Christmas is chaotic at the best of times. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had our very own personal shopper to pick and style our outfits for the bustling holiday season?

We had the chance to chat with Topshop Bondi’s very own personal shopper, Mel Costalos, about fashion tips for the office Christmas party, New Years Eve, meeting the in-laws and Christmas lunch with the girls, all taking inspiration from TV series The Wrong Girl.

Collared shirts for Christmas lunch with the girls

Throughout The Wrong Girl, Lily is a fashion powerhouse, playing with patterns, colours and fabrics. It seems basic, but a collared shirt can be styled in a range of creative and uber-chic ways. Mix up your standard white collared shirt for a printed piece with a hint of metallic. The holiday season is all about being fun and flirty; so don’t be afraid to pair your shirt with a pop of colour, like a scarf, hat or handbag. Finish off the look with a pair of patent black heels and cue the compliments.

Celebrate the office Christmas party in checks

It’s tough going from corporate attire to casual wear to bring in the holiday season with your colleagues. Keep it classic in a statement skirt paired with a plain top to guarantee yourself a place on the best-dressed list. Lily is a pro at subtle, yet sophisticated pairings. And when it comes to the office Christmas party, opting for a comfy, yet trendy outfit is exactly what you need. For extra style cred, slick a bright hue over your fingertips and add a statement necklace or ring.

Metallic New Years Eve moments

New Years Eve is the perfect occasion to be the star of the party. So don a metallic dress and get ready to shine bright. Metallic pieces are perfect for evening gatherings as they’re subtle and capture the light perfectly for memorable New Years Eve snaps. Keep it simple with your shoes like Lily, and chose a nude pump to compliment your overall look.

Keeping it classic for meeting the parents

The holiday season is filled with family get-togethers. Perhaps the most nerve-racking is meeting your partner’s parents for the first time. A pair of cropped black pants is a staple, not just at this time of year, but for life. When meeting the parents, simplistic pairings are guaranteed to keep you in the good books. Pair with a trusty collared button up and your favourite sweater for a preppy look.


Swing by Topshop Bondi Personal Shopping for a glass of prosecco and let Mel pick and style your outfits for the bustling holiday season…for free! Email [email protected] to book your appointment now. Spend $80 or more with Mel to enter the draw to win The Wrong Girl Book, DVD and GO-TO Lips!Squared! for you and a friend.

This article was brought to you by the DVD and digital release of The Wrong Girl, based on the ever glam Zoë Foster-Blake’s best-selling novel,


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.

Kimono-Trend-Leaders-in-Heels

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.

 

 


From a background in advertising and law, Jodie Fox now applies her communication savvy and sense of style to her true passion: outfitting women around the world in beautiful shoes via Shoes of Prey.  In case you’ve not heard of Shoes of Prey, it’s a unique way of designing your perfect shoe – ideal for women who want to either add their own flair to their footwear, and also acts as a veritable lifesaver for women who can’t find the height they want in their shoes from traditional bricks-and-mortar retail outlets.

Jodie’s role in the business encompasses product development, public relations and being the global face of the brand. Her work on Shoes of Prey has been well recognised, including receiving the national Telstra Business Women’s Awards Winner (Australia), Hudson Private & Corporate Sector, 2014 Top 30 most influential women in Australian retail, 2014 Top 10 Australian female entrepreneurs and 2015’s top 8 entrepreneurs to watch.  Jodie gives us the lowdown on what it took to make Shoes of Prey what it is today, and tips for budding fashionista entrepreneurs.

Jodie-Fox-Shoes-of-Prey-Leaders-in-HeelsI turned my passion into my business

I’m a lawyer by trade and started out working at Blake Dawson (now Ashurst), where I worked with amazing people and teachers. But, I soon came to realise that my heart just wasn’t in it. The longer I was there, the sadder I became. It’s the first time that I realised how important it is to fill your life up with things you truly love.

When I fully came to terms with this, I made a list of things that would make me happy. Not in career, but in my whole life. Then I began to really grill everyone in my life about his or her industry. What did they do day-to-day? What did they love? What did they hate? What did they imagine happening in the future?

I took those answers and looked at them beside my list. The career that came out on top was advertising, so I went and learnt about building a brand, before deciding to build one of my own.

