Can women really have it all?

Kookaii vest, Viktoria & Woods leather pants, Jo Mercer ankle boots, J.Crew leopard print belt, Serpant & the Swan polka dot mesh top

Lately I have seen a considerable shift in the movement towards empowering women. I for one, think that is amazing. I believe every woman has the right to feel confident, successful and well…empowered (for a better lack of the word). For me, that is nothing new. I have always stood up for what I believe in, gone after my dreams, and shown an unrelenting desire to succeed. I realise this is hasn’t been the case for a lot of women around the world. But in relation to the culture I observe in Australia, there seems to be an unhealthy approach to women having to ‘have it all.’

Kookaii vest, Viktoria & Woods leather pants, Jo Mercer ankle boots, J.Crew leopard print belt, Serpant & the Swan polka dot mesh top

Kookaii vest, Viktoria & Woods leather pants, Jo Mercer ankle boots, J.Crew leopard print belt, Serpant & the Swan polka dot mesh top

Not too long ago women didn’t work so they could bring up children. Slowly we saw a shift toward women forging their way into the corporate world, developing their own businesses and standing up for what they believed in. I felt we started to get to a really empowering stage. And now I fear it has gone too far in the other direction. I see women struggling to maintain a career, have children, be a good wife, cook and clean, have a side hustle, exercise (no, be an athlete), dress well,  be a good daughter/sister/aunty/cousin/granddaughter/niece/whatever, maintain friendships and social outings and drink green juices whilst meditating! And if you don’t do all that, who are yo? And are you even a woman? How have we gone from doing a few things well to merely ticking boxes?

Kookaii vest, Tom Ford sunglasses, Sportsgirl earrings, J.Crew leopard print belt, Serpant & the Swan polka dot mesh top

 

 

I know the usual culprits such as mainstream media and social media have weighed down heavily on this, but can it all be down to what we read and where we scroll? I must admit, I don’t think I can open up Instagram without seeing a ‘we are all feminists’ t-shirt being flaunted. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for empowering women, but I think we need to tread carefully. It’s ok to be a stay at home mum and still struggle. It’s ok to have a career and no children and struggle. It’s ok to not be an athlete at the gym. And it’s ok to not have your shit together. I feel this ’empowerment’ movement has overlooked the ability for women to be sensitive and vulnerable. Just because we are out there kicking arse, doesn’t mean we need to hide our insecurities. In fact, we should share them with one another so we can learn from each others’ mistakes. All the while, supporting women, doing not only amazing ventures but celebrate those women who dedicate their lives to bringing up their children and running a household – as that’s no easy feat either. We need to celebrate it all! And we need to celebrate the fact that women don’t need to ‘have it all’

Kookaii vest, Sportsgirl earrings, Tom Ford sunglasses J.Crew leopard print belt, Serpant & the Swan polka dot mesh top, Marc Jacobs snakeskin clutch

Sydney cbd, Australia

What is the point in being so tired and stressed every day that you don’t actually get to sit down with your children and just enjoy their company. Just you and them. And what is the point in working long hours, so you can earn more money to spend it on things that impress people you don’t even like? It really is a relentless rat race!

I also feel like everyone has to be busy all the time. Being busy has now become the number one metric in which we measure success. Being busy to me, is very subjective. What does busy even mean? You were busy plucking your eyebrows? What I classify as busy is very different to the person next to me. And that’s ok! I’d like to see people measuring their own level of success by the amount of happiness they bring into their life and to those around them. Because being happy is work.  It doesn’t just happen!

Kookaii vest, Sportsgirl earrings, Tom Ford sunglasses J.Crew leopard print belt, Serpant & the Swan polka dot mesh top, Marc Jacobs snakeskin clutch

I am all for women going after their dreams, having a career, starting a business, being a stay at home mum, juggling it all…whatever floats your boat. But do it because it’s the right thing for you. You don’t have to prove yourself to any other woman, man or social group.

I certainly do not have any answers. But I do know that there are many women out there doing amazing things every day who are not celebrated. Or maybe it even lies in the fact that we actually don’t need to celebrate these things at all. Maybe we just need to live out our lives purposely without the need to tick boxes and compare. Or maybe it just comes down to showing your vulnerability a bit more, and creating a more supportive network of women. After all, being uncomfortable is where you find your biggest growth.

