I’m somewhere between being minimalistic and profligate….

 

Warning: this blog post is going to be somewhat contradictory to what I may have written about….because fashion.

Fashion for me is something I have always adored. From beautiful fabrics and textures to extravagant evening wear. Some days I dress as a minimalist would dress; jeans, a t-shirt and white sneakers. And other days, I cram every pattern known to woman in one outfit…along with some sequins! But then my happy-medium probably fits somewhere in between. But what sterotypical group does that fit into you ask?! What blogger doesn’t haven’t a title?! Well, to be honest I don’t fit into any one category. I’m seriously stuck somewhere between a minimalist and profligate!

Saba ruffle top, leather a-line skirt, Scanlan Theodore thigh high boots, Marc Jacobs clutch

Thinking back to my hay days; I tried every trend. Remember corduroy and tencel? I tried it. Remember stirrup pants and low waisted jeans with belly tops? I tried it! And remember low cut tops and dresses that came down to your belly button….Yep, I tried it! For me, the wow factor was something that enticed me. As I grew older and realised the importance of good quality materials, I started to make wiser choices when purchasing staple wardrobe pieces. But I felt I lost that pizzaz, that special feeling a unique dress can make you feel. Those are the outfits that made fashion exciting for me.

Saba ruffle top, leather a-line skirt, Scanlan Theodore thigh high boots, Marc Jacobs clutch

Saba ruffle top, leather a-line skirt, Scanlan Theodore thigh high boots, Marc Jacobs clutch, Viktoria & Woods coatSaba ruffle top, leather a-line skirt, Scanlan Theodore thigh high boots, Marc Jacobs clutch, Viktoria & Woods coat

And yes, I suppose I should be purchasing more conservative pieces as I work in a corporate environment. But why can’t I have both? Why can’t I have a little pizzaz in what would be an ordinary mid-week work outfit?

That’s why I like ruffles, feathers, fringing and sequins. They add an extra element to what would be a pretty plain outfit. The outfit I’m wearing in this post is fairly conservative in terms of the colour palette. But the extra detail in the sleeves and the thigh high boots add a little extra something. And if you’re anything like me, where you’re not really a minimalist, but you’re not widely extravagant (anymore) – adding a little extra ruffle and texture helps lift a somewhat plain outfit.

I really do believe the best way to pull off a few extra pizzazy pieces without compromising your level of classiness, is to pay a huge amount of attention to how well each piece fits you. And that essentially comes down to good tailoring. And there a few ways to accomplish this; size appropriately, wear styles that suit you and buy quality.

Some fast fashion stores will have pieces that fit perfectly, but most of the time I find I have to compromise on the fit. This is ok for the occasional one-season wonder, but for those pieces that are extravagant in their mere presence and have a timeless quality (e.g. long fur coat, sequin pencil skirt, or leather trench), opt for quality via good brands or vintage stores.

viktoria & woods jacket, Scanlan Theodore thigh high boots

I don’t think we need to categorise ourselves into a certain style group. My style is constantly evolving, and I like that. I pretty much know what suits me and what doesn’t, but it doesn’t mean I won’t branch out and experiment. But what I am certain, is that I love that fashion can make me feel unique and inspired. In a world full of stereotypes and social groups, be confident enough in yourself to trust your own style judgment.

I often align style analogies with life…but it resonants with me. If you are confident in your own values and self-beliefs, everything falls into place around you. When you are fearful and doubtful, you’ll second guess every decision you make, which in turn makes those around you uneasy. And the most important lesson of all…don’t be afraid to make mistakes. When you’re not making mistakes and learning from them, you’re not growing.  Sometimes playing it safe is actually the most dangerous decision you can make.

Saba ruffle top, Leather a-line skirt, Scanlan Theodore leather thigh high boots, Viktoria & Woods coat, Marc Jacobs clutch

If you like to pine over fashion inspiration, check out my Pinterest and instagram page –

https://www.instagram.com/leatherandsoie/

Thanks for reading

K- Leather & Soie

What I wore:

Top – http://www.saba.com.au

Skirt – Willow (this brand isn’t available anymore). For similar (and better) styles check out http://www.kitx.com.au

Boots – http://www.scanlantheodore.com

Coat – http://www.viktoriaandwoods.com.au

Clutch – Marc Jacobs from http://www.davidjones.com.au

One (A-line) skirt – two ways

  1. Biker chic

 

I often think about what items make up the perfect capsule wardrobe. And I like to look at silhouettes that are timeless, styles that suit most body shapes and go with so many different looks. I had a look at my wardrobe and realised I had half a dozen A-line shaped skirts; 4 of which are black. So it’s fair to say that this is a surefire staple item that can be worn with so many different pieces to create so many different looks.

I bought this knit a-line skirt from Witchery recently because I loved the added pleats. I have already found so many ways in which I can style this skirt. I have pictured two contrasting options today; edgy and feminine.

The reason the a-line silhouette is timeless is because it’s so flattering to most body types. It synchs in at the waist and flares out creating a beautiful feminine look. You can dress the skirt up with a pair of heels and a silk cami, or dress down with a pair of biker boots (seen in this pic) or sneakers. I opted to tuck my knits into the skirt in these two looks, but I have also worn it with looser t-shirts and sweaters, and it creates a whole new look altogether.

