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My Top 10 Tips for Caring for Your Clothes

Buying clothes built to last is one thing – but there’s a lot you should do in caring for your clothes to ensure they last.  The majority of my wardrobe comprises pieces that require special care.  Whether it be due to the fact that the fabrics are more delicate, such as wool and silk, or they’re pieces that are a bit more special – such as knitwear or suiting.

Here are my top 10 tips to care and preserve your beloved clothing pieces:

#1 – Avoid dry cleaning where possible

The concept of dry cleaning is wonderful – how convenient to outsource care of your favourite pieces to someone else! But it can also be frustrating – it’s expensive, potentially toxic and sometimes it doesn’t yield the results you want. I’ve had too many a time where my pieces have come back to me faded, misshapen or completely ruined from what I thought and trusted to be a professional method of cleaning.

In most cases, if the care instructions say ‘dry clean only’ but the piece is made using natural fibres (such as wool or cotton), then you can usually launder them at home. I usually put these in the washing machine on a gentle cold wash cycle and reduce the spin. Then I lay them flat to dry so they don’t lose their shape. Thankfully, I haven’t had any disasters yet.

I also launder my silk pieces at home by popping them into a mesh washing bag and on a shorter cold wash cycle with very little spin.

Obviously, things like coats and evening dresses will need to be dry-cleaned but for everything else, I will avoid a visit to the dry cleaner where possible.

#2 – Care instructions can be disobeyed

…but be careful.

While some garments recommend warm wash cycles, we put the majority of our clothes through cold wash cycles. It’s gentler, reduces the risk of shrinkage and it’s better for the environment.

I will always reduce the spin for pieces made of wool, silk and linen, just because they’re more susceptible to shrinking. Conversely, pieces made from polyester, nylon and viscose are generally less fussy to care for.

#3 – Treat your delicates like delicates

…and invest in some mesh laundry bags (like these ones or this one), to protect your delicates from snags during the washing process.

I pop underwear in the mesh bags but I’ll also use them for my silk pieces such as my silk shirts and camis.

#4 – Let your pieces naturally dry on the line

We always let our laundry dry naturally on the line and we don’t have a dryer at home. Dryers can be really harsh on clothes and with continual use, will break down the fibres of the fabric and cause your pieces to shrink and age permanently.

#5 – Dry your delicates and knitwear lying flat

We’re always cautious in how we dry our clothing at home too – ensuring delicates and knitwear (that could easily lose its shape) dries flat. My knitwear collection is predominantly cashmere and given it’s an investment in the first place, taking these considerate steps ensures they last.

#6 – Don’t over wash your pieces

Sometimes caring for your clothes means taking a step back. This rings particularly true when it comes to denim and knitwear.  Instead of regular laundering, give them some air so that they naturally breathe. Washing your clothes too regularly will mean that they fade and age in a shorter time frame.

My general rule of thumb is to wash my jeans after about 10 wears, or when they start to smell.

#7 – Stains need to be treated straight away

Any mishaps resulting in stains should be treated straight away. Spot treat stains as soon as you are able and then wash them as you normally would to prevent any permanent marks remaining on your beloved pieces.

#8 – Avoid ironing where possible

Save for suits and business shirts, a steamer can replace ironing when it comes to getting the creases out of your clothes.  Steaming is a much gentler way of preparing your clothes to be worn. 

#9 – Give your clothes some space

A crucial part in caring for your clothes is storing them in a considered fashion. This includes ensuring your pieces aren’t being too tightly packed in your wardrobe. There should be a small gap between the pieces in your wardrobe to ensure they breathe and retain their shape. Coats should be buttoned up and sitting nicely on their hangers. Blazers and suiting should be hung up properly so as to retain their shape.

#10 – Store your knitwear neatly folded

As a general rule, I don’t hang my knitwear but I adopt the KonMari style of organisation and store my knitwear in drawers.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below. I hope this post was helpful in providing you with tips on caring for your clothes to ensure they last. 

