whatveewore

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Standing on Neutral Territory with Oroton

I’m not one to shy away from a billowy sleeve and they are currently all the rage.  As you know, I’ve completely embraced the neutrals trend – (and it pains me to call it a trend because I really feel like it’s here to stay!) – so it would come as no surprise to you that I couldn’t resist this Oroton dress in all its caramel toned glory and statement sleeves.

Taking pride of place in my Summer Wishlist were pieces from Oroton‘s debut RTW collection. I’m happy to report that this dress does not disappoint.  The fabric is a heavyweight cotton-linen mix and the piece is beautifully finished with a fine gold zips and fabric covered snap buttons. It’s fitted at the waist so I don’t feel like my frame is overwhelmed by the puffy sleeves… and did I mention it has pockets?!

When I visited the Oroton boutique last week, the sales associates were quick to note that their pieces were proving very popular and rushing out the door. If you’ve thought about checking out their collection, don’t hesitate!

Thanks again for stopping by!

Shop my outfit

Dress (Oroton – here)

Mules (Tony Bianco, here | similar here, here and here)

Bag (Chanel) – not available online

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Summer Workwear Wishlist

It only feels like a moment ago that I was crafting my Spring workwear wishlist. The mercury is rising and summer is upon us. Indeed we’ve already experienced some 35°C degrees days (95°F) so I am a little apprehensive as to how hot it’s going to be during the height of summer!

A new season means a wardrobe refresh, right? For me, there won’t be any wholesale changes, but more of a strategic reorganisation. The office air con keeps conditions at a consistent 21°C, but commutes to and from the office and lunch breaks will be in much warmer (and stickier) environments so I’ll be moving my thicker knitwear and jackets to my storage drawers and I’ll bring my lighter and more breathable items to the front of my wardrobe so they’re within arms reach.

Some workwear bits and bobs on my wishlist for summer are:

  • anything and everything from Oroton‘s ready to wear collection – the colour palette is right up my alley (think neutral tones) and I’m loving the structured and billowy sleeves on the dresses and blouses – like this one and this one. Droooool. Oroton’s been through some challenging times over the years but it has been well and truly revived under the creative direction of Sophie Holt (ex-Country Road). If their debut RTW collection is anything to go by, we can expect to see some amazing things from the label.

Drooooool. (Images from Oroton)

  • linen pieces – I’m loving this puffy sleeved silk blend linen top (you know how much I love my puffy sleeves!) and this belted ivory tank.
  • a sleeveless tank – a sleeveless tank is a must during summer as a Sydney-sider. I tend to stick to cotton ones for the weekend but I’m after a dressier silk or linen version for the office. I appreciate that unfortunately an unspoken conservative office dress code can have us shying away from wearing sleeveless pieces. Office ‘dress codes’ vary widely among professions (and countries) but sleeveless tops have never been off the cards in any of the legal firms that I’ve worked in in Australia.  Of course, I’d never be so daring to try that in the court room.
    That’s why I’m loving this navy linen one and this camel coloured polka dot silk piece.
  • a pair of cropped trousers – these will be great during January which is usually casual dress for the whole month. I’ve got my eye on this black pair and this lighter grey pair.

Shop my outfit

Dress (H&M – sold out)

Slingbacks (Chanel (not available online) | similar here, here and here)

Bag (Celine – here | similar here)

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Achieving a Work/Life Balance – The Steps I’ve Been Taking

Woman's fall work outfit with camel coat

For a lot of us, juggling the demands of career and personal life can be a constant battle. Achieving a ‘work-life balance’ can often seem impossible – especially to those who strive to give 100% of themselves to everything they do.

I returned to work at the end of September after having my second baby.  I knew returning to work wouldn’t be smooth sailing – see my ‘Mum-back’ series – and I’ve made no secret about being on Struggle Street these past few weeks. I didn’t quite get to the point of being burnt out, but I could have very easily spiralled down in that direction had I not taken active steps to keep myself in check.

It has been a couple of months, and I’m feeling much more settled at work. In addition, I’m finding my work incredibly rewarding and I’m particularly enjoying the adult interaction and using my law brain once again!

Of course, all of our circumstances are different. Work/life balance is exactly that, a balance of the things each of us value.  But, I wanted to share with you some of the ways I’ve facilitated a work/life balance that have been incredibly beneficial to me.

Woman's fall work outfit with camel coat

Flexible work

In this day and age, more and more employers are offering flexibility in the workplace allowing employees to make arrangements that can suit them.  While it may not be for everyone, I consider flexible working to be incredibly helpful to me in maintaining a work/life balance.

