wishlist post, but I managed to get my hands on the dress a few days ago! I got the dress in stone in a size small. The dress has been selling fast and the size small is completely sold out on the Reiss website but it’s still available here… run, don’t walk!

See me rocking it on my feed here:

#2 – A pair of mid-heel pointy suede pumps

I’ve had my eye on these Everlane pumps for a while. While it’s hard for me to pass up anything navy, the chocolate brown pair are the ones I’m particularly keen to add to my collection. A gorgeous lush brown hue that’ll go perfectly with the lighter creamy neutrals in my wardrobe. Mmmm….

#3 – A cozy bone-coloured coat

I’ve got a pretty healthy coat collection but I’ve yet to add a lighter-coloured one to the mix. I’ve been coveting coats by The Curated for months. The Classic Coat has been hugely popular on social media and looks to be of amazing quality. I particularly love the transparency that goes behind the manufacturing and pricing of their coats. The Curated was created by Nicola Harlem who not only runs a successful sustainable fashion label but is a mother to three boys. I love all the BTS footage that she shares on her Instagram page.

I’ve got my eye on the Classic Coat in Bone and the Alpaca Coat in Off-White.

#4 – A pair of black booties

I’ve heard only great things about Everlane’s boots. Lush Italian leather, comfortable to wear and easy to style. I’m after a pair of these Boss Boots and the Western Boots. I think they’ll be perfect for Autumnal Casual Fridays.

#5 – A lush oversized scarf

As I type, I’ve got three of these scarves on hold at Acne Studios boutique in Sydney. I’m going to try on all three colours to decide which colour I like best.

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In recent weeks, I’ve managed to check a few items off my wishlist including this oatmeal blazer and this trench coat.  I’ve stuck to my style goals for the year by adding lighter neutrals to my closet complementing my existing navy and darker hues.

I’d love to know what you’ve currently got on your Autumn workwear wishlist. Let me know if any the items I’ve listed are items that you currently own or have your eye on too.

As always, thanks again for stopping by.

P.S. Check out my five favourite workwear pieces from 2019. Also, check out my Spring 2019 Workwear Wishlist and Summer 2019 Workwear Wishlist.

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A/W Outerwear: Trench Coats To Shop Now

woman in trench coat for autumn
Wearing Uniqlo trench coat (sz XS), Marks & Spencer mock neck navy knit (similar here and here), Ana Pena London Tweed Pencil Skirt, Vince Camuto Heels and Celine Bag (see my review here)

Ahhh.. nothing gets me more excited for the cooler weather knowing that it’s almost jacket season. I love a cozy camel coat during the winter but it’s the lightweight-jacket weather during Autumn that is my favourite. The countless layers that winter calls for aren’t yet required and we can bid farewell to those sticky summer commutes for a little while.

Cue the trench coat – the quintessential Autumn staple.

Every aspect of the trench coat is functional, since it was originally created as a coat for British soldiers to wear during WW1.  The classic trench we see today doesn’t deviate too much from its original form – made from a water-resistant garbadine fabric, double-breasted, belted with adjustable cuffs to keep the rain out when fastened and long enough to keep the rain out of soldier’s boots. 

When the soldiers returned home from war, they took their Burberrys with them and had them shortened for everyday wear.  The coat has since became a British mainstay and a style staple for both men and women. 

woman in trench coat for work for autumn
Wearing Uniqlo trench coat (sz XS), Marks & Spencer mock neck navy knit (similar here and here), Ana Pena London Tweed Pencil Skirt, Vince Camuto Heels and Celine Bag (see my review here)

While the classic Burberry trench coat has never really left my wishlist, there are so many great high street options to steal the look for a lot less.

The coat I’m wearing is from Uniqlo – an absolute steal at $129.90. A nod to the traditional trench with some modern updates.

Here’s my edit of the best trenches to suit a variety of budgets:

Shop Trench Coats Under $400

Shop Trench Coats Over $400

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Thinking about Working Flexibly? The Things You Should Consider

Wearing Everlane coat (size 0), Gucci belt, COS Knit (similar here), H&M slacks, Tory Burch Perry Tote, Chanel slingbacks (affordable version here [AU] and here [International])

Times are a-changin’ and the traditional office environment continues to modernise through technology.  Gone are the clunky beigey-grey desktop computers running Windows XP or those bulky desk phones that had those little flashing lights to let you know which lines were taken from my law firm receptionist days. These days, I have a laptop and my desk phone can be diverted to my mobile at the click of a button making it easy for me to work from virtually anywhere.   