Coming up with a great business idea comes from solving a problem that you are experiencing. We knew we were on to something when we came up with Shoes of Prey, but we had to ask ourselves three key questions that every business should consider before starting out:

  1. Is it something people would pay for?
  2. Are there lots of people that would pay for it? More than once?
  3. Is it possible to see a return on initial investment?

The inspiration …

I was solving a problem of my own. I didn’t love shoes until I could design them myself – and then I absolutely loved being able to pick and choose every aspect of my shoes. I loved deciding on the leather, the heel height, the shape. It was so much fun. And, when the shoes arrived, they were like nothing else available. It was awesome. My girlfriends asked where the shoes came from, and if I would commission their designs too, which I did.

… And the co-founders who believed in the idea

I wouldn’t have thought to turn it into a business had it not been for my two co-founders Mike Knapp and Michael Fox. They were both working at Google and were really excited about the potential of online retail. They just needed a great idea…. And designing your own shoes online was it. That is how Shoes of Prey was born.

Educating the public

In the beginning it was a huge battle to get other people to understand what it was we were doing – The education we had to give was huge. We also had to build our reputations from scratch – who were these three twenty somethings building a totally pie-in-the-sky idea?

We overcame this through perseverance. Shoes of Prey broke even after two months of business, so we were quickly able to prove the demand for the service we were providing.

The inevitable growth

I’ve loved seeing the growth of the company over the past eight years. We started out as a team of three, working from my one bedroom apartment in Sydney – since then we’ve become a team of 150 people with offices in Australia, Tokyo, Manila, LA, New York and China. I’m so proud of how far we’ve come and where we can go from here.

And the personal growth, too

The personal journey has surprised me the most about running my own business.  I assume this is similar for all entrepreneurs simply because starting your own business demands everything from you. I could never have understood or expected the way it would shape me.

The best part of the job

I’m lucky because my job takes me around the world, where I meet different and inspiring people every day. While it’s sometimes difficult to travel as much as I do, I never take for granted that I’m getting to do a job that I am passionate about and love.

The perks of being a Shoe Queen

I’m lucky to work with shoes everyday, but it means that I do have a huge number of them! Because I generally wear monochrome colours, I like to try and add a pop of colour or texture with my shoes. I’d decide my style as classic with edge. At the moment I am loving pointy-flats. They are so comfortable and easy to wear, but stylish and go with everything.

If I had to pick one or two of my favourite heels, I do love a dark, textured heel, it adds a bit of personality to an otherwise serious look. Otherwise, I’ll go for something fun like our Carla shoe (which we created in collaboration with Australian fashion legend, Carla Zampatti) – a gorgeous pink silk heel that is perfect for a dinner date to a night out with the girls.

Favourite Aussie designer

I love Australian designers. My wardrobe is dominated by them, including Dion Lee, Bianca Spender, Ellery, We are Handsome and Carla Zampatti.

Advice for new entrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur, there aren’t courses or training that can provide the lessons you learn from just getting in and getting it done. Don’t wait until you are ready – do everything before you are ready. Don’t let your expertise – or lack thereof – get in the way of a really good idea.

Finally, my 3 key pieces of advice:

  1. The words I live by are ‘do everything before you are ready’. Don’t wait or hesitate.
  2. Have confidence in your business idea and yourself.
  3. Do what you love.

Thanks Jodie for sharing your insights with us!

All images via Shoes of Prey

 

 


“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

blooms-design-2

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.


Appropriate cosmetics to wear around the workplace is a tricky business.  For many, it may feel like there’s a fine line between “natural” looking makeup application and no makeup at all. There’s also that delicate balance between “enough makeup application to look polished and professional” and “Saturday night makeup”.  Here, makeup artist Carly Lim gives us her 5 makeup tips that will help you nail a polished work look.

1. Use a good Primer

Gone are the days of a heavy over-powdered base. A good primer, used together even just with tinted moisturiser or concealer, will give you a long lasting, healthy and polished base for work.