Thanks again for stopping by.

P.S. The rules I applied in doing my recent wardrobe purge and 4 outfits for any type of WFH day.

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A/W Outfit: Khaki Peacoat, White Jeans & Navy Pointed-Toe Flats

working from home outfit with khaki coat and everlane flats
Wearing Reiss coat (sold out, similar here), Everlane knit, jeans and flats, Gucci belt, Celine bag, Ray Ban sunglasses

While our boys have been back at school and in day care for the past few weeks, my husband and I are still working from home. Schools have re-opened but social distancing restrictions remain here in Sydney and workers still encouraged to work from home if they’re able. (I’m glad I don’t have to think about catching public transport into the city or sharing a lift for at least a few more weeks.) And while I was on struggle street a few months ago working from home with the kids at home with us, it has been a different story working from home without the kids around – my husband and I are really enjoying it!

When our workloads permit, we take advantage and go on walks during our lunch breaks. For the past few months we haven’t really ventured far past the streets around our place so on this particular day (which was a couple of weeks ago when he took these photos for me), we hopped in the car and drove to nearby Glebe and went for a lunch time walk along Blackwattle Bay. Taking a stroll along the water was such a treat.

working from home outfit with khaki coat and everlane flats
Wearing Reiss coat (sold out, similar here), Everlane knit, jeans and flats, Gucci belt, Celine bag, Ray Ban sunglasses

Shop the look

I’m sporting my much-loved pea coat from Reiss (purchased a few years ago but here’s a very similar one) with a navy cashmere knit, white jeans from Everlane (shared in a dedicated blog post here) and the new Everlane 40 Hour Flats in ReKnit. I’m such a fan of the original version of the flats (see my comprehensive review here) that I had to give the ReKnit version a go. The ReKnit flats were released a couple of weeks ago and I was lucky enough to receive this navy pair a couple of weeks before their release. I’m hoping to share a review of them on my blog soon.

working from home outfit with khaki coat and everlane flats
Wearing Reiss coat (sold out, similar here), Everlane knit, jeans and flats, Gucci belt, Celine bag, Ray Ban sunglasses

And finally my bag – it has been my go-to bag for the past few months. I share a comprehensive review of my Celine Trio here – my bag is over 5 years old but still on high rotation.

I hope you’re all having a great week so far.

P.S. My entire coat collection and five A/W wardrobe essentials.

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The Best of Sarah Lloyd’s Collection (+ An Exclusive Discount!)

Sarah Lloyd blazer, Acne Studios tee, H&M skirt (sold out – similar here), Vince Camuto heels (sold out, similar here), Celine bag

When it comes to workwear, there are so many options.  While I’ll turn to the high street to fill in any gaps in my wardrobe basics, I always look to invest when it comes to my workwear staples. As I see it, the staples are the major workhorses in your wardrobe, the pieces that pull together an outfit and boost self-esteem and confidence when worn.  I’m talking blazers, suits and power dresses.  

Cue Sarah Lloyd – an Australian designer carving out her niche in dressing the professional working woman. Sarah is Sydney-based and wholly committed to producing accessible designer pieces (both RTW and custom-made). Her key focus is producing classic pieces built to last – and they’re all designed and made in Australia. I’ve featured Sarah Lloyd on my Instagram feed a few times now, but I wanted to publish a dedicated blog post highlighting my picks from her collection given her approach to fashion aligns with my style goals.  

As lockdown restrictions continue to ease here in Australia, many of us are preparing to return to the office and getting our workwear into order once again. If you’re preparing to make a comeback to the office and looking to add high quality workwear to your rotation of outfits, look no further than Sarah Lloyd for your classic staples. 

Her jackets are particular standouts to me because of her signature cut and the silhouette she creates – the shoulders are more structured and waists are more tapered than what you would find on the high street. These tweaks make her jackets unbelievably flattering and in my opinion, definitely worth the investment. 

