Favourites Unearthed

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It’s been a while between Favourites Unearthed posts. They are a way for me to share new things I have discovered or favourite products, and ask about your favourites in return. This month features a mixture of bits and bobs – hopefully you see something that will become a favourite for you, too!

Pure Fiji Perfecting Lotion*

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I was sent a sample size of this Pure Fiji Perfecting Lotion a few weeks ago. I have been using their Facial Solutions range for the past few months, and it’s no secret that I love it. This lotion is really something else! It is so smooth, and my dry skin soaks it up. It’s perfect for use from your mid-20’s, and promotes skin cell renewal. I noticed that my skin looked smoother, and despite being unwell lately, it’s fooling people and looking quite radiant. There will definitely be a purchase of a full size bottle in my future!

Kikki K Aland Shoulder Bag

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My work bag’s zipper broke this week. It may have been because it is report writing time and it was stuffed to the brim with assessments, but it broke all the same. If this isn’t an excuse for legitimate bag shopping, I don’t know what is! I have been coveting this bag for a long time, but I think at the moment it is still in the ‘dream’ category. Perhaps it could feature on my Christmas list (cough, cough Mr Style Unearthed). This bag would certainly be big enough for a laptop, iPad and a notepad or two. It looks buttery soft, and I love the beautiful tan colour. It’s definitely fresh for Summer!

Country Style Magazine

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This is a beautiful little piece of escapism. I have been reading this magazine for a while, and love the inspiration in it’s pages. The details are well thought out, and the pictures are just gorgeous to look at. Our home is still a major style work-in-progress. I have lots of plans in my head, and these magazines have been a big inspiration. Perfect if you want to treat yourself to a little bit of ‘me’ time.

Sister In Style

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Sister In Style is a website set up by super Mum Fiona, to help women accessorise and feel great. In addition to selling stylish necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets for every occasion, Sister In Style has a handy style guide for accessorising with necklaces. By following the easy instructions (with pictures!) you will be able to match your outfits and necklaces, and leave the house looking great every day. By signing up to receive the cheat sheet, you will also become a VIP Sister In Style and qualify for a special discount. Happy shopping!

What are your current favourite things? Any new products I need to know about?

* This product was sent to me for editorial consideration

How to Stay Cool in Summer

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It’s going to be hot in Sydney today – 39 degrees, and windy. It sent me scrambling to my wardrobe this morning looking for my lightest dress and most comfortable outfit for the heat. I thought now would be a good time to share some tips to help you know how to stay cool in Summer, but still look your best.

Clothes

In the really warm weather I favour a light dress made of natural fabric, like cotton. It breathes well, and keeps me cool. The dress above is from Peter Morrisey’s Woman collection at Big W. I have had it for a few years now, and it’s always my go-to outfit on a really warm day. Light shorts and a singlet top are also Summer staples, and perfect on a breezy day. Again, try and purchase clothes in natural fabrics as they will allow your skin to breath and won’t make you as hot.

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Accessories

Accessories can add a lot of interest to a plain outfit. I normally wear the dress without a belt, but thought I would try one and define my waist a little. I chose to add a tan belt for a summery vibe, but I think this dress would also look cute with red shoes and a matching belt. I switched my black handbag for a lighter tan one, as I didn’t want to be lugging a heavy hold-all in the heat. Sandals are also a must have on a hot day – the last thing you want to be wearing outside are enclosed shoes. I think I will be putting some tan sandals on my Christmas list, and they would definitely complete the outfit. If you can’t avoid wearing closed in shoes for work, try to give each pair a rest day in between wear to let them dry out and air. A light, colourful necklace or some studded earrings would also add to the outfit. Don’t forget a Summer hat – either a cute fedora or sun safe wide brimmed hat would be good choices.

Hair

I am normally a very low maintenance hair person as it is, so a hot day is no exception! I don’t like hair on the back of my neck when it’s warm, so a pony tail is the most logical choice. Twisting the hair on one side into the pony, adding a plait or braid, or sliding in a pretty clip will make a regular pony tail a little less boring. If your hair is long enough you could try a bun – sock buns are still everywhere at the moment, and messy buns are made to be beach ready.

Makeup

The last thing you feel like in the heat is having to wear a full face of makeup. During Summer, I prefer to stick with a light day cream, my BB cream for a bit of colour and cover up, some mascara and some lip gloss. This way I still feel as though I look presentable, but without make up sliding down my face. A bright polish on your fingers and toes can bring some colour to your look, and you have the confidence of knowing it won’t go anywhere. It’s always good to remember a sun screen in SPF 30+ to ensure your skin is safe. I make sure my BB cream has sun protection in it also, but always try to have proper sun screen on hand.

Other Summer Tips

* Make sure you drink plenty of water to rehydrate, especially if you are spending time outdoors.

