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Sage Green – The Wise Choice To Brighten A Neutral Palette

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When I think of ‘sage’ I think of the herbaceous refrain in Simon & Garfunkel’s version of Scarborough Fair… and chicken.  But in recent times, I’ve been noticing a recurring theme in the images I’ve been pinning to my Pinterest boards.  Unsurprisingly, there have been lots of muddy greens (I’m in a bit of a khaki phase at the moment) but there has also been a lot of sage, khaki’s softer and muted little sister – specifically Pantone 15-0318-YPX (if that’s your thang *wink*).

Wearing Frankie Shop Dress (size S) and Atmos & Here sandals (similar here and here), Celine bag, Ray Ban sunglasses

While minimalist and neutral colour palettes might strictly adhere to palettes of white, black and grey (and maybe navy and camel for those living on the wild side), I love the softness of sage, the fact that it pairs well with the all the classic neutral shades and that you’re bound to find a variation of sage that’ll suit your skin tone.  

I think we can all agree that 2020 has been the year of “off” colours.  From grandma beige to retro chocolate brown to sage – if they’re not easy to define, then you’re on the right track! 

My sage green picks

It isn’t the easiest of tones to pin down and it comes in so many different variations and can be darker and lighter. It can almost be pastel – but then not quite! That said, it’s a bit of a chameleon which is also part of its appeal as it means the sage green trend can suit everyone.

So what do you think? Are you on board the sage green trend train?!

Thanks again for stopping by!

P.S. Four of the many ways I’ve styled a light coloured neutral blazer and is there such a thing as work-appropriate shorts? I think this could be a candidate…

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A Day In The Life Of Me (With Kids! And, Like, A Global Pandemic)

a day in the life of a working mum, sydney based lawyer and fashion blogger with 4 boys

If you’re one of the many who began living the work-from-home life a few months ago, you won’t need me to fill you in on how work slowly becomes life.  I don’t know many who enjoy a commute, I know I certainly didn’t enjoy being squished on a train during peak hour – but I think we can all agree that it historically served a good, concrete indicator of when to start and, most importantly, when to stop work.  Without it – or even an office to go to – the structures of a work day have become a little muddled.  

Despite this, in the last few months we’ve managed to find a good rhythm at home to facilitate the work/life juggle. So I thought I’d share how a usual day plays out for us as I know there are many of you out there wearing a few hats at the moment!

To give you a bit of context, my husband and I are both lawyers and have been working from home since March.  We have four boys at home, the older two (10 and 8) are in Years 5 and 3 at school and the younger two (3 and 1) are enrolled in a local day care centre.  The older two boys share their time equally between our place and their mum’s place.  For the purposes of this post, I’m running you through what a typical day looks like for us when the older two boys are with us.  So let’s get started:

Mornings – before school and work

My husband and I are normally up by 7:00am.  We’ll spend some time on our phones reading the news and checking socials until the boys are officially up at 7:30am – that’s the time we’ve set on the boys’ Glo Clock (a godsend child friendly clock which communicates sleep and wake up times) and our 3 year old knows not to get out of bed until the “sun’s up”.  The older two get themselves into their school uniforms and I help the younger two get dressed for day care. 

We all congregate around the dining table at around 7:45am for breakfast.  My husband gets all the boys set up with the breakfasts (cereals and/or toast) and most importantly, he makes our coffees!  He also makes the older two boys’ lunches to take to school.  

Save for any tantrums (or inconvenient bowel movements from our youngest requiring last minute nappy changes), we walk the boys to school and day care (unless it’s raining and we all pile into the car) and they’re at school by around 8:30am.   

Starting our work day

My husband and I are home before 9:00am which gives me ample time to fix myself a simple breakfast (currently yoghurt, granola and honey) before firing up our laptops to kick off our work days at 9:00am.  

Work permitting, we take a quick mid-morning tea break to share a pot of French Earl Grey tea. And when the weather is fine, I’ll ask my husband to take a photo of my outfit to share on my blog and my Instagram feed.  We’ve got into a good rhythm now and it only takes a few minutes for him to get ‘that’ shot! 

At the moment, I’ve got a makeshift home office set up in the living room (ie. a trestle table from Bunnings typically used for parties!) and my husband works from the dining table.  It’s less than ideal, and had we known we’d be stationed at home for months (and probably many more months to come), we would have probably reconsidered living in a narrow terrace conveniently located to… work (oh the irony).  