And in exciting news, you can take advantage of my exclusive discount code – WVW150 – and take $150 off any jacket from her RTW collection. My exclusive discount code is only valid for a limited time until 20 June 2020 so now’s as good a time as any to bite the bullet if you’ve been on the hunt for key workwear pieces. 

So let’s get right into it.  

#1 – On Parade Jacket

Sarah Lloyd blazer, Acne Studios tee, H&M skirt (sold out – similar here), Vince Camuto heels (sold out, similar here), Celine bag
Sarah Lloyd blazer, Scanlan Theodore silk tank (sold out), Gucci belt, H&M trousers (sold out, similar here), Tony Bianco mules (sold out, similar here), Chanel bag

I thought I’d kick things off with a jacket that I own and love. It’s a jacket I’ve worn countless times to the office and has served me well in meetings and in court. And as an added bonus, if you travel a fair bit for work, this is ideal as I’ve personally found the fabric to be very easygoing – it doesn’t crease, packs easily and travels well.

It’s hard to go past a classic black jacket and the ‘On Parade’ jacket is cut in her signature tailored fit with structured shoulders and a tapered waist. I have the size 8 and I can vouch for the fact that it’s true to size. And as you all know, a good blazer isn’t just going to serve you for work, a blazer thrown over pretty much any look will finish things off perfectly.

#2 – Royal Wrap Riding Jacket in Herringbone

sarah lloyd herringbone jacket
sarah lloyd herringbone jacket

One of the latest additions to Sarah’s collection of jackets is this wrap belted jacket in herringbone. Herringbone and power suiting are a match made in heaven while at the same time being completely classic and ladylike. The bold herringbone print on this jacket is timeless and perfect for both corporate and business-casual looks.

You can shop the jacket here.

#3 – Royal Wrap Jacket in Tweed

sarah lloyd jacket

For a muted version of the herringbone jacket above, this charcoal tweed version is a great option, while still making a statement with its structured shoulders and tapered waist. The go-with-anything grey makes it a perfect addition to your corporate wardrobe.

You can shop the jacket here.

#4 & #5 – Duchess of Cambridge Jacket in Navy and Ivory

It’s hard for me to go past navy for workwear and this double-breasted linen jacket is a great relaxed option. Personally, I think long-line double breasted blazers are such versatile pieces – they look great buttoned up, worn open and belted with a thin waist belt.

You can shop the navy jacket here and the ivory version below here.

sarah lloyd jacket

My exclusive discount code (WVW150) is only valid until 20 June 2020 so be quick! The code is valid across all of Sarah’s RTW jackets and excludes her custom-made styles.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

P.S. An updated review of my Gucci belt (after 24 months of wear) and five A/W wardrobe essentials.

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Updated Gucci Belt Review & Guide – 24+ Months Wear & Tear

Gucci belt styled with H&M coat (sold out, similar here and here), Reiss knit, Nobody Denim jeans, Tony Bianco mules (sold out – similar here), Celine bag, RayBan sunglasses
L: Gucci belt styled with H&M coat (sold out, similar here and here), Reiss knit, Nobody Denim jeans, Tony Bianco mules (sold out – similar here), Celine bag, RayBan sunglasses R: Everlane flats styled with Uniqlo trench (sold out, similar here, here, and here), Everlane knit, Everlane jeans, Gucci belt, Celine bag, RayBan sunglasses

If I had to pick one of the most worn items in my wardrobe, it’d have to be my Gucci belt. This belt has been styled in countless corporate looks, business casual outfits and it’s the accessory I rely upon when I feel like my outfit is looking a little meh.

It has the ability to instantly elevate an outfit and is the ultimate pick-me-up. So considering I’ve had this belt now for over two years, I thought I’d share an update on whether it was really worth the hype.

updated gucci belt review and guide - comparison of width
Gucci belt worn with Reiss dress (worn as top), Scanlan Theodore skirt, Tony Bianco mules (sold out, similar here) and Celine bag

Sizing and width

I have the Double G belt in Chocolate Brown with Antique Brass Hardware in the 3cm (1″) width in size 85. Curiously, this belt is from the mens line and the link to the exact belt I own is here.

