Is wearing black & white lazy?

sass and bide trench coat sydney

Woah, that’s a bold title! I actually oscillated over a few different blog titles for a while, because my intention was to evoke some sort of emotion when you read it. I have been thinking a lot lately about personal style and what that actually means to say that you have found your own personal style. I often find myself saying to people that it’s important to know who you are and dress for yourself. But when we finally discover that elusive ‘style’ (or pretend to), is it because we just get comfortable and lazy? And if you haven’t caught on by now…I kind of use style as a sort of metaphor for life in general! But I also really love fashion and styling too! Let’s just say, it’s a bit of both. 🙂

 

Viktoria & Woods leather pants

I have gone through many different style phases throughout my life, and a few stand out in particular. I remember quite fondly when I was 9 years old being heavily into the Spice Girls (I think every girl that age was). And I would dress up as my favourite Spice Girl (Posh) and dance into a video camera, recording what can only be a terrible rendition of ‘Wannabe!’ I had this fabulous little leopard print skirt and jacket combo, that I’d wear with black opaque stockings and black boots. Not much has changed…. I’d wear that again! And I still wear similar outfits, and dance around the house dancing to pop music and dream of being on a video clip! If only I kept up my singing lessons…

But then growing up happened. I got heavily influenced by trends, magazines, friends and hobbies. I circled in and out of being really experimental with my styling choices to being quite conservative. I mean, I have rocked a crop top on more than one occasion. That would be the influence of the dance culture I was apart of and Britney Spears! It was normal as a dancer to wear midriff baring tops with really low jeans. When I look back, I admire myself for having such confidence. As I got older I became more refined, which I originally thought was a really good thing. But I started to wonder…am I just being complacent?

Oroton leopard print bag

Saba ruffle turtle neck white

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I will be rocking crop tops and low cut jeans anytime soon…but I’d like to stay open to it. And this shift in mindset has worked wonders in terms of my outlook on life.

I am in a place where I feel good about experimenting again. I have a wardrobe with all the basic pieces required to throw a good outfit together without thinking. This caters to my adult-ing life where life can get so crazy that you don’t have time to think about what to wear. And on the flip side, I like to play with colours and prints that I had previously not tried.

And back to the life metaphor…I do the same thing. I feel as if I have some really good foundational values in which I am equipped to make big choices in life, but I also feel as if I am utilising that fearlessness trait that I used to possess as a teenager. The ‘I am going to go for it, and I don’t care what people think’ mantra. And by ‘go for it’, I mean really go for it. Try and fail. But learn from the failed attempts.

Details: statement earrings, Tom Ford sunglasses, Oroton clutch bag

Now, I want to get one thing straight…I love black and white outfits! And I don’t think this outfit, or other black and white outfits, are a sign of being lazy. But I do think it’s easy to become complacent. And I could be talking about my outfit or life in general. I like to think that I am always pushing the boundaries, but I’m sure there are areas in my life (and style) that I could step it up.

When embarking on something new it often feels a bit uneasy at first, and this is probably because it’s unfamiliar and not apart of your sphere. But go with that feeling of uncomfortableness, and do it anyway. Learn to stay curious without being judgemental. You’ve probably heard yourself saying in the past in regards to a new trend, “I’d never wear that!” And then 6 months later you wonder how you ever lived without it. That’s perspective. The first time you saw it, it was new and uncomfortable because your brain hadn’t seen a style like that before (or in that context), and now you’ve seen it everywhere and it grew on you…In actual fact, you just accepted it as being your new norm.

White statement earring - tassels

Saba ruffle top, Oroton leopard print clutch bag, Tiffany & Co bracelets

I will be honest and say that I find styling black and white outfits easier as I tend to add a whole bunch of different textures and shapes. You don’t have to worry so much about matching colours and patterns, you can just throw it all together and appreciate the look for the silhouette it forms and the individual features. This outfit could have been boring (and be deemed lazy)…but with the added texture difference from the leather pants, knit and the denim (yes, it’s denim) black trench, you’ve got quite an interesting look. Not to mention the individual shapes from the skinny leg leather pant, flared sleeves, long trench and big earrings. I would say in some instances, monochrome and black and white outfits can be more difficult to style when aiming to achieve a sense of creativity.

