August252017

Starting your morning the right way

Do you sometimes feel sluggish or inefficient in the mornings? Does getting into the swing of things take more time than it should? Let’s re-evaluate how you’re doing things! Learn how to maximise your time and begin the day with a bang by reading my tips for starting your morning the right way.

 

Work your mind and/or body

Starting the morning with some form of exercise or meditation is the best way to energise your body and activate your mind. Wake yourself up with an early morning run, walk or yoga session, or hit the gym if that’s your preferred form of exercise. Once you get the heart pumping or the mind relaxing, you’ll be in the right frame to start your day effectively.

 

Refresh

Drink lots of liquid in the morning to hydrate your body. I like a glass of warm water with lemon juice, but have a green tea if you aren’t a citrus fan. This will also help flush out any nasty toxins and keep your skin from drying out. Try to drink 2-3 glasses before you even get to work.

 

Dress smartly

Dress like you mean it and you’re going to feel great. Get your outfit ready the night before so you don’t waste time deciding what to wear. Don’t rush your makeup and hair – you want to walk out the door feeling confident and prepared. It’s all about dressing like the winner you know you are.

 

Brainfood

This one is so important! Make sure you eat a good breakfast before you start work. A bowl of porridge with coconut sugar, muesli with low fat yogurt and fresh fruit or poached eggs on toast are fabulous healthy options – and quick to make, too. Fuel your body and brain by giving them energy, allowing them to work to their full potential.

 

Multitask

When you can do two things at once without adding extra stress to your life, give it a go. I like to check my emails over breakfast, which means I don’t waste more time doing it later on. Have a think about what you could be doing at once and see if you can make it work comfortably.

August062017

Spring Handbag Essentials

It’s time to re-evaluate what you have in your everyday handbag. As the temperature gets warmer, the items you carry around on a daily basis should be changed to ensure you’re prepared for the changes spring brings. Here’s what my handbag absolutely has to contain in those sunnier months.

 

Sunglasses

I never leave the house in spring or summer without a stylish pair of polarised sunglasses! There’s nothing worse than spending your entire time outside squinting – not only does it ruin your fun, it increases the likelihood of wrinkles on the brow and around the eyes. Protect your eyes and stay safe on the roads by adding a pair of high quality sunglasses to your handbag.

 

Sunscreen

On that same trend, sunscreen is another essential item for spring/summer handbags. Buy a small bottle that you can easily carry around so you’ll never get caught in an unpleasant situation. Sunburn isn’t just painful, it’s extremely bad for your health and causes excessive ageing to the skin. Try to keep your skin as youthful looking as possible by applying sunscreen every morning during spring and summer – even if it’s grey outside. Reapply at midday if it’s particularly hot.

 

Lip balm

An SPF lip balm is another item I always carry during the hotter months. Chapped lips are both unsightly and unpleasant, and can result in flaking for several days. By applying an SPF lip balm as a base layer each time you apply or reapply lipstick, you’ll keep your lips looking plump and healthy. I love Eco Lips’ Sport balm (SPF 30) and Hurraw’s Sun Balm (SPF 15) for natural, cruelty-free lip protection.

 

Water

Carrying a mini water bottle is a move you definitely won’t regret. As women on the go, we often don’t pause to refresh and take a drink between lunch breaks. I find keeping a small water bottle on me at all times makes me drink, which keeps my body hydrated and energised. Fill it up whenever possible and your skin and body will thank you for it!

 

Headscarf

Last but not least is the headscarf, or neckerchief if you prefer. Functional and stylish, the headscarf is there to protect your scalp should the sun suddenly decide to shine full-blast while you’re outside for a lengthy amount of time. Fold it diagonally in half and tie it at the back of your neck for sweet vintage style – easy chic.

July192017

Business Basics

 

Being a businesswoman is a multifaceted, ever-changing job. While grasping everything at once can be difficult, there are a few basic guidelines you should follow at all times. Stay on top of these and you’ll fast-track your way to success!

 

Dear Diary

In our busy society, having a daily calendar is essential – this should be the number one basic tool every business man or woman utilises. Include everything on your calendar – work and personal – and colour code each item so that you don’t confuse them. Setting up notifications will help you manage yourself adequately and ensure you never miss a meeting, appointment or catch-up with friends.

