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Style Diaries: November 2020

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And just like that, there goes November! Sale season seemed to be bigger than ever this year, no doubt due to the unprecedented year that has hit our retailers, both small and large, hard this year. The traditional weekend of big sales seemed to go on for the entire month and while it was a tad overwhelming at times, I managed to take advantage and get the bulk of my Christmas shopping done.

On the work front, I returned to the office for the first time in eight months and it was both exciting and strange at the same time. With social distancing measures in place, the office isn’t, and won’t be, at full capacity for some time, so the usual buzz around the office (and something I subconsciously feed off) is noticeably absent. We’re still some time away from returning back to normal but I’m glad we’re slowly taking steps in the right direction.

My monthly round-ups are a way for me to share my style posts and favourites that I’ve enjoyed for the month. This month, I shared several reviews of wardrobe favourites (including these boots and this coat), shared my comprehensive Gift Guides for the festive season and reflected on navigating a shifting office dress code, given my recent return to office work.

I hope you’re all staying well and positive as we head quickly towards the end of the year!

Style favourites

Style posts

Designer bag regrets: It’s confession time and I share with you the designer bags I’ve sold and why (and the key lessons learnt!)

Wardrobe favourites on sale: Rather than share the blanket discounts going on at the moment, here’s a curated edit of the pieces I’ve enjoyed wearing for some time that you can nab at a significant discount!

The best of Karen Millen’s workwear: Looking to up your workwear game? I always turn to Karen Millen and here’s my edit of the pieces you need to take your workwear to the next level.

Five ways to navigate a shifting dress code: With my recent return to the office, here are my outfit selection strategies to help you navigate a shifting office dress code.

My in-depth review of the Everlane Western Boots: I managed to nab these in a lush Light Tan Suede. I share my thoughts after roadtesting these boots which, by the way, are a fantastic dupe for Isabel Marant’s cult favourite Dicker Boots!

A review of this statement coloured coat (made of recycled wool by the way!) and the ways I’ve enjoyed styling it.

Lifestyle posts

My Comprehensive Festive Gift Guide for 2020: I’ve got ideas covered for him, for her and for the kids!

In between monthly diaries you can check out my featured looks here on Instagram and you can shop my wardrobe here.

As always, thanks for your support.

P.S. Check out the style diaries for September and October.


Three Things I’ve Recently Purged From my Wardrobe

recent wardrobe purge blog post featuring the curated tailored coat

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Items that were received as PR product are marked with an asterisk * 
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I don’t know about you, but I feel like every other day, over the last couple of months, I’ve found myself rummaging through my wardrobe, folding, cleaning and clearing things out.  If you read my prior post about the approach that I take when clearing out my wardrobe, you’ll know that I’m quite considered when I go about it. I actually find the process quite therapeutic, and I can identify a few reasons why this new habit of mine has developed.  

Everlane knit dress* (sz XS), The Curated coat* (sz XS), Sandler pumps*, Celine bag, Ray Ban sunglasses

First, and I’m sure a lot of you can relate here, the majority of my time has been spent at home.  Second, given the increased time at home to embrace hermit life and faff about, I’ve been spring cleaning (regardless of the season) and getting rid of things that have been sitting idle at home, and selling or donating where appropriate.  And finally, a change in season always signals a wardrobe tidy, and a wardrobe clean out always feels relevant with a shift in the weather.  

So here are the things that I’ve parted ways with recently: 

Costume jewellery

I’ve always had a weakness for costume jewellery, particularly statement earrings and necklaces that I enjoy wearing on special occasions (and hasn’t it been a while since we’ve had one of those!).  While the pieces are technically not that expensive, I find a lot of the costume jewellery that I’ve worn has sadly been single-use only.  Obviously they’re not the best quality and tarnish (and turn green) after a couple of wears. Because of this, I don’t typically reach for them for a second time, which isn’t so great on the waste front.

rellery jewellery in blog post about recent items in wardrobe purge

Rellery Bar Bracelet*, Rellery Huggie Earrings*

These days, I’ve been enjoying wearing gold vermeil pieces (silver jewellery that has been heavily plated in gold) and they’ve been adding a bit of luxe to my everyday.  In fact, I wear these pieces for days on end (and don’t take them off in the shower or when I’m sleeping) because they’re great quality. The pieces that I’m featuring in this post are these sweet (and whimsical!) huggie earrings and bar bracelet (with my initials engraved) from Rellery, who have kindly partnered with me for this post. Rellery specialises in personalised pieces made only with precious metals (no nickel or brass) with a focus on ethical practices.