Sizing and width are, without a doubt, the most frequently asked questions I receive. The belt comes with 5 holes and is offered in a broad size range: 65cm to 120cm. I’m a true size AU 8 (UK 8 / US 0-2) and I typically wear 26″ waist jeans. I went with the 85 but if I had my time again, I would have definitely sized down to the 80 or even the 75. If you read my initial guide on the belt, I ended up getting 3 holes punched in by a cobbler and I’ve since been able to wear it as both a hip and waist belt. I should also note that I did try to get this done in the Gucci boutique but the associates told me that wasn’t a service that they offered.

As to the width, I initially got the 4cm (1.5″) width but it overwhelmed my petite frame (I’m 5’2″ / 158cm). The narrower width of the 3cm (1″) belt made a world of difference. I believe it is now referred to as the ‘medium’ but it’s best that you go by measurements just to be sure.

Deciding on which width to go for ultimately comes down to personal preference. The 4cm (1.5″) belt is what I would consider a more statement piece while the 2cm (0.75″) belt sends a subtle message. I love that the 3cm (1″) width is a balance of both and allows the belt to be worn on both the hip and the waist.

SHOP 3CM BELTS

updated gucci belt review and guide - comparison of width
L: Reiss coat (sold out, similar here), Everlane knit, Everlane jeans, Everlane flats, Gucci belt, Celine bag, RayBan sunglasses R: H&M coat (sold out, similar option here and here), H&M knit, Scanlan Theodore skirt, Gucci belt, Vince Camuto heels (sold out, similar here) and Celine bag

Design and quality

The design of the belt is very simple. The buckle featuring the signature marmont logo is the most *extra* thing about it. I chose the smooth chocolate brown leather with antique brass hardware which is a lovely muted gold. I should also note that the mens line also includes a textured leather option, which is heat-stamped and looks similar to saffiano leather.

Personally I think the smooth leather has a much softer look to it and after two-and-a-half years of wearing the belt, it has shown very few signs of wear. Considering its price tag, the quality is exactly what I would expect of a luxury item.

Wear and tear

This belt mainly features in outfits I wear to the office, either to lift my corporate looks or business-casual looks on Fridays. I keep things pretty casual on the weekends so it doesn’t get as much use when I’m out and about with the kids.

In an average working week, I’ll wear this belt at least twice. So I’d hazard a guess that I’ve worn the belt at least 200 times since I got it. At the time I received it, the belt retailed at $535 AUD (it’s now $570 AUD) which puts the cost-per-wear at roughly $2.68. I’ll continue to chip away at the CPW as I wear it more.

After two-and-a-half years of use, the belt has shown little sign of wear – amazing considering how often it has been worn. When I’m not wearing it, I store it neatly coiled up in one of my handbags, away from direct sunlight.

updated gucci belt review and guide - comparison of width
Gucci belt styled with H&M coat (sold out, similar here and here), Reiss knit, Nobody Denim jeans, Tony Bianco mules (sold out – similar here), Celine bag, RayBan sunglasses

Is the belt too trendy?

It’s been years since the peak of its popularity and the hype has well and truly died down.

I consider my belt to be a classic piece and I put it down to the fact that I chose a thinner width as opposed to the popular 4cm (1.5″) version designed to make a bit more of a statement. I’ve known of a few people who loved and wore the 4cm version but have recently parted ways with it as they consider it past its heyday. I can’t say I feel the same about mine – I’m still very content with it.

I’m now in my mid-30s and I’m making more of a conscious effort to stay away from trends and curate a considered wardrobe of classic pieces. At the time I got this belt, I intended for it to be with me for the long run and I’m so happy with how it is served me so far. Given how much wear I’ve managed to get out of it and the fact that I’ll continue to wear it in the future, I don’t consider this to be a trend piece. If you are looking to invest in this as a forever belt, I would strongly recommend you consider the thinner widths so as to avoid potentially feeling like it’s a statement piece in the future.

