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My interview with SFW Milano

I was recently interviewed by SFW Milano and opened up about career, fashion and some of the ups and downs of life as a working mum.

You can read my interview here.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and any further insights you may have on topics I addressed in the comments section below.

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My Go-Tos for Casual Friday dressing

My go-to Casual Friday look – jeans & a blazer

Does your workplace have a Casual Friday dress policy?

The concept of relaxed dressing confuses many – and it’s not the workplace’s intention for employees to rock up looking sloppy. Some misinterpret the idea of ‘casual’ so it’s important to always maintain a sense of professionalism at all times.

Dressing for the office can be tricky at the best of times – and each office is different. “Business casual” in one office may be considered as “Casual Friday” in another. If you’ve just started a new job, familiarise yourself with your new workplace environment to get a handle on how conservative or relaxed it might be.

Do’s and Don’t’s

Here are some of my tips that inform the way I approach dressing on Fridays:

Do:

  • pair your blazers and structured jackets with jeans or casual dresses
  • wear tees (plain coloured is best) with jeans and heels
  • wear blouses with jeans or casual skirts
  • use your usual work handbag / tote

Don’t:

  • wear jeans with large rips or denim cut-off shorts with fraying (denim shorts are a bit of a grey area for me so I tend to avoid them altogether)
  • wear thongs or flip-flops
  • reveal too much skin by wearing anything too low cut or too short
  • wear anything too tight or too thin
  • wear leggings as pants (…every day really, not just Fridays)
  • wear t-shirts or tops with writing or slogans on them – logos are generally fine – but I once saw a summer clerk walk around the office with a t-shirt that said “You Don’t Mean A Thing To Me” and it was a little bit weird

I like to think of Fridays as a chance to display a more casual personal style – but still maintaining professionalism and respect for my colleagues and workplace.

Here’s to Fridays!

Casual Friday – neutrals, jeans + heels

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Monochromatic dressing for the office

Not sure what to wear to the office? Lacking in motivation to get dressed? Got nothing to wear (again)? I say – go monochrome.

When I’m struggling to plan my next day’s work look, I always end up dressing in the same hue head to toe. I’ve gradually shifted away from colour to a more minimal colour palette in my corporate wardrobe and it has noticeably minimised the stress of dressing each morning for work.

For me – it’s either navy or black.

Head to toe navy: Scanlan theodore top and skirt, Carla Zampatti blazer, Prada double tote

 

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Understanding your parental leave entitlements in Australia

Leaving aside all the confusing physical changes happening to your body, if there’s one thing you should be bothered understanding when you’re pregnant – it’s your parental leave entitlements.

I don’t know many people who enjoy life admin – and this is the more confusing kind – so it’s nice to get this checked off the list as soon as you are able.

If you’re fortunate enough to benefit from parental leave entitlements – it’s important to have this squared away before you go on maternity leave – to save yourself the stress of dealing with any complications just before you’re about to pop.

Government entitlements

In Australia, government paid parental leave is facilitated by the Department of Human Services. You can receive up to 18 weeks pay at minimum wage (currently $719.35 pw before tax) which is paid either directly by Centrelink or to your employer who will forward the payment onto you.

The Centrelink website isn’t the most user friendly at the best of times because of the volume of information available. You can check your eligibility here.

Briefly:

  • you’ll have to meet a work test
  • you’ll have to earn less than $150,000 in the year before the birth of your baby
  • you’ll have to be on leave during the period that you will be paid the government entitled parental leave
  • you’ll need to meet residency and citizenship requirements.

There are other exceptional circumstances that may be taken into account – you’ll need to look into these if you do feel as though you’re entitled.

Dads and partners may be entitled to up to 2 weeks of pay – you can check the prerequisites for that entitlement here.

Step-by-step process

The process from go to whoa should be as straightforward (ha!) as:

Step 1

Checking your eligibility – see above.

Step 2

If you are eligible, set up your myGov account and link it to the Centrelink portal.

Step 3

If you don’t have one already, you will need to apply to have a Centrelink Customer Reference Number (CRN) to submit a parental leave claim.  Your CRN will be very important going forward as you’ll use it to submit future child care subsidy claims and potential family assistance claims (subject to eligibility). Your children will also receive CRNs too so you should keep all of this information in a safe place.

Step 4

Submit your paid parental leave claim through the Centrelink portal on myGov website (during which you will need to decide the date in which you would like to receive your payment).

Step 5

Provide proof of birth to Centrelink (through myGov or in person) once baby is born (you get this paperwork upon being discharged from the hospital).

Step 6

Manage your paid parental leave payments. Centrelink’s online services make it easy to track your payments and there is also an app that you can download if you are so inclined.