Both of our work days are filled with lots of video calls and regular phone calls (where one of us will have duck into another room to minimise disruption and maintain confidentiality) while trying to get on top of our emails, advice work and drafting in between.  We’ve both had court hearings that have taken place during these months at home and have had the opportunity to attend those hearings remotely using Microsoft Teams – the novelty of being able to do so hasn’t worn off yet!

Lunch 

If things aren’t too crazy with work, we normally pause for lunch at around 12:30ish and keep things relatively simple – usually a toasted sandwich (sometimes with my husband’s home-made focaccia!) or we’ll eat down the fridge and get stuck into leftovers from last night’s dinner.  We normally eat lunch el-desko – just to get our work done but if we’ve got manageable days, we’ll head out for a brisk 30 min walk together before getting stuck into an afternoon of work.  

Afternoons

At around 5:00pm, we’ll hit pause with work and head out to pick up the kids.  We normally arrive home with the kids by around 5:30pm.  My husband and I share the cooking pretty evenly and if one is cooking, the other will get the younger kids through the bath.  Meanwhile, the older two boys are either doing their homework or music practice (our 8 year old is currently learning the clarinet).  

Dinner is normally on the table by around 6:30ish and we always eat dinner together and talk about our days (or listen to our 3 year old jibber jabber about who-knows-what).  As for dishwashing, whoever cooked will usually leave it to the other to do the dishes while the chef will get a head start playing with the boys before bed.  The older two take turns getting themselves through the shower while the younger two enjoy a little bit of play and story time before they go down for the night at around 7:30pm.  

Once the older two finish their homework and reading, we play a few rounds of Uno and Monopoly Deal together.  We play Uno with the “proper” family rules and using the scoring method.  Whoever ends up with the higher sum total of points in their hand at the end of each round is eliminated – and we play until there’s one left standing.  It’s the only way to play Uno!  

After games, the boys brush their teeth and are in bed by around 8:30pm.  

Evenings

Most nights will see us logging back on to catch up on things that we’ve missed in the last few hours and to tidy up the remainder before logging off for the day.  

Once we’ve clocked off work, we’ll hang out on the couch together and end our days with a cup of tea and a chat before either watching something fun on the telly, or just hanging out together on the couch while I bash out a blog post.  The quiet time after the kids go down is sacred.  

And that’s pretty much how it goes. Then it’s wash, rinse and repeat.

How are you finding the juggle at the moment? I’d love to hear from you!

P.S. Finding a work/life balance during lockdown and four outfits for any type of work-from-home day.

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Reiss Lara Dress Review

reiss lara dress off shoulder knit dress review in stone styled with gucci belt and celine belt bag
reiss lara dress in off shoulder knit dress style review in stone styled for work with gucci belt and celine belt bag
reiss lara dress in off shoulder knit dress style review in stone styled with gucci belt and celine belt bag and knife mules

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Without a doubt, the item of clothing that has sat at the top of my favourites list for the past year has been the Reiss Lara Dress in Stone. I was slow to pull the trigger on this when it was first released over a year ago but I finally got my hot little hands on it earlier in the year.

Before lockdown measures were put in place, I managed to enjoy the dress ‘in the wild’ and wore it to work a few times as well as on a couple of date nights (one of those was to see Kevin McCloud live!). Since being at home, I’ve found myself reaching for it when I’ve needed a bit of a pick-me-up in the sartorial department (and a big fat 🙅🏻 to a third consecutive day in trakkies!).

The Lara dress has been re-released as part of Reiss’ new season and comes in three shades – stone, black and forest green. To me, it’s the perfect transseasonal piece and the epitome of minimal elegance with the ability to do double duty for both work and play.

Style

The dress is cut to a Y silhouette and features exaggerated shoulders that drape beautifully across the bodice, dolman sleeves that taper in at the cuffs and a fitted skirt. The dress comprises a heavyweight and stretchy knit fabric with an allover ribbed texture and is soft and luxurious to the touch.

The fabric composition is 57% viscose, 26% polyester, 14% nylon and 3% elastane. Despite the lack of natural fibres, the dress carries a hefty price tag retailing at $450 AUD / £185 / $345 USD.

Sizing

I’m petite (158cm) and pear-shaped – so I’m always a bit more mindful to choose pieces that don’t accentuate my wider hips and thighs. I was torn between getting a size XS or a size S but I opted for the latter so that the skirt wouldn’t fit too snug. Overall, it’s a relaxed fit on me (I’m an AU8 for reference) and I could have sized down to an XS with no issues. That said, I do love how the size S drapes on the bodice being a tad more oversized and slouchy.