For starters, a big (and tiresome) part of my day is getting ready for work and commuting to the office. Now that we’ve added young kids to the equation, it’s a flurry of activity in the morning.  The older 2 boys are fantastic and can do a lot of things themselves (even lending a hand to keeping the younger two occupied and distracted while my husband and I tend to our own personal care), but the younger two still require us to be very hands on with everything – nappies, getting dressed, eating breakfast.  We then have to make sure all school lunches are made, feeds prepared for our youngest and breakfast for everyone before we leave the house.  I’m feeling a bit frantic even just writing all of that down!

If I’ve got no meetings scheduled, I like to work from home because it saves me the hassle of getting ready for and commuting to the office.  After dropping the kids off at school and day care, I can get a heap of work done in an empty house during working hours.  I also increase my productivity generally as I can usually put on and hang out a load of washing between emails and calls and pop something in the oven in the mid-afternoon for that night’s dinner.

If your workplace is supportive of flexible working, it can really work in your favour.

Less travel

My role requires me to collaborate with a lot of interstate colleagues. In the past, I was travelling interstate on a weekly basis.  Even though Melbourne is technically an hour away on a plane, if I’m there for the day it’s guaranteed to be a big one. I’ll have to be out of the house at 7am to catch a flight and I’m usually home by about 8pm and absolutely knackered.

With the help of technology (and the understanding of my colleagues) a lot of meetings are now being conducted via video conferencing. Of course there are times where it is best to meet in person, and I won’t compromise attendance at those meetings if they’re important, but travelling less has been beneficial to me and my responsibilities at home.

Woman's fall work outfit with camel coat

Prioritise prioritise prioritise!

Giving priority to what’s important to you can inform how your day will play out.  Unless I’ve got a deadline or something urgent to get out, I will prioritise leaving work to pick up the kids from day care and getting dinner on for my family.  It means that I’m much more efficient during business hours.  If I find myself in a good rhythm at work, I will usually duck out quickly to pick up some food for lunch (and a bit of fresh air) but will usually eat at my desk just to get things done and ensure I can leave on time.

My attendance at Friday night drinks is not as often as I’d like but I will still catch up with colleagues for coffee and lunches during the week.  The trade off is more time at home with my young family which is at the top of my priority list.

Conversely, there are times where I consider work events and engagements need to be prioritised, such as work retreats, client dinners or conferences.  These events are typically organised well in advance giving me enough time to ensure my husband can keep his schedule clear or coordinate care arrangements if we’re both tied up.

Scheduling in ‘me’ time

I’m still working part time, but on my ‘off’ days with my youngest, I will prioritise going out for walks with him and will kill two birds with one stone by listening to a podcast while he naps in the stroller. When the kids are in bed for the night, my husband and I like to unwind watching Netflix with our cups of tea and will usually read a book or magazine in bed before calling it a night – though lately I’ve developed a bad habit of just scrolling on Instagram on my phone before bed which doesn’t make for a restful transition into sleep.

As for ‘whatveewore’, finding dedicated time for it is still a work in progress. I’ll usually steal some time for ‘whatveewore’ by responding to emails or drafting blog posts when my youngest has his morning and afternoon naps (provided I’ve made good headway with the chores) or I’ll sit on the couch with my laptop on a Sunday afternoon while my toddler is mesmerised with The Wiggles on telly and I’ll quickly finalise a blog post (which may or may not be what is currently happening as I type!).

What are some of the ways that you’re achieving more of a work/life balance?

Thanks again for stopping by!

Woman's fall work outfit with camel coat

Shop my outfit

Knit (Uniqlo – here)

Trousers (Uniqlo – here)

Coat (H&M (sold out) | similar here and here)

Belt (here)

Bag (Prada – here and here)

Mules (Tony Bianco, here | similar here, here and here)

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How To Beat Procrastination

How do you beat procrastination?

When it comes to procrastinating, I used to be up there with the best of them. If ever there was a task that I wasn’t confident with or a bit scared of, I would struggle to even start – often always completing it in a mad rush at the last minute.  My procrastination skills were at their peak during my university days but I reined it in somewhat when I started working full time.  I still slip up now and again, more often than I’d like, and I very often beat myself up when my day doesn’t go to plan.

My aim for each day is to be productive and being productive and procrastinating do not go hand in hand! In this post, I share with you the ways I combat procrastination when it rears its ugly head.

Address the problem

I remember feeling overwhelmed at university, particularly with heavily weighted hand-in assessments or essays, and feeling like the task was too enormous and difficult that I couldn’t see a clear way as to where to even begin. Similarly during my grad year at work, I used to get overwhelmed when I was asked to write chunky legal advices and I wouldn’t know where to start researching in the first place.  If I was scared of doing the work, I would almost always put it off.

For me, I quickly learned that I needed to take a step back and see the bigger picture, rather than get overly stressed for not knowing the answer straight away. In breaking down a large task into smaller chunks, the feelings of being overwhelmed would almost always disappear.

Addressing the reasons why you procrastinate in the first place may help to overcome any fears you have in getting started.