Technology affords us with opportunities to work from home when necessary.  And, now more than ever, we’re seeing more and more employers offering flexible working arrangements to their employees. Reasons for accessing these arrangements can vary – eg. achieving a work/life balance, health reasons or caring for kids.  

woman in orange pea coat, gucci belt, tory burch tote and chanel slingbacks

SHOP THE LOOK

See my bag review here

Personally, I work flexibly to alleviate the pressure in juggling my parental responsibilities. I have a set day a week where I work from home and between emails and phone calls, I’ll put on and hang up a load of washing and I’ll meal prep for dinner when getting my own lunch ready.  Not having to get ready for and travel to and from the office saves me a lot of time and takes the pressure off. I drop the kids off at day care in the morning and walk back home to start my work day in a relaxed fashion. 

woman in orange pea coat, gucci belt, tory burch tote and chanel slingbacks - flexible working arrangements
Wearing Everlane coat (size 0), Gucci belt, COS Knit (similar here), H&M slacks, Tory Burch Perry Tote, Chanel slingbacks (affordable version here [AU] and here [International])

If you’re considering accessing flexible working arrangements, here are the things you should consider before proposing it with your employer: 

Eligibility

In Australia, an employee can request a change in their working arrangements from their employer if they require flexibility for a multitude of reasons, including for health reasons, being aged 55 or older, or being a parent or carer of a child who is school age or younger.

Your employer doesn’t have to grant your request but they can only refuse it on legitimate business grounds and they must outline their reasons in writing. The Fair Work Ombudsman encourages a compromise if employers can’t grant a request on its initial terms.

Your workplace

Next, it’s worthwhile considering how your workplace would respond to a request to work flexibly including:

  • whether your workplace supports flexibility
  • whether any of your colleagues work flexibly and what their reasons are for accessing these arrangements

It might be helpful to have a chat with your colleagues to get their perspective and gain an understanding of the existing arrangements in place.

Your role

Before deciding on the type of flexible working arrangement that you would like, it is crucial to think about your role:

  • Are you able to work productively away from the office?
  • Do you have a comfortable place to work from home?
  • Will your proposed arrangements have an impact on whether your colleagues/clients can contact you?
  • Will you still have access to the same tools and resources that you typically do when working in the office?

Your team

If you’re working as part of a team, it is necessary to consider how your proposed arrangements will affect those dynamics including:

  • how it could impact your team members – if managing a team, will you still be able to delegate and manage tasks?
  • whether there are any tasks that will be affected as a result of not being in the office

If you can tailor your own bespoke flexible working arrangement, it can be a real game changer.  And flexibility is just that – it allows you to come up with your own parameters.

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Tory Burch Perry Tote Review

Wearing Sandro Dress in size AU 8/FR 36 (AU Link, UK/International Link),
Chanel Slingbacks (affordable options: US/International Link and AU Link)
and Tory Burch Perry Tote (here)

SHOP THE LOOK

Believe it or not, the Tory Burch Perry Tote is my very first tote.  I know, I know – I am seriously late to the tote party. It’s no secret that totes are practical and functional – the market is well and truly saturated with them at different price points.  Even I’m surprised it took me this long to join the party.  

Previously, my shoulder bags – ie. Celine Belt Bag or Prada Double Saffiano Bag – sufficed in holding all of my day’s essentials.  While they can’t fit a laptop, I never really needed a larger style bag to transport all my things on a day-to-day basis. 

Since starting my secondment position back in September last year, I’ve been carting a laptop with me to and from the office. So the necessity for a larger and functional bag became apparent. I was on the hunt for a bag that was both functional and minimal in its aesthetic.   

I considered a lot of totes – like this Saint Laurent Tote and even the classic Louis Vuitton Neverfull.  But I wanted something minimal, compact and sturdy and I heard a lot of positive feedback about the functionality and design of the Tory Burch Perry Tote.  

I ultimately settled on the Perry Tote in the original size in Light Umber, which is a rich camel brown colour.  The triple compartment design feature was the ultimate drawcard for me (and only introduced as part of the new design in the last recent years). Rather than a big bottomless leather pit to dump my stuff, the three compartments keep my belongings much more organised!

woman in navy shirt dress carrying camel tory burch perry tote bag and wearing chanel slingback sandals

SHOP AFFORDABLE TWO-TONED SLINGBACKS

Sizing

The tote comes in two sizes – original (the one I have) and small. 

Original

  • 28cm x 34cm x 13.4cm | 7.8” x 9.6” x 4.8”
  • Handles with a 24cm (9.6”) drop
  • Three interior compartments (1 centre zip compartment and two open compartments either side)
  • Fits a 13” laptop
  • Price $610 AUD | $348 USD

Small 

  • 19.5 cm x 24cm x 12cm | 11.2” x 13.6” x 5.3”
  • Handles with an 11cm (4.4”) drop and optional crossbody strap
  • Three interior compartments (1 centre zip compartment and two open compartments either side)
  • Fits a 7” tablet
  • Price $535 AUD | $298 USD
woman in navy shirt dress carrying tory burch perry tote and wearing chanel slingback sandals

SHOP SANDRO MINI SHIRT DRESSES

Wear and tear

I’ve used the bag regularly now for the best part of 4 months. Unlike my other bags, where I put in a little bit of care, I’ve been relatively hands off with this bag.  The leather is so durable it honestly looks new. If I get something on it, it cleans really easily with a wet wipe.  The bag is made of a pebbled leather. The interior of the bag features bonded leather which gives the bag structure but it is still soft.  

