Generally speaking, I’m always in a rush. I’d love to slow down. The little ladies in our household take things nice and slowly. From my eldest daughter deliberating over the shoes she wants to wear for the day to my youngest insisting that she puts on her own shoes, we tend to do things at a rather relaxed pace. Alas, I’m always the one rushing. Young children have a habit of making you late...
By the time I have my two children dressed, I don’t really have time to think about what I’m going to wear. Pre-kids I worked in fashion magazines and spent a lot of time pondering my outfits. I’d ferry my wardrobe back and forth to the dry cleaner. I’d rarely wear anything machine washable. Oh how things have changed! These days, I need a wardrobe that’s both functional and fashionable. I need clothes that aren’t too precious and can handle anything that’s thrown at them (avocado, yoghurt, bolognaise…) and also special pieces that I can wear to everything from events to meetings. I usually throw the nicer pieces on just before we leave the house so they don’t get marked. So what do I wear in a week? It really depends on what my week looks like – and no two weeks are ever the same for me. Sometimes, it’s spent at my desk powering through as much content as possible, other weeks I’m out at events or shooting stories for The Grace Tales. One thing that hasn’t changed since I had children is that when it comes to fashion, I like to keep it simple. I don’t like loud prints or anything too fussy. I’m quite understated and minimal. So after a shop at Westfield recently, here are the new trends I’m trying (hello feminine floral dress teamed with mannish loafers) and the items currently on high rotation in my closet. They’re all classic pieces that I can mix and match. I still have designer pieces which I pull out for events (check out my new Zimmermann dress below), but mostly it’s about practical, chic clothes will take me from a meeting to the school gate. Photography: Grace Alyssa Kyo | In association with Westfield
SHOP: Cue Black Floral Print Flare Hem Dress, $289, from Westfield. TopShop loafers, from Westfield. Country Road Textured Tote $139, from Westfield.
1. It’s spring so embrace floral prints
This is an easy one for me. I love anything floral. I buy fresh flowers every week and have squeezed a floral print into virtually every corner of our house (my poor husband – two girly girls and a house filled with flowers). I instantly fell in love with this Cue black floral print flare hem dress. I team it with loafers to add a masculine edge to a feminine look. Every woman needs a pair of loafers – they’re the shoe of the moment. I also love this beautiful textured Country Road bag. Along with the loafers, it’s a nice contrast to the girly dress.
SHOP: Country Road Textured Tote $139, from Westfield. Cue Shirt with Cape, $159, from Westfield. Cue High Waisted Skinny Jean, $175, both from Westfield.
2. Fill your wardrobe with denim jeans
You can never have too many jeans in your wardrobe. That’s a fact. Ok, it’s not actually a fact, I made it up. But I believe when you’re a busy mother, a plethora of jeans is the answer to all your style problems. I tend to wear jeans most of the week – I’ll dress them up with a blazer and heels for a meeting or keep it casual with a T-shirt and white sneakers. Just remember that shopping for jeans can be terribly overwhelming at times and for me, it’s something I need to do in store. Why? Because the options are seemingly endless when it comes to jeans. Bootcut, boyfriend, flared, skinny leg, straight leg, wide leg, cropped, high rise, mid rise, low rise… shall we go on? I’m exhausted just thinking about it. I personally prefer a high rise so they don’t fall down when you bend over (and all mothers need to bend over whether it’s picking up your child or getting something out of the pram) and I favour a skinny leg jean. That’s just me. I’ve got friends who rock a boyfriend jean to perfection. Go into Westfield and spend a few hours trying on jeans – this is one item I will never ever buy online. While you’re at it, add a few blouses and shirts to your bag – jeans with a blouse or shirt is my fail-proof look.
3. Find your 'everyday' dress
Timeless and trend-defying, I’ve always loved polka dots. Luckily, they’re a big trend this season and this classic dress has proved such a great investment. I wear it multiple times a week and it’s appropriate for a work meeting or dinner with friends. While it’s not a maternity dress, you could easily wear this throughout your pregnancy. I’ve still got dresses which I wore when I was pregnant and never tire of effortless, relaxed silhouettes. For everyday wear, I’m also loving shirt dresses – you can see my edit below.
3. Invest in a beautiful cocktail dress
This is the ‘wow’ dress. The dress you put on when you want to feel as far away from ‘mumsy’ as possible. This Zimmermann dress is perfection to me and I’ve worn it to so many events from work dinners to the races. It suits multiple dress codes from cocktail to smart casual. I’d wear it to a meeting with sandals and to a party with these Valentino heels. I love the longer length and the floral embroidery is divine. It’s also made of linen which gives it an understated elegant feel. Another plus? White dresses are always on trend for spring.
SHOP: Cue Scattered Spot Tie Neck Blouse, $179 and Cue High Waisted Skinny Jeans, $175, both from Westfield.
4. It's all about the spot
I find it hard to walk past anything covered in spots without making a purchase (see Cue dress above). A timeless print, polka dots always feel fresh to me. I love blouses with skinny jeans – it’s a look I wear time and again. This is a great look for when I’m running around on a shoot or dashing off to a meeting – smart but casual and comfy. It’s also practical for when I’m with the girls. I’ve actually set up a little table and chair set in the office for my girls. I work from a home office so it’s very hard to keep work and family separate – the boundaries are inevitably blurred but I like it this way. My own mother ran her interior decorating business from home and I remember how hard she worked from that office. I believe it instilled a strong work ethic in me. My girls like to pretend they’re also doing ‘work’ – it’s incredibly cute.
SHOP: Arabella wears Target Embroidered Denim Mid Length Shorts, $18, and Target Short Sleeve Tie Front Top, $15, both from Westfield
The trend challenge:
Shop our edit below and see if you can tick off one or more of these trends this spring/summer: – A fresh shirt dress with fun pom pom sandals. – Something gingham. Trenery have done a great checked linen shirt dress. – A splash of vibrant orange. I love the Sheike skirt below. – A girly floral dress with loafers – it’s all about the feminine/masculine mix. – A textured pom pom tote (can you tell I have a slight addiction to pom poms?). Everyone from Country Road to Witchery are doing these boho totes. – A polka dot print. Cue is where I found my favourite polka dots this season. Inspired to shop? Share your look on social media with the hashtag #jointhefrontline | Go to www.westfield.com.au