* Seek out shade, and if that’s not possible make sure you are wearing sun screen and sun smart clothing.

* Try making a cool Summer salad, or snack on fruit straight from the fridge. Of course, nothing beats the heat like an ice cream or sorbet!

Accessories Unearthed – Superb Scarves

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1. Scarf Arts (etsy) 2. Hermes Silk Twill 3. Witchery Painted Stripe Scarf

4. Oroton Signature Scarf 5. Sussan Garden Floral Scarf  6. Mimco Mayhem Scarf

When I was a little girl, I used to dress up in my Grandma’s clothes and parade down the middle of the lounge room floor to the strains of ‘I’m Too Sexy’ (child of the 90’s, over here!). One thing I never failed to add to my outfit was a scarf. Grandma had a wide variety, and used to love dressing up an outfit with one from her collection. I inherited some of her silk and satin scarves when she passed away, and I love accessorising with them. It makes me feel close to her, and reminds me of the fun we had dressing up.

It’s no secret that scarves are my favourite accessory. The overnight bag and small box that live in my wardrobe attest to that! The main buzz word I’ve been using on my blog is versatile. Perhaps this is why I like scarves so much – they come in a huge range of colours, designs and styles, that you can tie in 1001 different ways. I love the way that adding a scarf to an outfit makes me feel put together, and brings a pop of colour to a plain look.

The scarves in the mood board above are from a variety of online stores, including etsy. With the exception of the splashes of colour in the middle, the neutral and pink colour palette appears to be calling to me today. My birthday is coming up next month, and I think I will have to purchase the Scarf Art offering from etsy (top left) – it’s beautiful!

One of the biggest questions surrounding scarves is – how do you tie it? Hermes (top middle scarf) are possibly the most famous scarf designers in the world. Along with their handcrafted handbags, they create beautiful, colourful accessories. With every scarf purchase, they provide a knotting card, teaching you a variety of ways to wear your new purchase. If you’re keen to experiment with your own neck wear you can find some knotting card examples here. The scarves can be worn at the neck, on the head, and even as a top. The possibilities are endless!

You don’t have to have a silk scarf to tie it in different ways. The scarf masters at scarves.net have designed a quick scarf tying reference guide, teaching you 40 new ways to display your favourite accessory.

How to tie a scarf

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Are you ready to accept a challenge? I am going to try and perfect one new scarf tie per week, to further change up my look and avoid getting stuck in a rut. I love the look of the bow – very Joan from Mad Men!  Which scarf tie will you try first? Keep an eye on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date with Style Unearthed’s photos. If you decide to take up the challenge, hashtag your photo with #StyleUnearthedScarf so they can be found. Happy knotting!

Do you own many scarves? What are your favourite ways to wear them? Will you take me up on my challenge?

Work Horse Work Wear

Do you work in a corporate environment? Do you have a more laid back work place? Do you live in fear that your trousers will get covered in paint, like me, or do you get to work from home and force yourself out of pyjamas?

While planning my future career at high school and university, I decided that I wanted to work somewhere that would allow me to wear a suit. The crisp shirt, structured pants and skirts appealed to me. I wanted to look polished, put together, and grown up.  I went for my first full time job interview dressed in a bad suit. A bad, brown suit. It was bought in a half price sale, and the pants were long enough, therefore meeting my criteria! While the outfit didn’t make an impact, I did land the job. I haven’t worn the suit since. My first two office jobs were in smart/casual environments, sadly with no call for suits. When I retrained as a teacher, I knew that that the only suit I would likely wear would be to job interviews. I still like to dress up and look professional – a blazer here, a scarf there. Flat shoes are a must, along fabrics that can wash easily and clothes that are not too expensive. Work wear does not need to be boring, or ugly. 

I have put together some work wear looks to suit a variety of work places. They range from structured and polished, to smart casual. I chose to look for classic hues, with some pops of on-trend colours. I like clothes that can be adapted for the weekend, too. A versatile wardrobe is a must!

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The first is a classic, crisp white collared shirt and a black pencil skirt. I chose a skirt with a little more personality – it has a Peter Pan collar and interesting detail on the body. I love wearing a pencil skirt, especially with heels. It makes me feel polished and just a little bit like Joan from Mad Men. Colour comes to this outfit in the form of a silk scarf and sexy, studded bag. Black pumps complete the outfit. While they would not be suitable for playground duty, they would be at home in an office. 

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This outfit is not quite as dressy as the first, but could be worn in a variety of work places. Shades of navy and white compliment each other, and can be seen in the shoe, blazer and top. Peplums are everywhere at the moment. I have yet to experiment with them, but I liked the print on this particular top. The peplum is said to be universally flattering, so I may have to try one on. Rolling the sleeves on the blazer would show off the gorgeous rose gold Fossil watch, which is matched with the hoop style earrings. 