 

Tone is Everything

The way you conduct yourself around others is a reflection of your personal brand and the business you are representing. If your tone is unpleasant or uncertain, you risk losing potential clients and generating a negative image about your brand and business. Ensure that your mannerism is professional and friendly, no matter who you are talking to. I like to live by the golden rule: treat others as you would like to be treated.

 

Call It

Whenever possible, call clients and colleagues rather than email, message or text. Speaking with someone over the phone or in person is the most effective way to get your message across and cover all of the issues you want to address. People are far more likely to pay attention to you when listening to an actual person, as opposed to reading a message they can skim over and delete. It also saves writing back and forth, as you can get everything out in the open on the spot.

 

Positivity Breeds Success

Maintain a positive attitude towards your business ventures and everyone involved in them. Negativity won’t get you anywhere, so remember why you entered into your career path to begin with and be thankful for your skillset and position. Try to tackle work-related obstacles with this same positive attitude – you’ll find no task is too difficult to accomplish once you begin treating them with a can-do mindset.

 

Stay Focused

Once you’re clear on your brand’s vision and values, stay true to them. As the days go by, reflect on your values and check that you aren’t compromising them. More than that, ask yourself if you’re fulfilling them. Remaining clear on these core beliefs and views will guide you through your career and life, ensuring that you maximise your potential in both.

July102017

Essential Winter Accessories

Winter fashion is great because it means you can indulge in accessories. Accessories can make or break an outfit, and when used correctly they’ll give even the most simple look a touch of flair. Stay warm and stylish this winter with my essential accessories!

 

Scarf

Image: Zimbio

Layering is a key winter fashion trend, and scarves are the perfect accessory to give your outfit depth. Make like Blake Lively above and wear a thick, long scarf for extra warmth, or bring some colour to your outfit and wear a silky patterned scarf instead.

 

Gloves

Image: Pinterest

Gloves are a classic accompaniment to any winter look, adding elegance and stopping your fingers from going numb. Leather gloves like Olivia Wilde’s above are a refined choice, but wear wool if it’s really freezing. Elbow length gloves are a classy option for winter black-tie events.

 

Woollen Hat

Image: Splash News

Hats are multipurpose, serving as both a stylish accessory and a protector from the rain and cold. Winter is the ideal time to wear a cute woollen hat, such as a beret, fedora, cloche or oversized floppy number. Woollen hats in these styles add a classy vintage element to your outfit. Buy one in brown like Taylor Swift, or burgundy, black or grey for versatility.

 

Oversized Bag

Image: Cosmetics Delux

Oversized bags are great all year round, but they’re especially useful in winter. All that extra space gives you ample room for sweaters, raincoats and compact umbrellas – as well as all the usual makeup items, hand creams and more. I love Angelina Jolie’s Louis Vuitton bag, but any large leather bag will fulfil the purpose.

 

Quality Hosiery

Image: Trendsylvania

What would we do without stockings? If you don’t want to wear jeans or trousers all winter, stockings will be your best friend. Investing in a few pairs of thick, high-quality stockings gives you countless outfit opportunities. Black stockings like the ones Olivia Palermo wears above go with absolutely everything, but if you feel like branching out, navy or white stockings are a fashionable choice.

July062017

Winter Shoe Styles

Dressing for winter is as much about dressing for wet weather as it is about dressing for the cold. Strappy sandals and canvas sneakers aren’t going to keep your feet dry and warm, so some thought does need to be put into your footwear. There are plenty of stylish leather shoes which are great for keeping the wet out, so have a read below and consider adding a pair (or two!) to your winter wardrobe. Alternatively, invest in a good waterproofer to keep non-leather shoes dry.

 

Loafers

Image: Pinterest

I love loafers! These flats are comfortable and elegant, and come in a range of styles. Choose from plain, tassled, embellished and more – there’s a different style for everyone. Loafers are a great alternative to wearing heels in the office, and can easily be worn year-round.

 

Flat Boots

Image: Pinterest

A wardrobe staple, the flat boot is perfect for those rainy winter days. A good pair of boots should be able to be worn comfortably for hours, and they’ll definitely keep your feet dry from any puddles. Pair them with boyfriend jeans or tights and a dress for easy winter style.

 

Brogues

Another classic flat, the brogue is fun and fashionable. Plain patterned black or brown brogues are a no-brainer, but if you want to mix things up a bit, why not buy a pair with wooden heels? This adds a bit of edge to your outfit while still keeping things sophisticated.