Sass and bide jacket, Tom Ford Sunglasses, Saba ruffle top, Viktoria & Woods leather pants, Oroton leopard print bag

A few tips on thinking outside the square when it becomes to styling outfits:

  • Try a different shape jean. If you always go for a skinny leg; why not try a straight leg.
  • Pick a colour combination that you wouldn’t usually associate together and see if you can come up with an outfit. E.g red and pink, orange and pink
  • Instead of saying, ‘I’d never wear that,’ think ‘how would I wear that?’
  • Always wear loads of colour? Opt for a monochrome look. Or vice versa.
  • Never wear dresses? Go out and try a bunch on in all different shapes. Go against all of your natural instincts.

Now, this won’t be easy at first. You’ll feel a lot of resistance. But once you start to open up to the idea of change, you will start to feel empowered and alive. I can guarantee you will have some failed attempts along the way, but it’s important to stay vulnerable and enjoy the process. After all, if you’re not failing, you’re not learning.

Isn’t it interesting that style evolution is much the same as evolving as a person. That’s why personal style, to me, is elusive.

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts – leave a comment or email me on k.leatherandsoie@gmail.com. You can also check out my insta page for style inspiration – @leatherandsoie

What I wore:

Trench – Sass & Bide (no longer available) http://www.sassandbide.com.au

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

Ruffle knit – http://www.saba.com.au

Loafers – http://www.ninewest.com.au

Earrings – markets http://www.plant4bowden.com.au

Sunglasses – http://www.tomford.com

Bag – http://www.oroton.com.au

 

K- Leather & Soie

 

 

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

 

 

Loungeable Leather Pants

adl cbd b&w wall

So, my husband and I went for a walk through the Adelaide CBD (Australia) and came across some amazing street art. And thought, what a great backdrop for a lazy Sunday afternoon photoshoot! It really is inspiring propping yourself up against some cool, edgy art. It actually makes me think more creatively when I am surrounded by such inspiration.

adl cbd art sit 5 re done b&wcbd adl B&W leg up

And got me thinking about some of my favourite items in my wardrobe — my leather pants! These are the first pair I bought, after a very long time searching. I wanted to them to feel buttery and soft, yet have a good shape, and be super comfortable. And I must admit, these tick all those boxes. You need to be comfortable in leather, otherwise you can walk around looking like you worked too hard at the gym two days prior (you know, DOMS)!

I also thought I would only wear black leather pants until I found these. And in actual fact, I find myself wearing these pants more than my black pair. They add a really soft subtle look to any outfit, and are so easy to match with other colours. But I must admit, this pink jacket really pops against the blue and the backdrop.

I often pair my leather pants with black, grey, white and pink. These are the type of colours that suit people with winter skin colour (more about this at a later time).

 

adl cbd art sit 2 b&wcbd adl art b&w sit 6

A few key things to look for when searching for the perfect pair of leather pants:

  • Opt for a leather pant with a good amount of stretch to them to allow for natural movement. You don’t want to feel like you are going to split them every time you hop in your car!
  • Try on different pairs to find what tailoring suits you best, i.e. high waisted, zip on the side, pockets, cropped, seam across the thigh, legging or jean style. I prefer a higher waist as it elongates the legs.
  • Take them to a reputable tailor to ensure you get the right length for you. There’s nothing worse then having bunched leather at the ankles. You will need to work out whether you will wear them more with boots (seen in this post) or flats. You can compromise with a length in between for versatility if you prefer (that’s what I did).
  • Always buy quality. This is really important when it comes to the quality of the leather and the stitching – particularly around the in-seam. The better the quality the better you will feel in them. And leather pants should feel amazing!

adl cbd upclose 6Little guy Adelaide CBD

We all know leather isn’t cheap, so make sure you are making the right choice for YOU. You have to love them! And when you do love them, you will soon realise how often you want to wear them. I have found that my leather pants have replaced my jeans many times. The fact that I can throw on a cashmere sweater, jacket and some boots and feel cool and confident, makes me so happy! As much as I like to experiment with different outfits and styles, I also appreciate styling really good basics and being able to head out the door looking effortlessly put together.

The best thing about leather pants, is that they are so flattering and ageless. I know young girls that wear them with silky tops and heels for a night out on the town, and middle aged women that throw on a trench and some flats for the weekend. I can ensure you that you will absolutely love the addition of leather pants to your wardrobe.

I will write more about the perfect leather pants in another post…but for now, let’s admire this beautiful art seen on the streets of Adelaide. 🙂

adl cbd art walkadl cbd art walk 2

What I’m wearing:

Pants – Willow (unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore), for similar styles check out Kitx on http://www.kitx.com.au

Jacket – http://www.marcs.com.au

Sweater – http://www.sassandbide.com.au

Boots – http://www.tonybianco.com.au

Bag – http://www.oroton.com.au

 

Leather & Soie – K