March 28, 2016

Wardrobe favourites - Earn your stripes

Whether they’re vertical, horizontal, diagonal, mixed or matched, stripes will forever remain the best looking lines in the whole wide world.

They’re the BFF that has it all: cool enough to wear during a casual day out running errands, polished enough to take out to dinner, relaxed enough to join you for a Netflix and chill session (and let's all agree that this takes on a very literal meaning when you're married - like, we actually watch Netflix whilst chilling). They're also right there for you when you need a little confidence, making all the difference in a basic striped T-shirt, or crisp button down shirt.

Ever since Brigitte Bardot wore striped tees and shift dresses in the 60's and 70's, everyone with a fashion clue has resorted to this simple style. It carries a little French allure, and a lot of international cool.

I wear both vertical and horizontal stripes year-round, and whilst I once worked with a delightful human who thought it her right to remind me that 'bigger girls shouldn't wear horizontal stripes' almost once a week, I feel like everyone's grown a brain, and it's finally fashionably acceptable for everyone to wear stripes of any direction!

Here are my top picks for stripe dresses, shirts and tees, heading into Australia's Autumn/Winter season:

A striped dress is perfect for workwear, or almost any occasion when jeans and a stripe tee won't cut the mustard. It looks so polished and sophisticated, but you 're just there feeling all comfy because you're in the softest of fabrics!

Hello hi-lo, I love you.

Bonds Besties Tank Dress in Black/White Stripe
This scoopneck is flattering on anyone, and adding a blazer is all you need to take this from the beach to the office. Such a fan.

Billy J Amber Stripe Maxi (currently on sale)
For a maxi version of the classic stripe tank dress, I love this Billy J style. The high-neck and splits to the knee make it smart enough to wear to the polo with a hat and pair of towering wedges, or to the beach with sandals.

Well, this is just charming, and I would rock it long and hard during Winter over tights and boots.

A striped button-down shirt, in either a breezy linen or a crisp cotton is the perfect addition to every possible outfit, especially at this time of year. Throw over your togs when you move from the pool to the bar, or slip one on with a darker denim for instant attitude.

I've seen this instore, and it's as cute and comfy as you'd like it to be, without being bulky with this chest-pockets. Well-played, Sussan. 

Again, the chest pockets had me all worried, but I've tried it on, and I can't for the life of me remember why I didn't buy it! It's a classic, and I hope Target repeats this style in a few other colourways this season. (Navy or pink , please and thank you Mrs Target Designer)

Of course, I'm saving the best for last – striped tops and tees. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a lifelong member of the stripe tee club (I believe our 2016 #teamstripes President, Veep and Secretary are Brooke of Blonde Ambition, Melissa of Suger Coat It and Peta of Trainee Mama... we convene regularly on social media!), and I am always looking for another perfect addition to my stripe tee shelf (which is now two shelves, but don't tell BB, please).

Regulars here will also know that Winter is my least favourite season, and I only manage to get through July and August each year without depressive bouts of Seasonal Affective Disorder because it's a great opportunity to wear stripe tees with jeans and blazers. Almost my favourite sartorial situation ever.

The tiny little leatherette detail on this means that I consider it dressy enough for dinner out, just add dark skinny jeans and a flat riding boot. Because 3 inches of leatherette will always dress me up. 

Rockmans Rib Stripe Top (currently on sale)
Channel your inner Jen Lindley and pop a funnelneck stripe top on before you wax lyrical about all the important issues for teens in the 90's. #dawsonscreekforever

This is another style that I've checked out instore, and it's a luxe-looking tee. The white bias on the neckline is super flattering, and I can imagine this being uber-cute in Spring too, with denim shorts.

I have this tee in it's previous incarnation (navy/white stripe with silver spots) and I love it. The cap sleeves are the perfect length, and it looks adorable with coloured jeans or shorts.

My navy/white/silver version of the Suzanne Grae tee

The over-size drape of this tee makes for ultimate comfort, and would be perfect for travel (note to self, remember this when planning capsule wardrobe for upcoming Asia trip).

Well, this cotton knit is just all kinds of fun. Suede elbow patches and a wide v-neckline make for a nautical version of the classic Breton. V. v. cute.

Do you see any stripe must-haves here that you're loving this season ? I'd love to know if you're #teamstripes too, use the tag on Instagram next time you pop on your stripes!   

March 20, 2016

Homewares favourites - I carried a watermelon?

It's so ok to break the 'seasonal' rules. I mean, yeah I put a very Summery watermelon print doona cover on our bed this morning, and yes, I know Autumn is well and truly here. But whatever. We snapped up the doona cover from Target for under $20, and I am NOT waiting until December to throw a summer vibe around my bedroom again.