Distressed Skinny Jeans

I’ve bid farewell to several pairs of ripped and distressed skinny jeans that I don’t reach for anymore.  These days, perhaps due to my age, I tend to lean towards more clean and minimal cuts as I find they make less of a statement… and perhaps I’m turning into a fuddy duddy?! While I still enjoy the skinny jean silhouette (with a more cleaner finish, obvs!), I’ve branched out in recent times to wearing straight cuts and wider-leg styles. 

Old worn-out tees

I had a habit of acquiring lots of tees and saving them for… well, I’m not sure really!  For years, I accumulated a stash of tees that I saved for nostalgic purposes – you know, band tees or tourist tees that hold sentimental value but have become a bit dingy and ratty over the years as I’ve worn them to lounge around the house. It was a walk down memory lane to go through that particular drawer but I’m glad to be rid of the clutter and make space for pieces that I actually wear. 

As always, thanks for stopping by! And thanks to Rellery for supporting this post.

P.S. The designer bags I’ve sold and why and my festive gift guide for 2020.


Five Ways to Navigate a Shifting Dress Code

asian woman in reiss lara dress in blog post about shifting dress codes following covid lockdown restrictions lifting

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Items that were received as PR product are marked with an asterisk * 
Read the disclaimer about affiliate links & PR products here

I’ve only started working out of the office again since last week.  And while I’m easing myself back in with some half days here and there – boy, am I out of practice!  While I am looking forward to getting back into the rhythm of things, the idea of being back in the office is still daunting.  Aside from getting accustomed to the social distancing measures in place in and around the office and navigating public transport, I’ve also found it challenging getting my head around the shifting dress codes which have noticeably relaxed given this extended period of remote working. 

If you’re returning to the office after an extended period of working from home, you may be struggling to navigate shifting wardrobe norms.  Do I still need to follow the old dress code?  Everyone’s so much more casual these days – will I look odd if I show up in my usual corporate dress?  How do I strike a balance? 

There’s enough for us all to worry about right now.  And your outfit is one area where you shouldn’t have to feel overwhelmed.  So here are five ways to make outfit-selection easier as you adapt to office life post-lockdown:

#1 – Dress down a formal suit with jeans and a tee

If you don’t know how formal to go, opt for something right in the middle.  A blazer always gives off suit vibes but you can add casual pieces like a tee and jeans to not feel or look too stuffy. 

Sarah Lloyd jacket* (size 8), Arket tee (size S), Nobody Denim jeans, Gucci belt (review here), Celine bag (review here, affordable dupe here), Dior heels, Ray Ban sunglasses

#2 – Balance an tailored piece with a knit 

Go for a “power-casual” office look by pairing something polished with something relaxed.  It’s like WFH, but without the slippers 😉

Everlane knit* (size XS), The Frankie Shop trousers (size S), Celine bag (review here), Dior slingbacks, Ray Ban sunglasses

#3 – Dress down a dress

Relaxed an otherwise power dress with some flats or sandals – also, great for your feet if you’re transitioning from “traditional” WFH footwear (*cough* slippers *cough*) to actual shoes again!

Reiss dress (review here) (size S), Gucci belt (review here), Celine bag (review here, affordable dupe here), Everlane flats* (review here), Ray Ban sunglasses

#4 – Simplify your colour palette 

woman in light neutral outfit in blog post about shifting dress codes in the office

Make things easier for yourself by keeping your colours simple.  Neutrals tones and monochrome outfits make the decision making process less overwhelming.

The Curated coat* (review here) (size XS), Reiss knit (size S), Everlane jeans* (review here), Gucci belt (review here), Everlane flats* (review here), Celine bag (review here), Ray Ban sunglasses

#5 – Style your outfit around your favourite top

A silk blouse has been one of my WFH go-tos.  It’s the perfect balance of put-together and femininity with how it softly drapes when worn. Work from the one piece and dress for your day.   