 

Oxfords

Image: All for Fashion

If you’re looking for the perfect, classy flat, look no further! Oxfords create a refined, confident look. They’re bold and distinguished, and very versatile. Throw them on with jeans for a casual movie night, high-waisted trousers and a blouse for work, or a gown and lipstick for a night out. Choose from plain block colours or add a little flair to your outfit with a two-tone pair, as pictured above.

 

Heeled Boots

Image: Pinterest

You can’t go wrong with heeled boots. Effortlessly fashionable, heeled boots grace our runways and fashion stores every year. If you do prefer wearing heels, this is a fabulous option for your wet-weather wardrobe. Wear them with a skirt and funnel neck, or jeans, a button-up and a sweater. Casual chic!

 

Monk Straps

Image: Style Forum

Lastly, there’s the monk strap. Traditionally a men’s shoe, there are now plenty of women’s stores stocking these elegant items. Like the other flats above, monk straps are sophisticated, making them great for the office. They can also be worn casually. Get them in classic rich brown as pictured above, so you can break up your black outfits!

 

 

June202017

Weekend Winter Style

Dressing for work during winter is one thing; dressing for the weekend is another entirely. With so many trends it’s hard to know what to wear, when. I’ve put together some tips for weekend style during the cold season so you can look effortlessly fabulous every day!

 

Button-up and Brogues

Image Source: Modamo

My go-to casual chic outfit is simple: pair a button-up blouse with trousers or jeans and some gorgeous flats like brogues or loafers. A white button-up is always a safe bet and looks great with patterned trousers, especially a checked print. If you like brighter tops, embrace a solid colour or fun print like paisley and wear plain black or navy pants. Comfortable without compromising style!

 

Turtleneck

Image Source: The Cut and Paste

A cold neck is never good. Luckily, turtlenecks have made a comeback in recent years and are still trending. With lots of options, these are a great sweater to have in your wardrobe. A chunky cable knit sweater is perfect for sunday brunch, while a slim fit merino blend is more elegant for dressier weekend outings.

 

Boots

Image Source: kristinawilde.com

You can’t go wrong with a good pair of boots (or three). I personally like to keep two pairs at least – one flat, one with a nice comfortable heel as pictured above. Boots are dressier than sneakers but less flashy than standard heels, so a great weekend choice. Pair them with jeans and a coat for lunches, or tights and a cute dress for a Saturday night dinner.

 

Scarves

Scarves are another great way to keep to the neck warm while staying fashionable. In winter I love a heavy, thick scarf like the one above, but silky ones do look classy if you prefer a more lightweight feel. Why not embrace the winter spirit and invest in a patterned scarf like the one pictured? I love the vintage houndstooth vibes in this outfit. Get inspired by checking out some retro looks from the UK.

 

Black

Image Source: Pinterest

I’ve said it before: black never goes out of style. Gigi Hadid shows us how it’s done with a clean black outfit. Combining two of our listed trends (the turtleneck and boots) with a silky skirt and classic black sunglasses, she’s the picture of fashion. Mixing textures and fabrics is a good way to avoid your black items blending into one another. Try matching woolen trousers with a satin blouse.

 

Coats

Image Source: Pinterest

Last but certainly not least is the timeless coat. Buying a good coat is the best thing you can do for your winter wardrobe. Coats are extremely versatile, able to dress and outfit down or up easily. And of course, they’re warm and cosy. In winter I like to wear wool blends to trap the heat in. Grey, tan, navy and deep green are all good basic coat colours if you aren’t sure where to start. Make sure you purchase a coat with a good lining and preferably some pockets.

 

 

June202017

The NZ Woman Q&A – June 2017

Read the Q&A on NZ Woman here.

June142017

Zest Magazine – June 2017

June122017

Why Teamwork is Important

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Being able to perform at your highest ability both individually and in a team is essential to success. When you work as a team you create a positive environment and enhance your happiness in the workplace. You also maximise your ability to get fast, effective results. Ultimately, teamwork brings people together – people from different backgrounds, with different skills and different interests. Embracing your colleagues and learning to work with them cohesively will benefit both your business and your overall happiness.

A happy workplace

Getting along with your coworkers will noticeably increase your happiness at work. Think about it – working with someone you’re able to hold a decent conversation and share a laugh with is going to be more enjoyable than working with someone who you can barely talk to. When you work in a team, you foster an environment of loyalty, unity and companionship. Teamwork promotes equality and camaraderie, and encourages communication. This creates a more empowered way of working, where your whole team is inspired and focused. When you have strong morale, reaults will follow.