L: Gucci belt styled with Reiss dress (worn as top), Scanlan Theodore skirt, Tony Bianco mules (sold out, similar here) and Celine bag R: Gucci belt styled with COS top, H&M pants, Chanel slingbacks (affordable dupe here and here), Everlane coat and Tory Burch tote

Belts are a great way to enjoy luxury products without spending too much of your hard earned coin. Many designer houses have their own versions of monogram belts, such as Louis Vuitton, Dior and Hermes to name a few – though all those belts retail for almost double the cost of a Gucci belt!

And that’s a wrap from me! I hope you found my updated Gucci belt review & guide to be useful. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below. If you found this helpful, I’ve also written a number of reviews of my handbags and fashion bits and bobs which you can read here.

Shop 3cm width belts

Shop 2cm width belts

Shop 4cm width belts

P.S. A review of my Celine belt bag and my entire coat collection (prices and all!).

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The *NEW* Everlane Curvy Cheeky Straight Jean

Wearing Everlane Curvy jeans, Marks & Spencer top (sold out – similar here and here), Gucci belt, Tony Bianco mules (similar here) and Celine bag

White jeans are bit of a risky proposition. But I’m an advocate of wearing them – no matter the season. Despite my love of coffee and red wine (and I’m also going to just throw in that I’ve got grubby young children which weirdly hasn’t deterred me from white denim), I’ve been reaching for these bad boys as the weather continues to cool here in Sydney.

And while white jeans are surprisingly versatile to style, you’ve got to be picky in choosing the right denim. Too thin and you risk your jeans being see-through and too thick and you risk having a pair of cardboard jeans that are too uncomfortable to wear.

everlane curvy cheeky straight jean
Wearing Everlane Curvy jeans, Marks & Spencer top (sold out – similar here and here), Gucci belt, Tony Bianco mules (similar here) and Celine bag

I’m sporting the new Everlane Curvy Cheeky Straight Jean in Bone. The curvy version of their traditional high-rise straight leg jean is specifically designed for hourglass shapes. Since giving birth, my sons gifted me hips and a bigger bum. And while I’ve since come to terms with the fact that their gift couldn’t be returned (thanks kids), the biggest blow was that my pre-kids denim collection sadly became unflattering on my new body shape, particularly around my mid-section. With this in mind, I’m honing in on the silhouettes better suited to my new body shape.

The curvy version of Everlane’s classic straight leg style has adjusted the hip-to-waist ratio so there’s less bulge up top. But the highlight for me is the back pockets on the curvy version of the jeans that sit a little higher than their regular fit – a hugely flattering design feature that makes my bum look more lifted (see below!).

Bend and snap!

In terms of wearability, from the get-go they’ve been comfortable to wear with a touch of stretch thanks to the 2% elastane in the fabric. As to the denim itself, it passes the fabric test with flying colours – it’s not too thin or thick. All in all – these have been a real winner for me. And for $120 AUD / $78 USD a pair, they’re hard to pass up.

When it comes to sizing, I’m a true size AU 8 and I typically wear a size 26 in jeans. I’ve got this pair in the size 26 in the ankle length and they fit perfectly. In terms of working out whether you should go for the regular fit or the curvy fit, if you’re pear-shaped like me, I would recommend going for the curvy version. The tweaks that they’ve made are so flattering.

Shop the Everlane Curvy Cheeky Straight Jean

Shop the Everlane Regular Cheeky Straight Jean

everlane curvy cheeky straight jean
Wearing Everlane Curvy jeans, Marks & Spencer top (sold out – similar here and here), Gucci belt, Tony Bianco mules (similar here) and Celine bag

It’s been a busy week for me on the work front but I’m looking forward to relaxing with the family over the weekend.

Thanks again for stopping by. Hope you’re all staying safe x

P.S. My five A/W wardrobe essentials, my entire coat collection and my WFH favourites.

