Over the course of 2017 I've written about a hundred blog posts about style, canvassing a range of topics but - obviously - mostly writing about clothes and outfits I like. It's hundreds of different tops, trousers, dresses and skirts (not to mention accessories) from dozens of brands, including some awesome New Zealand designers. To round out the year, here are some of my fave looks of the year, in chronological order. Click on the pics for the original post.
Short Skirts for Work
"...when I sat down on my chair at work I did have a slight panic, but I solved that by pulling my seat in really close to my desk (which means my arms were not at the approved angle so I basically risked developing crippling OOS or RIS or whatever it’s called now, so that I could wear a skirt I found uncomfortably short). Much like a newsreader, the clothing on the bottom half of my body was irrelevant because my upper body looked so appropriate. How far can I take this? Could I wear shorts to work and pretend that it’s all fine because I’m also wearing a shirt and a blazer?
Combining Bright Colours
"When I bought these pants I knew that at some point I would use them as the basis of an outfit that in my mind I called “tropical cocktail”. It would incorporate pineapple, guava, mango, and strawberry, and it would be the perfect pre-summer pick-me-up (without the alcohol content, although this would be an A+ option for sipping a cocktail). Remember my New Year’s style resolution to plan more looks and spend less time scrambling? Well, this tropical cocktail concept came back to me in a flash one morning when I’d totally failed to do any planning. Bet you didn’t see that twist coming!
Seaweed Strides by the Seaside
"Sometimes you wear pants with coral and seaweed on them to work, and then remember that you have networking drinks after work with other professionals, who almost certainly won’t have dressed like a lunatic for work that day. See also: I went to work wearing a dress and earrings that I deliberately chose so that I would look and feel like a fiesta, featuring rainbow piñata style, and then remembered I was conducting an interview to recruit a new member for my team. At least people remember who I am?
That's a Wrap (Shirt)
"Soft, drape front jackets became really popular at some point in the last decade, and I soon learnt that they fell into the Not For Me bucket. I understand their appeal, but something about them is deeply, irrationally irritating to me. They just kind of – flap about? Particularly in Wellington and its dynamic weather. I realise everyone who has ever watched Trinny and Susannah or Gok Wan will be shouting “but they create a SLIMMING VERTICAL LINE” and that’s certainly true. But also: calm down. Not every fashion choice is about vertical lines or, judging by those programmes, doing a very questionable job of accessorising.
Pink and Red for Autumn
"When I was a kid, probably about 12, I had this awesome patterned sundress. I remember it because I always felt like it was a bit special – I think it was a gift and may have been a “brand name” of some nature. Remember wearing tshirts emblazoned with Stussy or Ripcurl across them? Or Mambo (if your parents were okay with the edgy design aesthetic)?
ANYWAY, I vividly remember wearing that dress and some girl questioning its excellence by opining that red and pink clashed – it featured both, heavily – and that “everyone knew that”. Did they know that, snooty pre-teen girl? Because I thought that dress was dope, and the colour scheme, while certainly vibrant, certainly did not “clash”. (And now, please excuse me while I go and write this on the list of things I clearly still need to work through with someone appropriately qualified.)
The Trick to Wearing Midi-length Like You're 5'8"
"According to the internet, I am a whole 5 feet and 2 inches tall (on a good day). I have not grown since I was about 13 years old – I am bona fide short. I mean, I wear four inch heels on the regular so many people think I am slightly about average height, but I am, in fact, fairly tiny. Once, on a dare, I stood next to my boss in my socks and the top of my head nearly reached his shoulder. I felt like a child; ergo, heels at work.
Modern science/the arbitrary rules of fashion would have you believe that the midi-length is not for me. I am too short, and all hemlines below the knee cap are verboten. But once again, dear blog reader, I remind you that when it comes to dressing myself I am a rule breaker, rebellious to the very core, and so I bought this Salasai dress even though it was quite clear from the online images that it would just about touch the ground on me. "
How to Wear a Date Night Outfit to the Office
"Before my Mum gets excited, a disclaimer: I didn’t actually wear this on a date.
Here’s my number one tip for making dating totally stress free: be so busy at work that you have to literally run to every one of your first dates directly from the office. It’s fool proof – no time to faff about at home trying a new smoky eye, which immediately ends up going HORRIBLY WRONG so you have to take it all off at the last minute and just hope the redness caused by your speed scrubbing fades by the time you get to your rendezvous. Or something. A friend told me. Cough.
