The warmer weather brings out the best in fashion.  There is always a lot of colour, florals and a mix of neutral and minimal styles that start coming through. It’s the perfect time to have a look at your current wardrobe and give it a bit of a revamp for the coming season, with a slight update to keep up with the Spring trends. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to dress in Spring and Summer trends for your body shape.

Determining your body shape

The first step is to determine what your actual body shape is.  We all have a perceived idea of what category we think our body shape may fit into, but in reality it is not always the right type. Here’s a detailed body shape guide to help every woman establish what category they fit into so that they can determine the type of clothing that will work with their body shape:

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Now that body shape is determined, it makes it easier to look at the current trends and see what will work best for you. Don’t follow trends to a tee – always consider your shape, and whether or not the current trend will do more harm than good.

When dressing for a new season, or revamping your wardrobe, always ask yourself if it will suit your lifestyle.  This is key – it allows you to determine which style of clothing you should invest in as wardrobe staples.

Once you have determined your shape and your lifestyle requirements, here are some simple and easy to achieve tips on how to make the latest Spring trends work for you.

Trend: White on White

White on white is a great trend for the warmer months.  Not only does it look stylish, but white and neutral tones suit many women. Women with fair skin often worry that white tones may wash them out, but this is not the case.  It’s actually the off-whites and cream tones that you should be careful of. Pure white tones radiates light and brightens your complexion. It’s also a slimming colour when worn in the right fabrics.  It may not be the most practical colour, but works well with a structured piece to take from the office to a day out.

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Trend: Utility

Another key trend this season is the utility trend. Both the high fashion and high street stores have jumped on board and brands such as Marc Jacobs, Rodarte and Nicholas K have taken this trend to their runways.

A major part of the utility trend is khaki, followed by key features such as D-rings, army and military patches, deep square pockets and, of course, aviator sunglasses – all making a comeback this season. The below image showcases the utility trend to suit every woman’s shape.

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Trend: Denim

Denim is a trend that will work all year round.  This Spring in particular it can be found and styled in many variations: double denim, light denim, white denim, denim dresses and even denim overalls.

Denim works well on everyone, no matter what size or shape. Look for pieces that you feel comfortable in wearing and that works well for you.  The cut and style of skinny jeans, wide leg jeans or shorts may not work for everyone.

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Trend: Japanese influence

 There is a noticeably strong Japanese influence this Spring, with brands such as BCBG, Marni, Alexander McQueen and Aganovich showcasing a clear Japanese influence in their Spring/Summer 2015 collections.

The trend focuses on Kimono style dresses, tops, oversized sleeves, floral and digital prints as well as beautiful silks and Japanese belt ties. When styling this trend an important tip to keep in mind is that there are a lot of oversized pieces and loose fitting styles so pair with a structured pant or jacket to bring structure to the overall look.

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This season brings a variety of trends to the table, and no matter what size, shape or style there is something that everyone can look fabulous in.

All images in this article courtesy of Kash O’Hara, Founder of The Style Doctor

 

Kash-O'Hara-Leaders-in-HeelsKash O’Hara
With a long held interest in fashion and styling, Kash O’Hara, founder and head style doctor at The Style Doctor, gained extensive experience within the Australian fashion industry and became heavily involved in styling work. Kash has worked as a fashion designer, personal stylist, editorial stylist and celebrity stylist for the likes of Danni Minogue, Lizzy Lovette and Lynette Bolton.

With her experience in styling and fashion design working hand in hand, Kash launched the diverse offering of The Style Doctor in 2015, the online styling expert which is the first of its kind in Australia.

 

 


“What’s in a shoe?” I hear you ask.  Is the height of the heel in direct correlation to the extent of a person’s ambition?  What about a flatter heel?  Does footwear comfort equal comfort in addressing senior management, new clients or team members?

Clothes maketh the man, so what do shoes say about women?

Jodie Fox, co-founder of Shoes of Prey, and her team gathered data nationwide to find out the shoe habits of women in each state.

“It’s interesting that despite a relatively homogenous fashion offering around Australia in high street stores, there are clear distinctions in preferences for different heel heights and shoes between the Australian states. Each state definitely has its own shoe identity”, she says. “The average preferred heel height is declining around the world – down to 8.1cm from 8.9cm in the last two years”.

“The global decline in average heel height can, in part, be attributed to the fact women can now choose a heel height that suits them”.

Jodie is quick to point out that, due to the rise in popularity of customisable fashion, women are now choosing heel sizes that suit them, rather than relying what’s available in stores.  “But certainly a much wider range of heel heights are now considered just as fashionable — shoe-lovers who still want high-end fashion, with a few customised tweaks to a traditional high heel, can get the perfect solution,” she said.