Top 3 Primers

  1. Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer: Gives a silky smooth satiny feel, minimises shine and gives foundation longevity.
  2. Laura Mercier Radiance Primer: Has a lovely creamy gel like texture that is lightweight and feels soothing. Instantly feel radiant and fresh!
  3. Stila One Step Correct: This one colour corrects and brightens your complexion in one step.  A weightless, serum-type primer

Tips

  • After cleansing and moisturising, wait about 5-10 minutes to let the moisturiser sink in. Take a tissue and split their layers, so you are left with one ply. Place this over your face and gently press and pat all over.  Thich helps to remove any excess product
  • Apply primer, a pea size or less will be plenty for your face
  • Apply your foundation/tinted moisturiser/concealer. An efficient way to do this is to pat all over with fingers blending roughly and then using a clean brush to polish and perfect the blending
  • If you have dry skin, you can skip powder. Otherwise, set with translucent powder, but only on T-zone (forehead, nose, sides of nose, chin)

2. Take Care of your Brows

Invest the time and money in a good brow specialist. Nothing presents a polished look better than a good set of brows. If you are time-strapped, a good brush will help too.

Tips

Using a spoolie, brush all the brow hairs in the opposite direction and down. Then brush upwards and outwards at a 45 degree angle. Repeat this, brushing them back and forth a couple of times.

This is the standard guide for achieving your best brow shape.

This is the standard guide for achieving your best brow shape.

Top 3 Brow Products

  1. Tweezerman Tweezers: Pricey for something so basic, but the difference in quality and ease of use is astounding
  2. MAC Eye Brows: A great mechanical brow pencil: ultra thin, easy to use and good range of shades available
  3. Eyeko Brow Gel: For those blessed with naturally full brows, a quick swipe of this in the morning keeps them polished and neat. For those of us less blessed, this product helps ‘plump’ up the brow hairs

3. Use Mascara

Applying mascara is the quickest way to look awake and polished for work. You can forgo any eye shadow with a good application of mascara. Before applying, it is important to curl the lashes too.

Top 3 Mascaras

  1. Rimmel Wonder’full Mascara with Argan Oil: This formula is slightly wetter, and gives the effect of fluffy, separated lashes as a result
  2. L’Oreal Million Lashes: This has a formula which is creamy and black, providing lots of volume and length
  3. Lancôme Grandiose: The swan-neck shaped wand helps the shakiest hands get into every lash

Tips

  • Before jumping in and applying straight from the tube, it’s a good idea to remove excess product from the applicator. Scrape the applicator at the opening to do so
  • If you have good bottom lashes, apply mascara here first. If your eyelashes are sparse here, just skip this step
  • Always apply first to the roots and avoid pulling through, at first. Deposit as much product as you can at the roots to achieve the illusion of fuller lashes
  • Following this use a zig-zag motion while pulling through for your second coat of mascara

4. Use a good Highlighter

A good highlighter (also known as an Illuminator) makes accentuating your bone structure easy, and keeps you looking fresh and polished throughout the day. The most important thing to look for is a very fine pearl or shimmer. Anything with large particles of glitter might be okay for evening but is an overkill for the office. For the best, no-fuss results, use a fan brush to apply.

Top 3 Highlighters/Illuminators

  1. Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder Candlelight: Despite being a powder formula, this provides a gorgeous skin-like finish with the right amount of glow
  2. Benefit Watt’s Up: An easy-to-apply highlighter in stick form, with a handy built-in sponge applicator to help blend your product onto the skin
  3. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector (Pressed): This is available in four shades, and again it’s a great powder formula that offers a natural glow. A light hand is recommended, however

5. Invest in Lip/Eye/Cheek Palette Sets

A palette that offers coverage for your eyes, lips and cheeks is great to keep at your desk, or in your handbag for any important work events that crop up at the last minute.

Top 3 Lip, Eye and Cheek Palette Sets

  1. Charlotte Tilbury FilmStars on the Go: A luxurious two-step product in lovely satiny cream formulation
  2. Benefit Sugarlicious Kit: This provides coverage for cheeks, lips and eyes – all in one nifty set
  3. Too Faced Natural Eyes Collection: A collection of work-suitable eye shadow colours in a beautiful, portable tin

 

Featured image courtesy of Carly Lim.

 

Carly-Lim-profile-img-Leaders-in-HeelsCarly Lim

Carly is a freelance makeup artist currently based in Brisbane, working primarily in fashion and advertising. Soon after finishing university she realised a career behind the scenes was what she craved most. Her regular clients include Universal Store, Beginning Boutique, Dissh and Style Keepers Boutique. For more of her work please visit www.carlylim.com or follow on Instagram @carlylim_makeup.