Target Watermelon doona cover - fruity as a Christmas cake, and on sale now

All the other styling pieces (knit cushion, orchid, frames, etc) are from Home Secret at Kawana. The books on my bedside are Watermelon by Marian Keyes (of course) and Green Sparkly Earrings by Melanie Shankle (of The Big Mama Blog).

In other homewares news, here are a few things I've found around the interwebs and am loving right now.

Etc and Co's gorgeous copper candlewick trimmers come in matte black and copper, and are such a perfect gift for the woman who has everything - including designer candles!

Zanui have an awesome-sauce 50% off sale on Florence Broadhurst homewares right now -  you said 50% off WHAT? Yeah, just gimme all the Florence cushions and be done with it. #loveflorence

For the barest wall in our house - the hallway - I'm contemplating a big ol' canvas with a simple but strong statement. This May and Belle Wander print is probably perfect, and large enough at 50x70cm to make a decent impact in a small space.

This tray from Hunting for George would suit literally every room in my home... Fruit, jewellery, candles, or I could actually use it to carry coffee and tea things, how novel!

Now, I never really got into our Adairs purchasing debacle on the blog, because my mother always told me that if I have nothing nice to write, don't write anything at all. But I'm almost willing to forgive their poor customer service of 2014 just because some of their new stuff is fantastic. In other news, what's the official age when you start obsessing over words like 'microplush' when you're shopping for bath mats? I think I've hit it. 

Have you discovered anything that I HAVE TO HAVE in my house right now? And is it just me, or are there SO MANY fantastic homewares stores popping up? #ineedabiggerhouse

March 14, 2016

If you're going to do something, do it right (or #viplife)

I've discovered that I'm a complete concert snob.

I love music, and gigs and festivals are always bound to make me get pumped up and create playlists to have on repeat until the date comes. But then the sun rises on the day of the concert, and I totally freak out. The mass of people, the weather uncertainty that comes with any outdoor event, and so many other things combine in my mind until my brain is a swirling mess of worst-case scenarios and all I want to do is go back to bed and hide under the doona.

Now, I've not always been like this. In fact a very large portion of my late teens and early twenties were spent chasing gigs - the bigger, the better. The thing is, I'm older and wiser now, and a lot more risk-averse. I like a solid, staid life with plenty of routine and only the occasional event or adventure to trip me up.

Based on this boring old Grown-up Katy's need for some semblance of order, in the last few years I have discovered a great way to have my concert and see it too... VIP baby!

After my husband bought us tickets to enjoy the Caloundra Music Festival in the Kings Club section a couple of years ago, I've developed quite the taste for standing on the side of the stage, or being in a Reserved Seating section with our own bar and gasp! clean toilets.

Throwback to #viplife with Trainee Mama and Pete Murray, because hanging at the Artist's Bar is where it's at.

I enjoyed another reminder of my highfalutin tastes on the weekend just gone when Brooke (of Blonde Ambition) took me as her date to see Bryan Adams at Sirromet Winery. Platinum seating, no less. (Her brother Michael was unable to use his birthday-gift tickets, so we got lucky!)

Hostess with the mostest, Brooke of Blonde Ambition. And I mean, really. You can't visit one of the most popular wineries in QLD without actually sampling the wine, amiright?

Ok, so my outfit photo isn't the best. I swear, I didn't wear a sign. (Although the emotional woman a row in front did, and MY WORD she was in love with Bryan. Cue tears.)

I actually wore Jag denim shorts, Mink kimono from Myer on SALE now), Lorna Jane tank, Adorne necklace, Sussan fedora and Spendless gumboots. (And those boots were SO comfy. Surprisingly!)

I love when my mildly-fashionable friends try to be all stylish. Pffft.

A Day on the Green also featured support acts The Superjesus and Baby Animals, and whilst we missed most of The Superjesus' set, I was MIGHTY impressed by Baby Animals. I always am. Suze DeMarchi can do no wrong, her vocals are outstanding, and she rocks tuxedo trousers like no other 52 year old woman on the planet.

All this to say that I can no longer schlep it at festivals and concerts, because there's something refreshing about not sharing my personal space with complete strangers, even if they do have the same taste in music as me.

So, who's got front row tickets to Chris Isaak, and nobody to go with? ;)

Seriously though, thanks for the invite Brooke - and Happy Belated Birthday Michael!

March 06, 2016

Hello Autumn, hello adventure

Well, that Summer season just really whizzed by, didn't it? I had probably one of my most relaxing Summers ever, with no real craziness, which was amazing. I think that had a lot to do with the fact that I am LOVING both my jobs, and really feel settled and content in them. Now that I'm a casual at Lorna Jane instead of management (I stepped down from management responsibility over a year ago, and hello excellent sleep quality), I worked a little less than I'm used to over Christmas and New Year, and it was grand.

A few of my favourite Summer outfits - so many dresses!