Zaliah leather jacket, Witchery A-line skirt, Tony Bianco biker bootsZaliah leather jacket, Witchery A-line skirt, Tony Bianco biker bootsWitchery metallic knitWitchery metallic knit

I bought this skirt from Witchery in the mid-year sales, and it has already made its way to the top of my packing list when travelling. The other positive is that it doesn’t need ironing! And I love anything that makes my life easier!

The metallic knit (also from Witchery) was another mid-year purchase. This was a no brainer. I don’t think you can ever have too many knits. They are perfect for layering in Winter, Autumn (Fall) and Spring. When possible, aim to get knits made out of cotton, wool, cashmere, or viscose. These materials will be a lot more comfortable against the skin, not to mention the extra protection it will provide from the elements. Coming from a person that is affected heavily by the cold, always try to buy quality knits.

Last but not least, my new biker boots! I also nabbed these up during the sales from Tony Bianco. I cannot believe how comfortable and warm they are! I like to experiment with styles, and this is not one that I generally go for. But I am really wanting to venture outside of my comfort zone and try new things…this is one of them! It brings a whole new element of comfort to my casual winter outfits, and I’m loving it! I already have ideas to wear them with my black leather pants…what do you think?

 

 

2. Feminine & Flirty

 

What I love about this skirt is the versatility. I really wanted to wear my new Saba top with this skirt as I had visions of me twirling around and feeling ultra feminine! I love when an outfit you drum up in your head actually comes to fruition!

Zaliah leather jacket, Witchery A-line skirt, Jo Mercer bootsSaba flared sleeve knit, Witchery A-line skirt, Jo Mercer skirtOroton bag, Jo Mercer shoesSaba flared sleeve tops, Oroton bagsSaba flared sleeve knit ribbed

I also bought this top during the mid-year sales. I know myself well…and I know that in Winter, I like to go for items that are comfortable, warm and and easy to style. I knew the added flared sleeve would compliment this look perfectly. It adds an extra layer of complexity to the outfit, without really having to put any extra effort in. Win!

As for the shoes…I’ve had these for a few years now. Joanne Mercer has brought them out each year since. In fact, I think they are on sale right now! They can be worn folded down (pictured) or zipped up to completely change the look of the shoe. I often pack these boots into my suitcase when travelling for work so I have the option of wearing them with my corporate outfits and then transforming them in the evening for dinner meetings.

And last but most definitely not least, I always throw on my favourite leather jacket from Zaliah as it is so soft and subtle. It moulds to any outfit, making it the perfect addition to my two looks in todays post. You’ll see this jacket regularly on me, as I struggle to think of any reasons to wear any other jacket! My favourite feature is the quilting on the shoulder.

Zaliah leather jacket

As you can see, I am a big of fan of quality staples that are versatile. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article or any other articles that I have written. I am constantly trying to improve my view on the perfect wardrobe, as well as ways to encourage more women to feel confident within themselves. Drop me a line on k.leatherandsoie@gmail.com

What I wore:

First look

Black A-line skirt: http://www.witchery.com.au

Metallic knit top: http://www.witchery.com

Biker boots: http://www.tonybianco.com.au

Leather jacket: http://www.zaliah.com

Second look

Rust knit: http://www.saba.com.au

Black A-line skirt: http://www.witchery.com.au

Boots: http://www.jomercer.com.au

Leather jacket: http://www.zaliah.com

Bag: http://www.oroton.com

 

What to look for when buying an investment piece.

Leather and silk

I started this blog for a number of different reasons. But what I am most passionate about, is how fashion can make you feel. Just for a minute…Think about how you feel when you put your favourite pair of jeans on. What is it that makes you love them so much? Is it the fit? Is it the material composition (i.e stretch ratio)? Or is it that they have the perfect silhouette that fits perfectly to your body? When I am looking at investment pieces, I really hone down on the emotional cues that make that piece so special.

I’ve compiled a few things to look for when considering an investment piece, and then further on down the page I have broken it down to a few examples that I have bought over the years.

 

An investment piece should encompass the following traits:

  • demonstrate superb craftsmanship
  • made of quality materials
  • have a classic silhouette/style
  • feature year on year on the fashion circuit (in some way or another)
  • suit you and your lifestyle

 

Jay Godfrey Silk flared black sleeve top

Leather pants

I think it’s fairly obvious by now that I love leather pieces! I always try to invest in leather pieces that will be on-trend for years to come, which comes down to the silhouette. The leather pants I am wearing in this post, from Viktoria & Woods, have a classic look, and are so easy to style. In my opinion, leather pants are one of the best style investments you can make due to the versatility. When looking for leather pants, it’s important to go for a style that suits YOU. I like to go for pants that have a higher waist, a good amount of stretch and land just above the ankles. But I also am eyeing off a great pair from J Brand that have the 5 pocket look, which give a slightly edgier (yet feminine) look.