 So, on this, our Red Heel Day, let’s take a look at how we stack up nationwide:

Australians wear above global average heel height

Globally, the average heel height is 7cm, but Australian shoe lovers wear, on average, an 8.3cm heel.

West Australian women wear the highest heels on average of all the states

South Australians and Canberrans wear the lowest heels.

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Queenslanders are most likely to choose flats

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Women from New South Wales like their heels high

They are the most likely to choose mid-height heels (7cm) and second most likely to choose high heels (10cm). They are least likely to choose flats and kitten heels (5.5cm).

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Victorians are the most likely to choose high heels (10cm)

South Australians are most likely to choose kitten heels (5.5cms)

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Canberrans are the least likely to wear high heels

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Thank you to Jodie Fox and the rest of the Shoe Gurus from Shoes of Prey for their insight and images. 

Trying to decide what to wear to the office this winter? As the mercury drops and we automatically start to pile on the layers, we’ve asked Sydney-based Australian fashion brand Blooms Design what we should be looking for to add to our work winter wardrobe to stay stylish in the cooler climate.

Supporting executive women for over 20 years, every garment and accessory has been created and chosen by the Blooms team with a genuine love for modern sophistication and fashion.

Here are five top trends to incorporate into your work attire this Winter season:

1. Cobalt Blue – the colour of the season

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This season’s stand out colour is Cobalt. A bold and elegant shade of blue, adding a splash of cobalt to your wardrobe (whether through a scarf, dress, cardi or accessory) will not only keep you on trend but have you projecting natural peace and calm, perfect when working in a busy or stressful office. It also suggests stability, great for locking in that deal with a new client.

2. Winter warmer favourites

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Are you more of a neutral person? Soft greys, browns and burnt oranges remain a popular staple this Winter taking inspiration from the natural Australian colour palette. Team soft greys with black, charcoal or brown with pops of burnt orange or copper colours to bring more warmth into the office. Also works well with soft, natural fibres – cosy!

3. Monochrome graphics

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Monochrome is always a winner for the work wardrobe, but this winter print placement monochrome is the way to go, adding edgy graphic elements to your outfit. Try a jacket or dress which incorporates monochrome graphics like geometric shapes over bolder block colours to take your outfit to the next level.

4. Stripes

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Thick horizontal stripes this season are designed to make a statement. These stripes are great in a jersey dress or top, connecting comfort with high fashion trends to give you movement and flexibility. Anything geometric will work, especially if they are larger.

5. Winter coat

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Keep warm while you travel to and from work this winter while looking great by adding a long collarless jacket to finish your look! Use simple monochrome techniques matching your colours and pieces to create a timeless look that can take you from day to night in the cooler months.

This article was written in collaboration with Blooms Design

Blooms Design has been celebrating the style of Australian women in ready to wear apparel for over 20 years. Beginning with the original founders of the Blooms Design label, the team has evolved and grown with each generation of customer, adding a fresh contemporary interpretation to every original Blooms creation.

Visit www.bloomsdesign.com.au to check out more Australian designer trends.


Hi ladies, this week I’m following on from my article about the apple body type and focusing on the pear shape. I’m sharing style tips on what essentials you should add to your wardrobe and what not to wear!

Some of the characteristics of the pear are petite top half and narrow shoulders, a defined waist, smaller bust and full hips and thighs. If you gain weight you tend to store fat around your lower half.

So the goal of a pear is to draw the eye up and balance what’s below, balance is the key! You want to elongate your figure, minimising hips and thighs to make sure the top half flows through to the bottom half.

Here are my tips on how to dress a pear shape body type:

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Rebecca Taylor Python Peplum  Blazer $454.75

A fitted hip-length jacket is ideal for a pear body type preferably with shoulder pads, this will balance out your frame . Bold, dramatic styles with lapels work well as they draw attention away from your hip region. A flared peplum jacket is great on a pear shape because it can camouflage the broader lower half.

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Sportscraft Mara A-line Skirt $119.95

Go for A-line or flared skirts and dresses as they tend to highlight the waist and skim hips and thighs. They also draw attention to the upper body, shoulders, and neck. Pair with a form-fitting v-neck blouse to create an hour glass shape.

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John Lewis Sequinned Shrug $84.56

A shrug is a great look for a pear because it emphasises and expands the top half.  Wear a bolero or shrug with a party dress for volume and impact.