Everlane silk shirt* (review here), Scanlan Theodore skirt (sold out, similar here), Celine bag (review here), Dior slingbacks, Ray Ban sunglasses

Are you back in the office or transitioning back to office life soon? Have your office dress codes relaxed? I’d love to know! As always, thanks again for your stopping by.

P.S. The pieces to take your workwear to the next level and designer bag regrets (I fess us up about my bag mistakes… and share the key lessons learnt).


Wardrobe Staples Currently on Sale

This blog post & shop widgets use affiliate links.  
Items that were received as PR product are marked with an asterisk * 
Read the disclaimer about affiliate links & PR products here

We’ve hit sale season and this year seems to be bigger than ever. It can get a bit overwhelming with all the promotions happening all at once so instead of sharing with you all of the blanket discounts going on at the moment, I thought I’d share with you my wardrobe favourites (that I’ve enjoyed wearing for some time), that are now on sale. If you follow me over on Instagram, you’ll have seen me style these pieces in numerous looks and be reassured by the fact that they’re tried and tested by yours truly!

Everlane 40 Hour ReKnit Flats

(wearing size 6.5 – see my comprehensive review here)

60% off at Everlane

Everlane flats* styled with Uniqlo trench (sold out, similar here, here, and here), Everlane knit, Everlane jeans*, Gucci belt, Celine bag, RayBan sunglasses

Karen Millen Forever Dress

For reference, I’m in a size 8. I’ve also got a dedicated post of my picks from the Karen Millen sale here.

40% off at Karen Millen

Karen Millen dress (size 8), Dior slingbacks, Celine bag (review here), Ray Ban sunglasses

The Frankie Shop Bea Trousers in Latte

(wearing size small)

30% off at My Theresa | 20% off at Selfridges

The Frankie Shop trousers, Everlane knit*, Dior slingbacks, Celine bag (review here), Ray Ban sunglasses

Nobody Denim Skinny Jeans

(wearing size 27)

30% off at The Iconic

Nobody Denim jeans* (international link here), Everlane Western boots* styled with Jac & Jack tee (sold out, other colours here), Marks & Spencer Trench Coat*, Gucci belt (review here), Celine bag (review here, affordable dupe here), Ray Ban sunglasses, Linjer Earrings*

Nobody Denim Wide Leg Jeans

(wearing size 27)

30% off at The Iconic

Nobody Denim jeans*, Arket tee, Gucci belt (review here), Celine bag (review here, affordable dupe here), Ray Ban sunglasses, Linjer Earrings*

Reiss Lara Dress

(wearing size small – see my comprehensive review here)

30% off at Reiss

Reiss knit, Celine bag (review here)

Everlane Overcoat

(wearing size 0 – see my review here)

30% off at Everlane

Everlane coat*, Nobody Denim jeans, Wittner boots, Acne Studios scarf, Celine bag (review here), Ray Ban sunglasses

Everlane Suede Boots

(wearing size 6.5 – see my comprehensive review here)

40% off at Everlane

Everlane boots*, Everlane knit*, Everlane jeans* (review here), Celine bag (review here, affordable dupe here), Ray Ban sunglasses

Reiss Asymmetric Knit Top

(wearing size small)

30% off at Reiss

Reiss knit, Everlane shorts* (currently 40% off), Gucci belt (review here), Dior slingbacks (preloved here) and Celine bag (review here)

The Frankie Shop Erika Sage Dress

(wearing size small)

30% off at My Theresa | 30% off at Net-A-Porter

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

The Frankie Shop Bea Trousers in Chocolate

(wearing size small)

30% off at My Theresa

Frankie Shop trousers, The Curated Coat*, Arket tee, Gucci belt (review here), Atmos & Here sandals (similar here and here), Celine bag (review here), Ray Ban sunglasses

As always, thanks for stopping by!