Make a (realistic) checklist

I get a lot of satisfaction when I cross things off a list. So I always start my day with a handwritten list of things I want to get done and I break down each of those tasks so they are easily achievable.

The list also serves as a visual aid for me to track my progress throughout the day. I love looking back at my lists in the late afternoon and seeing all the little ticks next to the tasks I have completed.

The trusty checklist is my friend in the office as well as at home and serves me when I’m going about my domestic/parental duties.

Prioritise

One way to tackle procrastination is to grab the bull by its horns and deal with the ugliest task first. Personally, I find that the pressure’s off and I’m not wasting my energy worried or anxious about finishing off that particular task if I’ve already done it.

***

I would love to hear any of your tips as to how you ward off procrastination. Let me know in the comments below. As always, thanks for stopping by!

Shop my outfit

Jacket (Scanlan Theodore – here)

Skirt (Scanlan Theodore (sold out) – similar here and here)

Bag (read my full review here) (Shop it here, here and here)

Mules (Tony Bianco, here | similar here, here and here)

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From Getting Underway to Giveaway – Beyond 10k

How whatveewore began…

One of the very best things about this blog and my Instagram, is all the engagement with my followers. Whether its words of encouragement, witty comments, or questions, I love it all.

Of all the questions I get asked, how I started out and why I do what I do are among the most frequent. While they might seem straightforward, in some ways they are also the most difficult to answer.

The how is easy.

I started whatveewore on Instagram on 16 January 2018 after I asked my husband to take a photo of my outfit as we were leaving the house. I was about to drop the kids off at school and daycare before jumping on a train to work and I wasn’t really sure if I was going to post it.

In the months leading up, my style confidence took a hit after having my first baby. My body completely changed and I couldn’t fit into half my corporate wardrobe. I desperately wanted to reignite my passion for classic style and I wanted to hold myself accountable again for looking my best.

After almost of year of Instagram-only posting I started whatveewore.com at the end of 2018. I wanted a chance to say something that might last just a bit longer than those few seconds of a scrolled feed and to curate a space where I could delve deeper into my interests and share insights about things that interested me. I purchased my domain and set things up on WordPress. Blog-writing was slow-going and my posts were far and few between – not helped by me heading into the third trimester with baby No. 2 and still trying to show up for my 9-5 every day. But I stuck at it.

Fast forward to June this year, after the safe arrival of bub, and the haze of newborn life beginning to lift, I managed to increase the time I could dedicate to my whatveewore world (including getting into a steady rhythm of writing blog posts). And here I am today, with the amazing support of over 10k Instagram followers and a climbing hit rate on my blog.

The why is a bit harder.

Hitting the 10k milestone has given me the perfect opportunity to delve deeper into my motivations. It’s also allowed me to refocus – to work even harder to make a meaningful contribution to day to day life of the extraordinary community of working women and mums that I have met so far on this unique journey.

I feel I have a capacity to bring my enduring passion for style out from the background of my life and show how just a little boost in your fashion confidence can supercharge the day. Feeling great in what you wear should be accessible to everyone.

It’d be fair to say that many of my spare moments now (and there are precious few!) are spent drafting and editing captions, writing blog posts and responding to comments. Many nights the light burns into the early hours of the morning as I finish off a blog post on my laptop in bed and respond to comments.

It may take up a sizeable chunk of my time (and quite a bit of my husband’s too as he takes all my photos!), but it has been an amazing, rewarding, enriching ride so far.

A massive Thank You

As I mentioned above, I’ve recently reached 10k over on my Instagram and I am so chuffed! Thank you to every single one of you who has ever hit the like button, taken the time to comment on anything I have published, and encouraged my passion for sharing my workwear looks since last year.

And now to the future…

I have learned and experienced so much through this journey and it makes me so excited and hopeful for what the future holds for whatveewore.  While every image I have shared, caption I have authored, comment I have replied to and blog post I have published has been a page in the story of my own personal development, I hope it has also been – and will continue to be – a compilation of inspiration for you.

Of course, personal style is ever evolving and developing – both mine and yours. But I hope that as we venture forward together, we will continue to shape whatveewore as a place that gives a boost to every woman’s fashion confidence.

I love fashion, sharing my looks, taking inspiration and connecting with all of you. Even though whatveewore is technically a ‘side hustle’, it is a true passion project and wholly satisfying.

Thanks for coming on the ride with me so far!

Giveaway!