In terms of functionality, I use the internal middle pocket to keep my keys, wallet, pens, ear buds, security passes for work and my headphones. The side compartments I use to hold my laptop, diary, my KeepCup and lunch (when I’ve been good and packed it my Porter Bowl the night before!).

One of my favourite features of the bag is the colour. I wear a lot of navy, black, white and grey to work and this bag complements all my outfits.

The tote comes with a removable charm in a contrast colour, in my case, red. The charm features the Tory Burch logo in a brushed gold finish. I’m not hugely of the contrast red colour that my bag came with so I opt to wear the bag without it.   

The verdict

For my one and only tote bag, it’s an absolute winner. The bag is soft but sturdy and it holds a lot while still looking really compact.

Even though it’s not as highly priced as the other bags in my collection, my husband thinks that it looks to be of the same, if not better, quality than some of my other designer bags.  

What fits inside

If you want to see what fits inside, head over to my Instagram where I’ve filmed a short IGTV video taking you through that I pack in my bag for a day in the office.

woman in navy shirt dress carrying camel bag and wearing chanel slingback sandals

SHOP MY TORY BURCH PERRY TOTE

tory burch perry tote in light umber

SHOP TORY BURCH PERRY TOTE IN OTHER COLOURS

I hope you enjoyed reading my review of my Tory Burch Perry Tote. If you liked this post, be sure to check out my review of my Celine Belt Bag and my Prada Saffiano Double Bag.

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The 3 Biggest Myths About Purchasing Designer Bags

Wearing Zara jacket (sold out – similar here), Nobody Denim Jeans, Tony Bianco Mules (sold out in black, available in red, similar style in black), Chanel bag (not available online)

SHOP THE LOOK

For the majority of us, buying a designer bag is a significant milestone. Personally, there is always a big build up before I purchase a designer bag. I’ll always do a heap of research until I’m satisfied that the bag is the right one for me.

Over the years, I’ve come to find there to be a lot of misconceptions about luxury bags – from what puts it in the ‘luxury’ category in the first place, the in-store shopping experience to the presumption of quality and craftsmanship that come with the big price tags.

In this post, I take you through the three of the biggest myths when it comes to purchasing designer bags.

#1 – If it’s expensive, it must be great quality

The idea that “you get what you pay for” doesn’t always ring true when it comes to luxury handbags. While you can expect the quality of luxury goods to be of a premium standard, the market is saturated with affordable options from smaller designer houses that offer the same, and at times, even better quality and craftsmanship.

It’s no secret that a price tag correlates with its popularity. And the more iconic the bag, the higher the price tag. Take the Chanel Classic Flap Bag that I’ve pictured in this post (I’ve got the medium for reference).  It currently retails for over $8,000 AUD (insane!) and Chanel continue to increase their price of their bags – because, well, they can. The iconic fashion houses have seen their classic handbags transcend years of trends and remain in high demand.

#2 – If it’s expensive, it must be functional 

Ha! This is one that my husband really doesn’t get.

To use my Chanel bag again as an example – it’s a beautiful piece, but apart from my phone, keys, card holder and a lipstick, it doesn’t really hold much more than that. I’ll still wear it any chance I get, but it has to be on days when I don’t need to carry too much with me.

Personally, I find the most functional bags are ones that can actually cart around all my stuff on a day-to-day basis. My Celine Belt Bag and Prada Double Bag are great examples of a practical designer bag, as are tote bags.

While my Chanel may not be the most functional, it’s a real beauty!

#3 – If I’m shopping at a luxury store, I can expect amazing customer service

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I find the in-store experience to be completely overrated.  It can be unpleasant if the store is busy and you need to wait to be served, and once you’re being served, you either encounter sales associates who will bend over backwards for you, or on the other end of the spectrum – unhelpful, judgmental and abrupt in their manner. The inconsistency in service puts me off shopping in-store and I buy online whenever I can.

I’d love to hear of any other myths when it comes to purchasing designer bags in the comments and whether you relate to any of my experiences.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

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The Labels to Shop in your 30s – from High Street to High End

SHOP THE LOOK

In my tentative 20s, my shopping habits were nothing short of haphazard.  I was living at home while I studied at university. They were days of little responsibility – no mortgage, no clients, no kids.  I viewed the minuscule income I earned from my casual retail job as disposable. And boy, did I dispose of it! Save for public transport, phone bills and the occasional textbook, I had no qualms spending a full week’s pay on clothes… and that included full price Zimmermann. 