 

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P.A.R.O.S.H belted top $237.97

A belt is your friend! A top with a belt will accentuate a small waist and define the hips. This is exactly what you need to balance out your body.

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Wren Empire Tie Dress Was $397 Now $119

An empire line dress can add volume to the bust. It is also a very flattering style on the legs and hips and draws the eye away from problem areas. This high waist is great for a pear shape figure because the area just under the bust is usually the narrowest part of the body. The ruffle detail on the neckline of this dress also draws attention to the top half and the pleating highlights the chest and neckline.  An added bonus! FYI wrap dresses and tops are great for pears too.

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ASOS Kimono Top $52.25

A top with kimono or puff sleeves is perfect for pear shaped ladies. The sleeves add volume to your arms and balance out the derriere and give the illusion of a wider chest and shoulders. You can choose long or short.

 

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Goat Redford Crepe Trousers $342.40

Always make sure that your trousers are darker than the rest of your outfit. Dark coloured flared pants draw attention away from the hips and  bring balance between the upper and lower part of the body creating a more flattering line overall. Wear with a jacket with shoulder pads for that all important balance!

What not to wear:

  • Cargo pants
  • Hemlines below the knee
  • Ankle straps
  • Bias cut skirts
  • Bottoms with drawstrings
  • Skirts/trousers with pleats and/or side pockets

Lastly, accessorise with a platform shoe or high heel wedge to balance you out and add statement necklaces, earrings, scarves or embellished necklines to draw attention to your top half! Stay tuned for my next instalment on the hourglass body type.

What shape are you?

Featured image credit


As the spring racing carnival almost here, we thought some of you may not be race day ready and would appreciate some tips. Don’t panic just yet as you’ll be dressed to impress in no time!

Buying an outfit at the last minute pays off, not only does it mean you can check what your peers will be wearing first but as most retailers are now offering mid-season discounts, you can pick up a great ensemble at a bargain price.

Why not revisit my previous articles on  colour and print Trends for SS 2013, to refresh your memory as to what is hot for this summer. You can then reference the below guides for each particular race day. Even if you are not making it track side, most companies will be celebrating the Melbourne Cup in some corporate/social way so you need to make an effort, and there is no greater excuse to dress up!

Here’s my Spring Racing fashion and beauty tips to ensure you look your best!

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 10.10.43 PMLeft: Myer Stevie Fascinator $39.95 //  Cue Geometric design Dress $270  // 1 & 20 Blackbirds Fun Clutch $16.95 Middle: Coast Sunshine Fascinator $33  // Milly prom Dress $720  // Just Fab Cleona Wedge $57 // Right: Bottica Dotted Bow Band $245 // Cue  Asymmetric Dress $239 // Jerome Dreyfuss Clutch $395

Derby Day Saturday November 2 – Traditionally a day of monochrome, this year you are spoilt with choice as the look is bang on trend

To elongate and slim your silhouette, pick a dress with plain side panels. Most monochrome prints available in the stores at the moment are stark geometric, so be aware that you could see lots of these. I suggest you instead for a print which is less obvious, and maybe prettier instead or one with a fresh highlight colour such as yellow. Think “My Fair Lady” and pick an all-white outfit, and dress up with an over scaled monotone bow or hat.

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 10.11.11 PMLeft: Coast Tabitha Fascinator $20  // Mary Katrantzou San Fran print Dress $1645 //Sole Society Selma Sandal $52// Middle: Alexon Disc Fascinator $66// Vila Nola Top $22 // Sass & Bide Sequins and Coral Skirt $182 // Publik Sequin Clutch $30 // Right: Vivienne Sheriff Headpiece $1095 // Cue Wedgewood printed prom Dress $235 // Sergio Rossi Mermaid Shoes $1040

Cup Day Tuesday November 5 – The race that stops the nation, demands a knockout and fun ensemble

A conversational dress with a photo real image is a great way of expressing your personality. I love a cityscape, which is an unexpected twist. This summer neon is key, and colour is a great way of expressing a unique look. Rather than thinking purely of dresses, try mixing up some separates instead in clashing but complimentary hues. Blue is the colour spectrum of the season, so splash out head to toe. White ground prints with a prom feel look very relevant.