Kookaii vest, Viktoria & Woods leather pants, Jo Mercer boots, J.Crew leopard print belt, Serpant & the Swan polka dot mesh top, Marc Jacobs snakeskin clutch, Tom Ford sunglasses, coffeeKookaii vest, Viktoria & Woods leather pants, Jo Mercer boots, J.Crew leopard print belt, Serpant & the Swan polka dot mesh top, Marc Jacobs snakeskin clutch, Tom Ford sunglasses, coffee

As this blog post had nothing to do with what I’m wearing….please find below my outfit details! As always, when I feel good in an outfit I exude confidence. And life is too short not to be confident.

K- Leather & Soie

What I’m wearing:

Vest – http://www.kookai.com.au

Polka dot mesh top – http://www.serpantandtheswan.com

Leopard print belt – http://www.jcrew.com

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

Boots – http://www.jomercer.com.au

 

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

 

 

Why I used to never wear shorts.

Portuguese flair in Macau – a quick day trip!

Macau

Macau is most famous for being a haven for gambling. This tiny island took over Las Vegas in regards to it’s gaming revenue, securing itself as the perfect hub for cashing in on the influx of wealthy visitors from China and other parts of Asia.

Personally, I wasn’t there to gamble. We just wanted to take in the gorgeous architecture, culture and Portuguese tarts! And as you can see from the pictures, the architecture is stunning. Macau really is a unique blend of European styling and Asian culture.

As for the Portuguese tarts…we didn’t get time to take a photo. 🙂

 

Looking through these beautiful sunny images got me thinking about what it means when you start to embrace your surroundings, or perhaps even more so, the people you spend most of your time with. At first glance, you can see I adopted the Portuguese styling by wearing this beautiful ruffle top, natural colour shorts, and red earrings. But in all honesty, that was a bit of fluke. I didn’t really plan ahead for such aesthetics! I naturally tend to gravitate to this look as I think it suits my personality and my body type. I like to wear clothes that are unique, good quality, easy to style, and suit my mood.

But what about the people we choose to spend our time with? Is that a fluke? Do you ever step back and realise how much of an influence they have on your life? And when it comes to your own personal style; how much they influence what you wear. And more importantly; how you feel in what you wear.

 

macau square church

Interestingly enough, I never used to wear shorts. I used to hate the way my legs looked in shorts. As most women (unfortunately), I had confidence issues. I grew up being an athlete, and competed in sports where you were scrutinised on how you looked. I went through some dark stages, where I was too thin and then compensated years later by hiding behind a less than ideal body for myself. I didn’t know what my normal was. But it wasn’t until I started to realise that the people around me (namely my husband) gave me confidence to be myself in every being of the word. I started to be honest with myself and accept the body I was given. I started to dress to enhance my attributes, not cover my flaws. And I had people around me that encouraged that transformation.

But being honest with yourself, is the first step to self-love. I still get emotional about my body and how I look, but not nearly as much. And if I do, I remember this quote – “Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you.” (Quote from Game of Thrones – and I’m not even a fan!). And to be honest, no one cares about how you look nearly as much as you do!

macau church 1

macau flower

Now that I always dress with the intention of being honest with myself and dressing to show off my attributes; wearing shorts is a pleasure. I now know that I look better in shorts that are high waisted and have a tailored leg with a slight flair. And for me, quality over quantity. When you feel put together; you often exude confidence. These Aje shorts have been the backbone of many summer looks. I love how I can tuck in an on-trend ruffle top, add a leopard print belt and some statement earrings and I’m ready!

But in all honesty, I talk a lot about being yourself, being confident and doing what feels right. And a lot of that comes from surrounding yourself with like-minded people. It takes effort to be confident and trust the process to ‘be yourself.’ But if you have friends and family around you that support your decisions and actions, you’ll feel more at ease. It won’t be an easy road. Nor will the road ever end. As we get older, or go through certain stages in our lives, we need to learn to adapt to a whole new set of challenges.

At the end of the day, you have been blessed with a body that functions and lets you live out your life – the least you can do is treat it well and cut yourself some slack. And when you dress to your strengths; you feel good. And when you feel good, you often do good. And you become a positive influence to the people around you.

macau walk 2

I have fun styling myself. I know what works best for me and my body, and my lifestyle. I’d love to hear from you – experiences, feedback, etc.

K – Leather & Soie

What I wore:

Shorts – http://www.aje.com.au

Top – http://www.slideshow.com.au from http://www.wildchildstylelab.com.au

Belt – http://www.jcrew.com

Shoes – http://www.toms.com

Bag – http://www.bally.com

Sunglasses – http://www.tomford.com

Earrings – http://www.missmartini.com.au