Verdict

Despite the hefty price tag, I’m such a fan of the dress and think the flattering silhouette and lush neutral tone makes it worth every penny. I’m looking forward to wearing this out and about once normal programming resumes!

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P.S. See my comprehensive review of my Celine belt bag and Gucci belt featured in my outfit.

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Most Worn Knitwear Autumn/Winter 2020

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Is there anything more satisfying than popping on a cosy knit jumper? I think not! There’s something about knitwear that is both luxurious and comforting. As a category of clothing, knitwear is as broad as it gets – from chunky roll-necks to fine knit tops – in all silhouettes and price points.

Given the soft spot that I have for winter dressing, I’ll be the first to admit that I have my fair share of knits and coats, particularly for someone who lives in Australia! My knitwear collection takes up a considerable amount of my wardrobe space and there’s a growing pile of folded knitwear that sits beside my bed – I can literally roll out of bed and into a pile of soft cozy knits!

Since March, I’ve pretty much spent the entire A/W 2020 season working from home.  That’s meant a lot of relaxed workwear and plenty of knits.  In fact, I can’t think of a day when I haven’t reached for one! 

Given we’re in our last weeks of winter, I’ll be taking you through my most worn knitwear for 2020 which ranges from luxurious cashmere to cosy mock-neck knits to my statement off-shoulder tops.  

Cashmere knits

everlane cashmere square turtleneck knit, most worn knitwear for autumn and winter styled for work and off-duty

Let’s kick things off with what I consider to be the luxurious and spesh of all my most worn knitwear – my cashmere knits. Incredibly soft and warm, yet lightweight, cashmere often comes with a higher price tag.

The cashmere knits that I’ve been reaching for the most have been:

Both knits have been great work-from-home options and have maintained their softness and cosiness with wear. They both layer really well over tees and under coats and the crew neck in particular looks great when worn on its own as a top. It’s hard to go past Everlane for cashmere which uses certified Grade-A cashmere from Inner-Mongolia, which is more durable, pills less and gets softer over time. I also love Uniqlo’s range (my husband’s cashmere knits are all from there) and can be a steal during their sale period.

Shop my most worn cashmere

Mock neck merino/babywool knits

navy mock neck babywool top most worn knitwear styled for work and off-duty

In terms of necklines, the mock-neck neckline (neck neck?!) is one that I’ve really enjoyed wearing this Autumn/Winter. It can be best described as a lower cut turtleneck that is less restrictive. I picked up this navy mock neck merino knit from Marks & Spencer a few seasons ago and it remains one of my favourite pieces. As you can see from the looks I’ve featured above, it is both understated and sophisticated. Unfortunately it’s now sold out but there are many mock neck style options that are currently available that I’ve featured below including from Country Road and Everlane.

In terms of fabrication, merino wool tends to be softer and lighter than regular wool varieties and I prefer it from regular wool as the lighter fabrication makes them more versatile to be worn as tops, as opposed to just sweaters.  Similarly, babywool offers a lighter and more sheer option which can look really sophisticated when paired with tailored pieces.

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Off-shoulder knit tops

reiss lorna top most worn knitwear in cream styled with gucci belt and celine belt bag

And last, but certainly not least of this wrap-up of my most worn knitwear for 2020, are the statement pieces that lean more towards the form side of the scale. My Reiss knit has been a favourite this year and it features Reiss‘ iconic off-shoulder cut that is featured in so many of their other knit pieces. I have a size small and I typically rest the knit on my collarbones so that it sits a little higher. You can play around with the neckline and wear it in a way that you prefer – it has the ability to be manoeuvred like that.

That fabric feels luxurious and is a mix of viscose, polyester, nylon and elastane. It has been real joy to wear and the ultimate pick-me-up on days where I’ve felt a bit meh (and there have been many!). The price tag is a bit hard to swallow, particularly for its fabrication, but Reiss sits on the upper end of the high street spectrum and their pieces are very well made, this top being no exception. I also have this top in the dress version in stone, and it has been released again this year which is indicative of how popular it has been.