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A shirt dress is a great choice for casual Friday in the office, or a warm summer day in the classroom. I loved this belted style, which nips in the waist for a flattering look. I paired it with wedges, and some playful turquoise earrings. The cross body bag finishes off the look. If you require a larger bag for work, there are plenty of options in neutral tones.

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The final look is my favourite, and definitely one I could see myself wearing. Emerald green is one of my favourite colours, as it compliments my skin tone and eyes. I liked the cross over detail of this top – it definitely makes it more interesting. Paired with timeless black pants, and comfortable shoes, it is definitely an outfit for someone on the go. The black tuxedo jacket would help it transition to the cooler weather, and the chunky black bangle is a simple accessory that adds a bit of attitude. I loved the shades of green featured in the clutch.

While planning my wardrobe re-design I am keeping in mind work wear, and enjoyed gaining a little inspiration. My shopping spree is fast approaching, and I am looking forward to sharing my purchases with you!

What do you wear to work? Do you have looks or brands that you favour? Does your office have a dress code?

Your Style Uniform

Do you have a style uniform? A style uniform would be defined as an outfit made from signature pieces that you wear to death – your go-to, safe items that never fail to make you feel great. How can you shake your uniform up a little bit, and update your look, while still staying within your comfort zone? For me, this uniform consists of jeans, a blazer and ballet flats. Comfortable, smart casual, and safe. I have never been a risky dresser, so these items have always suited me down to the ground.

Having a play on Polyvore this evening, I created this look.

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I was going out on the weekend, something similar to this is what I would choose to wear. Dark denim skinny jeans, a black blazer, black ballet flats, and a top with some colour. Simple, unassuming, and very me (especially pre-wardrobe re-design!). Very safe. Possibly boring, depending upon semantics. 

I decided to experiment with the outfit, still using a pair of dark skinny jeans and a black blazer, although finding on with a cut that is a little more playful. The top remained the same, and I added blue accessories to tie the look together. Marc by Marc Jacobs bags are an item I have lusted after for a long time. While I don’t own one, I will one day! I loved the pop of colour the bag brought to the outfit. Patent blue ballet flats with black trim, a belt with gold hardware to match the bag, and a gorgeous silk scarf completed the look. The varying shades of blue complimented each other, and pulled the pieces together.

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This look could be styled further with gold jewellery (to match the hardware on the bag and belt) – a cocktail ring, pair of statement earrings, or a chunky watch. I am a pretty conservative dresser, and prefer to heed Coco Chanel’s advice – take something off before you leave the house – so most of the jewellery would probably be omitted if I was to really dress in this outfit. 

By creating little mood boards on Polyvore, you can find items like the ones in your wardrobe and see what they look like when styled with different tops, shoes and accessories. I have found a variety of these on Pinterest, and intend to base my shopping list on the outfits I like. This will ensure that the pieces I buy work together, and I end up with a cohesive wardrobe rather than the mish-mash I am currently working towards relegating. Check out my Pinterest page to see my inspiration!

Do you have a style uniform? What does it look like? How do you mix it up a bit?

 

My Unearthed Style, One Outfit at a Time

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Esme Split Back Shirt (Forever New) – Jersey Stripe Maxi Skirt (Forever New) – White T-shirt (Big W) – Leaf Brooch (Elk) – Ballet Flats (Target) – Ring (Swarovski)

On Saturday, I shared two new outfits that I was given as my Mother’s Day present. Both are different from my usual ‘style’, and are very welcome additions to my wardrobe. When starting my wardrobe re-design, my aim was to try on things I would normally shy away from.  

I wore this outfit to a casual lunch. It was comfortable, and I felt great (despite a respiratory infection – the second half of this year is going to score an A+ in the health stakes, I’m sure!). One of the beauties of this outfit is that it can be styled in multiple ways, just by changing shoes and accessories. I debated whether to wear boots, but took advantage of the warmer weather and added ballet flats to inject a burst of bright colour. The cute wooden leaf brooch from Elk continued the red theme in a subtle way on the top half of the outfit.

One of the things I love about this outfit is that it is very versatile, a trait that I want for the clothes I now choose to add to my wardrobe. The sleeves on the shirt can be worn rolled up, or down. The shirt itself can be worn open or closed. Adding colour to the outfit with accessories can change the outfit easily, and as cheaply as you want to. Long necklaces, chunky rings, a pair of statement earrings or an interesting brooch will inject more of your personality into the look. I am looking forward to playing around with accessories like scarves and jewellery, to see just where I can take this outfit. 

How do you accessorise your outfits? Do you have favourites that come out to play? What would you add to this outfit to make it your own?

Wardrobe Revamp 101

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Wouldn’t this be nice? 

