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

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

 

Ruffles and big sleeves…just a trend?

the lane bike

Easter, the most sacred time of the year. A time with family and friends.

We decided to head up to the Adelaide Hills to see the beautiful Autumn leaves and check out a few wineries. And oh my, were they impressive!

 

Shaw and Smith

 

stripe top standing bike

I never thought ruffles would back in such a big way. And I am so excited! Ruffles are surprisingly flattering! They add volume around the wrists, and cinch where needed and therefore helps to create a beautiful balance.

This top is by Slide Show and was very reasonably priced. But what I really appreciate about this top is that it’s made out of cotton and not polyester. Cotton is a lot more breathable than Polyester, and will last a lot longer. Price doesn’t always denote quality. Be sure to always look at the composition to understand what you are paying for.

stripe topstripe top walk 2Stripe top sideon

I teamed this Slide Show top with a casual looking pair of jeans from Ted Baker, tan stilettos from Tony Bianco and red earrings from Miss Martini. And I don’t go anywhere without my Tom Ford sunglasses!

stripe top leg up

So, are ruffles and flared sleeves just a trend? Ruffles always seem to make an appearance on spring/summer dresses in some way or another. But ruffles seen on this top make a much bigger statement. Despite this, due to how flattering it is, ruffles may stick around much longer than just one season. I would be more than happy to wear them year after year.

I feel the same re flared sleeves. They do a great job at creating a really balanced look; slimming down shoulders and arms. And because of this, I believe they will be around for some time.

I have really enjoyed experimenting with different ruffles and flared sleeves as it’s an easy way to lift a somewhat plain outfit. The most important thing is to be confident in what you’re wearing. If you feel good about what your outfit, you’re more likely to get more use out of it.

me in shed 4Hahndorf leaves

Conclusion: Ruffles and flared sleeves are technically a trend…but trends that will stay around much longer than one season. Spend money on items that fit you well and are made of good quality materials. You can’t go wrong.

Top: http://www.slideshow.net.au

Jeans: http://www.tedbaker.com.au

Shoes: http://www.tonybianco.com.au

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

 

Leather & Soie – K

Styles that never fade – part 1

Leather & Stripes

budha

I started this blog because I dream about fashion. I have a full time job in the medical industry and love it. I love being challenged daily. But I also have a real passion for understanding my own style. I believe there are some ‘styles’ that never go out of fashion. And I want to inspire others’ to find their own style based on what makes them feel good.

We took a beautiful walk through a very picturesque part of Byron Bay – Crystal Castle. And although not my style it had some spectacular views; the kind that only nature can provide. The perfect backdrop to represent the start of my series of blogs re ‘styles that never fade.’

stripe top under arch

Leather

This Aje leather skirt makes a regular appearance when choosing my outfits. When you find the perfect leather skirt, you can wear it with anything, for any event and in my opinion, in any weather! This Aje leather skirt is crafted to perfection. You’ll see many more of my leather skirts along the way, but this one is special. Tan leather is a little more subtle than black leather, allowing for more casual outfit variations.

Stripes

The other fashion style that never fades, and stands the test of time is none other than stripes. When you really think about it, you see stripes everywhere! This top also features ruffles which are an ‘on-trend’ feature at the moment, but the underlying style is stripes. I am making an effort to incorporate more stripes into my wardrobe; and I’m loving it! When choosing stripes in a primary colour, such as blue, you can mix all different prints together.

stripe top stairs

I really enjoyed my time getting out into nature. As I live in Australia, this is probably the last time I’ll see some warm weather for a while. I will dream about balmy nights until next summer!

crystal castle flowers

Crystal castle walk up stairs

What I wore:

Top – Slide Show via http://www.wildchildstylelab.com.au (purchased in store)

Skirt – http://www.aje.com.au

Slides – http://www.witchery.com.au

Bag – http://www.bally.com

Sunglasses – http://www.tomford.com

 

Leather & Soie – K

 

Vacation Outfit; Byron Style.

Byron resort pathlighthouse

Welcome to Leather & Soie! A blog dedicated to timeless style, luxurious textures, spectacular finds and the search for styles that suit every woman.

I couldn’t find a better way to debut my blog with a trip to Byron Bay. This beautiful coastal vacation spot is situated on the Eastern coast of Australia, New South Wales. On our first evening, we taken to Rae’s on Wategos Beach on VW Kombi’s! We had locals videoing us as we chugged through the main street and up the hill to the restaurant.

Rae’s on Wategos Beach is situated on the coast and mimics the breathtaking views of the Greek Islands. And the seafood is to die for!

Now, to the fashion! I absolutely agree with Audrey Hepburn when she said, ‘there’s a shade of red for every woman.’ And what better way to wear it…with a Caroline Constas off-the-shoulder red dress! It’s fun, flirty and summery. It’s a dress I’ll have for years to come, because of it’s timeless style and impeccable craftsmanship. I hope to demonstrate  throughout my blog, the appreciation I have for beautiful good quality fashion. I also firmly believe in finding your own true style. I will share my tips and tricks along the way.

red dress holding out behindcropped red dress

Beach surfers shot

I added my favourite turquoise Gospel earrings from Grace Loves Lace. Red can be worn with most colours, but turquoise really has the ‘pop’ factor! I also teamed this with the perfect red lipstick – ‘YSL rouge pur couture in le rouge #1’. You can stop the search for the perfect red lipstick, because this is the one! It goes with most skin tones, easy to apply and surprisingly moisturising. I even asked a make-up artist from Melbourne recently on his thoughts about red lipsticks, and he mentioned that this is the one lipstick that he constantly has to replenish due to it’s high turnover rate! I think I’m definitely onto a winner here.

Red dress Raes smile

The great thing about vacation style, is the added benefit of feeling relaxed and tanned! When you feel good about yourself, it shows in how you present yourself. I know that when I am on holidays, I tend to wear minimal make-up and let the fashion speak for itself.

Red dress – Caroline Constas via http://www.shopbop.com

Statement earrings – http://www.graceloveslace.com.au

Wedges – http://www.witchery.com.au

Bag – Olga Berg via http://www.missmartini.com.au

Watch – http://www.longines.com

white top waling behind

Thank you for stopping by and joining me in my appreciation for different textures, colours and styles. 🙂

Other outfit details

White off the shoulder top – http://www.stonecoldfox.com

Denim shorts – http://www.oneteaspoon.com

Orange flip-flops – http://www.haviannas.com

 

K – Leather & Soie