To celebrate reaching 10k on Instagram (and to help add a bit of functional luxe to your office desk) one lucky winner will receive a $100 thedailyedited voucher and a 2020 MiGoals Goal Digger Diary.  A lucky runner up will receive a $50 thedailyedited voucher.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

GIVEAWAY! To celebrate recently reaching 10k followers (and to help add a bit of functional luxe to your office desk), I’m giving away: $100 voucher to spend at the @thedailyedited and a 2020 Goal Digger Planner from @migoals • A runner up will receive a $50 voucher to spend at @thedailyedited To enter, simply: 1. Like this photo 2. Be following me – @whatveewore 3. Tag 3 (real) friends in the comments who would love to add a bit of luxe to their desks! . For an additional entry, comment on my latest blog post and let me know how you would spend your tde voucher! The giveaway is open internationally until Friday 18 October 2019, 8:00pm AEDT. The winner will be announced on my IG stories, this giveaway post and private messaged. All values are in AUD. Good luck to those of you entering!✨

A post shared by Workwear & Corporate Style (@whatveewore) on

To enter:

  • Like my giveaway post on Instagram
  • Be following me on Instagram
  • Tag 3 friends (in the comments) who would love to zhuzh their desks too

For an additional entry, comment on this blog post and let me know what you would do with your tde voucher.

The giveaway is open until Friday 18 October 2019, 8:00pm AEDT. The winner will be announced on the IG giveaway post, this blog post and private messaged.  All values are in Australian dollars. Good luck!

Shop my outfit

Dress (Karen Millen (now closed) – sold out)

Mules (Tony Bianco, here | similar here, here and here)

Bag (Celine, here, here and here)

Thank you to tde and MiGoals for partnering with me on my giveaway.

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Celine Mini Belt Bag Review

woman carrying celine mini belt bag

It’s no secret that I love Celine handbags.  I have 4 in my collection – the Micro Luggage, the Trio, the Cabas Tote and the Mini Belt Bag – and they are all black.  Out of all the bags in my collection, I get the most questions about my Celine Belt Bag – probably because it is currently the most featured bag on my Instagram but perhaps also because it is often overlooked by Celine’s other signature bags like the Triomphe, Luggage or the Classic Box bag. I feel like it needs no big introduction as I’ve made no secret about how much I love it.

The bag itself was introduced into the Celine family in 2014 during Phoebe Philo’s reign (…when the É was still around). It features a simple flap closure, a zipper closure underneath the flap and top handle. It also comes with a removable shoulder strap which can be worn cross-body in the smaller sizes.

I have the mini size in black grained calfskin.  It is my most used and favoured bag for work. It is hard to go past the minimal design but it is also very functional.

woman carrying celine mini belt bag for work

Sizing

Celine sizing is often confusing. The Belt Bag comes in three sizes: nano, micro and mini.  The mini, contrary to its name, is the largest size offered.

Unsurprisingly, the prices have increased over the years and current dimensions and prices are below:

Mini

28cm x 23cm x 17cm | 11” x 9” x 7”

Handle with 4” (9cm) drop
Outer zipped pocket on the back
Shoulder strap with 14” (36cm) drop
4 protective studs on base

$3,150 AUD | $2,500 USD | £1,600 GBP

Micro

24cm x 20cm x 13cm | 9” x 8” x 5”

Handle with 4” (9cm) drop
Outer zipper pocket on the back
Shoulder strap with 20” (50cm) drop that can also be worn crossbody

$2,850 AUD | $2,300 USD | £1,500 GBP

Nano

20cm x 20cm x 10cm | 8” x 8” x 4”

Handle with 3” (8cm) drop
Shoulder strap can be worn cross-body

$2,500 AUD | $1,950 USD | £1,300 GBP

Prices current as at 2 October 2019.

woman carrying celine mini belt bag

Wear and tear

The bags are all made of grained calfskin which I personally find to be very durable. The mini size features 4 metal studs that protect the base. This comes in handy as my bag typically sits on the floor next to my desk when I’m in the office. I don’t baby my bags by any means.

The interior is very spacious with a few slots to keep some of my smaller items organised, though I tend not to use these. I’m more inclined to just throw my stuff in the main compartment.

There is a top zipper under the flap closure but I don’t really use this. I just rely on the flap closure and nothing has ever fallen out. It took a few times for me to get used to the hidden metallic closure but now I find it really easy to close. I know most people just close the flap over the belt but I like to tuck it underneath.

woman carrying celine mini belt bag

Where to buy

I typically shop for Celine at David Jones, Parlour X and the Celine boutique in Westfield Sydney.

The Celine website in Australia isn’t shoppable but I’m pretty sure it is in the US, Europe and the UK.

There are some on offer on the preloved market (I like Vestiaire Collective) but you have to be quick.  I did initially look to the preloved market to get mine but found they were typically priced close to or the same as retail so I decided to get a new one as a result.

What fits inside

I filmed a short video on my IGTV taking you through what I pack in my bag for the office.  Head over to my Instagram to check that out.

As always, thanks so much for reading!

Shop my outfit

Bag (here, here and here)

Dress (Scanlan Theodore – here)

Mules (Tony Bianco, here | similar here, here and here)

Follow:

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