Designer Bags I’ve Sold and Why – Key Lessons Learnt

photo of asian woman wearing celine trio bag and white jeans in blog post about designer bag regrets

This blog post & shop widgets use affiliate links.  
Items that were received as PR product are marked with an asterisk * 
Read the disclaimer about affiliate links & PR products here

I’ve bought and sold my fair share of designer handbags over the years.  In most cases, I settled for prices much lower than what I paid and there were only a handful of situations where I was lucky enough to break even, or come close to it.   (I’ve yet to experience a windfall or an ‘investment’ in the true sense of the word!)  In recent times, the turnover of buying and selling has significantly slowed down and I put it down to the fact that kids are now in the picture, but also –  I’m pretty content with my collection – and it has taken me years to get to this point!  

Celine bag (review here), Dior slingbacks (preloved here), Everlane knit*, Everlane trousers*, Ray Ban sunglasses

Bag buying is a costly exercise, especially if you’re prone to changing your mind or you’re easily swayed by trends.  Throughout the buying and selling process, I’ve gained insight into what my bag style is and what I truly value.  

#1 – Buy for your actual life, not your fantasy life

While this might be stating the obvious, this particular point took me a long time to accept! I’ve bought so many bags that I dreamed of wearing, but the problem was that I didn’t have a particular lifestyle or style aesthetic to pull these off.  In the same vein, I previously loved the idea of having a big collection, but my actual life didn’t, and still doesn’t, accommodate this. 

Bags that I bought for my ‘fantasy life’ included numerous designer clutches by Prada and Miu Miu in my 20s.  At the time, I thought I was getting bang for buck given I was getting a designer ‘bag’ at a lower price.  ‘Small designer bag’ – who was I kidding?! 🤣 Considering the obvious limited capacity of a clutch, and the fact that in my actual life, I like to carry things with me (not just a lipstick and one credit card!), clutches just weren’t practical.  I even found that on occasions where clutches were warranted, such as weddings or date nights, I’d go to pack a clutch but more often than not, would opt for a handbag in the end because I’d want to carry more with me.  

In recent times, I made the difficult decision to let go of my Celine Luggage Tote (and I talk through my decision making process here). In short, I came to the realisation that while I’d love to have a large bag collection at my disposal, it ultimately doesn’t align with my lifestyle to have handbags sitting idle at home.

#2 – You shouldn’t be working around your bag, it should be working for you

Other costly lessons learnt include making concessions for bags that weren’t perfect for me, but settling for them anyway.  A bag that has an uncomfortable strap, or a fiddly closure, or some sort of design feature that doesn’t work for you – should signal a big red flag.  And if it’s something that you’re not quite happy with, chances are, you probably won’t reach for it.  So save your pennies for a bag that you don’t have to work around, but one that works for your lifestyle and how you like to wear it. 

photo of woman wearing celine trio handbag in blog post about designer bag regrets

Celine bag (review here), Dior slingbacks (preloved here), Everlane knit*, Everlane trousers*, Ray Ban sunglasses

#3 – Buy bags that you’ll actually use, and not just what looks pretty

I’ve always loved the look of colourful and statement bags, and admire them when worn by others.  I’ve owned my fair few statement coloured handbags in the past, hoping to achieve the same sartorial edge of those I admired.  I found that when I’d reach for them, I’d end up swapping them out for a more neutral toned bag, or just one of my black handbags.  So after a few expensive lessons over the years, I’ve come to realise that colourful bags don’t work for my style aesthetic. 

That probably explains why I have so many black bags in my collection! 

#4 – Cost per wear should be part of the equation 

I always find it amusing that often the lower priced items are the ones that I wear the most.  This rings especially true with clothing but also extends to my handbags.  My Celine Trio Bag is one of the cheaper bags in my collection and because of my lifestyle, is my most frequently used bag.  

That said, my Chanel Classic Flap which costs more than my entire Celine collection put together doesn’t get used as often as I’d like! While it is a classic bag, and I won’t ever consider parting ways with it, I do think that just the one Chanel bag is enough to last me a lifetime.  Sometimes, it’s impossible to know how often you’ll use something until you’ve got it.  

If you have any bag-buying lessons, please share them below! As always, thanks for stopping by.

P.S. The questions I ask myself before parting ways with a bag and my guide to buying pre-loved designer bags (and how to avoid getting scammed!)