Leather pants – http://www.viktoriaandwoods.com.au

Jay Godfrey top, Viktoria & Wood leather pants, Alexandre Birman shoes

Silk (soie) blouse

When I started working full time and therefore making more money, I started to take more notice of the quality of the materials I was wearing. I started to appreciate that silk is an amazing material that allows the body to breathe. Once I experienced the difference between spending a little more money on a real silk blouse versus a polyester one;  I never turned back! It’s worth reading the tags next time you’re in store or shopping online (will be under the materials tab) and seeing for yourself what the clothes are made of.  Some brands will charge a fortune for a top that looks amazing, but it’s made from polyester. And in my experience, unless it’s a one season purchase, always go for good quality materials. Not only will it last longer, but you will feel better in it.

Aside from the practical and economical stance, silk shirts will always be on trend. This one is that extra special since it has an on-trend flared sleeve. But because this trend is so flattering for so many different body types, I feel it will be around for a few more years. But I am building up a collection of classic silk blouses in my wardrobe, as I find they elevate any outfit and add a real touch of class.

Top – http://www.jaygodrey.com from http://www.amazon.com

Jay Godfrey flared silk top, Chanel classic double flip bag

Black open toe heels (sandals)

Now, I love shoes! And I am a big believer of always buying good quality shoes, not only because they look great, but because your feet will thank you for it. But there a few pairs of shoes that I think every woman should have in her wardrobe; and one of those is a pair of black open toe heels. This style is universally flattering, goes with everything, can be dressed up or down and elevate any outfit.

These Alexandre Birman leather tie shoes are amazing, not only because they look spectacular, but they are so versatile. I wear them with dresses, skirts, leather pants,  and jeans. They have the perfect heel height, are easy to tie around the ankle and look that little bit more special.

Shoes – http://www.alexandrebirman.com.br

Chanel classic double flip handbag, Alexandre Birman shoes

Designer handbag

There’s something beautiful about owning your very own designer handbag. The classic handbags from Chanel, Dior, and Hermes have stood the test of time. Year on year they are seen on the arms of women all over the world, because of their classic aesthetics. I oscillated between a few different classic handbag options when purchasing this Chanel handbag. But what it came down to was how it made me feel. Every time I put the bag on my arm, I felt like I could rule the world. And that’s what I love about fashion! When you feel good, you look good.

Viktoria and Woods leather pants

I love that I am on the journey of building up my capsule wardrobe. Don’t get me wrong, I love experimenting with different trends and styles, but I think that comes after you’ve got a good base to work with. A few other key investment pieces worth the investment: leather jacket, trench coat, a great power suit, cashmere sweater, great pair of jeans, ankle boots, black blazer, black pumps, and a classic watch.Adelaide city

Thanks for stopping by!

What I wore:

Silk top – Jay Godfrey via http://www.amazon.com

Scarf – http://www.sportsgirl.com.au

Leather pants – http://www.viktoriaandwoods.com.au

Shoes – http://www.alexandrebirman.com.br

Bag – http://www.chanel.com

K – Leather & Soie

 

 

Styles that never fade – part 2

Leather skirt Willow

A-line skirt

I am very passionate about demonstrating classic wardrobe pieces that can be worn numerous ways. Hence the continuance of my series, ‘styles that never fade,’

The term A-line was originally termed to reference a fashion silhouette by Christian Dior in the 1950s. The shape denotes the shape of a capital letter; by starting out fitted at the hips and gradually widening to the hem.

The A-line skirt has seen its way through a few different eras; starting off in the 1950s, making an impact in the 1960s, welcomed in the 1970s with its flared counterparts, and has swung back around to 2000s to become a wardrobe staple.

White top crossed legs

The A-line skirt is a true transeasonal piece; meaning it can be worn in various different ways when transitioning from seasons such as summer to autumn, or winter to spring.

This skirt is exceptionally special to me as it’s leather and adds such an interesting texture-dynamic to my outfits. The colour khaki goes with everything, but I tend to wear it with white, black, and pink.

White top frontWhite top walk across

I teamed this look with a Viktoria & Woods white flared sleeve shirt, Nine West boots (from a fews years ago), and my classic Chanel double flap bag.

White top pole 2

This skirt is by Willow, which unfortunately doesn’t exist in Australia anymore. Kit Willow (Designer at Kitx) originally started the brand Willow and has taken her design aesthetic to new heights with the likes of her new brand – Kitx. I strongly encourage you to check it out; a beautiful Australian brand with a passion for sustainable fashion.

White top walk front

white top walking down stairs 6

White top walking down stairs

Other ways to style this A-line skirt:

  • Add thigh high boots and cashmere sweater – perfect for autumn or winter
  • Add white sneakers and t-shirt for an effortless autumn or spring look
  • Add stilettos, silk cami and blazer for a sophisticated business or evening look
  • Add an on trend ruffle top and slides for fresh summer look

White top walking up stairswhite top walking up stairs 1

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this skirt/look/post, by adding a comment below.

White top walk diagonal

Skirt – Willow (not available anymore). But check out http://www.kitx.com.au for similar designs

Top – http://www.viktoriaandwoods.com.au

Shoes – http://www.ninewest.com.au

Bag – http://www.chanel.com

 

Leather & Soie – K