This next season should be a little busier; BB and I have some travel planned (more on that once we're confirmed), and a few Australian holidays booked (Port Douglas and Melbourne, and even chilly Hobart) before Winter arrives to make me grumpy.

And yet again, there needs to be a wardrobe clear-out. I have struggled the past few weeks, finding my boring black shorts and pants to wear to work, and the clothes I never wear (because they don't fit or I just don't like them any more) seem to be multipying, taking up all possible wardrobe space. Cheeky sods. Time to turf 'em and shop smarter, I think.

So, according to fashionista-types, what's on-trend this season? Well, let's not look at the catwalk, because IMPRACTICAL. What are real people going to be wearing in Autumn 2016?

Here in (mostly) sunny Queensland it’s all about layering, because our autumn temperatures range from 13 to 25 degrees Celsius from March to May. We still get the odd stinking hot day, however, when the coastal breezes are a godsend!

1. Skinny Jeans

Skinny jeans will always be a favourite for me, as their streamlined silhouette allows you to layer multiple items on top for warmth - although unless you're headed south, you really only need a tank or tee. Wear them with ballet flats and a light blazer in the day or wedge heels and a beautifully-draping silk top for a night out on the town. These go-to pants can do no wrong, and I'm literally MAD about the ASOS Curve ones.

Ridley Skinny Ankle Grazer Jeans in Mhari Wash from ASOS Curve

2. Merino sweater

Nothing says off-duty chic like a crewneck merino sweater. I only have two, but I've owned them for years, and they still look fantastic.

100% Merino Crewneck Top from Glassons

3. Fedora hat

A wool or felt fedora is a great way to keep your noggin toasty warm, and hide the fact that it was a little too cold to get out of bed early, so you skipped washing your hair!

Grey Marl Fedora from Sussan

4. Statement Coat

In winter your outerwear is the most important aspect of your wardrobe so why not make a statement? A bright coat will add a pop of colour to any neutral or all-black outfit - and this red stunner is going to be a Winter classic. (In related news, I've never had a decent wool coat, nor a coloured one before, so I'm excited!)

Aryietta Double-Breasted Wool Coat from Review

5.Knee-high Boots

Super-sexy and warm as toast - ain't no chilly ankles here. Living on the Sunshine Coast means that I rarely have call for knee-high boots, but heading south to Victoria and Tasmania is always a great excuse to pull them out of the cupboard and dust them off. I particularly love flat riding-style knee-highs, they can be dressed down with jeans and a sweater for a casual day, or glammed up with a dress and tights in the evening.

Madeline boot by Nina Armando from The Iconic

6. Knitted Jumper Dress

The easiest way to show a little leg and stay cosy at the same time is by wearing a knitted jumper dress. For added warmth, I pop leggings or tights underneath, and a coat on top. Bonus points for finding a stripe version, folks!

Mifa Stripe Knit Dress by Selected from ASOS

7. Blanket Wrap Scarf

While I first scoffed, I've grown to quite like a giant scarf wrapped all around me - like a doona on couch situation, really. There are countless ways to style this, either thrown carelessly over your shoulder or wrapped around multiple times. This Surafina version is pretty perfect for any Winter outfit, and will make a mighty fine in-flight blanky too!

Milano scarf bu Surafina

8. Turtleneck Top

Once the realm of nerds like Steve Jobs and Velma from Scooby Doo, turtlenecks are actually a fashion classic. My only suggestion is to be careful if you're big-busted, because chunky versions can make you look like a linebacker! Turtlenecks do look great with pretty much anything though, whether worn under a sleeveless dress, or simply worn alone with jeans.

9. Leather Jacket

A leather jacket is essential for every cool-girl winter wardrobe, so the jury is out if I actually need one. They add instant edge and just scream badass, so at the very least, it might be useful for late night grocery trips when I want to make it through the checkout without chit-chat. Toss a black one in classic moto-style over your jeans and tee on the weekend or grunge up a frock with a beat-up tan version.

10. Ankle Boots

Ankle boots are a perennial wardrobe staple that I jumped on slightly later than everybody else, but am playing catch-up because comfort AND style, people. I love to wear mine with dresses and skirts during the day, skinny jeans or leggings at night. Remember #leggingsarepants and #ignorethehaters.

Awesome Ankle Boot (yup, they're really called that!) by Jo Mercer

Who else is looking at building on some pretty awesome Autumn/Winter basics this year? Anything you've seen that I just HAVE to have?

Also, for more super-cute AW2016 style, check out Blonde Ambition. Brooke just posted her entire shopping list for the season, and I feel like I need everything.

Don't forget to sign up to get Katy Potaty via email to go into my March subscriber draw to win a luxury Nocturna candle!

The winner of my February email subscriber giveaway was Malia H. I've emailed you, Malia - so holla me back with a postal address! Congratulations!