Shop off-shoulder knits

A note on caring for your knits 

As with all knitwear, there’s a level of maintenance involved to ensure your knits last. I have a dedicated post about caring for your clothes to ensure they last but in brief:

  • wash by hand or use a delicate cold wash cycle on your machine
  • ensure your knits dry flat and do not put them in the dryer
  • remove any piling gently, either with a comb or a special pill remover
  • don’t hang your knits but fold them to store

And that wraps up my most worn knitwear pieces of 2020! Thanks again for stopping by.

P.S. The five items that always look good on petite frames and my entire coat collection for 2020.

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One Item 4 Ways: White Jeans

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Items that were received as PR product are marked with an asterisk * 
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I can’t believe it took me until this year to get my hands on a pair of flattering white jeans. I’ve been living in sartorial darkness this entire time! I’ve always been a bit apprehensive about whether white jeans are too high maintenance for me given my boys and their perpetually sticky hands and the fact that I’m pretty clumsy (and I do love my pastas and red wine…). That said, I’m SO happy I took the plunge with this pair and I’m pleased to inform you that I’ve yet to report any disasters!

I’m wearing the Everlane Curvy Cheeky Straight Jeans in all the outfits featured in this post. I’m a true size AU 8 and wearing a size 26 from their curvy range – perfect suited to my pear shaped figure given I carry most of my weight around my hips and thighs.

In this second instalment of One Item 4 Ways, I’m sharing with you four of the many ways that I’ve enjoyed these Everlane white jeans this year.

#1 & #2 – Winter Neutrals and Khaki & Navy

Left: Everlane jeans styled with The Curated Coat*, Everlane tee, Acne Studios scarf, Gucci belt, Celine bag and Dior slingbacks Right: Everlane jeans styled with Reiss coat (sold out), Everlane knit, Gucci belt, Everlane flats* and Celine bag

#3 & #4 – Classic Trench Coat & Black Blazer

Left: Everlane jeans styled with Uniqlo trench (sold out, similar here), Everlane knit, Gucci belt, Everlane flats*, Celine bag Right: Everlane white jeans styled with Sarah Lloyd blazer*, Everlane tee, Gucci belt, Dior slingbacks and Celine bag

P.S. A potential candidate for work-appropriate shorts and some of our family rituals.

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How Introducing These Two Tones Into My Wardrobe Has Overhauled The Way I Dress

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I’ve been talking a lot about shades and tones recently – partly because my wardrobe is now so heavily reliant on neutrals so any change or introduction of a new shade is a BIG THING!  But also, I’ve found neutral styling to be deceptively simple.  While the final look gives off this air of laid back simplicity (oh this old thing?), personally I’ve found it has taken some time to work out the right neutral tones for me. 

Wearing H&M coat (sold out, similar here), Reiss knit, Mango pants, Gucci belt, Celine bag and Chanel slingbacks (similar here and here)

Taking it right back to where it all started, I’ve been ‘online’ – for lack of a better word – for over two years now.  In my first year, I had a lot of fun sharing my favourite workwear looks.  But I very quickly noticed a common theme of navy on navy on navy in my feed and I realised I’d become very complacent in my personal style colour palette.  I mean, I loved my navy dress so how could I go wrong with a navy blazer, a navy skirt, a suite of navy knits and navy shoes, right?  Technically there’s nothing wrong with that but like all things, it gets a bit same same after a while.  So I wanted to branch out, but still staying true to my personal style ethos.  Simply put, it just meant I would introduce more neutral tones into my wardrobe – lighter neutrals like ivory and camel, and darker base tones like chocolate brown and khaki.  

khaki and brown styling with the curated coat, mango khaki pants and celine cabas bag

If you hadn’t gathered from the images I’ve featured, the two tones getting the spotlight in this post are chocolate brown and khaki which have been 2020 additions to my wardrobe colour palette.

Wearing The Curated coat* (see my review here), Seed knit (similar style here), Mango pants, Tony Bianco mules (sold out, similar here), Celine bag and Ray Ban sunglasses

I feel like those tweaks have made a world of difference with the array of looks I’m now able to pull together.  I still love navy and it remains my favourite colour, but I’ve been getting a lot of joy mixing things up.

My Brown Picks

My Khaki Picks

I hope I’ve inspired you to try khaki and brown styling in your own looks. If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out the five classic colour combinations – keeping these in mind has definitely taken the guesswork out of getting dressed in the morning.

Hope you’re staying well and sane! Thanks for stopping by.

P.S. Some of our family rituals and a light neutral coloured linen blazer styled four ways as part of my new styling series!

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