An effective workplace

Everyone has different strengths, so it makes sense that working in a team generates success – imagine all those strengths combined! By harnessing multiple skills, teamwork makes for a more efficient result. Working in a team tends to mitigate power structures and hierarchies, which encourages respect among employees and replaces any potential for competition with support and cooperation. Teamwork also makes room for new perspectives on problem solving, and new ideas for growing success. Additionally, it provides more opportunities for learning, as colleagues learn new techniques from each other and through the team function. Finally, teamwork shows clients and customers that your team is well-oiled, encouraging and enjoys its work. And who doesn’t want to support a business that actually loves what it does?

How to make your team function

In order for teamwork to really ‘work’, a few processes need to be followed. You can’t simply put a group of people together and tell them to get going. It’s important to initially establish your team’s direction and vision. What are your team’s goals? What does it need to achieve? Next, you should set roles within your team. Who is the leader? Who are the strategisers? Once people know their position within the team, they will be clearer going forward able to work more efficiently. Then it’s all about staying on track, making sure everyone is happy and checking that the group is functioning well. To uphold team spirit and equality, why not have a team meeting at the start of the week? This creates an inclusive environment and ensures that everyone is one the same page. It’s also a good idea to have regular team performance assessments to see where you can improve things. From there, you can continue to grow your team, your business and your success.

 

 

June072017

Top Looks at the Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Festival is a multi-day event in France which previews and celebrates new films from around the world. Because of its duration, the festival has more than the usual amount of red carpet entrances – meaning more fabulous outfits from our favourite celebrities.

Wrapping up at the end of May, Cannes Film Festival celebrated its 70th year. As always, there were some outfits which stood out among the crowd. I’ve put together my eight top looks of the festival. What was your favourite?

 

Monica Belluccimonica

Monica has long been one of my favourite celebrities. The Italian actress and model is the picture of elegance wherever she goes, and Cannes was no exception. This year Monica was the festival’s Mistress of Ceremonies. Over the event’s twelve days she wore an array of gorgeous garments, but my personal pick is this flared black Stella McCartney jumpsuit. Stylish, simple and clean, the jumpsuit highlight her lovely curves and is complemented perfectly with a diamond brooch.

 

Sara Sampaio
sara

Portuguese model Sara Sampaio was a vision in red. The plunging neckline and full skirt of her Zuhair Murad Couture gown create a feminine and striking effect. The sequined detail on the gown just add to its impressiveness, and Sara’s diamond jewellery finishes the outfit beautifully. I love Sara’s simple, pulled back hair and smokey eyes – you can’t go wrong with smokey eyes, ladies!

 

Olga KurylenkoOlga

Fashion designer Elie Saab never puts a foot wrong, as is evident with French actress and model Olga Kurylenko’s stunning dress. The cut is very flattering, accentuating her slim waist and flowing gently over the hips and legs. I’m loving the embellishments on this gown, which are eye-catching while still remaining elegant. Olga wears her short hair down and carries a slim watch on her wrist – very classy.

 

Deepika Padukone
Deepkish

One of the more stand-out gowns of this year’s festival is Deepika’s dress by Brandon Maxwell. The deep green-blue colour is hard to wear, but Indian actress Deepika pulls it off perfectly. The off-the-shoulder cut and train is dramatic but elegant, and the leg slit gives this look some edginess. Her eye makeup is risky, but again executed well. And who doesn’t love a good pair of stilettos?

  

Bella Hadidbella hadid

Bella Hadid can simply do no wrong. The American model stole the show at the 2017 Cannes, and this stunning outfit was my favourite look of the whole festival. The gown, by Alexandre Gauthier, is perfectly fitted and just the right blend of sexy and classy. Soft pink is very in right now, and Bella matches her fashionable dress with striking Bulgari jewellery and delicate Olgana Paris heels. A beautiful, polished, head-turning look.

 

Jessica Chastainjessica

Keeping things classic, actress Jessica Chastain wears a glamorous and sophisticated Black Prada gown. With a slight train and a low back, this gown is understated elegance at its best. Pairing the gown with a string of small pearl and a tight up-do, Jessica spells class. The simple makeup is an effective addition.