My relationship with money has changed and, thinking back, I wish I had developed healthier savings habits early on. While I don’t wish away the freedom that I enjoyed to spend my money exactly how I wanted at that time – I wasn’t a big drinker or party goer – I realise that most of my money was hanging in my closet. 

My 20s were a time for growth but now that I’m in my mid-30s, married and a mum, I’ve matured in both my spending habits and my personal style. 

SHOP MOCK NECK SWEATERS

My love for fashion hasn’t diminished by any means, it has just evolved to take into account the other areas in my life that require priority. 

As such, I have a different approach to shopping now.  As you would have seen in my post outlining my style goals for 2020, I’m continuing to apply a strategic and considered approach when purchasing any new pieces. 

Here is my trusty list of labels that I’ve enjoyed shopping in my 30s to suit all budgets from high street to high end:

Zara: $40 – $150

If I’m looking for a well-made piece on the trendy side of the spectrum, I always look to Zara. You can pick up a top from $40 and a blazer from as little as $70. They’re reliable if you’ve got gaps to fill in your work wardrobe and if you shop smart, you can find pieces that will last you for years.

Marks & Spencer: $30 – $80

I only recently tried out Marks & Spencer’s clothing range after collaborating with them at the end of 2019. As part of my partnership, they kindly gave me a voucher to spend and I picked up a couple of pencil skirts and a few knits for work. The quality of their pieces exceeded my expectations. I was particularly impressed with their ‘Cashmilon’ knits – they only set you back $32.50.

SHOP MY M&S PICKS
(All images clickable)

While there is no freestanding store to shop here in Australia – their online store is very user-friendly. I’m looking to repurchase more of their knits when the weather cools.

Uniqlo: $40 – $100

Uniqlo is a magical wonderland of quality basics. Linen, cashmere, merino – they’ve got it all covered. I’ve been wearing their 100% cashmere jumpers for years both to work and on weekends and their EZY ankle pants are great for work and only set you back $50 a pair. I particularly enjoy the convenience of their in-house alterations service and always take advantage whenever I’m buying pants. It saves me a trip to the tailor.

Everlane: $100 – $300

Everlane’s transparency and sustainability ethos sets it apart from other high-street retailers. In recent times, Everlane has focused on utilising recycled materials and repurposing them into garments. I have their ReWool Double-Breasted Overcoat (made of recycled wool and nylon) and it will be on high rotation this winter.

SHOP MY EVERLANE PICKS
(All images clickable)

I’m looking to continue to build a solid wardrobe of good quality basics. Everlane’s minimal aesthetic is right up my alley.

The Frankie Shop: $200 – $500

I’ve been slightly obsessed with The Frankie Shop since coveting the outfits of all my favourite fashion editors/bloggers wearing it last year to all the major fashion weeks. Their pieces are luxe and minimal – all with very reasonable price tags.

I have a pair of their Bea trousers (~$300) and I’m so impressed with their quality. Shipping to Australia isn’t the most streamlined process from their online store, so I rely on Net-A-Porter to get my fix. You can check out my picks from The Frankie Shop’s collection in a dedicated blog post here.

Reiss: $200 – $700

Reiss is the upper end of the high street. Their tailored pieces are exceptional quality (suit jackets from $600) as are their coats (from $650) of which I have two.

SHOP MY REISS PICKS
(All images clickable)

Reiss is stocked locally in Australia (at David Jones) but I prefer to shop it online from John Lewis or Selfridges because the prices are much better. 

Scanlan Theodore: $300 – $800

My love for Scanlan Theodore should be no secret to any of you following me on Instagram. I’m the proud owner of quite of few of their pieces.

When I was at university, I put the label up on a pedestal, and dreamed of the day that I would wear their suits to work. It was an amazing feeling to finally acquire several of their pieces and as you know, since I don’t stop banging on about the label, I’m a regular customer. I cannot recommend this label highly enough for investing in forever pieces for your wardrobe.

Theory: $300 – $1,500

Like Scanlan Theodore, Theory had always been the epitome of ‘making it’ for me when it came to dressing for work. It was a huge ‘fashion milestone’ of mine when I bought my first Theory piece – this trench coat – on sale no less (and still available here (international link) and here – (AU link)). Their pieces are so well tailored, I’m really looking forward to adding more of their pieces to my wardrobe in the coming years.

SHOP MY THEORY PICKS
(All images clickable)

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SHOP PENCIL SKIRTS

SHOP PRADA DOUBLE BAGS

See my comprehensive review of my Prada bag here.

So that rounds up my list of my favourite labels that I’ve enjoyed shopping in my 30s. I’d love to hear of the labels that you’ve enjoyed shopping.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

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