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Since my clothing clean out, I have been mentally planning my new wardrobe. Reading magazines, cruising Pinterest and virtual window shopping on my favourite stores’ websites have all given me inspiration. Truth be told I am a little overwhelmed. I’m saving money, selling clothes that don’t fit anymore, and hoping to win Lotto (without a ticket, I might add). I am one to normally get a little apprehensive when making a big purchase, so it is to be expected that I am procrastinating over this one, especially as it will be out there for everyone to see.

I’ve been trawling through ‘wardrobe essential’ lists again, but keep coming back to one person’s advice – one Mr Tim Gunn. I’ve loved Tim ever since he appeared on Project Runway. He was always a fair and measured mentor, and looked well put together himself. Based on his list, I will share the wardrobe essentials I will be investing in, and over the next few weeks I’m sure you will see me pinning my favourite pieces like a mad woman over here. Here are the 10 items that every woman should buy, according to Tim Gunn.

1. The Little Black Dress (LBD).

I have a few LBD’s – one for dressing up, one for dressing down, and one for Winter. I do like them and have fun styling them with colourful accessories. The Winter dress is my favourite – colourful scarves, cardigans and my favourite pair of knee high black boots make an outfit I feel both comfortable and well put together in. 

2. The Trench Coat.

While I love the classic Burberry trench, my bank balance does not. I found a bargain trench at Rivers of all places a few years ago. It has the added advantage of not making me look like Inspector Gadget, as well as keeping me warm on playground duty and while playing the role of soccer wife. This jacket ticks the box of my new rule – it is actually a really nice piece, and from somewhere I don’t normally shop. 

3. Classic Dress Pants.

This is something I will need to work on. As previously mentioned, I am on the taller side of people who like to buy pants (everyone!). More often than not, they don’t fit. I have decided that instead of dragging myself around 100 different shops and getting annoyed because nothing fits, I will bite the bullet and order from Long Tall Sally. I am nervous about buying something like pants online, but I will make sure I measure myself very carefully and get the closest fit. Tim believes that the pants should fall from the widest part of your hip, and are best in black, charcoal, navy or chocolate.

4. The Versatile Skirt.

My most versatile skirt in my current wardrobe is a black pencil skirt. I love it, and it fits like a glove. It can be styled in various ways, and I always feel great when I wear it. I would like to find a skirt with some personality, possibly with a pattern.

5. The Fitted Blazer.

This is on my must-buy list. I’ve found one I loved that I spoke about previously. I’ve decided that I will purchase it in black, so it can be worn with a variety of things. I love seeing blazers paired with jeans, skirts and worn over dresses. It is definitely a versatile piece of clothing, and I have a feeling mine will become a wardrobe work horse. 

6. Classic White Shirt.

I always see the classic white collared shirt on wardrobe ‘must have’ lists, and I must admit that I remain a little dubious. I just don’t know if it is for me – it always seems grown up. I suppose at almost 30 I should bite the bullet and give it a try. They do look great with jeans and a blazer for the weekend, and pairing the look with a colourful scarf certainly adds personality. 

7. The Day Dress.

Tim recommends a classic wrap dress, as favoured by Diane Von Furstenberg, a shift dress, or a shirt dress. I love all three. They are comfortable, feminine, and when they fit well will make you feel great. My favourite shirt dress is now too big, so I will definitely be on the lookout for another come Spring time.

8. Cashmere Sweater.

While I don’t think my budget will run to cashmere, the cuts of the sweater are important. Tim recommends a cardigan, v-neck or turtlenecks. I will be favouring camel, black or jewel tones for Winter. 

9. Perfect Fit Jeans.

This is a woman’s life-long quest, don’t you think? Tim suggests trying a dark wash as that is the most flattering, and making sure they fit your hips, not your waist. There are so many styles of jeans out there – my novice advice would be to try on lots of pairs and see what suits you. 

10. The Alternative to the Sweat Suit.

Apparently, it isn’t fashionable to wear a track suit (even to the gym!). Tim Gunn recommends finding a comfortable outfit as an alternative that you can wear when running errands in town, walking the dog, or picking the kids up from school. There are so many affordable options for fashionable exercise wear now – Michelle Bridges has just released a range for Big W, and my favourite gym outfit was bought at Cotton On Body. 

Other notable essentials include scarves, jewellery, shoes and bags.

Options are the key. Mixing statement pieces with wardrobe basics will help lift your outfit. I love pairing a silk scarf with a plain outfit, or throwing on my favourite pair of brightly coloured shoes. It makes my outfit a little more interesting, but more importantly makes me feel good.

I am looking forward to tackling the task of planning my new wardrobe. I’m drawing advice from lots of sources (it is a very good excuse to buy magazines!). Hopefully this list will help you if you are planning to re-vamp your clothes. It has certainly been an inspiration to me.

How do you plan your wardrobe or a big shopping spree? Do you favour trends or more classic pieces? Do you have a style icon?