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 10.11.33 PM                                 Left: Jacques Vert Fascinator $105 // Jayson Brundson Floral Dress $189 // Fashion Union Clutch $30 // Middle: Blue Button Baubles Earrings $13 // Anna Sui Ivory lace Dress $451   // Valentino Lace Pumps $1040 // Right: Gregory Ladner Fascinator $99.95 // Rare London ruffled rose Dress Was $280 Now $110  //Guess Pumps $129

Oaks Day Thursday November 7 – Known as ladies day, this is the day to pull out your prettiest and/or most fashionista outfit 

Pastels are generally known for their softness, but this summer there are some fabulous structured cloths and silhouettes on offer. Damasks, and jacquards are especially on trend. Lace is very strong too, so look for cotton lace for all day comfort but be careful with your accessories as you don’t want to be snagged. Florals are important, and as the event’s official emblem is the pink rose, why not let that dictate your mood? Wear a great digital printed dress and go for an extreme flower head piece, or find a style inspired by petals.

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Left: Untold Jenny Fascinator $25 // Cooper St Ombre Dress $190  // Oasis Clutch $50 //Middle: Witchery maxi dress $190 // Michael Kors Maxi Metallic Sandals $470 // Right:  Her Curious Nature Flower Clip $24 // Wallis Spot skater Dress $46 // Jessica McClintock Handbag $99

Stakes Day Saturday November 9 – The most relaxed day, requires a look which reflects the effortless style of summer

Most women tend to dress with structure at an event such as a day at the races, and pick styles that are based on the block of a knee length shift. Although this is a great shape and flatters almost everyone’s body type, why not use this more relaxed day to step out from the crowd. There are two ways to do this, either by maxing out your length or softening your structure. Don’t however be tempted to go short in length, that is a definite race day no-no! Why not try a draped chiffon number in Ombre or alternatively try a subtle print maxi dress and bare your arms instead of your legs. Alternatively you can’t go wrong with spots, think “Pretty Woman” at the Polo, and go for a sophisticated design. Classic is always a stylish and timeless option.

Footwear & Accessories

A clutch bag should be your go to shape, and preferably one that has an additional chain so you can fling it on your shoulder, if the festivities proceed into the night. Let your accessories make a point of difference, go big, bold and beautiful with all forms of jewellery. As for footwear, the higher the better for a visual – but if you can’t walk in them, then it’s a no. Nothing is less chic than a girl tottering or parading around barefoot. I would suggest wedges are a good alternative to a heel, as you won’t sink in the grass and they tend to be a little more comfortable.

Hair & Beauty

With regards to your make up on the day, you must think longevity. You will be able to touch up, but if you use long lasting formulas and wear a lipstick in neutrals or nude tones, you’ll need less maintenance and have more time for fun. Hats and/or fascinators are race day must-haves, and therefore you need to consider your hairstyle in advance. I personally love a big blow wave but I know that my hair drops quickly, so I always choose an up style to ensure that the look lasts for the whole day and that it draws focus to my piece of millinery.

My parting advice – Dress comfortably and you will enjoy the day more, and remember if you feel great you will have the added glow of confidence that always makes a woman shine.  Happy Race Day!


I hope you enjoyed my post last week on how to wear summer prints! This week I am focusing on how to wear sorbet shades. This trend is a must-have for your summer wardrobe.

Think delectable sorbet colours like watermelon, peach, lime and mango. Style with neutral colours like white, black and grey. This look is so feminine, flirty and fun. Unleash your inner romantic with this fresh summer style!

Look 1

PicMonkey Collage

1. Piper Sleeveless Shirt $69.95 // 2. Witchery Front Wrap Skort $79.95 // 3. Siren Kate Sandal $149.95 //

Ground them with black separates to offset this sugary palette. This great sleeveless striped shirt  from Piper injects enough honeydew and melon without becoming too sickly sweet. If you’ve got great legs then embrace the latest skirt/short style this summer-the ‘skort’. Add a pair of  strappy sandals to finish this minimal look. These Siren shoes give a designer look without the designer price tag.

Look 2

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1. Wish Godess Kimono $99.95 //2. Mink Pink Kailey Cami  $44.95  // 3. AG Adriano Goldschmied Stilt Cigarette Leg Jeans $249 4. Witchery Tarny Ankle Wedge $169.95

Another way to wear sorbet is to team it with white. This on-trend kimono jacket has a lovely print combining both floral and aztec patterns. Add a tonal cami top and slim white jeans for an easy off-duty summer look. Wedge heels in a nude tone keep the look grounded for a considered daytime ensemble, perfect for lazy summer lunches.

So have I whet your appetite for this trend? I hope you will be embracing sorbet this Summer and not just the gelato variety!

Karen Skagerlind

Karen is a professional stylist and owner of Wardrobe Wand – a personal styling business she established in 2012 to help reignite women’s interest in fashion and develop their innate style. Karen is also the Fashion Editor of  Talented Ladies Club.

Featured Image Credit