 

Adriana LimaAdriana

Victoria’s Secret Angel Adriana looked fabulous in this strapless sequined gown. The cut is classic and elegant, showing off her slim figure. The statement Chopard necklace is gives Adriana’s outfit a hint of flare, as do the red lips. When in doubt, wear red lips.

 

Juliette Binoche

juliette

Lovely French actress Juliette Binoche was glamorous in a long black Armani Prive dress. The fitted shaped of the dress highlights her hourglass figure, and the sparkles give it an extra bit of edge. I love the up-do and soft wave of the side fringe – very classic.

May202017

Eye Magazine covershoot 20 Years – 2017

May182017

Boot Styling Tips For Your Brand New Outfit

As the seasons turn to fall and winter, it is time to bring boots out of storage. While boots are a perennial closet staple, it is easy to combine them with new outfits for a fresh look. There are also many different options when it comes to boots giving you an opportunity to add a different style to your closet in addition to the time-tested classics.

Here, I will share some classic boot looks and general styling guidelines so that you can mix and match.

 

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The Classic Leather Boot

Knee-high leather boots have remained a classic for good reason. Simple, leather boots without much adornment are extremely versatile. These should be your everyday go-tos and can be worn with everything from jeans to dresses. Opt for heeled boots for a little more polish, and pair with an eye-catching skirt – think bright colors, pattern, and interesting shapes – for a fresh take on the look.

All in black: A classic look for simple, leather boots is the flat, black leather boot paired with black jeans. Wear a gray v-neck T-shirt, lightly tucked into the front and a cardigan – or go for a cozy knit.

Dress it up: Go for a leather boot with a heel – block or stiletto – and combine with a nice blouse and a leather moto jacket in a similar color to your boots. You want the colors to be similar but not identical.

 

The Taller the Better

For a fresher take on the classic leather boot, go for height. Height in the boot’s shaft, not in the heel. Over the knee and thigh-high boots, especially with a low or flat heel, add additional flair and style to the classic look, without putting it over the top. Opt for dark colored boots and wear with pants, leggings or dark colored tights to keep the look low-key yet polished.

Legs for days: Tall boots make your legs look longer, so play it up! Pair black suede over-the-knee boots with black tights and a loose-fitting sweater dress with a shorter hemline.

Dress it up: Look for black over-the-knee boots and wear with an all black ensemble including a shapely black mini dress. Or pair with black jeans, a white blouse and a black jacket. Accessorise with multiple fine necklaces.

 

Or, Go Short

Booties have gained in popularity as a great alternative to the classic boot. There are a number of ankle booties on the market now. To keep your look polished, go for a mid-height heel. Save the high-heeled booties for date nights and rely on the others for day-to-day styling.

Laid back cool: Brown booties with a chunky heel are the perfect companion to skinny-legged jeans. Pair with a grey sweater and you will be the queen of casual.

Dress it up: Pair them with a boho chic dress and knit tights.

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Be Daring

Now that we have gone over the classics, here is how you play it up a little bit. When looking for interesting options, prioritize color, texture, hardware or bling. Choose one, because anything too busy will not stand the test of time. Luckily, there are plenty of elegantly-designed boots with an eye-catching features. You can look for velvet or suede in dark, neural or deep color. Gold hardware on black boots is a classic favorite. This season’s runways have been peppered with extra sparkly boots – perfect for a night on the town and ideal for pairing with everything from jeans to your favorite dress.

Just remember, unique boots are a statement piece. They draw a lot of attention so, unless you like a louder style, keep the rest of your outfit understated.

 

Pay Attention to Hemlines 

Boots can tend to look school-marmy if they are not paired correctly. Taller boots should always be paired with shorter skirt hemlines – your skirt should not overlap with your boot. Jackets should fall far above the top of your boots as well. In the case of over-the-knee boots, a jacket can hit your waistline or fall far below the tops of your boots. The key is to not have the tops of your boots get muddled with any other hemlines.

You can also keep the silhouette of the boots in mind when pairing with clothing. Most boots go best with skinny jeans and slimmer lines when it comes to pants. However, fuller bodied, more interestingly shaped, or flowing skirts and dresses tend to pair with boots better than more form-fitting ones.

 

Jamie Plambeck

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Jamie is a manager and writer in the fashion. She’s an owner/founder of the family business Boot Cuff & Socks Boutique or BC&S Boutique. You can find the latest styles of Women’s Boot Socks, Cuffs and Lace by visiting the site. When she’s not searching for new fashion trends she’s spending time with her young daughter Rilyn.