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Three Ways To Winterise Your Look.

Three Ways To Winterise Your Look.

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Australia is the land of Almost Winter which means there is wisdom in finding extra mileage in the summer side of your wardrobe.

Here are three easy ways to winterise your warm weather favourites.

1.Pants Under A Skirt

No this was not a typo.

This trend is here and before you laugh at it and me….try it.

More flattering than you imagine, the key is in playing around with your proportions. You’re not throwing on a pair of harem pants under a mini skirt – you want one piece to have volume and one piece to be lean.

Got it?

Slim mini skirt with palazzo pants, full skirt with skinny ankle jeans, maxi with leather tights.

Have some fun with this one. The whole look is meant to be a little unhinged but I promise a skirt has never been this comfortable.

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2. Turn It Into A Tunic.

If your favourite frock or is too short for winter temperatures consider turning it into a tunic top and wear over jeans, tights or leather pants.

Slip a blazer over the top or a scarf around your neck and you’ll instantly winterise the look.

Just be mindful of the hem length – mid-thigh is best – any longer and it will look shorter and wider.

3. Throw A Coat On It.

This one is obvious, easy and flattering.

Nothing looks chicer or sleeker than a long line coat over a summer outfit. It was Jackie Kennedy’s fall-back look and every bit as fabulous and relevant in 2015.

A trenchcoat is perfect but pale pink, crimson and camel are all good coat colour options for this season.

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Is Gym Gear The New Casual?

Is Gym Gear The New Casual?

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Is it just me or have people suddenly got very serious about their exercise gear?

I was away over Easter at Blueys Beach on the NSW north coast – and was struck by the outfits my fellow pavement pounders were wearing. They were pretty swank for 6.30 in the morning in a small surf town.

I’m talking technicolour tops, leggings with lights, sparkly sports bras, sneakers with snazzy laces, chunky watches, wrist bands. Where had I been? I felt positively retro in my daggy sweats.

Maybe enthusiastic exercise dressing never really went away – it’s much more likely that I stopped watching. Possibly it’s a phase that we all move through at some part of our physical education journey.

 

My moment was in 1990. For a brief period I worked in a gym while I was at university. Behind the desk. I was very into my fitness and the outfits that went with it. When I say into I mean borderline obsessive. I was an aerobics groupie/junkie with a wardrobe to match.

My look went something like this: fluoro green leotard, pale grey bike shorts, white tube socks artfully scrunched with matching fluoro green gym socks, high-top Reebok gym boots (possibly with green laces) and an elastic belt.

I actually worked out in all that clobber – I wish I had photos because I could dine out on them for the rest of my life.

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Psychologists agree that what you wear when you exercise can have a real impact on whether you actually complete your workout and how you feel while exercising.

It’s similar to the whole starting a diet on a Monday philosophy – if you feel confident you’ll perform accordingly – but how we exercise is also deeply personal and differs from person to person.

We layer ritual upon ritual just to make sure we get it done. For some it’s time of day, for others it’s music and for many of us it’s the outfit.

Take my girlfriend Anna. She will only exercise at home in her children’s playroom on a treadmill. She wears underpants, a sports bra and Yogi Bear novelty ears to keep the hair off her face. Sometimes she adds a face mask. She’s answered the door to couriers and tradesmen in this outfit. For Anna it’s completely normal and the outfit’s simplicity ensures that she works out four times a week.

On the opposite side of the spectrum is Louise. She’s a gym junkie who favours the latest high-tech label look. She wears slick designer compression tights (both before and after her run), two sports bras (one for support and one for show) and tight singlets with mesh panels for ‘breathability and a touch of sexiness’. She replaces her runners every six months, has a watch with built-in GPS tracking that monitors her heart rate, counts calories, and displays the NASDAC.

In recent years, it’s this kind of uber-exercise look that I’ve noticed slide over into everyday wear. Just as surf gear has leaked into the closets of men you know have never ridden a board the same has happened with workout wear.

It’s become standard café attire. People even have ‘good’ gym gear that never sees any sweat.

This happened to me when I had babies. While on maternity leave I wore workout clothes all the time. I didn’t do a tap of exercise other than pram pushing and yet I was never out of sneakers and tights. This had something to do with mobility and baby vomit, a lot to do with elasticised waist bands but mostly it was because that’s what all the other new mums seemed to be wearing.