The Karen Millen Pieces You Need to Take Your Workwear to the Next Level

karen millen sale featuring forever dress in black and celine belt bag

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Read the disclaimer about affiliate links & PR products here

We’re slowly transitioning to post-Covid life here in Sydney.  Offices are starting to open again as workers opt to mix a few days in the office with their work from home routine.  It’s still slow-going and social distancing measures remain in place but it’s a step in the right direction back to a normal existence.  

The traditional Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales that used to be confined to the one weekend have taken on a whole new meaning this year with the majority of retailers going live with their sales earlier this month.  The sales (and accompanying marketing emails) can be a bit overwhelming, but if you’re navigating them carefully, it’s an opportune time to pick up some classic pieces at a significant discount.  

karen millen forever dress in black

Karen Millen dress (size 8), Dior slingbacks, Celine bag (review here), Ray Ban sunglasses

In today’s post, I’m sharing with you my top picks from Karen Millen, who quite frankly, have a treasure trove when it comes to all things workwear – particularly if you work in a conservative office environment like I do.  And given how expensive workwear can be, particularly when it comes to clean, tailored pieces, a Karen Millen sale is a bit of a no brainer.  

I’d place Karen Millen and the upper end of the high street.  Her dresses carry price tags in the hundreds so a discount is always noticeable on the hip pocket.  

So let’s get into it! 

#1 – The Quintessential Power Dress

Her signature ‘Forever Dress‘ is a sell-out for a reason. The silhouette it creates is amazingly flattering and it’s a huge confidence booster. (FYI – it comes with the belt!) For reference, I take a size 8 and it’s very fitted on me. It also comes in this lush camel colour. In terms of sizing, which is the most common question I field in my DMs, I would say that the sizing comes up a tad small. Though it’s worthwhile me pointing out that the newer versions of this dress now have some stretch in the fabric.

#2 – The Day-To-Night Dress

The ivory cap-sleeve version of the signature Forever style features the same notched collar and flattering silhouette. It also comes in this sophisticated berry red tone. The cap sleeves make this dress more versatile straddling both workwear and occasion wear with its clean lines.

#3 – The Everyday Pencil Skirt

Nothing screams workwear more than a well-cut pencil skirt. The black version on the left features the same belt on the Forever dresses featured above and this stunning navy option also comes with a matching belt too.

#4 – Tailored Jumpsuits

Jumpsuits are one of those trends that I never thought I could personally pull off. Recently, that all changed and I think the mental shift happened because of the tailored styles that have since emerged. This grey check jumpsuit and rust jumpsuit are the perfect desk-to-drinks numbers and ideal for the upcoming silly season.

#5 – The Sophisticated Utility Dress

These utility inspired dresses are both classic and timeless. The camel toned sleeveless dress adds a touch of luxe with the black piping detail and the buttons on the ivory dress offer subtle modern touches to an otherwise traditional design.

#6 – The Tux Dress

Strong yet feminine, these tux dresses have a place in every woman’s wardrobe. This cream version and grey version are both in classic colours featuring a flattering silhouette, wrap-over neckline and handy side pockets.

#7 – The Polished Wrap Dress

This dress ticks both the function and style boxes. A beautifully tailored dress that can be styled to the office or for an occasion – the hardest part is deciding between the warm camel tone or the navy version!

#8 – The Notched Collar Blazer

Modern tweaks on the traditional jacket with a notched stand up collar. The single-breasted style in traditional hues of navy and cream mean they’ll integrate easily into your existing workwear wardrobe.

#9 – The Wrap Blazer

Personally, this is my favourite style of jacket out of all the ones I’ve featured in this edit. The wrap style is effortlessly elegant and the tapered waist is incredibly flattering. It comes in easy-to-match navy and charcoal tones.

#10 – Double-Breasted Jacket

These double breasted jackets both featured structured shoulders but tapered waists for a more feminine fit. Personally, I love the versatility of double-breasted jackets in that they can be worn open, belted, or buttoned up as tops. My top picks are this clean utility style in cream and this chic navy version in 100% linen.


P.S. A shopping hack to score new season Reiss at between 30-40% off and my Style Diaries for October 2020.


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