Fashion evolves in two key ways: with what I call “mega-trends” and then, conversely, slow shifts. Either way, year after year things look a little different – that’s why photos of you from five years ago already look a bit unfashionable (so glad I’m documenting that for posterity on this blog). However, for those of us who are not straight-up millionaires, it’s not possible to update an entire wardrobe all at once, and, in fact, I’d go so far as to say that’s a terrible idea. A wardrobe full of “right now” stuff isn’t stylish, and with slow shifts happening in fashion trends, you should be able to make things last a long long time anyway.
It was when I was looking at these photos that I realised this outfit illustrates my point really well. Let’s break it down, shall we?
The most obvious mega-trends are the colour yellow and the freshwater pearls. Yellow first hit New Zealand a little over 18 months ago (which is when I bought this knit top from Lonely Label). Although it’s now being edged out by lilac, there’s still tons of yellow about in a variety of shades. Freshwater pearls have exploded into mainstream jewellery this year, hot off the European and North American summers (as well as cowry shells). Pearls are always a classic item in a jewellery box but these large, deliberately imperfect pearls are a new star.
As I say, I bought this top last year (and quick shout out – I’ve thrashed this, and it still looks so good) but the earrings are a new acquisition, thanks to a combination of having a life success to celebrate (accepted into an executive leadership course next year! Wooo!) and some sweet, sweet hotpoints vouchers. Nothing says “I have bought these earrings to mark this day” like handing over exactly zero actual dollars.
I buy a new pair of (inexpensive) sunglasses each summer because they’re such an easy way to update your outfits and drag them into the present day. This pair remind me of a pair I bought in 2002 from the Kelburn Pharmacy, which obviously I should have held onto like a weirdo. They also remind me of the Karen Walker x Madewell sunglasses that I love, but cannot justify due to my egregious track record with sunglasses. These aren’t a mega-trend, but the result of the slow demise of a mega-trend, the cat eye style. We seem to be in a more democratic time, if only sunglasses-wise, where more and more style options are readily available…so there’s no excuse for wearing that damaged pair with the one wobbly arm.
These shorts. Let’s discuss these. My Mum came to visit in June aka deep winter, and we saw these in Caroline Sills. I became obsessed with them immediately. They’re not cheap, so I knew if I wanted them they would have to compete for valuable “full price NZ clothing” budget. They’re shorts. I work full time. Luckily, I already knew I was comfortable wearing shorts to the office, thanks to this little post right here.
Ultimately, they won a place on the wishlist and some budget allocation because I think they’re going to be a strong wardrobe option for a few years yet. Shorts seem to be slowly making their way back into women’s wardrobes for day/work, which I think is due in part to a strong showing by culottes and wide-legged cropped options for the past few years. This graphic print that seems inspired by geology is a great alternative/response to all the floral prints of recent years. And the style – which almost looks like a man’s swim short – is fresh and fun. Plus, as we know, I think lots of colours in a print means lots of outfit options, which is always ace.
These are a pair of pull-on shorts, which I’m just going to say right now is the most excellently casual feeling to feel when you get ready for work in the morning. All the gathering is in the back which means: flat tummy, curvy butt. Genius design, I must say. And, for a final win, they have decently sized pockets! Obviously you could wear these on a weekend with a basic tee and some sandals – they’d look great, much smarter than a lot of summer options and highly practical – but for the money, I was determined to be able to dress them up too.
Thus, the heels. These are from last season but this “nude” style has been around for a few years, courtesy of Stuart Weitzman and the Nudistsong sandal. They started as a mega-trend, but have now settled into more of a current classic. The newest incarnation of these as a trend is a lower, blockier heeled sandal, with a more retro look and feel. I have something similar to the new style from several years ago (you can see them here) but there’s something about an aggressively high heel that I enjoy. Is the ankle strap super super flattering? No, but man do I ever feel secure in these – like I could legitimately go for a jog (except RIP my knees).
I’m definitely going to look back at these photos in five years and think I look like an unstylish lunatic, but for now I think I’ve blended together an existing favourite with some of the newness, with an eye to future wear and longevity – and I think that’s pretty good.
I can’t find the shorts online, but OMG the print comes in pants, here, and if you’re not in the mood for expensive shorts then please enjoy the sunglasses, here. The earrings are no longer available on Mimco, but you can find my other favourite pair here. Good old Tony Bianco heels, a similar pair are here, or if you want to spend $800+ you can buy the Nudistsong sandals here.