There were hundreds of us in the park dressed in this new kind of Mummy Casual all pretending we were on our way to and from the gym. I still do it occasionally. Particularly if I have to get my daughter to an early netball game on a Saturday morning. I throw on my exercise gear because some days it’s just easier than jeans and a shirt.

When it comes to the clothes I actually wear when I exercise, I like to keep things low-fi. No more co-ordinating socks with elastic belts, no more gyms, nothing tricky. Now it’s all about my husband’s old t-shirts, a pair of track shorts and the open road.

Whatever gets you through.

Workout Wear.

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Make a Fashion Mood Board.

Make a Fashion Mood Board.

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New Year. New You.

I hate that cliché almost as much as I hate peppermint in chocolate – a great idea that’s never executed quite as you imagine it. Whilst I’m a total believer in reinvention, I prefer tweaks and tinkering to an all out overhaul. Slow evolution usually equals more long-term results and when it comes to fashion the end game is to have honed a style that you can call your signature.

The beginning of a new year is by its very nature a great time to try new things, adopt a trend or re-boot your look but before you hit the shops for your winter wardrobe (yes, the department stores launch their A/W collections this month) try creating a mood board first – a visual inspiration of clothes, looks and colours that you’d like to wear/try/buy in 2013. Not only will it help you develop your look but it may save you money by inspiring you to reinterpret clothes you already own.

Here’s how…

Take a Blank Canvas.

This isn’t a school project so invest in a board that can be displayed in your bedroom or creative space. Opt for a good quality felt board with a wooden or metal frame. Neutral white, nude or grey will create the best back drop. You can make a chic board by backing an un-glassed vintage picture frame with cork or felt board from the hardware store.

CLICK TO BUY: Dandi Holly/Berry Pin Board, $29.95; Target Black Vintage Look Corkboard, $15Kikki. K Vision Board, $59.95.

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Find Your Muse.

Central to a mood board is a muse. He/she is defined by a character or person whose style you admire and would like to emulate. Or just steal. I choose a retro and current day muse – it’s a good way to connect the dots between classics and trends. Jackie Kennedy images will show you how to belt a trench coat exactly the right way and images of Kate Moss will show you how to make it work shrugged over a ball gown.

Curate and Edit.

“The best part of creating a mood board is not having any rhyme or reason to it”, says stylist and blogger, Claire Fabb from Style By Yellow Button. “Once you see all the pieces you like on a board together, the mood is created. Whether it’s a collection of feathers, a great metallic belt, a ridiculously indulgent pair of metallic, spiked heels – You are creating the mood from what you’re drawn to – it’s not something you should over think”. Magazines are a great place to start, but the best boards come from throwing the net a little wider. Trawl jumble sales for old books, film posters and album covers. Print out type that you love, hand write quotes, snip wall paper, cut fabric and ribbon samples, press flowers, pick buttons – anything and everything that visually stimulates or calms you. Start a collection box and then edit as you pin. You’ll be amazed at how quickly themes evolve.

Google and Print.

Try searching in adjectives rather than people and places – pink dress, yellow shoe, sparkly tiara – this will throw up images you might not have seen before. Another amazing resource is Pinterest. “It’s so efficient and easy to use”, says Fabb. “It’s one of the easiest ways to create a board because you can follow someone who has a great ‘eye’ and you are automatically exposed, prompted with images you like without spending hours trawling sites trying to find something, which might appeal to you”.

Inspiration To Get Your Started.

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Build It and It (Might) Come.

What’s on your fashion Bucket List? An Hermes Birkin? Louboutin heels? A collection piece from Marilyn Monroe’s closet? Find an image of your heart’s desire and put it in a place of prominence on the board. If you believe in the premise of self-help book The Secret, this visual affirmation just might help you attain it. Certainly something I’m prepared to try if it means the stork delivers a vintage rose gold Rolex.

Virtual Style.

If this all sounds a little too Martha Stewart then try a virtual version. There are lots of apps that allow you to create an inspiration board on your smart phone or tablet. Search the web for images, quotes, colours and then use virtual pins, sticky tape and post-it notes to collage your board. One of the bonuses of doing it this way is that you can update it regularly and share with friends.

CLICK TO BUY: MoodBoard, $10.49 or PhotoForge, $1.99, both available on iTunes.