Please note that while these jeans were very kindly gifted to me by Everlane, I was under no obligation to write this post or share these with you. All thoughts are my own.

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Five A/W Wardrobe Essentials

With the turn of every season, a crop of new trends pop up, and we’re inundated with temptations to get on board. While it can be hard to resist, I set myself some style goals earlier this year and those goals included taking a more considered approach in my purchases and staying away from trends. The pieces that are still going strong in my wardrobe are the classics that were purchased after much research and consideration and I’m all about getting more bang for buck out of my closet.

Now that it’s properly chilly here in Sydney, I’m sharing with you a curated list of classic A/W essentials for your wardrobe. My list is made up of classic pieces that are both versatile and have serious staying power. And while they may be more ‘sensible’ styling choices, they certainly don’t compromise on style.

So let’s get into it.

Behold, my top 5 autumn/winter wardrobe essentials:

#1 – A luxe and cosy scarf

Wearing Acne Studios scarf, H&M coat (sold out, similar here and here), Tony Bianco mules (similar here), Ray Ban sunnies

I can’t imagine stepping foot out the door without a scarf these days. And these days, it’s my Acne Studios Canada scarf that has been getting a lot of love.

I finally bit the bullet earlier this year and bought the scarf after wanting it for so long. It is one of those wardrobe essentials that never seems to get old. And while it’s a lot of money to spend on a scarf, I really think everyone should get one. The quality is exactly what you’d expect for the price – it’s soft, cozy and a great size to style. I can see myself wearing this for many years to come and I’m toying with the idea of adding another colour to my wardrobe – perhaps a navy or a camel one.

#2 – An extra-fine knit for layering

Wearing Uniqlo knit, Uniqlo skirt, Tony Bianco mules (similar here), H&M coat (sold out, similar here and here), Celine bag

Knits are obviously winter wardrobe essentials but I’m specifically highlighting the extra fine merino knits that are fitted, can be worn as tops, look great under blazers and jackets but still keep you nice and toasty.

Uniqlo’s Merino Wool Knits are the business – thin, fitted and extremely warm. I heavily rely on these for my A/W work wardrobe as they layer so well under blazers and suits. I want all the colours.

For a more premium offering, it’s hard to look past Reiss’ offering of fitted knits. The semi-sheer options below layered with camis are so chic for the office.

#3 – Ankle boots

Wearing The Curated Coat (AU link / International link) (similar here and affordable dupe here), Nobody Denim Jeans, Acne Studios Scarf, Everlane boots, Celine bag, Ray Ban sunnies

One of those no-brainer basics, but I couldn’t resist including these in my top five. I like my boots to be classic, stylish, and comfortable, as they’re often my shoe of choice for walking around on chillier days (with a block heel being non-negotiable). One of my favourite pairs are these ones from Everlane, and I also like these ones from Tony Bianco, which will last for years because of their classic style.

#4 – A chic neutral coat

Wearing H&M coat (sold out, similar here and here), Gucci belt, Scanlan Theodore skirt, Tony Bianco mules (similar here), Celine bag, Ray Ban sunnies

My collection of coats (recently shared in this long post here) is made up of predominantly neutral tones. I’ve found that keeping a minimal colour palette has opened up a world of styling options. This particular coat is from H&M and was a steal compared to the many investment options out there but it just goes to show that you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money to build up a wardrobe of classic pieces.

#5 – A high-neck knit

Wearing Marks & Spencer top (sold out – similar here and here), Scanlan Theodore skirt, Tony Bianco mules (similar here), Celine bag

And last, but certainly not least, is a high neck knit. I love both the extra fine and chunky knit variety. I mainly style my finely woven knits in corporate looks for the office and reserve my chunkier knits to keep my cozy when off-duty.

And that rounds up my top five autumn/winter wardrobe essentials. Thanks for reading!

P.S. The four outfits for any type of WFH day, my edit of knitwear to elevate your WFH looks and my *entire* coat collection.

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