ANYWAY, you guys, be it a date with a current squeeze, a potential squeeze, or a bestie fo’ lyfe – or even just a fancy dinner out solo in Wellington cos you deserve it godammit – it is possible to roll up in what you wore to work that day and still pass the CEO test while being dressed to impress. "
The Magic of Blazers
"Winter brings an additional level of “WHYYYY” to Monday mornings because work is outside my apartment, where it’s cold. My bed is warm. I know of only one way to motivate my lazy, snuggly butt on a cold and Mondayish kind of morning, and that is: wearing a nonsense outfit and pretending that I am not a Wellington lawyer, I am excellent New York fashion editor type who swans about. (I appreciate that being a fashion editor is stressful AF too, but let me live in a fantasy world. Turns out being a lawyer isn’t all delicious-smelling leather briefcases and sexy Type A man candy, so I’ve already suffered career disappointment once over here).
Embroidery Done Better
"As you know, I see a lot of clothes all the time. This is not a “scarcity creates demand” kind of situation, so I tend to keep a reasonably level head. I often like things, but it’s still reasonably rare for me to feel absolute and extreme covetousness. However, when I saw the sample of this dress at Derryn Schmidt’s preview earlier this year, I felt a rush of pure desire. The embroidery on this fabric is beyond beautiful. I knew I was done for – it was time to deploy the frivolous things account to its full extent.
Trying a New Style of Denim
"If you are old enough, you might remember when skinny jeans burst onto the high street, seemingly from nowhere, in the early 2000s (in Wellington, at least). I remember it clearly because I was working in a large chain store, and when the first super skinny jeans hit the market all of my buddies selling tops for $19.95 and I were confused and horrified. The proportions just looked so weird – your feet looked strangely huge, and the extremely narrow cut meant that you looked a little bit tapered, like a carrot. Also, the literal trauma of putting on a pair of skinny jeans – I once had a pair so tight that they bruised my hip bones. After spending my teen years in wide leg jeans and Dickies, I was not ready for the skinny jean trend.
Wearing Leather in the Gardens
"Styling up a leather jacket has been done to death. Most obviously great with jeans (and any shoes), everyone knows you can use a leather jacket to toughen up a really feminine dress, or to make a pair of dressy pants more casual. If you drape a leather jacket over an evening dress, you immediately look 80% cooler. I thought pale pink would be harder to wear than black, but all the old clichés have remained true – all that’s changed is the need for a bit of colour coordination. I’ve pulled together twenty ideas for styling a leather jacket on Pinterest. I thought for this shoot I’d go full noise on pink, with not only my outfit but the beautiful spring gardens coming through at the Wellington Botanic Gardens all on theme.
Custom Denim by Caleb Barnett
"I saw Caleb’s work at Project Fashion Wellington back in July, in an installation, and it was my instant favourite of the night. That’s saying something, because there was some awesome work on the runway that evening, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the style of Caleb’s work. I am a big fan of local creatives, and of juxtaposing styles, so after a few weeks of pondering I thought – why not commission something? Plus, it feels so fancy to commission something, right?! It was one of those times where I knew that if I bought these, I’d never let them go. They’d always remind me of this time in my life, with the blog, and everything else, and they’d be precious to me even when they stopped being wearable.
"I am a pain in my own butt for many reasons, but chief among them is the fact that Monday to Thursday all I want to wear is jeans, and Friday through to Sunday I can’t think of anything worse. It’s exactly like the thing where you can’t find anything nice in the shops when you have money to spend, but as soon as you’re skint there’s adorable tops as far as the eye can see. However, while I have no control over the retail options presented to me in Wellington, I can balance out my own contrarian nature by buying fab summery dresses to wear in the weekends. Exhibit A is this little number from Aida Maeby.
White Hot Summer
"There is no season for white quite like summer. Even in our “slip slop slap” culture, it’s near-impossible to avoid the sun in New Zealand, and white looks whiter against a bit of tan. And so, it’s time to bust out a classic summer workwear look – the white knit dress.
"I’m interviewing for two new members of my team at the moment. Nothing focusses the mind on what I wear to work like the knowledge that some poor second year lawyer will have to sit across the table from me and stare at stupid face-shaped earrings while they struggle with the question “what will you focus on in the first month in this job?”. Well, I dressed down for a few interviews but the heart wants what the heart wants – a statement sleeve."