…and in six easy steps – you should be good to go!

Workplace entitlements

Most larger organisations or established smaller companies may offer some assistance to employees about to go on leave (both paid maternity leave and paid partner leave).

You should check your workplace policies to see whether you are entitled and get the ball rolling there.

In any event, your HR department will likely lead you in the right direction and assist you once you inform them that you are expecting.

Hope this sheds some light to those who are currently navigating the minefield!

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All references to legislative entitlements are current are the time of writing.

My 5 most loved luxury items

I’ve bought and sold many luxury items over the years. My first luxury purchase was a Miu Miu Vitello Boy Bag in black. I bought it when I was 20 having saved my hard earned cash from working part time retail whilst at uni. I was so proud of that thing and took it everywhere with me – and boy did I trash it!  I was pretty chuffed when I sold it on eBay and recouped most of what I paid for it 4 years later.

My style has evolved and coupled with less disposable income that I have to play with now that I have a young family – I tend to stay away from trend-based items when buying luxury.  I’m grateful that my husband is supportive of my love of luxury goods – a few of my favourite items listed below were gifted by him.

Here are the 5 most loved luxury items in my collection:

Gucci Double G Belt

If you’re a long time follower of mine on Instagram, you’ll be very acquainted with this belt. My husband bought this for me last Christmas. I ended up getting the mens version of the belt in chocolate brown with the gold double G buckle.

The decision to opt for chocolate brown as opposed to black was an easy one for me – I generally wear navy and felt that it pairs better together.

Here is a selection of looks featuring my beloved belt:

Gucci belt with Topshop tee & jeans, Chanel boy bag and Tony Bianco heels

Gucci belt with Zara dress, Wittner heels, Celine luggage tote

Gucci belt, H&M blouse, Zara skirt, Vince Camuto heels & Celine luggage tote

Gucci belt with Scanlan Theodore top & skirt, Celine luggage tote

Louis Vuitton Desk Agenda in Monogram

I’m such a sucker for stationary – so it was a given that I fall in love with this agenda cover! I’ve also got the PM and MM size agenda covers but my current favourite is the desk agenda. It’s essentially a notebook cover as it doesn’t have rings like the other two in my collection – so I’ve inserted a ring bound notebook into it and I use it daily for note taking in the office, planning and keeping all my lists in the one place. I love the size (it houses A5 sized notebooks) and fits perfectly in the handbag I carry with me to work.

Chanel M/L Classic Flap

This bag needs no introduction and I’m so glad that it’s part of my collection.

My husband gifted me this bag after we had our first baby. I chose to get it in the black caviar leather with silver hardware in the medium-large size. I don’t plan on ever parting ways with it!

Valentino Rockstud Heels in Patent Poudre

I’ve had these for a while and chose to get them in patent poudre so they could be worn with a variety of looks. I’m a huge fan of Valentino rockstuds and I own a number of pairs including the flats and the kitten heeled version. While I used to be a bit precious with them, these particular heels are my go-to pair for special occasions and I now wear them to the office whenever I need a break from my black heels or feel like my outfit needs a bit of a pick-me-up!

Celine Micro Luggage Tote

This is currently my trusty every day work tote! It is so durable and fits the perfect amount of my stuff! I bought my luggage tote almost 4 years ago and it still looks practically brand new. My bag is made of the black drummed calf leather which is a pebbled leather. I honestly can’t see any scuffs or scratches on the bag – it is such good quality and so well made.

I’ve done a separate “What’s in my bag” post with this one which you can check out here!

Thanks for stopping by.

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What’s in my bag – Celine Micro Luggage Tote

My Céline micro luggage tote has been a trusty work companion since 2015 and is one of my favourite luxury items in my collection. I chose to get the black bullhide calf leather version – what I considered the most durable fabric for practical every day use. My decision has certainly been justified as I don’t baby this bag by any means and it is still going strong almost 4 years on.

Here’s what I stuff… I mean carry in my bag with me to work:

  • Louis Vuitton personal agenda (my schedule and diary)
  • Louis Vuitton desk agenda (for note taking)
  • Ted Baker make up bag
  • Saint Laurent card holder (which I use as a wallet)
  • iPhone XS
  • Go-To Super Handy moisturiser
  • Ray Ban rounded clubmasters
  • Keys

On a side note, I’m a true Philophile and love Céline handbags from Phoebe Philo’s era at Céline. I feel like Celine (sans accent) has lost a lot of its magic and the identity built up by Philo has since been stripped away since Hedi Slimane took over.  I certainly value this bag so much more.

Thanks for stopping by.

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